|Dates / Deadlines:|
|Language of Instruction:||English, Russian||Class Eligibility:||1-First Year, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior|
|Minimum GPA:||2.8||Maximum Credits Earned (per semester):||1.0|
|Academic Area of Study:||Russian|
The Moscow/St. Petersburg Summer Immersion Program is an intensive five-week language and culture course sponsored by Dickinson College in Russia. Language is taught not only in the classroom, but also "on-site"--in markets and shops, at exhibitions, and in the metro. In addition to language study, a series of English-language lectures on Russian architecture, art, culture, politics, society, and theatre will be given by university professors from the Russian State University for the Humanities and St. Petersburg State University.
Moscow – St. Petersburg
As Russia's two historical capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg each offer a unique window into Russian culture, art, and history. In both cities a new creative spirit is apparent around every corner and the energy of the younger generation is juxtaposed with centuries of historical construction and culture. While in Moscow, Russia's most populous and diverse city, students will tour the medieval Kremlin, with its magnificent architecture and the Armory collection of the Tsars. They will also visit the famous Tretyakov Gallery of Art, the Museum of the Second World War, and homes of such writers as Tolstoy and Chekhov.
In St. Petersburg, built in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great as the Russian Empire's "window to the West," students will visit sites of historic and architectural importance, including the Peter-Paul Fortress, the exquisite Winter Palace, and the Hermitage Museum--the largest art museum in the world. The group will also visit locations connected with the lives and works of famous Russian writers like Dostoyevsky and Gogol. A highlight of the stay in St. Petersburg will be a trip to Peter the Great's Summer Palace at Peterhof.
Students must be in good academic standing and have completed at least the beginning level of college Russian or the equivalent prior to departure. A special track for students with no previous experience in Russian may be available, depending on demand. Students who successfully complete this program will earn one course credit (the equivalent of four semester hours). Students will receive a letter grade for the course.
Students with a minimum 2.8 GPA are encouraged to apply. Students who do not meet this requirement should schedule an appointment with the Center for Global Study and Engagement.
As a part of the review process students’ conduct records and account status are also reviewed. Students and their parents should note that the review process takes all elements of the student’s academic record into consideration and that even if a student has the required minimum GPA and language pre-requisites, he or she may not be admitted.
Students who have questions about the review process or their particular candidacy for a program should come into the Center for Global Study and Engagement for advising.
Center staff will not discuss students’ applications with parents, friends or any other party without the student’s consent and presence in the conversation.
What levels of language instruction are available?
Various levels of language instruction will be offered depending on the applicant pool. Students will be placed in a study group appropriate to their language skills. There will be three hours of language instruction daily and regular field trips (approximately four per week) to apply language in real-life settings.
For successful completion of the course students will earn one (l) course credit, the equivalent of four semester hours.
Will the course count towards my major?
The course is a Dickinson course and will count towards a variety of majors.
Will it count in my GPA?
The course is offered for a letter grade and will count in your Dickinson GPA. Students from other institutions are advised to consult with their Registrar regarding credit transfer prior to applying to the program.
The program's rich cultural offerings will include numerous field trips to important historic sites and museums in both cities, as well as theatre, opera and ballet productions in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
When will I find out where and when we’re travelling?
Dates for excursions will be announced at the beginning of the summer program.
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.
We will provide information to help you prepare for going abroad through on-campus orientation sessions and the online application system. A pre-departure orientation will be scheduled for April.
May 25 - July 1, 2017. These are tentative dates and are subject to change.
Is there a group flight?
There is no group flight for this program. You will be provided instructions from Irina Filippova, the Dickinson in Russia resident director, as to when to arrive and depart from Moscow. You will be met at the airport by Ms. Filippova. Please do not book your flight until you have consulted with the resident director or the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE). After you arrange your airfare, you are required to submit a copy of your flight itinerary to CGSE via your online application.
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? Can I arrive early or stay after the program ends?
Students may arrive early or stay late if they wish to travel on their own when classes are not in session. Please note that if you choose to arrive early or stay late, you will not be able to stay in your program housing. 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.
The estimated comprehensive program fee is $5,900. Airfare is not included. Financial aid is available to eligible students.
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.
How will I access my money while in Russia?
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.
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.
Both in Moscow and St. Petersburg, students will have the unique opportunity to live with Russian families. This allows them to interact with native Russians and to continue to practice their language skills outside the classroom. Individual student initiative will usually determine the kind and amount of interpersonal contact derived from the living situation. Families provide breakfast and dinner each day, and students receive a stipend for lunch.
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.
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 accessing health care in Moscow.
Dickinson also provides students with medical and travel security assistance through International SOS. See health and insurance abroad for more information.
Are internships available? Can I conduct research while abroad?
Due to the short time you will have abroad in Russia, you will not have time on this program to do an internship or conduct research. Students interested in these opportunities are encouraged to study abroad on the Dickinson in Russia program which affords opportunities for internships and research.
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.
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 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 Russian consulate or 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.
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.
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.
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!
Read the Russian Department blog for updates from students studying abroad for the semester and year in Moscow!
Advisors (Please call for an appointment)
Center for Global Study and Engagement
Elena Dúzs, Associate Professor in the Russian Department and Irina Filippova, resident director of the Dickinson in Russia program, will lead the 2017 summer program.
For more information, contact: