OverviewClick to Open
Bring your advanced Russian language skills to glorious St. Petersburg and master them! Immerse yourself in Russian culture, history, art, and literature with fascinating coursework at CIEE St. Petersburg, while practicing with language partners to dramatically improve your Russian. Volunteer opportunities ensure students are well integrated into the local community to form lasting interpersonal connections. All courses are complemented with lectures, workshops, co-curricular activities, and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.
Live and learn
in a magnificent 300-year-old city whose entire center is part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel to Moscow
and other Russian cities to get the bigger picture of Russian culture.
Live and volunteer
in a smaller Russian town during the Alternative Break trip.
sub-sites contribute to St. Petersburg’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site36
Location & CultureClick to Open
Peter the Great’s vision of St. Petersburg as a “Window to the West” was captured by French and Italian architects with golden palaces, pastel-colored mansions, and landscaped parks, gardens, and canals. With World War II and Stalinist repression in its rearview mirror, St. Petersburg is the cultural capital and most westernized city of Russia, and easy to navigate by foot and public transportation. The city’s many nicknames include City of the Tsars, City of Three Revolutions, and Venice of the North, but we’re quite sure you’ll call it simply fabulous.
EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES
- 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.
- See a ballet or opera performance in the city where Mikhail Baryshnikov started his celebrated dance career.
- 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.
- Take a second overnight trip to the Pskov region or Veliky Novgorod to see Russian life outside of St. Petersburg.
- 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 a slice of 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.
Program BlogsClick to Open
Daily LifeClick 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 Study Center, and 5 minutes on foot to Nevskiy Prospekt.
Homestays: Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and three meals on weekends.
Hostels: Students are responsible for all meals.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Where You'll Study
Conveniently located at St. Petersburg State University.
ST. PETERSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY
CIEE students use the Smolny campus on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg.
What People are Saying
Because it is a once in a lifetime chance to do something unique with your life, to make friends, and to go out of your comfort zone.Ryan, Hope College, Spring 17
I think it is a great academic center as well as a great program for those who want their freedom to enjoy their city.India, University of Mississippi Main Campus, Spring 17
AcademicsClick to Open
The CIEE Russian Language Program began in cooperation with St. Petersburg State University in 1967. It’s designed for students who want to increase their command of the Russian language and includes rigorous language coursework, choice of electives at St. Petersburg State, and excursions and field trips in the city and beyond. A lecture series adds further cultural color, with topics ranging from Russian rock to Soviet space dogs. Students agree to speak only Russian during the program and language assessment and support is provided. Students take the ACTFL oral proficiency interview at the start and end of each semester and receive a score to help gauge progress.
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 found 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. CIEE staff offers tutoring by experienced instructors to help students review challenging grammar or classwork.
4 semesters of college-level Russian (or equivalent).
A valid passport at time of application. Russian immigration requires that passports are valid for 18 months beyond the program end-date to acquire a student visa.
Current Russian passport holders and U.S. passport holders adopted from, or born in, Russia are required to travel on Russian passports. If this applies to you, please contact your nearest Russian consulate to clarify your citizenship status and then contact CIEE with questions.
- 3 Russian language courses: grammar, phonetics and conversation
- 2 CIEE elective courses
Total credit: 17 U.S. semester/25.5 quarter credits
- CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
- CIEE Directed Independent Research: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours, 100-120 research hours
Russian teaching emphasizes in-class learning. Participation is important; attendance is mandatory.
Students attend classes five days a week, with one afternoon reserved for cultural activities. Grammar and conversation courses meet three times a week; phonetics and elective courses meet twice a week. Classes are 90 minutes long. All courses are taught in Russian. Students are grouped by language level based on the results of a placement test. Core language classes include seven to 10 students; textbooks are published in Russian. Students take classes only with other CIEE 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 a factor.
Language of Instruction
CoursesClick to Open
- In their second semester, academic-year students take courses in grammar, conversation, and two electives.
- With special approval, students can audit other courses taught in Russian at the School of Political Science at St. Petersburg State University.
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.
ScholarshipsClick 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:
- Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
- 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 & FeesClick to Open
Dates & 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.
What's IncludedClick to Open
Our StaffClick to Open
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