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Dickinson in Russia
Moscow, Russia (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Fall,
Spring
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
Fall,
Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2015 02/15/2015 03/30/2015 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2015-2016 02/15/2015 03/30/2015 TBA TBA
Spring 2016 09/15/2015 10/25/2015 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: Russian
Class Eligibility:
2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior (fall only)
Minimum GPA: 2.8
Housing Options:
Family Stay
Maximum Credits Earned (per semester): 4.0 Academic Area of Study: History, International Studies, Music, Russian, Security Studies, Sociology
Foreign Laguage Prerequisite:
4 semesters (college) of instructional language
Program Description:

The city of Moscow, founded in 1167, is now a modern center for international trade with more than 10 million inhabitants. It has retained much of its old-world character, including many opulent "onion domed" buildings and Russian Orthodox churches, but also features elaborate Stalinist buildings and modern skyscrapers. Matching its appearance, Moscow is a city of rich contrasts that merges old and new in unexpected ways.

Moscow honors its rich cultural traditions in many ways.  Students migh visit - or live near - homes of some of the world's best writers, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. The arts are central to daily life, with inexpensive dance, music and museum tickets that make language and cultural immersion a fist-hand experience.

Dickinson's Moscow program gives students the opportunity to develop their language skills and explore one of the world's most fascinating and dynamic countries.

Russian State University for the Humanities

Students study at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) in the heart of Moscow, where they also can take advantage of museums, theatre, film and other cultural activities. RSUH was formed in 1991 when the Moscow Public University and Moscow State Institute for History and Archives merged; it currently serves more than 5,000 students from a variety of countries.

Moscow CelebratesAcademics

Participants can receive up to 4.5 credits for successfully completing a full semester in Moscow, applicable to the Russian major or minor. Students who complete an academic year of study normally can expect to receive eight or nine course credits at Dickinson.

Although course offerings may vary from year to year, the following classes are typically offered:

  • Russian Language in Context (intensive spoken language practice)
  • Writing Workshop (intensive grammatical or formal writing practice)
  • Topics in Russian Studies (Soviet Film, the Russian Short Story, Language in Mass Media, etc.)
  • Intellectual, Historical, and Cultural Aspects of Russian Orthodoxy
  • Visual and Performing Arts in Russia
  • Russia Today
  • Research Project in Russian History or Politics (The independent research project is carried out in conjunction with a course on Russian history or politics taught at RSUH in Russian and results in a final term paper for Dickinson.)

Additional opportunities, such as studying other languages, participating in internships and teaching English, also may be arranged. Student learning is supported by language tutorials and seminars arranged through the university.

Special Requirements

2.8 GPA
Students must complete at least four semesters of college-level Russian before studying abroad.

How is instruction different?

Students are expected to be in residence while classes are in session and to maintain a full course load, eqivalent to 4.5 Dickinson credits. Regular class participation and attendance in credit bearing courses is required. In addition, students are expected to participate in excursions that are offered as an integral part of the program and to take full advantage of the cultural offerings in Moscow.

Due to the intensive language-learning focus of the program, students will find that they spend significantly more time in class than they would on the Dickinson campus. Furthermore, language learning is consciously extended to common activities in the community with language teachers. On the other hand, homework tends to require less time than you may be used to.

What classes are available?

Equivalencies for the following Dickinson courses may be offered on the Moscow program. The On-Site Coordinator, Irina Filappova, will advise you on which RSUH courses are equivalent to the following Dickinson courses. According to the placement tests at the beginnign of the term, students are grouped with several others of a similar language ability; these groupings may affect some course material.

Courses listed as “1st semester” will be available to academic year and fall students during the fall 2014 semester and to spring-only students in the spring 2015 semester. If you have specific questions about the course content, please consult with Professor Elena Duzs.

The courses listed below are examples from the 2013-2014 academic year.

250 (1st semester) and 251 (2nd semester) Russian Language in Context: This is an intensive language course designed to improve students' comprehension and ability to discuss a variety of topics. Students gain vocabulary and confidence through discussions and presentations, with a focus on current events, the arts, and cultural traditions. Students may also opt to meet with a phonetics tutor to practice their pronunciation skills. Prerequisite: 200.

255 (1st semester) and 256 (2nd semester) Writing Workshop: This course is designed to further develop the students' written skills through grammar review, idiomatic expression and, in the upper levels, practice with Russian academic, business, and official writing styles. Prerequisite: 200.

265 Topics in Russian Studies: These are advanced language courses that help students develop linguistic tools necessary for critical analysis in a particular area of Russian Studies: history, politics, literature or film. Based on their academic focus, students will choose a topic from a list of offerings. In the 2013-2014 academic year, students learned the vocabulary and constructions specific to Russian press in "Language of Mass Media"; read works by Chekhov, Bunin, and Andreyev and explored their themes in compositions in "The Russian Short Story"; watched and discussed significant movies in "Soviet Film," and studied the intelligentsia and other groups in "Soviet Culture and Society." Oral presentations and written work are important components of these courses. Prerequisite: 200.

270 Intellectual, Historical, and Cultural Aspects of Russian Orthodoxy: This course focuses on the specific Russian way of being Christian and examines the reverberations of the Eastern Orthodoxy in different cultural, intellectual and political spheres of the Russian life, both past and present. Taught in English.

271 Visual and Performing Arts in Russia: This multi-media survey course introduces students to masterpieces of Russian architecture, painting, theater, and cinematography. It is designed to enhance students' knowledge of the artistic and spiritual aspects of Russian culture, as well as to provide insights to traditions, lifestyle, and the psychology of Russian people. Visits to art museums and theater performances are required. Taught in English.

273 Russia Today: The course first presents an overview of major social, political, and economic developments in Russia in the second half of the twentieth century. The attention then turns to Russia's transition from Soviet totalitarianism to post-Soviet democracy and from the Soviet planned economy to the post-Soviet free market. Finally, the presentation focuses on the challenges which the Russian state faces in the twenty-first century. Taught in Russian.

280 (Spring, exceptions possible based on language skill) Research Project in Russian History or Politics: The independent research project is carried out in conjunction with a course taught at RSUH in Russian, for Russian students. Dickinson-in-Moscow participants will audit one such course during their second semester in Moscow. Students will choose a topic for their research, appropriate to the focus of the course and have it approved by the professor who teaches the course, and who will serve as the advisor. The project will be overseen by the Program Coordinator of the Dickinson-in-Moscow program. In recent years, students have researched a number of topics including: perceptions of early Soviet architecture, the blind in Soviet society, immigration, and the Russian attitude towards death. 

When will I register for classes?

Courses will be chosen upon arrival.

Will the courses count towards my major?

Most courses count for the Russian major as a language or culture class. Some courses may count as regional electives for a Russian concentration in International Studies. For other majors, please consult your academic advisor for more information.

Will they count in my GPA?

Yes, your grades will be factored into your GPA. All coursework completed will be recorded on the Dickinson transcript with a course title and letter grade. Grades for the Core Language Courses are assigned by the RSUH faculty. The Russian Department at Dickinson College will assign appropriate credit based on the level of instruction.

What is a full course load and how will my courses transfer?

Students must take a normal full load as defined by their program, which consists of 4.5 courses. Students may not under-enroll under any circumstances.

A maximum of four and one-half (4.5) course credits can be transferred for each semester, or nine (9) for the academic year. To take more than 4.5 credits per semester, a student must petition the Center for Global Study and Engagement. If a student registers for more than the maximum courses allowed without permission from the committee, the Program Coordinator, their academic advisor at Dickinson, and the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer. Students will also be responsible for any additional fees for doing this.

Only liberal arts classes will qualify for transfer credit.

Generally speaking, courses must have an equivalent at Dickinson. Exceptions include classes that focus on the culture and/or history of the country in which the student is studying.

Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework that duplicates what a student has already completed at Dickinson.

Transfer credit is awarded only for classes in which a student earns a grade of “C” or better. However, all courses and grades will appear on the transcript.

Is there a language requirement?

Students must complete at least four semesters of college-level Russian before studying abroad.

The language of classroom instruction is Russian. Students are encouraged to communicate in Russian at all times with the teaching faculty. Living accommodations with the homestay family afford a unique opportunity to practice language skills. In addition, each student should make an effort to explore the city to help with language acquisition.

Does this program include any group travel once I'm in country?

The program includes travel to other areas of this vast country, exposing students to the European splendor of St. Petersburg; the history of Golden Ring cities like Suzdal, Tver, or Saratov; different cultures in Pskov, Kazan, or Sochi; and dacha communities near Moscow.  In cooperation with the Program Director, students will choose from among these and similar excursions. Excursions enhance the material participants are learning in the classroom and provide students with more opportunities for interaction with the host culture.

What expenses are covered during excursions?

During overnight excurions, students' lodging and travel costs are covered, and a stipend is given for lunch and dinner. On day excusions, travel and group meals are covered. Students are not reimbursed for snacks, personal travel, and personal activities during academic excursions.

Moscow
When will I find out where and when we're travelling?

Specific dates and locations for the multi-day excursions will be announced during the semester preceding the excursion. Site visits in and around Moscow will be organized and announced by the professor during the semester.

Can a friend or family member who is not on the program also travel with us?

No, unfortunately, for logistical and academic reasons, non-program participants are not able to join the program for excursions.

Are excursions optional?

Not necessarily.  These excursions are linked to your academic program and, in some cases, content delivered through the excursion will be relevant to a student’s studies and assessment.  All students should plan to participate in all excursions.  If a student misses an excursion or a planned departure for a trip, these arrangements and costs will not be made up for the student.  It is each student’s responsibility to be where they need to be in order to participate fully in each academic excursion.

When is orientation?

In addition to the full day mandatory pre-departure orientation you’ll have on campus the semester prior to your program, there will be an on-site orientation for this program.  Students arrive in Moscow approximately one week before before classes begin for a Dickinson-specific orientation consisting of language review, day excursions, and activities with Russian students. 

What are the program dates?

Students will be given a precise date and window of time during which they will be asked to arrive at the Moscow airport.  You must communicate your arrival plans with the on-site director and the CGSE.  To notify the CGSE, you should enter the flight information in your online program accessible here. Upon arrival, students will be met by the director and put into cabs to make their way to their homestay family.  Official dates for the program can be found here.

Is there a group flight?

No, there is not a group flight organized for this program.  Students must make their own travel arrangements after confirming the appropriate arrival dates.  Students may wish to book their travel on their own or use Advantage Travel based in Syracuse, New York.  We recommend students contact agent Sally Curtis at Advantage Travel by calling 1-800-788-1980 or emailing scurtis@advantagecny.com.  Although flights can be booked online, we strongly encourage students and their families to consider the benefits of an agent’s services given the duration of study abroad programs and the complexity of international air travel today.

What if my family wants to visit me?

If you have family or friends who are planning to visit you, please do not make travel plans until you arrive at the program and become familiar with your class schedule and program excursions.  It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.

When will I have time to travel?

You will travel in and around Moscow throughout your stay.  There will also be group academic excursions throughout each semester.  Exact dates for the excursions will be announced as each term gets underway.  It is easy for students to travel independently during three-day weekends and during winter break.

Moscow metro

Can I arrive early or stay after the program ends?

Students may not arrive early or stay late without the written approval of the resident director.  Please note that if you choose to arrive early or stay late, you may not be able to stay with your homestay family and, if you do stay with your family, you may be asked to pay additional fees in order to cover the expense.  You should also consider your visa validity when you make the decision of whether or not you may arrive early or stay late.  No student may arrive late for the start of the program.

How much does the program cost?

The program budget sheet can be found in StudioAbroad at the top of the page to the left of the "Apply Now" button.

What is included in the program fee?

The fee includes tuition, room, board, metro fares, academic excursions and emergency insurance.  Airfare and visa fees are not included.  The budget sheet also lists additional fees students should anticipate.

Is my flight included?

The flight is not included but the cost is taken into consideration when your financial aid need is calculated for your semester abroad.

How much extra money do I need to bring?

This depends on you.  We encourage students to focus on engaging their host city in meaningful ways rather than traveling every weekend.  An estimate of personal expenses is included on the budget sheet, but it really depends on you and your spending habits.

Will I receive a stipend?

You will receive a small stipend to purchase meals that will not be eaten with your host family.  Do not rely on this stipend for spending money.

How will I access my money in Moscow?

The easiest way to access money in Moscow is to bring credit and debit cards from a US bank account that will work in Russia. Inquire at your bank to ensure cash withdrawals abroad are allowed (ATMs connected to international networks such as Cirrus and Plus allow you to retrieve cash in the local currency directly from your bank account in the United States), check on transaction fees, and remember to notify your bank of any travel plans.  Major credit cards are becoming more popular in Moscow and other cities, but expect to encounter many small shops and kiosks where cash is the norm.  It is very difficult to cash travelers' checks in Moscow. 
 

Can I work part time?

There may be a very limited number of work-study opportunities.  If you are eligible for work study, please consult with the Program Director. College work-study payments are made monthly; those funds will be deposited directly into each student’s designated U.S. bank accounts.  In order to collect your work study earnings, you must have filed a W 4 form, an I 9 form, and a bank deposit form in the Student Payroll Office before leaving campus.

How do I access health care in Moscow?

Russia has a good reputation for medical health care and has an ample number of hospitals and clinics for treatment as well as very good emergency services.  Minor ailments are usually treated by private doctors, either at their assigned clinic, or, if necessary, at home.  Students have access to several American or European clinics where English is the language of treatment. For psychological concerns, qualified therapists are available, but students should be aware that mental illness, as a topic, has much less awareness than in the United States. Pharmacies are easy to find in most neighborhoods. During your orientation period, you will receive more information about medical, dental, and eye care in Moscow.

See health and insurance abroad for more information.

When do I find out information about my homestay family?

Full details about your homestay family will be sent to you from the Program Director as soon as it becomes available; you may not receive this information until closer to your departure flight.  If you find out earlier during the break, many students chose to contact with a short letter to their host families ahead of time to introduce themselves.

How far from classes will my homestay family be?

The majority of homestay families live in Moscow, close to the metro. You will be able to walk to RSUH or easily take the metro to reach your classes and other points of interest.

Will I eat every meal with my homestay family?

Your homestay family will provide breakfast and dinner to you; you will receive a stipend to cover lunch. Typically, you will eat at the table with your family. If you will eat out or be home late, please be courteous to your family and let them know that you will not be there for that meal.

How will I do my laundry?

Your homestay family will provide laundry services to you. Some homestay families will do your laundry; others will allow you to use their washer/dryer so that you can do your own.  You can discuss these preferences with your family.

Moscow
Can I have friends over?

If you would like to have a friend over, you will need to first ask your family if this is acceptable.  As a general courtesy, keep in mind that this friend should not stay long or too late into the evening, nor over mealtimes.  Some families may not allow friends of the opposite gender to visit.

Should I bring a gift to my homestay family?

It is always a nice gesture to bring your new host family a token from your hometown or region and as an initial ‘thank you’ for having you in their home.  You could also bring them something from Dickinson.

What if I don’t like my homestay family?

If there is an issue with an aspect of your housing arrangement, it is always best to try to resolve this first with the family.  Many times simply addressing an issue with the family is the best way to create a positive change.  You are encouraged to talk to your Program Director if there is an on-going problem and he/she will be happy to talk to the family or mediate a conversation.

Are internships available?

Based on their schedule and interests, students have the opportunity to pursue internships for a few hours per week, provided it does not interfere with coursework. Generally, this is acceptable for year long students during the spring semester. In the past, students have interned in charities, think tanks, interntaional education organizations or taught English. 

Can I earn credit for an internship?

Students can earn a transcript notation on their Dickinson transcript through the Career Center's Internship Notation Program.  Please contact Amity Fox in the Career Center to discuss registering for this before heading to Moscow. 

Can I conduct research while abroad?

Students can conduct research abroad under the guidance of a Dickinson advisor. The Student International Research Fund was established to help students with extra travel costs associated with independent research projects. Students are encouraged to present their research at the International Research Symposium when they return to campus.

In the spring semester, all students complete an independent research project for Dickinson credit.

What is a visa?

A visa is a document, normally affixed within your passport, which allows you to enter the country and stay for the duration of your program.  The requirements for the visa and visa process are controlled by the government of the country you are entering, are non-negotiable, and can change regularly.  If you arrive without the proper visa, you will be sent home by immigration officers at your own expense.

Moscow 2
Do I need a visa?

A student visa is required to participate.  If you do not hold a US passport, you should consult with the Russian embassy in your country of citizenship for the student visa requirements. Obtaining a student visa is the student’s responsibility. We will review the guidelines for obtaining a student visa at the Pre-departure Orientation.

We have produced visa guidelines to provide you with an overview of what you will need to do to obtain a student visa.  Please note: this is only a tool to help you get started!  It is not a substitute for consulting with the Russian consulate that has jurisdiction over your state of home residence.  Make sure you are familiar with the most up-to-date regulations by visiting their website frequently.

Also, you need to ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months after the program end date.

How do I get a visa?

Many students prefer to use a visa processing service, such as Washington Passport and Visa Service. To study in Russia you will need to have an HIV test done within 90 days of your departure for Russia. You will need to have the negative results in-hand before applying for your visa. See the visa guidelines for the items you will need to submit to Washington Visa and Passport Service to obtain your visa.

Do I have to go to the consulate/embassy?

No, you do not; you can obtain your Russian visa by mailing in the required documentation.

How much does a visa cost?

The amount is subject to change.  Be sure to check the Washington Visa and Passport Service website for any fee change before you submit your visa paperwork.

How long does it take to receive my visa?

You should apply as soon as you receive your Letter of Invitation for the Russian State University - RGGU, but no more than 90 days prior to the start of your program in Russia.

If I’m not a U.S. passport holder, are there any additional requirements?

Yes, you will need to do your own research on visa requirements for citizens of your home country to study in Russia. The CGSE may be able to help you with the required documents.

Also, you will need to inform Marlee Meikrantz and Jackie Wong that you will be studying outside of the United States and discuss how you will remain in valid F-1 status during your studies abroad.

May I use a visa service to get a visa?

Yes, there are visa services that can assist you in obtaining the student visa.  You will need to research these providers and their fees and timetables. You may choose any visa provider that you wish.

Will the Center help me with the visa?

Yes, we provide you with visa guidelines, as well as various required documents needed for the visa process.

Global Ambassadors are returning study abroad students who serve as peer advisors for their program. Please feel free to contact them for a student perspective.

Caroline Elkin
elkinc@dickinson.edu

Caroline Elkin Russia
I studied at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. Going abroad for a full year was a choice made much easier by double majoring in International Studies and Russian. I took classes on topics like modern Russian foreign policy that were especially interesting in light of the situation in Ukraine.

That said, a semester-long research project on early Soviet architecture was the most exciting part of the experience. I attended classes at the Moscow Architectural Institute and learned how to conduct interviews. Other activities included an internship at American Councils for International Education, tutoring English, and volunteering as a translator at the Gulag Museum.

In the future, I want to continue to study Soviet architecture and urban planning, and to apply that knowledge to working with development and sustainability in the former Soviet region and to urban planning and policy in other regions, too.

Read the Russian Department blog for updates from students studying abroad in Moscow! 
 

Contacts

Advisors (Please call for an appointment)

Center for Global Study and Engagement
Dickinson College
717-245-1341
global@dickinson.edu

Elena
Prof. Elena Duzs, On-Campus Coordinator
Department of Russian
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Phone: (717) 245-1276
E-mail: duzs@dickinson.edu

On-Site Administration

Irina Filippova, the on-site resident director, administers the academic program and provides support and advisement to students in close communication with the Dickinson on-campus coordinator. She also plans a rich cultural program and accompanies group excursions. She carefully selects and serves as a liaison with home-stay families.