Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia: Semester or Academic Year

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About

Spend a semester or academic year in St. Petersburg with AIFS. Earn up to 18 credits studying at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. Courses are taught in English or Russian. No previous Russian language study is required.

The Russian Language and Liberal Arts Program focuses on enhancing your skills in the Russian language while taking elective courses in English. Volunteer opportunities are also available to support a variety of interests.

Live in a homestay or a student residence hall. During the first month, all students live in the residence hall.

Enjoy cultural and social activities such as:
• City tours
• Visits to museums and cultural sites
• Boat trip along the canals
• Classical music, opera and ballet performances
• 3-day trip to Moscow
• Day trips to Catherine Palace, Peterhof, Veliky Novgorod and Pavlosk.
An optional 4-day excursion Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia is offered.

Highlights
  • Earn up to 18 credits and transcript issued by Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
  • 3-day trip to Moscow
  • Siege of Leningrad tour
  • No previous Russian language study required
  • Day trips to Catherine Palace at Pushkin, Peterhof, Veliky Novgorod and Pavlovsk

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Questions & Answers

Hi Victoria! It looks like you need to be currently enrolled in college for this program.

Reviews

9.92 Rating
based on 13 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
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  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 13
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Laurel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GO TO RUSSIA!

I studied abroad with AIFS in St. Petersburg, Russia in the Spring of 2020! My favorite part of the program was that it was all inclusive. This meant that housing, a food stipend, insurance, a flight package, and sone excursions were included. This made the process of planning much easier. My true appreciation for AIFS was for when COVID 19 hit and I had to leave Russia early. My on-site staff and the main office in America were very reassuring and easy to work with. I am glad I choose AIFS and you should to!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was seeing a live tiger on stage at the ballet!
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Dmitry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AIFS Made My Semester in St. Petersburg Unforgettable

I've always known that I wanted to study abroad in Russia while in college. Choosing to go to St. Petersburg with AIFS was hands down the best decision I could've made! I got to live in a beautiful city with a rich history, took some extremely interesting courses, and had incredible on-site support. I strongly feel like I would not have enjoyed my semester as much as I had if I hadn't gone with AIFS. The cultural immersion activities that were organized by the incredible AIFS staff were fantastic and allowed me to see some great areas of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tallinn, and Helsinki! Not to forget that all of the excursions were included!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unique thing I ate was at actually at a museum (with a restaurant) where I ate frozen raw Siberian fish covered in salt and served with bone marrow on rye bread! I didn't expect to like it, but LOVED it!
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Julie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

With Love from Kentucky to Russia

AIFS was one of the best fit programs for me. I appreciated the fact that they were all inclusive and I had a lot of worry taken off of my shoulders since I did not have to book my flight or find housing. The professors at Polytechnic University in St. Petersburg were very encouraging. I did however only have experience with two professors and my classes were mainly with other Americans. This made sense because Russians aren’t usually taking Russian History and Russian Language classes. I hope that the Russian language professors continue to be there for years to come. My professor was very encouraging and even told us on the first day of class that we would be speaking Russian better than her after only a semester of study. Although, I knew this was not true, it started me off on a positive foot with such a difficult language. The option to stay with a host family was definitely a perk that made the program more appealing. I chose to stay with a host family. I was the only student that got the experience to stay with a host family that had children. I look back on that experience as something that made my stay all the more unique. I now have a much better representation of Russian everyday life. I am very thankful for the in country program advisers that were always there to support my stay in St. Petersburg.

What would you improve about this program?
I would love to have more classes with Russians.
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Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Russia Stole My Heart

I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into when I decided to go study in Russia for 4 months my junior year of college. I knew it would be cold (duh). But I was not prepared for the most unforgettable experience of my life that changed the way I viewed the world and this wonderful country that I have fallen so in love with. I made some of the best friends I could ever have, met so many interesting people that enriched my experience in ways I never thought they could, and saw landmarks and cities I had only seen in pictures. Russia is mysterious, quirky, and so incredibly unique that it is impossible to describe it in just a few sentences. The only way to truly experience Russia's amazing language, culture, people and breathtaking sights is to go there and see it for yourself. AIFS provided me with a great study abroad experience that has affirmed my aspirations to get involved with Russian-US foreign policy after I graduate from college and sparked my love for Russian language. I encourage anyone who is thinking about this program to jump on the opportunity, get excited, and prepare yourself for the ride of your life. Russia will leave you breathless, amazed, and eager to see more. I never wanted to leave and I plan on going back as soon as I can!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the elective courses could be slightly more challenging. The language class was amazing and the professors are so helpful and want you to succeed and learn as much as possible in the time that you are there. But the elective classes were lacking in that they weren't challenging in comparison to my classes at my home university.
Read my full story
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Thelma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You have Courage !

You have courage to go to a country without knowing the language!I speak English and Spanish but not Russian, but once I got there it was easy to learn! Living in a country really makes a difference when going to a country. I was in the beginner's class for Russian Language and the teacher was kind and patient! AIFS also helped us by partnering us up with Russian students. They were our conversational partner. We will teach them English and they will teach us Russian! It was a great way to learn the language and immerse yourself to the culture. The elective classes were also great. Our Professor was actually a funny man. He spoke in English, but wrote all his notes on the board in Russian! He said,"I really want you to learn the language so this will hep you".
When it came to fun activities, there were many. Nevsky Prospekt was the place to be! There were plenty of museums, cafes,bars, and clubs to enjoy. It doesn't matter what you're into, that street had it all!
I really enjoyed going on this program because we had excursions and we learned the history of St. Petersburg. We also traveled to Moscow, Finalnd, and Estonia! I met so many people from the states and people from different countries. I still keep in contact with them until this day. If you want to go to St. Petersburg, I suggest you do! You will learn so much, grow as a person, be grateful and humble, and have long life friendships!

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't necessarily change anything, but I would love to see more activities!
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SPb2011
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Blaze your own trail

When most people go abroad, they go to boring, 'safe' places such as Pairs or Rome. I chose to go somewhere different and exotic, but not exotic in the sense of palm trees and coconuts. Think more smokestacks and less smiles. The AIFS St. Petersburg program was an amazing 4 month experience in a part of the world that is not frequently traveled. The staff was fantastic; any problem I had was usually solved pretty quickly. The weekly excursions were all educational, informative and most importantly fun. As far as classes, the language instructors are masters at teaching an incredibly tough language. I went to Russia knowing only a handful of words and by the time I left, I was confident enough to hold a conversation. The elective professors were also fun and knowledgeable. If you are reading this, at least give this program a thought! You'll be glad you did.

What would you improve about this program?
More excursions!
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Benjamin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Junior Semester!

AIFS' St. Petersburg program was a language intensive program, which I really liked. Before I came into Russia, I did not know a shred of Russian but when I was paired with my host mom, who pushed for me to buy an English-Russian Dictionary and sat with me every night as we drank tea and spoke in Russian, it was the best experience of my life! I remember the first time we have a lengthy conversation - it was about 4 hours - but of course my Russian was not grammatically correct, but she encouraged me to speak and corrected my mistakes. The staff were very helpful, especially when I needed to go to the doctor. They even went out of their way to help set us up with volunteer opportunities and conversation partners to enhance our Russian. The teachers were also great. The classes were taught in English, besides our Russian class. Learning from a different point of view is definitely something that helped expand my point of view.

What would you improve about this program?
I don't think that I would change anything with this program. My experience was great and I would definitely not change anything that happened!
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Ted
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Mother Russia

Was one of the greatest experiences that I had in my life. In St. Petersburg, one can walk down Nevskiy Prospekt and see the Church on Spilt Blood, Kazan Cathedral, the Winter Palace, and Dom Kniga all at the same time! It is one magnificent sight! The Metro stations are the most beautiful in all of the world. Get to go see Peter the Great lying in his tomb, as well as, his wonderful Palace, the Peterhof. For beginners in Russian, like I was at the time, is very intimidating. All I knew was Da, Nyet, Spasibo, Vodka, but all you have to do is try to speak it and the Russians will be very happy. My teachers were the greatest and most helpful. Breakfast was good! Hard boiled eggs, porridge, cereal, salami, cheese, and more. Everyone was nice. Even befriended someone from Kazakhstan and talked to someone from Vietnam, while doing laundry. I recommend anyone to go on this program. It is well organized and is well worth it. Russia is a great country with many mysteries!