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  • Locations: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CIEE 
  • Restrictions: WFU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2023 10/15/2022 10/15/2022 TBA TBA
Fall 2023 03/15/2023 03/15/2023 TBA TBA
Program Description:


Advance your Russian language skills through an intensive and immersive study abroad program in beautiful St. Petersburg.

Whether you’re a intermediate or advanced level language student you’ll enjoy rigorous coursework, and an enriching cultural program of lectures and local excursions in and around one of the world’s most culturally and historically rich cities. And with homestays, peer language partners, volunteering opportunities, and a variety of cultural activities and excursions, studying abroad in Russia offers you a uniquely immersive international experience.

Study abroad in Russia and you will:

  • Take part in the longest running study abroad program in Russia in magnificent St. Petersburg where the entire downtown is a protected UNESCO heritage site
  • Live with a local Russian host family for maximum linguistic and cultural immersion
  • Participate in optional volunteering projects organized through a well developed network of contacts that facilitate integration into Russian society
  • Participate in a cultural program which includes local excursions, field trips, and exclusive tours and performances

The CIEE Difference


Improve your grammar, phonetics and conversational skills through language study, and choose from a variety of electives in subjects including: Russian literature, comparative cultural studies, visual and performing arts, politics, and representations of Russia.


Explore the city through a series of museum visits, boat tours, a group cooking class in Russian and Georgian cuisine, visits to the Russian bathhouse, and tickets to concerts, ballets, and sporting events. You’ll also enjoy three overnight field trips to destinations like Moscow, Novgorod, the Pskov region, and Kiev, Ukraine.

There is also an independent Russian Travel Week each semester, where you are encouraged to visit areas outside of St. Petersburg on your own.


Take part in the Sobesedniki program and you’ll be paired with local students for a variety of language and cultural exchange activities. These students help provide you with additional language support and a firsthand look at the lifestyle of your Russian peers.


Recommended credit for the semester is 17 semester/25.5 quarter hours and 31 semester/46.5 quarter hours for the academic year.

Course contact hours for CIEE area studies courses are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course. Course contact hours for CIEE language courses are 84 hours and recommended credit is 4 semester/6 quarter hours per course, unless otherwise indicated.

Recommendations for credit hours take into consideration not only actual class time, but also five mandatory excursions. Organized excursions are conducted in Russian.

Program Requirements

All study abroad students take Russian Grammar, Phonetics, and Conversation, and two elective courses. Participants are placed at the appropriate language level based on language testing conducted at the beginning of the program. Academic year students take Russian Grammar, Conversation, Translation and one elective in their second semester.

About St. Petersburg

Envisioned by Peter the Great as his “Window to the West,” French and Italian architects created a testimony to opulence with golden palaces, pastel-colored mansions, and landscaped parks, gardens, and canals. Having endured bombardment, famine, the horrors of Stalinist repression, and the city’s near total devastation in World War II, the people now cope with a new political and economic reality. Known as Leningrad from 1924 to 1991, the city of nearly five million is easily navigated by bus, trolley, and an efficient metro system.

Where You’ll Study

Founded in the 18th century, St. Petersburg State University is one of Russia’s leading institutions of higher education. The campus has expanded from its original site on the Neva River, and now includes over 400 buildings around the city center. CIEE students study at the University’s stunning Smolny campus—on the territory of the renowned school for noble ladies founded in 1764—in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg.

Housing & Meals

All study abroad students live in Russian homestays. Participants have their own room with a Russian family in a private apartment. Two meals daily are included with the family (three on weekends). Students are responsible for weekday lunches. The University cafeteria offers reasonably priced meals.

Academic Program

2013 marks the 46th year of the CIEE Study Center in St. Petersburg. CIEE began its close relationship with St. Petersburg State University when the Summer Russian Language Program began there in 1967. The CIEE semester Russian Language program (RLP) was established in 1970.

The Russian Language study abroad program is offered in both the fall and spring semesters and includes in-class language study at St. Petersburg State University and excursions and field trips conducted in Russian to other Russian cities. The curriculum for this program includes required courses in grammar, phonetics, and conversation, as well as elective courses in Russian literature, cultureand politics . Academic year students in the spring semester take advanced sections of grammar and conversation, advanced translation, and one elective course.

Academic Culture

Students attend classes five days a week with one afternoon reserved for cultural activities. Classes are 90 minutes in length. Grammar and conversation courses meet three times a week; phonetics and the elective courses meet twice each week.

All courses are taught in Russian. Students are grouped by language level based on the results of a placement test. Class size ranges from seven to ten students for core language courses. . . Language instructors use language textbooks published in Russia. In-class participation often accounts for a large percentage of students’ grades as Russian teaching methodology emphasizes in-class learning. The Russian classroom is more formal than the American classroom.  with students expected to answer questions in turn and respect for the teacher is expected of all students. Each class is 90-minutes in length broken into two 45-minute parts to form one “para” or “pair”.


Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only and not with Russian students. Upon approval from CIEE resident staff and local faculty members, students may audit additional classes (taught in Russian) at the School of Political Science, St. Petersburg State University.


CIEE offers extra help with language classes in the form of tutoring. Students’ personal needs in language learning are met in sessions conducted either with experienced instructors or students of the St. Petersburg State University Philological department. In these sessions, students can go over difficult topics of Russian grammar or classwork. The CIEE program includes ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) testing which is conducted at the beginning and the end of each semester allowing students to receive a quantifiable score of their oral proficiency progress.


Study abroad students take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Russian at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Russian language proficiency and understanding of Russian society.


Grades are assigned using the Russian grading scale of one to five, and converted to U.S. letter grade equivalents. Plus and minus grades are also assigned. Grades are determined by a combination of short quizzes, written assignments, presentations, and exams. Additionally, participation often accounts for a large percentage of students’ grades as Russian teaching methodology emphasizes in-class learning. Attendance is mandatory for all CIEE courses.




All courses are taught by faculty from St. Petersburg State University.