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HSP is designed to address the unique challenges faced by students who grew up speaking Russian in the U.S. Through intensive, individualized instruction and cultural immersion activities, the program enables heritage speakers to make rapid gains in speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Through their 12 hours of class a week, participants take an active role in shaping their own curricula with a focus on intensive language gain in grammar, conversation and vocabulary. In addition to rigorous individualized academic instruction, students participate in weekly cultural excursions and extended regional field studies led by our US residential directors. To further deepen their connection with Russian culture, participants also have the opportunity to stay with a host family. American Councils provides comprehensive support for its participants including a pre-departure and in-country orientation, an on-site resident director and health and accident insurance.