Why Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia?

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College Study Abroad

College Study Abroad

Did you know our Russian Area Studies program in St. Petersburg is the longest-running U.S. study abroad-Russia program? It’s true!

Now you’re probably wondering why this program has such staying power. Well, here are six reasons why Russia’s cultural capital should be your study abroad destination…

Beginner Russian speakers welcome!

No Russian language experience is required! When you attend our culturally immersive Russian Area Studies program, you’ll be placed in Russian grammar and conversation courses for your skill level. Plus, you can select from courses across academic areas, including Russian history, culture, politics, and cinema – all taught in English. Watch how quickly your Russian language skills will grow while you earn credits toward your degree.

Excursions, excursions, excursions

Every CIEE program features loads of co-curricular activities planned to immerse you in the local culture. You’ll explore the city’s highlights like Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and Baltika Brewery; attend a hockey or soccer game; and go on field trips to Moscow and the Pskov region to see Russian life outside of St. Petersburg. Don’t forget, all excursions and activities are included in your tuition, so there won’t be any hidden fees when you arrive.

A week to travel or volunteer

Explore Russia on your own during “Independent Russian Travel Week” aka, spring break! In the past, students have visited the Olympic city of Sochi, took a cruise to Kizhi Island, and ice skated at Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest lake. For an “Alternative Break,” you can lend a hand doing community service in smaller Russian towns and get a different slice of culture!

The chance to give back to the host community

While classes are in session, you’ll have free time you can use to volunteer in the local community. No matter what your interests, you’ll find an organization you’re passionate about in St. Petersburg. Help organize donated clothing at a shelter, get hands-on experience at the Hermitage Museum’s archeological department, support the local hockey club, volunteer at an animal shelter, teach English at local school, and more.

End-of-the-program cultural event

The Signature Project is a special initiative designed to bring CIEE and local students together to organize a cultural event related to Russian history. Past events have included Stilyagi, a project starring the retro-hipster style of the 1960’s Soviet Union; Russian Rock of the 1980s; and a Russian imperial Spring Ball. What will you plan when you’re here?

Abundant language immersion

The Russian Area Studies program gives you the opportunity to live with a local Russian family and immerse yourself in the local language and culture. You also get paired with a sobesednik – a conversation partner and peer who will help you adjust to St. Petersburg, practice Russian, and discover local lifestyle.


This is just a snapshot of what to expect when studying abroad in St. Petersburg. Start your application today so you can discover a city filled with rich culture and history, beautiful golden palaces and gardens, and world-class art and museums.

Get started today!

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