FLTA Spotlight: Galiia Sadykova

Author: Lena Shadow


Galiia prides herself on being from one of Russia’s oldest and most historic cities, Nizhny Novgorod. When recalling home, she thinks fondly of beautiful sunset views from the bridge where the River Volga and Oka meet. Just a quick Google image search makes it obvious why the city deserves its nickname: The Capital of Sunsets.”

Before joining Notre Dame as a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA), Galiia received her Bachelor's in Fundamental and Applied Linguistics. She began her career as an English instructor, developed a love for teaching, and eventually earned a master’s in pedagogy. Since then, she has spent more than five years teaching English to all ages, from kindergarten to adults.

In the current chapter of Galiia’s life, she is currently teaching in the U.S. through the Fulbright Program as the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures’ 2023–2024 Russian FLTA. She said that choosing the U.S. was not a difficult decision for her. After previously living in Wyoming for a work and travel program, she was struck by the beauty of the country’s nature and hoped to return to the United States one day. She described Yellowstone as “one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.” She’s done a fair amount of traveling around the states in the past year, going to Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Las Vegas. Having lived in larger cities like Moscow, she appreciates South Bend’s proximity to Chicago as well.

While life in South Bend is very different from Yellowstone or Las Vegas, Galiia has enjoyed the midwestern politeness and made many enjoyable connections with people in the community. Daily life is filled with teaching, studying, and working. She described her day-to-day life as “a bit overwhelming, but it feels chaotic in an endearing way.”

Galiia takes pride in being able to share her language with the Notre Dame community. She said she’s met many nice people in the Russian Department. She values its small size and sense of community, feeling it contributes to the formation of meaningful bonds between students and professors. She encourages anyone with an interest to at least take an introductory Russian course. “Everyone thinks Russian is a very complicated language. While I think that is partially true, people tend to overcomplicate and overthink it.” Additionally, as the 5th most popular language in the world, she cautions people against thinking the language is only useful in Russia, saying “There are a lot of Russian speakers all over the world, and there are different countries that people speak Russian in.”

About the CSLC

The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC) aims to support language learners at ND by facilitating meaningful experiences with linguistic acquisition and exchange - both in our campus community and abroad. We believe that access to the world's languages and cultures allows us to seek out new perspectives, to value the diversity of the world's cultures, and to embody global citizenship.