Russian is a vibrant modern language with a rich and fascinating history. Today, more than 280 million people speak Russian in many different countries. Learning Russian is a challenge, but it is also useful. Russia?s vast mineral wealth and resources guarantee its place in the world economy; its enormous geographical size spans the Eurasian landmass; its continued dominance on the world political stage necessitates our careful study of its history, culture, language, and politics. We in the United States cannot ignore the primacy of our former Cold War rival; Russia is still a vital player in the world.
Learning Russian is a gateway to one of the world?s largest nations. It is clear that knowing the language of a country always aids in securing better ties and relationships, whether in a private company or a government agency. Learning Russian can also facilitate work in many of the nations of the former Soviet Union, because Russian is still often the language of business and public life. Although Russia?s military dominance is not what it was at the height of the Cold War, it nevertheless continues to loom large in the global arena.
Business is booming in Russia, and as the market there stabilizes and expands, U.S. companies are eager to join in. Knowledge of Russian is a natural companion to a business degree. Similarly, Russian continues to be a language of strategic national importance, one emphasized by the US government. Learning Russian helps to ensure interesting and successful employment of future graduates, and WVU is here to further that goal.