St. Petersburg, Russia

Russian Area Studies

Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Russian Area Studies

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 6 – Dec 21, 2019 (15 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Feb 1 – May 18, 2019 (15 weeks)
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

November 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

May 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


Click to Open

With the ghosts of giants like Peter the Great, George Balanchine, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky everywhere, St. Petersburg is flush with cultural riches. Make Russia’s cultural capital your home, absorb what it means to be Russian today, and gain a solid understanding of the city’s complicated past. Come with little or no Russian language, and return with new skills, fresh perspective, and memories to last a lifetime.

Unique Experiences


    where traditional and modern forces converge.


    and explore Russian culture with support from the longest-running U.S. study abroad-Russia program.


    in the city where Mikhail Baryshnikov began his celebrated dance career.

  • million residents

  • bridges

  • sub-sites contribute to St. Petersburg’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site


Location & Culture

Click to Open

The Culture


  • Explore city highlights like the Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Russian Museum, Pushkin’s Apartment Museum, Baltika Brewery, and more.
  • Attend a concert, a hockey or soccer game, get a taste of Russian and Georgian cuisine with cooking classes.
  • Travel to Moscow for an overnight stay and take-in the grandeur of the ancient Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and unique historic metro stations.
  • Go on a second overnight trip to the Pskov region or Veliky Novgorod to see Russian life outside of St. Petersburg.
  • Take your pick of nonstop activities offered with Russian students - sports, cinema, board game, trivia ‘Pub Quiz’ and karaoke nights - you’ll never be bored!
  • Join our Russian Buddies - program volunteers for day-trips to Gatchina, Pushkin, and Pavlovsk, book club, and more.
  • Explore Russia on your own during Independent Russian Travel Week. Students have relaxed on the shores of the Black Sea, camped near Lake Baikal, visited the Olympic city of Sochi, and more. (Expenses not covered by program fee.)
  • Lend your voice to the CIEE choir, or audition for the world-class St. Petersburg State University choir or orchestra.


  • Meet up with a sobesednik - a conversation partner and peer who will help you adjust to St. Petersburg, practice Russian, and discover local lifestyle.
  • Volunteer regularly, and you’ll get back as much as you gain! Help organize donated clothing at a shelter, pitch in at the Hermitage Museum’s archeological department, support the SKA hockey club, and more.
  • Volunteer during Alternative Break program and get a different slice of Russian culture. Students lend a hand with community service in smaller Russian towns, such as Arkhangelsk, Kirov, and Tula.
  • Help organize a cultural event while you explore Russian history. Past events include Stilyagi, a project starring the retro-hipster style of the 1960s Soviet Union; Russian Rock of the 1980s; and a Russian imperial Spring Ball. 

Daily Life

Click to Open

    Homestays. Live with a Russian-speaking family and immerse yourself in the local language and culture. Each student has his/her own room in the family’s private apartment. Hostels. A limited number of single rooms are available at a downtown hostel, 30 minutes by bus to the CIEE site, and 5 minutes on foot to Nevskiy Prospekt.


    Homestays: Homestay families provide breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and three meals on weekends. Students must buy lunch on weekdays - the university cafeteria has reasonable prices. Hostels: Students are responsible for all meals.

  • Getting Around

    Students walk or use public transportation to get from their lodgings to class.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Where You'll Study

  • 1


    Conveniently located at St. Petersburg State University.

  • 2


    CIEE students use the Smolny campus on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg.

Like what you're seeing so far?

request more information

What you need to know

The program details

Established in 2000, this program is an outgrowth of our first Russian program, which began in cooperation with St. Petersburg State University in 1967. It’s designed for students who have taken no Russian language or up to four semesters, and includes Russian history, culture, politics, civilization, and cinema all taught in English, plus rigorous language coursework. A lecture series adds further cultural color, with topics ranging from Russian rock to Soviet space dogs.

Participants are placed in language class based on testing at the beginning of the program. Students who have completed at least one Russian class beyond intermediate should consider our Russian Language program.

St. Petersburg State University. Founded in the 18th century, the 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 more than 400 buildings around the city center and beyond. CIEE students attend class at the stunning Smolny campus, where the renowned school for noble ladies was founded in 1764. It’s in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg.

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

Language assessment and support.

Students have an oral proficiency interview at the start and end of each semester and receive a score to help gauge progress.

As students gain proficiency, they are encouraged to use their skills in school, at home, and on the streets. Students are expected to speak Russian at the CIEE site.

CIEE staff offers tutoring by experienced instructors to help students review challenging grammar or classwork.


Click to Open



    All electives are taught by qualified instructors with experience teaching American students in Russia and the U.S. Classes are 90-minutes long. Area studies classes may include visiting lecturers, topic-specific visits to museums, and other co-curricular activities. Participants take classes only with other CIEE study abroad students.


    Professors use the U.S. grading scale of A-F. Grades are determined by results on short quizzes, written assignments, and exams. Participation is also often a large factor. Homework reinforces class content and discussion.


    Russian teaching emphasizes in-class learning. Participation is important and attendance is mandatory.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    0-4 semesters of college-level Russian (or equivalent) A valid U.S. passport at time of application. Russian immigration requires that passports are valid for 18 months beyond the program end date.


Program Credit

  • Total credit, semester: 17 semester/25.5 quarter hours
  • CIEE area studies courses: credit – 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours – 45 contact hours
  • CIEE language courses: credit – 4 semester/6 quarter hours – 65 contact hours unless otherwise indicated


Students take five courses per semester:  

  • 2 Russian language courses – grammar and conversation – at the elementary or intermediate level.
  • 3 area studies courses taught in English.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


Click to Open


Click to Open


Click to Open

Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Click to Open

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Three-day orientation – an introduction to Russian culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • Overnight excursions
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

No Hidden Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2019 15 weeks Feb 1, 2019 May 18, 2019
Click to Close

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $15,368 **

Housing = $3,350 ***

Insurance = $167

Visa Fees = $265

Total Fees = $19,450

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,600

International Airfare = $1,200

Local Transportation = $250

Books & Supplies = $100

Personal expenses = $2,200

Total Estimated Costs = $5,350

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $5 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, MSI grants, Gilman matching grants, and Pell matching grants.

See Scholarships

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** Includes two meals per day and three on weekends for homestay students. No meals are included for students in the hostel.

Fall 2019 15 weeks May 1, 2019 Sep 6, 2019* Dec 21, 2019*
Spring 2020 15 weeks Nov 1, 2019 TBD* TBD*
Academic year 2019-2020 15 weeks May 1, 2019 Sep 6, 2019* TBD*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

Looking for funding?

Our Staff

Click to Open

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad.

  • 3

    Contact an Advisor

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.