St. Petersburg, Russia

Russian Language

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Information for term Russian Language

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

November 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Feb 4 – May 21, 2022 (15 weeks)*
  • Credit: 17 semester hours / 25.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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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.

Unique experiences

  • 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.

  • million residents

  • bridges

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


Location & Culture

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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.

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.
  • 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. 

Daily Life

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    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

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    Conveniently located at St. Petersburg State University.

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    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


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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.



Language Prerequisites

4 semesters of college-level Russian (or equivalent).

Additional Requirements

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.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Program Requirements

  • 3 Russian language courses: grammar, phonetics and conversation
  • 2 CIEE elective courses

Program Credit

Total credit: 17 U.S. semester/25.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • 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

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

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

Class Format

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.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


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Course Information

Course Notes

  • 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.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Open Campus Network and that are offered at multiple CIEE Centers.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers 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 & Fees

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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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2022 15 weeks Nov 1, 2021 Feb 4, 2022* May 21, 2022*
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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

Other = $25 †††

Total Estimated Costs = $5,375

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global 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 by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

$1600 if a student stays in the hostel; if a student resides in a homestay, the estimated amount is $800.

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

††† Visa Extension Fee

*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, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Our Staff

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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! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

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

  • 3

    Contact Us

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