Business Russian Language and Internship Program
The American Councils Business Russian Language and Internship (BRLI) Program 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 (Gertsen) 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. 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.) A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. 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.
- Moscow, once draped in Soviet symbols, has readily adopted the trappings of capitalism and is now replete with neon billboards and shopping malls. Decidedly the center of political and economic power, the capital now rivals St. Petersburg in culture and the arts. The Moscow International University serves as the host institution for RLASP participants in Moscow. Founded by G. A. Yagodin, Minister of Education under Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow International is the first accredited private university in the post-Soviet Russian Federation. It specializes in the teaching of foreign languages, economics, finance, management, ecology, and sociology. American Councils places students in the university's Department of Russian as a Foreign Language.
- St. Petersburg, Russia's most western city, is a monument to the country's past imperial grandeur. A work of art in itself, St. Petersburg remains the center of Russia's artistic life. The Russian State Pedagogical (Gertsen) University serves as the host institution to RLASP participants in St. Petersburg. Located just behind the Kazan Cathedral in downtown St. Petersburg, the Gertsen University is one of the leading educational institutions in all of Russia. American Councils places students in the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language.
- Summer: February 15th
- Fall/Academic Year: March 15th
- Spring: October 1st
Room and Board: $1,500
Excursions and In-country Travel: $500
Health Insurance: $150
International Airfare: $1,000
Visa Fee: $200
Items not included in the Summer 2013 program cost:
- Books and supplies: $150
- Local transportation: $200
- Lunches (not included in Board cost): $200
Program price includes international airfare; housing; tuition; most meals; all group travel in Russia; insurance; orientation in Washington, D.C.; and a Russian visa.
FALL SEMESTER 2013 & SPRING SEMESTER 2014
Room and Board: $3,000
Excursions and In-country Travel: $800
Health Insurance: $300
Visa Fee: $300*
ACADEMIC YEAR 2013-2014
Room and Board: $6,300
Excursions and In-country Travel: $1,600
Health Insurance: $600
Visa Fee: $300*
Items not included in the Fall, Spring, and Academic Year program cost:
- Domestic transportation to Washington, DC for pre-departure orientation: cost varies
- International Airfare to/from Russia: approximately $1,000 - $1,500**
- Books and supplies: $150 (per semester)
- Local transportation: $200 (per semester)
- Lunches not included in Board cost: $400 (per semester)
Program price includes housing; tuition; most meals; all group travel in Russia; insurance; orientation in Washington, D.C.; and a Russian visa.
*The visa fee will be waived for students who do not need a Russian visa to participate on the program (e.g. Russian passport holders). However, these students will be charged a $100 registration fee.
Please note that Russian passport holders will be expected to travel on their Russian passports and, therefore, will be treated as Russian citizens abroad. The U.S. Embassy may not be able to assist Russian passport holders if any issues or problems arise. Male Russian passport holders between the ages of 18 and 27 may encounter problems if they have not satisfied service requirements in Russia. Please see the Department of State website on dual citizenship for more information.
**Participants have the option of purchasing directly from American Councils a round-trip ticket on the flight with resident directors from Washington, DC to Russia or purchasing their own airline ticket. The pre-departure orientation held in Washington, DC immediately before the program is mandatory for all participants.
- 2012-13 Academic Year: August 28, 2012 - May 16, 2013
- 2013 Spring: January 22 - May 16, 2013
- 2013 Summer: June 4 - August 5, 2013
- 2013 Fall: August 29 (departure for Russia) - December 19, 2013
- 2013-2014 Academic Year: August 29 (departure for Russia) - May 20, 2014
- 2014 Spring: January 23 (departure for Russia) - May 20, 2014
For information on deferring and withdrawing, please visit our program policies webpage.
American Councils arranges unpaid, non-credit bearing internships based upon each participant's language ability and field of interest. Internships are available in regional offices of U.S. businesses, U.S.-Russian joint venture companies, non-governmental organizations, press offices, Russian-owned businesses, international trade organizations, and a wide range of charities and non-profits. Classes are held four days a week, allowing participants to spend one full day per week at their internships.
Recent program participants completed internships at:
- Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld
- American Chamber of Commerce
- Center for Humanitarian Aid
- Ernst and Young
- The National Press Institute of St. Petersburg
- Moscow State University Institute for Contemporary Education
- Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund
Program participants may live in a university dormitory or with a Russian host family. The majority of American Councils participants choose the host-family option. All host families provide private rooms, telephone access, and keys for their American guests. Host families also provide two meals per day. Living with a host family immerses program participants in everyday Russian life, while offering some of the comforts of home. Host families also expose participants to authentic, contemporary language and culture in informal, social settings.
All host families are screened, selected, and monitored by American Councils home-stay coordinators and resident directors. Students may change their housing arrangements during the program, although these adjustments require some time to be completed.
All BRLI participants attend a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. at the start of their program. Orientation sessions address health and safety, Russian academic culture, host-family life, culture shock, strategies to maximize language gain, and key survival phrases in Russian. Participants have a chance to meet and get to know their resident directors, fellow participants, and BRLI alumni during the two-day program. Students are housed in three-person rooms in a downtown hotel, a short walk from the American Councils Washington office. Participants depart for Russia from Washington, DC at the end of the program. Lodging and meals are provided.
The highly flexible BRLI program serves students ranging from intermediate to heritage speakers of Russian. All levels of instruction provide twelve to fifteen hours of in-class contact, either in private tutorials or small groups.
Course offerings vary, but may include:
- The Language of Business Communication
- Fundamentals of Business and Commercial Correspondence in Russian
- Russia Today: Social and Economic Issues
- Conversational Russian
- Russian Business Press
- Russian Culture and the Russian Workplace
- Business Russian Survival Skills
- Russian Computers
Language classes are conducted in small groups of three to five or in one-on-one tutorials. Area studies courses may also be conducted in private tutorials.
In addition to attending American Councils courses, BRLI participants are encouraged to audit regular classes at their host university during the academic year (September through May). This feature depends significantly upon university schedules and the readiness of individual faculty to accommodate American students whose schedules require early completion of the class. With guidance from the resident director, it is the responsibility of each BRLI student to locate a viable class and obtain permission from the instructor to attend.
In 2000 American Councils established a peer-tutoring program for all BRLI participants. Students now have the chance to meet for two hours per week with tutors recruited from the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language at their host universities. In addition to valuable academic support, the peer-tutoring program provides an important opportunity for American students to meet their contemporaries in the increasingly fast-paced, cosmopolitan culture of post-Soviet Russia.
BRLI participants receive graduate or undergraduate academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. Semester participants receive 16 undergraduate or 15 graduate semester hours; academic year participants receive 32 undergraduate semester or 30 graduate semester hours; summer participants receive 8 undergraduate or 10 graduate semester hours.
For more information, contact the American Councils Outbound Office: 202 833 7522, firstname.lastname@example.org