CIEE Russian Area Studies Program in St. Petersburg, Russia
Pure gold: it decorates the domes everywhere you look in St. Petersburg and will undoubtedly be your opinion about your experience in the Northern Capital of Russia. This city, which produced "father of American ballet" George Balanchine, where Mikhail Baryshnikov began his illustrious ballet career, and where artist Marc Chagall perfected his craft, is where you will develop your language skills, find adventure and gain a greater appreciation for Russian politics, history, and culture. It's all waiting for you with CIEE.
Study abroad in St. Petersburg and you'll:
- Improve your Russian language proficiency, and learn about Russian culture in an authentic and stimulating environment in the longest-running U.S. study abroad program in Russia
- Have the option to live in a Russian home
- Experience a rich cultural program including local excursions and regional field trips to Moscow, Pskov, and other Russian regions; visits to museums, historical sites, and theaters
- Dive into extensive interaction with locals through the variety of coordinated cultural events
- Live in 300-year old St. Petersburg, known as the "Venice of the North," and experience the relationship between traditional and modern forces impacting Russia today
- Become a member of a unique alumni network of remarkable individuals who have studied in St. Petersburg since the opening of the Study Center in 1967
Find out more.
Please check the CIEE website for final program dates, and speak with your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor prior to booking airfare.
Students take their classes at St. Petersburg State University. Founded in the 18th century, the University is one of Russia’s leading institutions of higher education. CIEE students attend class at the stunning Smolny campus, where the renowned school for noble ladies was founded in 1764. It’s in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg. All courses are taught by faculty from St. Petersburg State University and they are typically 90-minutes long. It is important to note that participants take their classes only with other CIEE students.
Students take a total of five classes per semester:
- Two Russian language courses - grammar and conversation - at the elementary or intermediate level (depending on a language placement test at the beginning of the program). Students who have completed at least one Russian class beyond intermediate should consider our Russian Language program.
- Three area studies courses taught in English
Area studies courses span Russian history, culture, politics, civilization, and cinema and may include visiting lecturers, topic-specific visits to museums, and other co-curricular activities. Please review the CIEE website for courses available each semester, as well as the SJU pre-approved list (at the top of this page).
Housing and Meals
Live with a Russian-speaking family and immerse yourself in the local language and culture. Each student has his/her own room in the family’s private apartment. Hostels. A limited number of single rooms are available at a downtown hostel, 30 minutes by bus to the CIEE site, and 5 minutes on foot to Nevskiy Prospekt.
Homestay families provide breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and three meals on weekends. Students must buy lunch on weekdays - the university cafeteria has reasonable prices. Students living in hostels are responsible for all meals.
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Center for International Programs Study Abroad Grant
Please apply for this program before applying for the CIP Study Abroad Grant (due October 15th or March 15th). Use the 'Featured Program
' Search to apply to this grant.
Each year, CIEE awards more than $3 million in scholarships and grants to students who plan to study overseas on their programs. For information about CIEE scholarship opportunities, please visit their website
Things to Remember Before Applying
- This program is intended for students who have taken no Russian language or up to four semesters. Students who have completed at least one Russian class beyond intermediate should consider petitioning for the CIEE Russian Language program.
- You must meet with a CIP advisor before submitting your application.
- Per the SJU Semester Abroad Policy, a limited number of completed applications will be approved on a first-come, first serve basis. Early applications are encouraged.
- This program requires a separate application to be submitted directly to them. Please refer to their website for deadlines and application requirements.
- If approved by the CIP, you will be required to submit a non-refundable $300 Confirmation deposit WITHIN 10 BUSINESS DAYS of approval notice.