How to Apply: Overseas Capstone Program

Note: Applicants from Russian Domestic Flagship institutions will be given access to the 2020-2021 application by their domestic directors. The Domestic Flagship Institutions are:

  1. Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Swarthmore College;
  2. Indiana University;
  3. Portland State University;
  4. University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA);
  5. University of Georgia;
  6. University of Wisconsin-Madison

All at-large applicants (those who have not participated in a Domestic Flagship Program, see below) please contact Program Officer Sydney Stotter at for further details on applying.

Application Requirements:

Applicants can be U.S. citizens, nationals, and legal residents. However, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for government financial support.

Applications will go online in mid-October.  The application deadline for the Capstone Year 2020-2021 is January 9, 2020 at 2 PM Eastern Standard Time.  By this date, we must receive your online application and transcripts. Recommenders must submit their online reference forms also by January 9, 2020 at 2 PM Eastern Standard Time.

All eligible applicants are required take an online Russian proficiency qualifying exam (reading, listening, writing) in mid-January 2020. For the Russian Domestic Flagship students, the test location and time will be organized by their Flagship staff. At-large students will take the test on their own within the allowed time slot, but the exam must be proctored. Applicants will be notified about the details of the test via e-mail upon submission of the online application. In addition to the online exam, all applicants are required to take a telephonic Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in mid to late January. American Councils will schedule the OPI, and your Domestic Flagship staff will proctor it (at-large applicants must find a suitable proctor).

Eligibility Requirements

The Russian Overseas Flagship Program accepts two categories of applicants:

Undergraduate students: Students who are enrolled in one of the Domestic Flagship programs, have reached the required proficiency level in Russian, and have completed at least 6 weeks of study abroad in a Russian-speaking country are eligible for admission to the Overseas Program, upon recommendation of the Russian Overseas Flagship Project Directors. 

Post-BA (or At-large) students: At-large (i.e., not participating in the Domestic Flagship Program) candidates may apply to the program on a competitive basis.  At-large applicants must have their Bachelor's, or higher, Degree before the beginning of the program in August 2020.

Both undergraduate and post-BA applicants must satisfy the following two requirements:

  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency in Russian equivalent to the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Level 2.  
  • Complete at least 6 weeks of study in Russia or a Russian-speaking country on a certified academic program prior to applying to the program. Domestic Flagship Capstone-track students participating in any of American Councils' RLASP programs must choose to live with a Russian-speaking family. Please be advised that even in the Moscow or St. Petersburg RLASP program, where dormitory housing is offered as an option, students are still required to live with a host family as part of the admissions requirements for their Capstone program.
    • This requirement cannot be fulfilled during the summer immediately prior to the beginning of the overseas program. Please note that time spent in Russia or another Russian speaking country vacationing, visiting relatives, working, or volunteering does not count towards this requirement.

All successful candidates must demonstrate strong motivation to achieve “professional” language proficiency in Russian, a proven track record of Russian-related activities and interests, and have some record of positive immersion experience in Russia or another Russian-speaking country.

For information on testing procedures and to self-test, please go to:

Interagency Language Roundtable or

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages