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Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Dickinson in Russia
Moscow, Russia (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2015 09/15/2014 10/20/2014 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 buildings capped with the traditional "onion domes" often associated with the city.

Moscow honors its rich literary tradition and has preserved the homes of some of the world's best writers, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. The arts remain an integral part of daily life for many Muscovites, who take full advantage of inexpensive tickets for live dance, music and theatre performances. In the post-Soviet era, Russia exhibits a vibrant, creative spirit, visible in radical new theatre productions and audible in the rap and world-beat music heard on the streets.

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

Moscow CelebratesAcademics

For the successful completion of a semester on the Moscow program, participants can receive up to 4.5 credits, 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
  • Writing Workshop
  • Topics in Russian Studies
  • 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.)

Additional opportunities, such as studying other languages, participating in internships and teaching English, also may be arranged. Student learning is supported by language tutorials 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. 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. Courses listed as “1st semester” will be available to academic year and fall students during the fall 2013 semester and to spring-only students in the spring 2014 semester. If you have specific questions about the course content, please consult with Professor Elena Duzs.

The courses listed below are examples from the 2010-2011 academic year.

250 (1st semester) and 251 (2nd semester) Russian Language in Context: This is an intensive language laboratory on location in Moscow. Designed to improve students' comprehension and command of spoken Russian, this course initiates the students in everyday verbal and cultural communication prevalent in Russia. A variety of topics, including students' first-hand experience with contemporary Russian culture, will be used to improve comprehension oral skills. A workshop on phonetics is an important component of this course. Prerequisite: 200.

255 (1st semester) and 256 (2nd semester) Writing Workshop: These courses are designed to further develop the students' written skills through practice in lexical expansion, idiomatic expression and syntactical patterns. Grammar review is a significant component of these courses. Topics will consist of a variety of cultural themes chosen by a professor. Prerequisite: 200.

265 Topics in Russian Studies: This is an advanced language course which will 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. "Readings in Russian History" will teach students how to read and analyze scholarly texts on Russian history; "Understanding Contemporary Russian Politics" will focus on the language of Russian mass media; "Russian Short Story" will give students linguistic and critical skills necessary for analyzing literature and "Russian Through Film" will introduce students to the main controversies of contemporary Russian society as they are portrayed in post-Soviet films. Oral and written presentations are important components of this course. Prerequisite: 200.

270 (spring-possibly) 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 (spring 2011) 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 (fall 2010) 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. Then the attention 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 English.

280 (spring 2011, 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 on Russian history or politics 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. Students will regularly meet with the professor who will serve as the project's advisor. The project will be overseen by the Program Coordinator of the Dickinson-in-Moscow program.

When will I register for classes?

Courses will be chosen upon arrival.

Will the courses count towards my major?

Consult you major adviser for more information.

Will they count in my 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 Brian Brubaker, the Director for Education Abroad. 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, including St. Petersburg and the cities of the Golden Ring. During semester breaks, participants also have arranged excursions to Siberia and the Black Sea. Program 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?

Students' lodging costs will be covered during overnight excursions. Also, any meals that would not be otherwise covered by a standard meal stipend for all students on the program will be covered. Group transportation to and from the excursion site, as well as group travel for all group activities will be covered. Students will not be reimbursed for snacks, personal travel, and personal activities during an academic excursion.

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.  In Moscow students’ on-site orientation occurs the week before classes begin and is a combination and is specifically for the group from Dickinson.

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 on line 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  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.  Many students also travel on their own during major holidays when classes are not in session.

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, 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 not travel every weekend, but to really engage their host city in meaningful ways during their semester abroad.  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?

ATMs are a convenient way to transfer money and exchange currency.  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.  Inquire at your bank to be sure that your ATM card will allow cash withdrawals abroad.  Major credit cards are also accepted; however, be sure to check about foreign transaction fees for using your card overseas.  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 Resident 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.  Some doctors still make house calls.  Qualified pharmacists can also offer medical advice or prescribe over-the-counter remedies in the case of minor ailments.  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 Resident 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 three meals a day to you.  If, for example, you have class at the university and will not be able to return home for lunch, your host family will pack a lunch for you. In some cases you may receive a small stipend to cover these daytime meals.  Also, if you plan to eat out for dinner or lunch, 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.

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 Resident 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?

Academic-year students have the opportunity in the spring semester to do an internship in a local firm or institution where they are immersed in the daily working environment of the city. In recent years students have interned in many fields of interest, including fine arts, literature, journalism, multiculturalism, translation, international business, social services,  politics, government, economics and law.

Can I earn credit for an internship?

Students who wish to complete an internship for academic credit must be academic year students and enroll in the Intercultural Seminar. Semester students can earn a transcript notation on their Dickinson transcript through the Career Center.

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.

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 Travisa. 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 your hand before applying for your visa. See the visa guidelines for the items you will need to submit to Travisa 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 Travisa 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.

Moscow, PhilpotChase Philpot

I am a senior Russian language and Middle East Studies double major. I studied abroad in Moscow on the Dickinson in Russia program, attached to the Russian State University for the Humanities, which offers the unique opportunity to study in a different institution with local students. Learning Russian is a worthwhile investment as it remains one of the top ten most-spoken and influential languages in the world. Even more so, Russia is a rising global economic power with growing potential for development and investment. During my year abroad, I took advantage of every opportunity to explore the country: I rode the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the Far East, snowboarded in Vladivostok and Sochi, went dog sled riding in Irkutsk, and played in Russia's first international lacrosse game against the Finnish in Saint Petersburg. Russia definitely provides a very different study abroad experience than most countries do and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a rewarding challenge. I also participated in: Moscow Summer Intensive Language Program, Desert Sustainability at the Arava Institute in Negev, Israel, and AMIDEAST in Amman, Jordan.

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


Advisors (Please call for an appointment)

Center for Global Study and Engagement
Dickinson College

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

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.