CIEE Summer Russian Language in St. Petersburg

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Come experience the splendor that is St. Petersburg in summer. Spend eight weeks advancing your Russian language skills through an intensive and immersive academic and cultural study abroad program.

Whether you’re a intermediate or advanced level language student you’ll enjoy rigorous coursework and an enriching cultural program of lectures and local excursions in and around one of the world’s most culturally and historically rich cities. And with homestays, peer language partners, volunteer opportunities, and a variety of cultural activities and excursions, studying abroad in Russia offers you a uniquely immersive international experience.

Study abroad in Russia and you will:

- Experience the longest running study abroad program in Russia in spectacular St. Petersburg, where the entire downtown is a protected UNESCO heritage site

- Improve your Russian through intensive Russian language training for intermediate and advanced students

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9
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CIEE St. Petersburg, Russian Area Studies Program

I completed the Russian Area Studies Program with CIEE St. Petersburg in spring of 2017. I had wanted to study in Russia, and specifically St. Petersburg, due to a fascination for pre-revolutionary Russian history as well as a love of Dostoevsky's classic novel Crime and Punishment. CIEE's program was the only program in St. Petersburg that was pre-approved by my university, so it was an easy choice. I had originally wanted to do the Russian Language Program, but since I had only taken three semesters of Russian, I didn't qualify for it so I applied for the Area Studies program instead. It was one of the best choices of my life. Not only is the city full to bursting of palaces, museums, and art galleries (not to mention the historically preserved architecture of the city centre), but the CIEE program was well organized and super fun. The staff was extremely helpful and approachable. Excursions--ranging from optional walking tours of historic sites to mandatory trips to Moscow and Pushkinskie Gori--were offered extremely frequently, often with tours available in both Russian and English. Although the St. Petersburg weather lives up to its reputation as unpredictable and often downright unpleasant, the days spent at the Smolny campus more than made up for the conditions outside. This program gave me the opportunity to live with a host family, improve my Russian, and learn more about this complex country and the city I resided in. I made tons of new friends and everyone on my program were super tightly knit. Although I have many favorite memories, one that will particularly stick with me is when we took a bus tour of the city during one of the very first days after arriving in St. Petersburg. It was the first glance we got at the city centre. As we were driving back to the orientation hotel, at barely 5pm, the sun was already set. We drove down Nevsky Prospekt, the main thoroughfare of the city. All of the buildings were lit up, and it started to snow. I realized that the city, although very good looking at all times, was most beautiful at night, as people bustled along down the sidewalks under the glow of the lights and the freshly falling snow. It was a good start to a fantastic semester.

What would you improve about this program?
I often did not feel challenged enough academically. However, I think part of this was due to the fact that my classes were in English and not in Russian (the Area Studies courses, with the exception of the Russian language courses, were all in English, while the Language Program courses were all in Russian). Other than that, I have basically no complaints.
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE St. Petersburg Summer 2015

The summer I spent in St. Petersburg was a life-changing experience. My goal was to achieve fluency with my language skills, but I received much more than that. My diving head first into all the events and opportunities CIEE provided I was exposed to all aspects of Russian culture and life in St. Petersburg. The coursework was engaging and the campus is gorgeous. The tours were well organized, interesting, and I always learned more than I expected. The staff were absolutley wonderful. More than anything, however, I learned from the young Russians I met during my time there. I made multiple lifelong friends through the program's events to help us students meet Russians our age. I would highly recommend the program to anyone looking for a new adventure and especially for those with a proficient level in Russian language. My advice for students going to St. Petersburg is to go on every tour, attend every event, and take advantage of your free time. Go explore with Russian friends, don't spend all your time with your classmates. That is how you will maximize your brief, but unforgettable time in the Venice of the north.

Yes, I recommend this program

About CIEE

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...