USF in Russia: Intensive Language and Culture Program
Participate in a four-week intensive language program located in the heart of Moscow,Russia. This USF faculty-led program is hosted at Moscow State University, top-rated university located in Russia's cultural and artistic capital. The program has been designed to accelerate and deepen students' knowledge of the Russian language, and appreciation of the rich culture and history of the country.
Each week students will receive approximately 20 hours of beginning, intermediate or advanced Russian language instruction taught by native speakers for a total of 3-4 language credits at the appropriate level as well as the 3 credit Russian Culture and Civilization course. Students will visit key historical and cultural sites of St. Petersburg, Vladimir and Suzdal.
The Summer 2016 program dates are from May 14 through June 14, 2016.
Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation, and with a population of over 10,000,000 is Europe's largest metropolitan area. In the post-Soviet era, Moscow has experienced a rebirth -- pre-revolutionary architecture has been restored and cleaned; new shopping centers and restaurants and the wealth from oil sales have catapulted Moscow into the 21st century and out of the grey and cold austerity of Soviet times. Moscow is filled with museums, cafes, theaters, parks, restaurants, historical sites such as the Kremlin, Red Square and numerous Russian Orthodox monasteries and churches.
Moscow State University was established in 1755, and is considered by many to be the leading university in the former Soviet Union. The courses will be taught through MSU's Philological faculty.
Complete the REQUIRED Program Course Approval form: CAF USF in Russia 201705
Students from all levels of Russian will be placed in appropriate courses taught by native Russian speakers who are University teaching staff at MSU. Students will have 15 hours per week of interactive and intensive language instruction focusing on Russian grammar, conversation and pronunciation. Dr. Oleynik will be available to monitor students' progress, and provide assistance when needed.
In addition, Dr. Oleynik will participate in numerous cultural and other activities that will aid students in understanding Russia's culture and rich traditions. The program will take students to some of Russia's most important museums, parks, and cultural sites in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
USF course numbers and credits: beginning to advanced proficiency. Each students may earn 6 or 7 academic credits. All students will be encouraged to take RUS 3500 for 3 academic credits, plus 3-4 credits of the appropriate Russian language level. Those students who have taken RUS 3500 previously may take a directed study with Dr. Oleynik for 3 credits. Credits count toward summer residency requirements. Graduate credit is not available on this program.
List of USF courses available on this program (Note: students will be assigned the appropriate level of Russian by Dr. Oleynik):
RUS1120 (4) Beginning Russian
RUS1121 (4) Beginning Russian II
RUS2270 Overseas Study (3)
RUS3470 Overseas Study (3)
RUS 3500 Russian Culture & Civilization (3)
RUS4905 Directed Study (1-3) Departmental approval required.
The Program Director, Dr. Olga Oleynik, has an M.A. in Russian Linguistics, Moscow State University and earned her PhD in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language at Pushkin Institute of Russian Language, where she also taught. She has taught Russian for more than 25 years in a number of preeminent universities including Volgograd State Technical University, Liverpool and Oxford Universities (UK) and Middlebury Summer Language School. She has taught at USF since 2004.
Program Cost: $4,450.00
This fee includes:
Pre-departure orientation and class sessions at USF; six to seven undergraduate USF credits; visa; dormitory accommodations (single occupancy sleeping rooms with shared bathrooms); emergency medical and evacuation insurance for the dates of the program; weekly cultural excursions in Moscow(Red Square, Kolomonskoe Park, Museums, the Kremlin and other key spots in and around Moscow) and language books and study materials; closing dinner. In addition, there will be two excursions outside of Moscow to Suzdal and a two-day trip to the cultural capital of Russia, St. Petersburg. The final cost of the program will be determined at the end of January.
The following items are not included in the fee listed above:
Passport fees ($169.00)
International airfare ($1,200-1,500)
Meals (available in cafeterias and cafes near the campus; very basic kitchen facilities in dormitory) $600-900
Estimated* Total Additional out of pocket costs=$1,881-2,700
*Please note that this is a conservative estimate and is not intended to cover costs related to cell phone usage, nor does it provide significant funds for entertainment (tickets to the Bolshoi, meals in restaurants, and night clubs etc.) or personal spending (gifts and souvenirs, which depending on taste and quality can be quite expensive). Also, depending on the how quickly HIV testing is sought, as required by the Russian Consulate, payment may be required.
- A $500 deposit is due at the time you commit to the program
- 90 days before departure - 25% of program fee is due
- 60 days before departure - 75% of program fee is due
- 30 days before departure - 100% of program fee is due
Post-Commitment Cancellation Policy:
- You are liable for $100 plus non-recoverable program costs if you cancel at least 91 days prior to departure.*
- You are liable for $300 plus non-recoverable program costs if you cancel between 61 and 90 days prior to departure.*
- You are liable for up to 100% of the program fee if you cancel 60 days or less prior to departure.*
The MSU dormitories are in the beautiful and famous Moscow State University main building. They are single-occupancy, small and simple. It is noted that these accommdoations will not be as well equipped as USF's residence halls. Internet access is not generally available in the individual rooms. Students will be in single rooms with a shared bathroom between two individuals. Laundry and kitchen facilities are on each floor. There is no air conditioning and screens are generally not on most windows in Russia.
The program is open to all students, but those with at least one semester of Russian language study will benefit most. First priority is given to USF students, but students from other universities may also participate.
The program is limited to 15 students.
You will be responsible for reserving and purchasing your international transportation to Russia. Please do not purchase your air ticket until you have received your visa for entry into Russia. Alternatively, you may purchase a ticket as long as you also purchase trip cancellation insurance that will completely refund the cost of the ticket should the program be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment, or you are unable to receive your visa for entry to Russia. USF strongly recommends that all students travel insurance to cover the cost of your airline ticket.
Students arriving within a pre-determined time-window will be met by Dr Oleynik at the airport and transferred to dormitories. Those arriving prior to or departing after the program will be responsible for airport transfers.
USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.
Please click here for more detailed information.
Your US passport must be valid for 18 months past the program end date in order to be allowed entrance in Russia. This is a Russian travel requirement.
In addition to a valid passport, a visa is required for travel to Russia. Students are required to submit to the Russian Consulate results of an HIV exam, visa application form, an official invitation letter from Moscow State and four passport photos. The Education Abroad Office will assist with obtaining the Russian visas for students in the program, however it is entirely up to the Russian government to grant appropriate documentation for entry to the country. Please note that Russian authorities will not allow U.S. citizens to depart the country if their visa has expired; travelers must wait until a new visa is approved, which may take up to 20 days.
Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad. Please see our funding page for further details.
Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Please click here for detailed country-specific safety and health information given in our Country Study Report. Make sure to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
While no country is free from the threat of terrorist attack, such incidents in Russia have been largely located in the Caucasus region of Russia, and the US State Department warns against travel to Chechnya and bordering areas (more than 1,000 miles from Moscow). As the Canadian Travel Page for Russia indicates, "Foreigners have never been directly targeted, however, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
As in any large metropolitan city, students in Moscow should be particularly aware of their surroundings and their belongings, and should not draw particular attention to themselves -- tourists in any area are easy targets. Excessive drinking is the leading cause of life-threatening instances and emergencies abroad. This is particularly true for Russia, where excessive alcohol consumption is fairly common, but still very dangerous. As the US State Department site warns, a large number of crimes take place in and around drinking establishments in Russian. Racial profiling and discrimination is not uncommon in Russia, and there have been attacks against certain nationalities and ethnic groups (Africans, individuals from South East Asia and those of Central Asian descent).
Health and Fitness Requirements
The majority of USF's study abroad programs involve a great deal of walking, and in some cases hiking and trekking. The USF in Russia program is a largely resident-based program. Nevertheless, students will be required to climb stairs, and walk a great deal, even if taking public transportation. Moscow is a large metropolitan city with a significant amount of pollution so that those individuals who have any respiratory conditions (asthma) should consult with their doctors prior to traveling. If you have any concerns regarding your health (mental or physical), please consult your doctor, and the staff of Education Abroad prior to the program!
Generally, the climate in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the month of May and early June is quite comfortable with high temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s and lows in the lower 50s and 40s. Occasionally, temperatures may spike into the upper 80s and low 90s, which can make it uncomfortable as air-conditioning is not readily available in either city. You may also have cold snaps, so it is important to bring a variety of different types of clothing.
Students should review carefully the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronically sign this document. To view this document before applying, please click here.
Questions pertaining to the academic program in-country, courses or credits:
Dr. Olga Oleynik
Department of World Languages
Questions regarding study abroad program enrollment, registration and payment of fees: