STARTALK Russian language program at UCF is a three-week intensive language program with a mission to popularize critical need foreign languages. The University of Central Florida has successfully hosted the Russian program since 2015 and has become well-known in the Orlando community. This year STARTALK at UCF had a brand new addition: now it is offered not only in Russian but also in Arabic. 


Every year, STARTALK brings together participants from various backgrounds, who are looking to practice their language skills. The program is offered for different levels of proficiencies: from novice to intermediate. In a short span of three weeks, participants strengthen conversational skills in the morning and expand their knowledge of rich and diverse Russian culture in the afternoon. From traditional food to games and cultural presentations, everyone has a chance to see, hear, and taste Russia.

Mariana, beginner group: “Today I learned different ways of introducing myself and greeting other people. I practiced writing my name and using the Russian alphabet. The most memorable part was interacting with other students – it really made me feel like I was learning Russian!”

Today for lunch, participants savored Самса (Samosa), a traditional savory pastry most commonly


filled with meat and onions. The pastry is most often baked, and almost never fried. They are popularly sold as hot snacks by street vendors.


Rachel, beginner group: “I really liked самса. The flavor of the pastry was really interesting – it was nothing like I have ever had before!”


Салат Оливье


Participants also enjoyed Салат Оливье (Olivier Salad), that is traditionally eaten during Новый Год ( New Year’s) celebration. The salad is made with a variety of vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, and pickles, as well as chicken or sometimes ham or bologna sausage. 




We asked a student from the intermediate group about their first impressions of and future expectations for the program:

William, intermediate group: “I really enjoyed the immersive experience. I was talking in Russian the whole time! It made me feel like Russian was more accessible language. I really hope to master the basics to communicate my ideas effectively, even if I still make some errors.”

What did you like best about the first day of the program? Leave a comment below or on our social media using #STARTALK_UCF_2019 


Twitter: @StartalkUCF2019 

Instagram: @STARTALKUCF 

Facebook: STARTALK UCF 2019

Russian Club Ballet

The annual Russian Club Ballet will be held Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 4 PM – 7 PM at Trinity PAC, Winter Park, FL 5700 Trinity Prep Ln, Winter Park, FL 3279.
Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Tickets are $27 for regular seats and $32 for premium seats – please use our code to receive $10 off! Proceeds from tickets bought using that code go to the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organization.

Discount code:


You can also see our Facebook event.


Russian Studies Fall 2018 Recap

In the spirit of the new year, here’s a recap of our Fall semester:

The Russian Studies Program at UCF experienced a very successful Fall 2018 semester.

Dr. Alla Kourova and First Secretary Natalia Moroz prepare to present during the International Education Week Breakfast.

International Week in November was full of activities based on the Russian Studies Program, lead by Dr. Alla Kourova and UCF Russian Club President Eric Tangarife. The invitation of the First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. and Deputy Director of the Russian Culture Center in Washington D.C., Ms. Natalia Moroz, brought a new, fresh look at Russian-American relations in the sphere of education and cultural exchanges. At the International Breakfast, Dr. Kourova shared her experiences with the international projects and grants through UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities and the Russian Language program, and First Secretary Moroz was a guest speaker. Additionally, Russian Culture Night and Russian Tea Hour, sponsored by Dr. Kourova and Russian Club at UCF, were successful events open to all International Education Week participants.

Russian Club Officers and members with First Secretary Natalia Moroz and Dr. Alla Kourova at the International Education Week Breakfast, November 13, 2018.

During International Education Week, the Intermediate Russian class students, together with Russian Club Officers, had a wonderful opportunity to have a Skype Conference with Thomas M. Leary, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs for the Embassy of the United States in Moscow. Minister Counselor Leary shared his experiences in the foreign service and allowed time at the end of the Skype call for a question-and-answer session.

Mr. Thomas Leary served as a Public Affairs Officer in St. Petersburg from 1999-2001 and as the Consul General in St. Petersburg again in 2017 until the closure of the United States Embassy post in 2018. He speaks Russian language almost as well as a native speaker. Mr. Leary has also served as the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Islamabad from 2014-2015, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in London from 2011-2014, and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Ankara from 2008-2011. Additionally, Minister Counselor Leary has served in various Foreign Service positions in Copenhagen, Madrid, Lima, and Sierra Leone.

Skype Conference Call with Minister Counselor Thomas Leary.

On December 3, 2018, Dr. Kourova was invited by First Secretary Moroz of the Russian Embassy and Russian Culture Center in Washington D.C. to present her current book Picturing Russia: A Research Guide to Russian Culture. The presentation was very successful, with many attendees and a plethora of questions.

Dr. Alla Kourova, First Secretary Natalia Moroz, and Dr. Barry Morris.

Congratulations to our two undergraduate students from Elementary and Intermediate Russian Classes for receiving RAMP, Taylor Jenko, and a research grant from the Burnett Research College, Charles Martin, mentor Dr. Kourova.

Watch: WWII Remembrance

The international youth competition of social cinema and social advertising, initiated by the Belarusian social and cultural public association “Heritage” and the Belarusian-Russian University in the city of Mogilev summarizes. Young people aged 13 to 28 take part in the competition.

The winners will be selected based on the results of a comprehensive vote: jury members and audience votes. From numerous entries, 22 video clips with a duration of up to 3 minutes were selected and approved for voting. For diplomas claim participants from different countries: Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States.

The Youth Club of the Russian-American Community Center of Florida (represented by 15-year-old club leader Alec-David Jenkins from Orlando and his Belarusian friends: Vyacheslav Klindyuk, Natalia Zherko and Elena Posternak, with the support of BELARUSdirect travel agency) takes part in this competition , presenting the video clip “Memory, appealing to the world.”

Alec – born in the United States in a mixed Russian-American family. Having been on excursions in the Republic of Belarus, he was very impressed with everything he saw there. He was particularly impressed by a visit to the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, the Stalin Line and other objects associated with the Second World War. That is why they made a decision to take part in this International Youth Competition in the Heritage nomination.

The video clip is dedicated to the Belarusian memorial complex “Khatyn”, which symbolizes the courage and unbearableness of the people of Belarus, who brought innumerable sacrifices in the name of victory over fascism. Khatyn – a former Belarusian village, burned to the ground by the Nazis, along with people. 186 of these villages were burned on the Belarusian land. Khatyn has become a symbol of the tragedy of the Belarusian people. In memory of the 3 million Belarusians who died in World War II, this video was created. Compatriots from the United States remember and honor their historical heritage.

Friends! Support Alec Jenkins and his team, which presented this video clip to the international competition of social cinema in the nomination “Heritage”. Put your LIKE under the video on YouTube and write your comments.
REMEMBER, Proud and Honor!