St. Petersburg

For many of American Councils' programs in Russia, participants choose a location that is most suitable for their academic development. Learn more about what each of our four sites has to offer.

A young city by Russian standards, St. Petersburg celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2003, just one year after a national census put its population at around five million residents. Since its near demolition and depopulation during WWII, St. Petersburg has been painstakingly rebuilt to reflect the glory of the former capital and both its current status as the cultural center of Russia and its historical origins as the window to Europe.

The two-hundred-year-old Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen University) located in the heart of the city, is one of Russia’s leading educational institutions, with twenty unique academic departments and more than 20,000 students. Its storied department of Russian as a foreign language is the proud host of American Councils’ RLASP, BRLI, and Heritage Speakers programs.

Please note that www.acrussiaabroad.org and all of its information will be moving to a new website. You can visit www.acstudyabroad.org/rlasp for up-to-date information about the program and many others.

RLASP serves both graduate and undergraduate students as well as working professionals. The academic year, semester, and summer programs provide approximately 20 hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies at Moscow International University, the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen Institute) in St. Petersburg, and the KORA Center for Russian Language in Vladimir. In the fall of 2014, American Councils also launched RLASP at Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan for students who wish to study Russian in an immersion environment but are unable to travel to Russia due to funding restrictions or other concerns. Program features include homestays, weekly excursions, travel to other regions of Russia/Kazakhstan, conversation partners, and a wide range of opportunities to pursue internships, volunteering, hobbies and personal interests in a Russian context. Content courses for area studies credit are offered in subjects such as Russian literature and history, political science, and contemporary Russian society. All courses are taught in Russian by expert faculty with experience teaching foreign students. One day per week of the academic program is set aside for local cultural excursions. Excursions and travel include major sites such as art galleries and churches, but also include destinations off the beaten path. Students also participate on an extended regional field studies outside their host city. Participants have the option of living with host families or in university dormitories. Host families provide private rooms and engage students in conversation and culture. All participants receive two meals per day. American Councils conducts an informative pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. and an in-country orientation upon each group's arrival. Full-time, expert resident directors are available to assist participants abroad. Additionally, participants receive comprehensive overseas medical insurance for the duration of the program.
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Please note that www.acrussiaabroad.org and all of its information will be moving to a new website. You can visit www.acstudyabroad.org/brli for up-to-date information about the program and many others.

BRLI combines a specially designed curriculum focusing on the language of Russian business with an internship averaging ten to fifteen hours per week at a multinational company, business, or non-governmental organization agency in Russia. Moscow International University and the Russian State Pedagogical (Herzen) University in St. Petersburg host this program; students may apply to study for a semester, academic year, or summer. BRLI participants are granted U.S. academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. Program features include homestays, weekly excursions, travel to other regions of Russia, conversation partners, and a wide range of opportunities to pursue hobbies and personal interests in a Russian context.

The highly individualized BRLI curriculum can be tailored to serve students ranging from intermediate to near native speakers of Russian; however, less advanced students should consider whether their language proficiency will enable them to engage in substantive internships and benefit from instruction in the style and lexicon of business speech. (Students lacking a strong command of Russian grammar, for example, should consider enrolling in RLASP before applying to the BRLI program.) Peer tutoring, Russian-American discussion clubs, and a broad range of extra-curricular activities provide unique opportunities for BRLI students to connect with Russian friends and immerse themselves in daily Russian life.
One day per week of the academic program is set aside for local cultural excursions. Excursions and travel include major sites such as art galleries and churches, but also include destinations off the beaten path.Students also participate on an extended regional field studies outside their host city.
Participants have the option of living with host families or in university dormitories. Host families provide private rooms and engage students in conversation and culture. All participants receive two meals per day.
American Councils provides informative pre-departure and in-country orientations for all participants, along with full-time, expert resident directors in Moscow and St. Petersburg for 24-hour support and assistance. All participants are enrolled in comprehensive health and accident insurance during their program.
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Please note that www.acrussiaabroad.org and all of its information will be moving to a new website. You can visit www.acstudyabroad.org/heritage for up-to-date information about the program and many others.

The Individualized Russian Language Program for Heritage Speakers is intended to address the specific needs of students who speak Russian at home or with relatives, or who grew up speaking Russian and wish to strengthen their Russian skills. Program participants work with American Councils staff and host university faculty to develop a tutorial program serving their unique needs as language learners. All individualized programs focus on the development of Russian language skills, including grammar, conversation, and phonetics; courses in literature, history, and area studies are available for advanced students. Participants attend a minimum of twelve hours of tutorials per week. Program features include homestays, weekly excursions, travel to other regions of Russia, conversation partners, and a wide range of opportunities to pursue hobbies and personal interests in a Russian context.
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Unfortunately, the Summer Russian Language Teachers Program is not being offered for summer 2017. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Are you working as a K-12 or university-level Russian teacher? Are you a graduate student studying to become a Russian teacher? The Summer Russian Language Teachers Program provides fellowship support for Russian teachers and graduate students to study Russian language, pedagogy, and culture at the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen) in St. Petersburg for a six week summer session.

The American Councils Summer Russian Language Teachers Program offers qualified U.S. pre- and in-service teachers of Russian language and culture from elementary schools, high schools, and universities the opportunity to improve Russian language skills while developing a portfolio of authentic teaching materials for use in the classroom.  Courses on Russian language, pedagogy, and culture are led by distinguished faculty from the Russian State Pedagogical University's Department of Philology. The program is six-weeks long, and takes place from late-June to mid-August.

To be eligible for Fulbright-Hays funding applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are currently serving as K-12- or university-level teachers of Russian language and culture, or graduate students who intend a teaching career. Applications from K-12 teachers of Russian are especially encouraged.

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