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Sunday, April 5, 2020



Start time: 12:00PM EST



Speech contest by level: 12:00-2:00 PM

Judges convene: 2:00-2:30 PM

Award ceremony: 3:00 PM


Level 1 students enter here:

Level 2 students enter here:

Level 3 and 4 students enter here: 


Award Ceremony (for all) (3:00 PM):


The Olympiada is open to all undergraduate students studying Russian as a foreign language (unfortunately, heritage or native speakers of Russian or other Slavic languages are not eligible to participate at this time). Students will be competing against others in four categories:

  • 1st year Russian

  • 2nd year Russian

  • 3rd year Russian

  • 4th year Russian


1. Speech + questions (required)

Participants will deliver a short speech on one of the following topics:


1st year students (2-4 mins)

  • Я и мой мир

  • Самый важный человек в моей жизни
  • Город, где я никогда не буду жить


2nd year students (3-5 mins)

  • В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше

  • Мой любимый праздник

  • Как трудно быть студентом!


3rd-4th year students (5-7 min)

  • Легко ли быть молодым?

  • Кто много видел, тот много знает

  • Герой нашего времени


The speech will be evaluated based on its content, originality/creativity, the delivery (tempo of speech, intonation, body language, contact with the audience), as well as grammatical and lexical accuracy. Participants are allowed to use notes written on one side of a 3X5 index card during their speech. The judges will ask three questions at the end of the speech based on its content. These questions will be fairly open-ended and may ask you to clarify a point you made (Could you please expand, clarify? Why do you believe so? etc.). This part will be evaluated based on the content as well as lexical and grammatical accuracy.  


2. Poem Recitation (optional)

We encourage students to recite a poem by heart in Russian of their choice although this part of the Olympiada is optional. Students must introduce their poem in English or in Russian and explain why they chose it. The introduction will not be evaluated. The poem must be originally written and published in Russian. 1st year students should memorize at least 8-12 lines and 2-4th year students should memorize at least 12-16 lines. 


Sponsoring Institutions:


Boston University

Brandeis University

Harvard University

North Eastern University

Tufts University

3 College Russian Initiative (Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, University of Massachusetts Amherst)