Four UCLA Russian Flagship students win Boren Scholarships
Russian Flagship student Juliette Oliver. (Photo provided by Ms. Oliver.)

Four UCLA Russian Flagship students win Boren Scholarships

The year-long scholarships will enable the students to attend the program's capstone year abroad.

UCLA International Institute, June 27, 2022 — Four graduating seniors in the demanding UCLA Russian Flagship Program have won competitive Boren Scholarships, which provide financial support of up to $25,000 for the students to attend the program’s required capstone year abroad.

Elyse Ostroske, Juliette Oliver, Kristine Carrillo and one additional student will spend the 2022–23 academic year in a Russian-lanaguage program at the Al-Farabi Kazakh University in Almaty, where they will live with host families. In addition to their university studies, the four Bruins will also do a year-long internship in an area of personal interest.

The study abroad year constitutes a fifth year of undergraduate study required by the Russian Flagship Program, whose students graduate with a “superior proficiency” certification in speaking, listening, reading and writing in Russian.

Oliver and Carrillo had previously received Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) from the U.S. State Department to attend a summer abroad program in the Russian language.

One student, Juliette Oliver, shared her experience of the program. Oliver recently graduated from UCLA with a major in Russian studies and a double minor in digital humanities and professional writing. She has already completed two summer study abroad programs in the Russian language: a virtual program in Kazakhstan and another in Russia (via CLS).

“For my capstone year in Central Asia, I am most excited about finally being able to be fully immersed in a Russian-speaking environment and travel to a country I have learned so much about over the course of the last four years. During my time in Kazakhstan, I will participate in an internship, hopefully relating to foreign affairs, public service or education,” says Oliver.

“I joined the UCLA Flagship Program because I believed it would be an invaluable opportunity to reach professional proficiency in a critical language while learning about a commonly overlooked and misunderstood part of the world.

“When I reflect on my time in the program, I enjoyed many things about it. Most of all, I appreciated the dedicated staff and professors who have been fully invested in the success of their students. They have pushed me to be my best while providing the support necessary to thrive in my studies. In addition, I enjoyed the small class sizes that allowed me to bond with my fellow classmates and receive individualized attention from my professors.

Looking forward, Oliver hopes to pursue a career in education or the Foreign Service. “Specifically, it is one of my dreams to work in the Department of Educational Affairs or as an advisor at UCLA, assisting students in finding opportunities to study abroad so that they can participate in some of the incredible things I have been able to participate in during my time learning Russian.”