• Russia
    • St. Petersburg
Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Anthropology Cultural Studies Economics History International Relations Liberal Arts Linguistics Russian and Eastern European Studies

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Host Family


Price Details
You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE! Our high-quality programs include tuition, housing, on-site airport pick-up, field trips and cultural activities, 24/7 on-site professional staff, and automatic iNext insurance. There are no hidden charges or surprises when you arrive, and scholarships opportunities are available!
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
Jul 14, 2022
Nov 30, 2019
0 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Golden domes dot the skyline of this illustrious capital that is also home to the Kremlin, Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral, and the Bolshoi Theater. Students can experience firsthand the role Moscow has played and continues to play on the world stage.

Once the capital of imperial Russia, St. Petersburg retains its status as the cultural capital, hosting the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. The City of the Tsars is also one of the most accessible and westernized cities in Russia.

Courses are available in English and Russian.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • CIEE St. Petersburg is conveniently located on the campus of St. Petersburg State University, one of Russia’s leading institutions of higher education.
  • Exploring city highlights like the Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Russian Museum, Pushkin’s Apartment Museum, and Baltika Brewery.
  • Going to the ballet or opera in the city where Mikhail Baryshnikov started his celebrated dance career.
  • Depending on their program of study and availability, students may be able to participate in an internship or volunteer.

Popular Programs

CIEE St. Petersburg Summer Programs

Warm weather and white nights make St. Petersburg extra special in summer. Courses are taught in Russian at CIEE’s partner school, St. Petersburg State University.

CIEE St. Petersburg Semester Programs

Bring your advanced Russian language skills to glorious St. Petersburg and master them! Immerse yourself in Russian culture, history, art, and literature with fascinating coursework at CIEE St. Petersburg.



CIEE Scholarships and Grants

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

$500 - $2,500

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.55
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Rush to Russia for the Experience of a Lifetime!

If you love history, culture, food, new experiences, and new adventures unlike anything you could ever imagine-- studying abroad in Russia is definitely for you. I had been studying Russian language for two years before coming abroad with CIEE and I have definitely fast tracked my progress in the language in just one semester! The classes are small and focused on your individual progress and the professors are warm-hearted, kind, and most importantly dedicated to your advancement in the language. The academic coordinators serve as an incredible support system and they are ready to help you along the way whether you need a tutor because you've fallen behind, a tutor because you are blazing forward, or any other concern you may have. The program coordinators actively plan activities and excursions to keep you culturally immersed and out of your comfort zone in the best way possible, while simultaneously curating events such as Thanksgiving and helping you find the activities you love at home, abroad. If you're anything like me, you'll be a bit weary to commit to living with a host family but I advise you to take the chance! Living with a host family has been one of the most rewarding aspects of this program. My host parents were always encouraging me to speak Russian and they really helped build my confidence with the language. Every day we would share delicious meals together and talk about our day-- it really made me feel like I was part of the family. As someone who has also studied abroad in Paris, I can honestly say I prefer my time in Saint Petersburg-- I am so thankful to CIEE for their excellent organization and curation of this program, and the incredible professors, advisers, staff, and host families who make this experience worthwhile. Thank you CIEE!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't be shy, talk to people, practice the language as much as you can and don't worry about making mistakes! My advise to new travels is to get comfortable, being uncomfortable!
35 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best. Summer. Ever!

This program was the perfect fit for me - it was a great mix of classroom and real-world learning. I got to take classes in Russian during school hours, then got to practice while visiting all the sights in the city! The option for staying with a host family was also an amazing experience because I got to have a closer connection to a Russian family and use more practical Russian. If you are hoping to learn Russian in any capacity, definitely use this program! In my Summer 2019 group, there were students from many years of Russian under their belt to people who had never taken a single class. We all got an amazing education in those short 8 weeks and all learned a lot! The CIEE staff were also amazing to work with. It was my first time traveling and they all made me feel very comfortable and safe!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of all the time you have there. Go see the museums that lots of tourists go to, but also visit other ones that not many people know about. Chances are your funny and unique stories will be about the places not many people visit. Also, go outside your comfort zone! You never know if something will lead to the best day of your life!
33 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Russia's window to Europe doesn't disappoint

In 1703, Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg on territory he had just conquered from Sweden. He wanted to orient Russia to Europe, so he built Saint Petersburg as a European-style city. With its Baroque architecture, bridges, and canals, it is easy to see why Saint Petersburg has been nicknamed the "Venice of the North." There are also examples of "Leningrad" architecture from the Soviet period, and of course, new developments. Walking through Saint Petersburg is like walking through a history book, and CIEE's tours give you a deep insight into the city's rich history. CIEE's staff is always there to help with whatever problems you may have, and they have good recommendations for things to do. The classes are interesting, and how often can you study with a Baroque-style Orthodox cathedral in the middle of your campus? If it is your first time traveling to Russia, Saint Petersburg is the place to be, and CIEE is right program for you.

27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

St Petersburg: Retrospective

Picking Russia for my study abroad, especially before I left, seemed like a big risk. As an Amerian, you hear many things about Russia... the people, the infrastructure, Soviet time... It creates a lot of preconceived ideas of what my study abroad experience will be like. The visa process also seemed daunting, with all the requirements and precision needed on the application. That's where CIEE came in-- and the staff at CIEE were instrumental to how successful my semester abroad was. CIEE as a study abroad provider has been around for a long time, and it really shows! I was helped every step of the way, especially while in Russia.

I was able to experience a lot of great things through CIEE excursions, Fabrege Egg painting, pub trivia nights, cooking classes, Russian ballets, and lots of great museum trips. The cooking class was especially fun, and a great way to practice my Russian. I was also provided with great real-life tips from the office, and I was getting around and acting like a local in no time. Classes were also very informative, and I especially enjoy the professors here, who have a lot to teach students about Russia and about the world. I was able to learn a lot of new things about Russia's political system and culture, as well as get an in-depth view into Russia's ethnic make-up. I felt like my classes really enriched my understanding of Russia, and that I got good value.

St. Petersburg is a really beautiful city too, and I didn't want to leave! I visited so many amazing churches and museums, even an amazing Soviet Arcade Museum, which was one of my favorite places to visit! Another one of my favorite memories for sure was going out to a Russian Disco with all of my friends and just having a great night out. I also received an amazing Sobesenik (conversation partner) through CIEE, and I highly recommend all prospective students coming to Russia to find one. My sobesenik offered a great look into everyday life as a Russian student, and how Russians my age live, work, and study. It was definitely another of my favorite experiences in Russia.

I think my experience here in Russia has impacted my life for the better, for sure. I learned so much about a culture different from mine, and I got to learn about a place often alienated by the West first hand. I think I also learned a lot about culture shock and cultural integration, and I came home wiser and more in touch with the world. Picking a country 'off the beaten path' of study abroad is a great challenge, I think, and I highly encourage students to consider Russia. You'll get to meet great people, and you'll learn a lot about yourself and the world!

28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great times in St Petersburg

I'm grateful for the opportunity to spend my final year of undergrad in this wonderful program. The staff realizes that there can be a large culture shock between Russia and the US, so they work very hard to give you the tools you need to prevent any issues. I went there without knowing any of the Russian Language, and I didn't have any problems adjusting. It was a lot of fun and I wish I could have stayed longer!

The people are great, the classes are informative, the city is wonderful, and I'd recommend this program to anyone who was interested. Even besides the experience, I'd recommend going as a resume builder because I think that my attendance in this program helped me get accepted into my MBA program.

Definitely choose the homestay option over the hostel.

29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

amazing study abroad!

I’ve been fascinated with Russian literature since I first read Crime and Punishment in high school – when I got the chance to do a study abroad during college, I knew that I wanted to go to Russia (particularly St. Petersburg), to study the language and see the places where the books were set. CIEE had a lot of great activities (Crime and Punishment walking tour, Pushkin’s apartment, Catherine Palace, a beer tasting) and helped students meet Russians – I had a volunteer position teaching English, which was a lot of fun. My host mom was really nice as well – she didn’t speak English, but was extremely patient and helped me a lot with practicing language. She also was helpful with directions around the city, and ideas of places to go and when to go there (can't say I understood 100% of the time, but what I did understand was helpful!).
My Russian class was great – it was small (5 people), which made participation more necessary than in a larger class and also much easier. I liked my other classes as well – I took Russian History, Russian Civilization, and Arts of St. Petersburg, which was one of my favorites – we went on field trips to museums and galleries around the city.
I did Alternative Break in Kirov (a CIEE-organized volunteer trip) during spring travel week. I was hesitant at first to give up the week of travel, but after the first day, I knew it was the right choice – I met amazing people, had a second great host family, and got to see places off the beaten path – the two of us on that trip volunteered in kindergartens and a children’s home, led a discussion group with Russians, and went to two high schools to talk to students, in addition to seeing the city. And there were weekends afterwards to travel (Tallinn, Estonia, is beautiful) as well as CIEE organized trips to Moscow and Pskov. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city - there was more to do there than I could fit into the semester, and I'm glad I went!

29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Russian Area Studies in St Petersburg

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I studied abroad with CIEE in St Petersburg for four weeks and I absolutely loved it! Before going on the trip, CIEE helped to prepare me for my study abroad experience by providing everything from a comprehensive program handbook to detailed instructions on how to acquire a visa for my trip (which is a pretty tricky process when it comes to Russia). All of this was made available on their website, which was easy to navigate and to use. When I got to St Petersburg, CIEE staff were there with signs to pick me up at my arrival gate, and they accompanied me all the way to my host family's residence that day. My host family was kind and generous, and they were also really experienced with this sort of thing -- I was not the first student that they had hosted through CIEE, and they clearly knew what they were doing (which was a relief since everything about this experience was new to me). On my first full day in Russia, the CIEE Student Services Coordinator took us to their office in St Petersburg, and there we had a comprehensive orientation during which we discussed the program schedule and expectations along with cultural differences between the US and Russia, and then afterwards had a field trip around the city to acquire practical things like metro cards and Russian burner phones. For the rest of the trip, our small group went on many field trips together to really incredible sites, all with CIEE's english-speaking tour guide, who enriched our tours with interesting facts and personal stories. We also did really cool cultural excursions, like visiting a баня (banya -- basically, a Russian sauna) and taking a Russian cooking class. Throughout it all -- and despite the fact that I knew ZERO Russian going into this experience -- I never felt unsafe or overwhelmed because I knew that the CIEE staff in St Petersburg would be there to help me if I needed it. All in all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of trip, and I am glad that I chose to take it with CIEE.

What would you improve about this program?
I don't have any real complaints
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

cool experience

I chose to go to Russia so I could receive enough credits to graduate with a Russian language degree. I had no idea what to expect from living with a host family that spoke almost exclusively Russian or taking classes that were taught in Russian. This being said, choosing to be in St. Petersburg was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I don't think I am a particularly shy person, but whenever it came to speaking Russian out loud in my classes at my home university, I. would keep my mouth shut and avoid making eye contact with my professor so as not to be chosen. In Russia, however, I didn't always have the option of asking my questions in English, nor did I have the option to avoid participating in the small classes. I felt so much better about speaking after living with my very loving (and very patient) host parents and Russian buddies. I felt that as I learned the language I also became bolder and more willing to force myself out of my comfort zone.
Initially, I was hesitant to study abroad in Russia because I always wanted to travel while I was abroad and I was worried that being in Russia would hinder that. CIEE leaves a week for students to travel (I recommend Georgia) and there are plenty of weekends towards the end of the semester to explore other countries or Russian cities. Even if you don't travel there are always new things to explore in St. Petersburg such as the Udelnaya Flea Market and the different expositions at Etagi Loft.
I think there is a study abroad program out there for everyone, but coming from someone who was incredibly skeptical of the CIEE program at first, I couldn't imagine not taking part in that experience now.

28 people found this review helpful.

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