St. Petersburg, Russia

Summer Russian Language

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Take your beginner, intermediate, or advanced Russian language skills to a new level while you explore glorious St. Petersburg. With inspiring sites, rigorous coursework, homestays, and the help of Russian peers, you’re sure to make rapid progress. Courses are taught in Russian at CIEE’s partner school, St. Petersburg State University, and complemented with co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

Unique experiences

  • Move your beginning,

    intermediate, or advanced Russian skills ahead in a city so spectacular that its entire downtown is a UNESCO heritage site.

  • Travel overnight

    to Moscow and Novgorod for a broader view of Russian culture.

  • Maximize immersion

    by living with a Russian family.

  • bridges

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

  • museums


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 Paris of the East, City of the Czars, City of Three Revolutions, and Venice of the North, but we’re quite sure you’ll call it fabulous.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in St. Petersburg.

The Culture


  • Travel overnight to cosmopolitan Moscow, and Russian’s oldest city, Novgorod to explore highlights and enjoy time on your own.
  • Explore St. Petersburg highlights like the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Pushkin’s Apartment Museum, the Russian Museum, and the Russian bathhouse, and take a walking tour based on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
  • Attend a ballet, concert, a hockey or soccer game, and get a taste of Russian and Georgian cuisine with cooking classes.
  • Get to know Russian peers with celebrations, sports events, cinema club meetings, Pub Quiz trivia nights, and more.


Join the alumni network of remarkable individuals who have studied in St. Petersburg with CIEE since 1967.

Daily Life

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    Homestays. Live with a Russian-speaking family and immerse yourself in the Russian language and culture. Each student has his/her own room in the family’s private apartment.

    Hostels. A limited number of double rooms are available for CIEE students to share at a downtown hostel. Semester students have single rooms. The hostel is a 25- to 30-minute commute to the CIEE center, and 5 minutes on foot to Nevskiy Prospek.


    Homestays: Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and three meals on weekends.

    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

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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

  • "CIEE Study Abroad is a helpful and supportive community of mentors, tour guides, and friends that make the most of your stay abroad. There are so many places and activities I would never have thought of visiting or trying without CIEE’s spectacular planning."

    Sabrina I., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • "The program offers opportunities to explore the social and academic aspects of Russia."

    Kaleigh G., University of North Texas
  • "It’s a super well thought out program with a lot of opportunities to get to know the city outside of the classroom!"

    Vanessa D., Pennsylvania State University


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CIEE has a long tradition of study in Russia – our first program began in partnership with St. Petersburg State University in 1967. This program is designed to advance Russian language skills with eight weeks of language study at the School of Political Science, Saint Petersburg State University. Students improve grammar, phonetic, and conversational skills through language study, as they explore Russian culture through close analysis of verbal and visual texts, and attend lectures on history, literature, art, and contemporary life.

St. Petersburg State University. Founded in the 18th century, 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.

Students agree to speak only Russian to encourage language and cultural acquisition.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

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 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 in grammar, phonetics, and conversation
  • 2 CIEE content courses

Program Credit

Total credit: 10 U.S. semester/15 quarter credit

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 1-3 U.S. semester/1.5-4.5 quarter credits; 15-45 contact 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 and program-related cultural excursions and activities five days a week. Classes are typically held four days a week, with Wednesdays reserved for cultural and social activities. Classes are 90 minutes in length. All courses are taught in Russian. Students are grouped by language level based on the results of a placement test. 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, exams, and class participation.

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
Students will be placed in the appropriate language level onsite.

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 Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


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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
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • CIEE Stem 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 & 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.

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

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

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    Contact Us

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