A variety of campus extracurricular activities related to Russian and Eastern European Studies (REES) are held throughout the academic year.
Alexander Hamilton Debate Society
Started in 2019, the Alexander Hamilton Society is the only foreign policy-based club on campus. As part of a national organization, the club hosts events that bring speakers to campus, including top government officials and scholars who discuss foreign policy and national security issues — frequently ones related to REES.
Students in the REES program have the opportunity to meet in a small group, with faculty, at various times during the academic year to discuss current events. REES sponsors guest lectures of interest to students and faculty, and co-sponsors a variety of events with Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as the Russian Studies, German Studies, History, and Political Science programs.
The Holy Cross German Klub meets frequently to listen to music, play games, drink coffee and celebrate with mocktails. Club activities are conducted primarily in German. The German Studies Program also hosts historically significant parties to mark holidays such as Oktoberfest or Maifest, German movie nights, dinners, lectures, concerts and field trips.
The Holy Cross Russian Club is one of the most enthusiastic student organizations on campus. Students work closely with faculty members to plan, organize, and run the Russian Film Series, trips to restaurants and Russian cultural events, student performances, and celebrations. Club activities are conducted primarily in English and are open to English speakers.
The REES program enthusiastically supports Maymester participation and study abroad. Maymesters and relevant courses taken abroad in any country may count toward a REES degree, with the approval of the REES advisor and the head of CIS.
Maymester in Moscow
Holy Cross faculty supervise an intensive six-week language study in Moscow every summer at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU), for both students with no prior knowledge of Russian and those who have completed a year or two of college study. RGGU is a top university located near the center of Moscow. The city’s rich cultural and historical destinations are easily accessible either by foot or by Moscow’s celebrated metro system. The Moscow program offers students the opportunity to dramatically improve their Russian language skills while they immerse themselves in the everyday life, the arts and culture, and the history and political life of today’s Russia.
In addition to Russian language course offerings, language study is enhanced by field trips to theaters, museums and churches, along with longer excursions outside the city to areas of interest such as historic monasteries, Golden Ring towns, and the museum-homes of Russia’s greatest writers.
Maymester in Central Europe
Holy Cross faculty lead an intensive six-week study of the Holocaust every summer called “History, Memory, and the Holocaust.” The course takes students to various sites in Central Europe, including Vilnius, Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Prague, and Berlin, where they study both the historical events of World War II and the Holocaust, and the ways those events are remembered and commemorated today. Students will visit former ghettos and Jewish heritage museums, explore bustling cities and hidden cemeteries, travel to labor camps and death camps, and talk to curators, descendants of survivors, and ordinary citizens. They will examine various primary sources in literature and culture, study photos, and read eyewitness accounts of death and survival. No language expertise is required.
Summer German Language Study
The Goethe Institut offers four-week language study courses at various cities in Germany. The DAAD German Academic Exchange Service offers scholarships to students and graduates. Sophomores or upper-level students who have completed at least GERM 101/2 can apply.
Study Abroad in Germany
Holy Cross participates in a fully immersive, yearlong study abroad program for undergraduates at the University of Bamberg.