Admittedly, as a Russian student with no Slavic roots whatsoever, I belong to quite a rare sort of people compared to all those who study English or French (although I'm an English student as well).
Why I decided to study Russian at university anyway can only be explained by a series of coincidences. For everyone who is interested in this matter, I will try to outline it.
1. I was born and raised in a city with plenty of Russian resettlers of German origin.
2. Almost half of my classmate had Russian roots, and my best friend was born there.
3. Luckily, my high school offered Russian classes, and I decided to take them.
4. As a language enthusiast, Russian became one of my best subject in senior classes.
5. For my Abitur examination, I decided for Russian as the third of my four subjects.
6. Pondering what I wanted to do study at university, I decided for teaching profession.
7. Finally, I decided for the subject where I achieved the best results.
All in all, I took Russian classes for three years in high school (beginner to B1/B2 level) and six semesters at university (A2+ to C1 level), adding up to six years of Russian classes in total. Although I reached the highest possible level at my university, I still do not consider myself fluent and try my best to improve my Russian language skills.