St. Petersburg, Russia

Exploring St. Petersburg through the Arts: Classical to Cutting Edge

Summer '21 applications are now open!
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Information for term Exploring St. Petersburg through the Arts: Classical to Cutting Edge

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

December 4, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: December 4, 2020
  • Dates: Jul 11 – 31, 2021 (3 weeks)


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Explore a mind-blowing mix of modern and traditional arts in Russia’s “capital of culture.”

Unravel the enigma of Russia through the lens of a modern artist. Trace the empire’s rich heritage in world-famous museums and performance halls. Engage with today’s free-thinking artists in studios and behind the scenes. Learn new skills, then roll up your sleeves and dabble in the graphic arts to make your own mark.

Unlike the typical tourist, you’ll chart your own course by exploring far beyond the main attractions. Get ready to discover Russia’s visual, musical, cinematic, and theatre art in all its glory. Learn about today’s contemporary scene by uncovering its roots in Russian classical arts, as well as the avant-garde movements of the 20th century, socialist realism, and the underground culture of the Soviet era.

How will you spend your days and nights? Visiting working studios of contemporary artists. Taking graphic arts workshops to practice hands-on skills of your own. Bonding with new friends through debate club, board game nights, sporting events, and cooking master classes.
You’ll also tour trend-setting venues like the Open Cinema Studio Lendok and the Street Art Museum. In your free time, grab a baked potato or pirozhki and head to St. Petersburg’s largest anti-café (free space for hanging out), right in the heart of the city. 


  • Portfolio

    Portfolio items including a final project

  • Knowledge

    Demonstrated knowledge about Russian’s contemporary arts scene and its historical roots

  • Certificate

    A certificate of learning in Russian Arts

Location & Culture

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Imagine living smack in the center of a UNESCO World Heritage site, surrounded by incredible architectural landmarks. 

Known for its regal palaces and revolutionary culture, St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) is a fascinating city of contradictions. Whether you’re into classical ballet or contemporary video art, there’s plenty to see and do. The second-largest city in Russia contains so many museums and galleries, you’d be hard pressed to visit even half during your three-week stay. The famous Hermitage Museum contains more than 3 million pieces of art and artifacts alone!

In between group activities and guided tours, there’s ample time to hit the city streets. Follow in the footsteps of famous artists, writers, dancers and musicians. Stroll past fairytale palaces and ornate buildings painted in a rainbow of colors. Head to the open-air museums for a more radical look at artistic expression. For a different vantage point, view the “Venice of the North” by boat—more than 300 bridges cross the city’s network of rivers and canals. Inside and out, this is hands down one of the prettiest cities you’ll ever see.

Known as “the museum under the open sky,” St. Petersburg beckons with cultural riches, from old-school to avant-garde. Summer is the season of White Nights, with nearly round-the-clock daylight, performing arts festivals and dazzling fireworks keeping revelers up in the streets past midnight. 

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"In three weeks I have fallen in love with a city and fallen into a routine of never-ending admiration for the life swirling around me."

Find out more about daily life on a high school study abroad program!

View the Program Blog

  • Housing

    Hostel in St Petersburg

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE resident staff members

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities

  • Explore the massive Hermitage, the second largest museum in the world.
  • Trace ten decades of art history at the State Russian Museum.
  • Uncover the edgy underground art movement at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Visit Mikhailovsky Theatre, one of Russia’s oldest opera and ballet houses
  • Witness the star attraction of the White Nights: “singing bridges” that open to the accompaniment[NK1]  of Russian classical music
  • Paint your own wooden matreshka, create your own souvenir to share back home
  • Learn various graffiti techniques and skills at a graffiti workshop in the Street Art Museum
  • Take your own portrait using an old camera at the History of Photoraphy Museum
  • Meet a local artist and learn innovative drawing techniques at an urban plein-air workshop

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session II 2021 3 weeks Dec 4, 2020 Jul 11, 2021 Jul 31, 2021


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Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?