OverviewClick to Open
Warm weather and white nights make St. Petersburg extra special in summer. Come with little or no Russian language skills, take courses focused in Russian language, art, history, and literature, and return with new skills, fresh perspective, and memories to last a lifetime. Courses are taught in English at CIEE’s partner school, St. Petersburg State University, and complemented with co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding.
Live in a 300-year-old city
where traditional and modern forces converge
Increase your understanding
of Russian history, culture, business, and politics - with your choice of courses taught in English
Study Russian language
in a city so spectacular that its entire downtown is a UNESCO Heritage Site
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 became the cultural capital and most westernized city of Russia - easy to navigate by foot and public transportation. The city’s many nicknames include: Paris of the East, City of the Tsars, City of Three Revolutions, and Venice of the North, but we’re quite sure you’ll call it fabulous.
EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES
- Explore city highlights like the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Russian Museum, and take a walking tour based on Dostoevsky’s book, Crime and Punishment.
- Enjoy the fascinating phenomenon called White Nights - stroll along the banks of Neva and the city’s numerous canals in almost broad daylight.
- Attend a ballet, concert, or soccer game, and get a taste of Russian and Georgian cuisine with cooking classes.
- Walk in the footsteps of famous writers in St. Petersburg, home to Russia’s most celebrated artists of the 20th century: Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Brodsky, and Sergei Dovlatov.
- Spend a day enjoying summertime open-air concerts, yoga and pilates classes, and film screenings at the New Holland, a man-made island previously used for ship-building.
- Visit the biggest planetarium in the world: located in a building that housed natural gas used for lighting St. Petersburg streets more than a century ago. Planetarium №1 hosts interactive exhibits, educational classes, and classical music concerts.
- Travel overnight to explore beyond St. Petersburg.
- Get to know Russian peers during day-trips, sports events, cinema club meetings, pub quiz trivia nights, and more.
Volunteering: Students can give back to the community through various volunteer projects with local organizations.
Engagement with locals: CIEE organizes weekly events with Russian peers such as Scavenger Hunts, Game Nights, trips to museums, and much more! CIEE Russian Buddies are an endless source of support: always ready to assist in facilitating the integration of CIEE students into life in St. Petersburg.
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 twin rooms are available at a downtown hostel, 20 minutes by bus to CIEE Smolny campus, and 5 minutes on foot to Nevsky Prospekt.
Homestays: Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and three meals on weekends.
Hostels: Students are responsible for all meals.
Students walk or use public transportation to get from their lodgings to class.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Where You'll Study
CIEE ST. PETERSBURG
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
CIEE study abroad has been easily one of the most important events of my life. It was well-balanced and eye-opening. My classes were in-depth, and every CIEE councillor was a huge resource and a genuinely decent person. The experience was financially reasonable, and everyone who helped me prepare for the trip was so, so patient, gentle, prompt, and helpful. I love CIEE!Piper, Summer 16
It was a great experience. At times it could be a bit tiring with the amount of excursions but at the same time it was wonderful to be see all the different sites.Natasha, Oregon State University, Summer 16
AcademicsClick to Open
CIEE has a long tradition of study in Russia – our first program began in partnership with St. Petersburg State University in 1967. With this summer program, students choose one, two, or three four-week sessions with CIEE at the School of Political Science of St. Petersburg State University. No Russian language experience is required, and course offerings typically includes Russian culture, business, politics, history, and Russian language.
St. Petersburg State University. Founded in the 18th century, the campus has expanded from its original site on the Neva River to include more than 400 buildings around the city center and beyond. CIEE students attend class at the stunning Smolny campus, in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg.
All courses are taught by faculty from St. Petersburg State University School of Political Science or other Russian universities.
There are no specific language requirements for this program.
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 contact CIEE with questions.
1 CIEE elective course
Total credit: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits
CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
Communicative Russian: 1 U.S. semester/1.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours
Russian teaching emphasizes in-class learning. Participation is important; attendance is mandatory.
Students attend classes three days a week and participate in cultural activities, extracurricular excursions, and class field trips two days a week. Classes are 90 minutes in length. All area studies courses are taught in English. Participants take classes only with other CIEE study abroad students.
Instructors use the U.S. grading scale of A-F. Grades are determined by results on short quizzes, written assignments, and exams.
Language of Instruction
CoursesClick to Open
Students studying with CIEE for multiple sessions may only take Communicative Russian once.
“(GI)” denotes courses that originated at CIEE’s Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple Global Institutes and CIEE Centers.
Summer 2021CoursesClick to Open
Summer 2021 course offerings and syllabi will available late fall.
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
- CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
- Anniversary Scholarship
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
Get StartedHere's what you need to do to take the next steps:
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Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.