Come experience the splendor that is St. Petersburg in summer. Spend eight weeks advancing your Russian language skills through an intensive and immersive academic and cultural study abroad program.
Whether you’re a intermediate or advanced level student you’ll enjoy rigorous language courses 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:
The CIEE Difference
Experience the longest running study abroad program in Russia in spectacular St. Petersburg, where the entire downtown is a protected UNESCO heritage site
Improve your Russian through intensive Russian language training for intermediate and advanced students
Live in a homestay with a Russian family for cultural and linguistic immersion
Explore Russian culture on excursions in and outside the city and participate in a rich program of extracurricular activities
Improve your grammar, phonetics and conversational skills through advanced language study, while exploring Russian culture through close analysis of verbal and visual texts, as well as a series of lectures on history, literature, art and contemporary life
Explore the city through a series of museum visits, boat tours, a group cooking class in Russian cuisine, visits to the Russian bathhouse, and tickets to concerts, ballets, and sporting events.
The study abroad program offers two overnight field trips each summer: Moscow, Russia’s vibrant capital, and Novgorod, Russia’s oldest city. Both trips include excursions to places of educational, cultural, and historic significance, while still allowing some time for you to explore the sites on your own.
Take part in the Sobesedniki (
Peer Language Partner) 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 summer semester is 9 semester/13.5 quarter hours
This program averages 2 22 hours per week of language instruction. Russian language instruction covers grammar, phonetics, conversation, and Russian culture.
Total recommended credit for the summer is 9 semester/13.5 quarter hours and the number of contact hours is 154.
Recommendations for contact hours not only take into consideration actual class time, but also required excursions and trips.
Study abroad students are required to take the three required language courses (Russian Grammar, Russian Phonetics, and Russian Conversation) and the two required content courses.
About St. Petersburg
Envisioned by Peter the Great as the “Window to the West” and created by French and Italian architects, St. Petersburg became a testimony to opulence with golden palaces, pastel-colored mansions, and landscaped parks, gardens, and canals. Having endured the horrors of World War II and Stalinist repression, 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 foot, 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
Housing and most meals are included in the program fee. Study abroad students live with a Russian family in a private apartment and have their own room. Housing and most meals (two meals daily and three on weekends) are included in the program fee. Students are responsible for weekday lunches.
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 program includes seven weeks of language study at the School of Political Science, St. Petersburg State University. The curriculum includes courses in grammar, phonetics, conversation, and Russian culture. During the program, students visit places of historical and cultural significance in and around St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod.
Study abroad students attend classes five days a week with one afternoon reserved for cultural activities. Classes are 90 minutes in length.
All courses are taught in Russian. Students are grouped by language level based on the results of a placement test. In-class participation often accounts for a large percentage of students’ grades as Russian teaching methodology emphasizes in-class learning.
Nature of Classes
CIEE participants take classes with CIEE students only.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
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, which are converted to U.S. letter grade equivalents. Plus and minus grades are also assigned. Grades are determined by a combination of in-class participation, short quizzes, written assignments, and exams.
Language of Instruction
All courses are taught by faculty from St. Petersburg State University.