Middlebury School in Russia

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About

The Middlebury School in Russia offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence to the Middlebury Language Pledge. By pledging to speak only Russian while abroad, students will have the best chance of acquiring fluency and actively engaging in the local environment. School in Russia students primarily take their classes together. Conducted in Russian by local university professors, they include Russian civilization, culture and language. The spetskursy, or content seminars, feature topics relating to Russian history, politics, or literature. Additionally, students may take courses at a host university. All students are encouraged to get involved in the community through internships or interactions within the clubs and activities available.
There is a beginning track in Moscow for students with no Russian language skills. Students with two years of Russian background can study in Moscow, Irkutsk, or Yaroslavl.

Highlights
  • All course work is conducted entirely in Russian
  • Students adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge
  • Courses at program center and host universities
  • Housing with Russian families
  • Internships available in many fields

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
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Max
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Middlebury Russia 2014/2015

Middlebury offered me the opportunity to return to Russia, continue my education, and form ties in Russia that have kept me here since.

My Russian levels went from a 1+ to 4 within several years of studying at Middlebury and all instructors were of the highest quality. Furthermore, Nana and Shushana were not only excellent professional resources, but wonderful sources of support. I remain in close contact with them to this day. For example, when it became clear that graduate students probably should be able to live on their own in Moscow, they quickly adapted the program for us as living with a host family was stressful as an independent adult. Their flexibility is one of the best parts of the program.

In this vein, there’s a lot of free time, which I used to find a job and create a social circle, in turn helping my language skills immensely. It can be a blessing or a curse as some students will simply spend this free time at home talking to their family and friends on Skype. This is less true for the undergrad students, whose lives are more structured within the program.

The academics provided by Middlebury are strong, but the courses provided at host institutions are less organized and students are left to fend for themselves a bit, which in actuality is an excellent opportunity for language practice. A lot depends on the student, so it really is what you make of it. While I loved and thrived from the lack of confines in the program, others in our group felt as though there could have been a bit more guidance.

Overall, the graduate program is great and I highly recommend it for its flexibility and intensive language-learning environment. I only recommend it for those grad students who are willing to take initiative and be independent, however. Middlebury provides a genuine Russian experience - Moscow is not a place to go on vacation, but a place to learn, live, and try to get by.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps by providing more opportunities to meet Russian students outside of the classroom.
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Scott
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent program

I went on the Yaroslavl study abroad with Middlebury to complete education requirements. This is an excellent program. The class offerings are diverse. Yaroslavl is a safe city and a short train ride to both Moscow and St. Petersburg. The teachers really help you succeed and learn. And Yaroslavl is a beautiful place with a hopping social scene. Anna, the coordinator for the Yaroslavl program, is very helpful. She's strict about enforcing the language pledge, but she's fair and will go out of her way to help students with problems they may encounter. We went on excursions out of Yaroslavl, met some interesting people, and saw some cool things. I've had a number of friends who went on various study abroad programs and we have all agreed that this one is the best out of all the ones we have been on.

What would you improve about this program?
The housing. The people I stayed with weren't all that great. But I also know that the other homestays were better. Mine was an anomaly.
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