Travel Abroad

We’ll send you to Siberia! (And many other places besides)

Thinking about doing an intensive program in Russian?  The great news is that there are loads of programs to choose from, both in the US and the former USSR, of every length and for every budget.  You can choose from programs in Russian as a Second Language, Russian for Heritage Speakers, art, history, politics, economics, religion, security studies, or environmental studies, with classes conducted in both English and Russian.  There are also internships available with a variety of different businesses, and of course funding!

A note on safety: With the political and economic situation what it is, many students (and their parents) express concern about the safety of traveling to Russia.  Reports on the ground from students and educators currently in Russia suggest that safety-wise, there is little to actually worry about. Many of my friends, colleagues, and students, including Muslims, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and women traveling alone, have visited Russia and Eastern Europe in the past couple of years and experienced no trouble or harassment.   While caution is always advised when visiting large cities, you are probably safer in Moscow than in Manhattan.  And the current weakness of the ruble against the dollar means that a trip to Russia can be very affordable!  However, included in the following list are programs in Russian-speaking countries outside of Russia, as well as US-based programs, for students looking for something a little bit different, or for programs in ROTC-approved countries.

So, without further ado, here are a few suggested programs:

American Councils/ACTR: http://www.acstudyabroad.org  One of the oldest and most well-known programs in the former USSR, American Councils offers summer, semester, and year-long language programs, as well as summer internships, in multiple locations in Russia http://www.acstudyabroad.org/russia/, Eurasia http://www.acstudyabroad.org/eurasia/, and the Balkans http://www.acstudyabroad.org/balkans/.

SRAS: http://www.sras.org  An excellent choice for the budget-conscious student, SRAS offers language programs, a wide variety of cultural and political programs, and internships all over the former USSR and Eastern Bloc.  Adventurous students may want to pay particular attention to programs like The Cuba-Russia Connection http://www.sras.org/cuba-russia, which divides its time between Havana and St. Petersburg, their new Security and Society program in Warsaw http://www.securityandsociety.org/about, Russia and the Environment at Lake Baikal in Siberia http://www.sras.org/environment, or Policy and Conflict in Post-Soviet Space, based in Kiev http://www.sras.org/policy_conflict_post_soviet_space.  They also create individual programs and can provide visa and travel support for visiting researchers http://www.sras.org/research_travel_services, and provide Challenge Grants to students http://www.sras.org/challenge as well as having a comprehensive list of other funding sources http://www.sras.org/grants_and_scholarships

CIEE, the first program to offer study abroad in what was then the Soviet Union, is still taking students to St. Petersburg every year, including WFU students!  https://www.ciee.org/go-abroad/college-study-abroad/programs/russia/st-petersburg/russian-language

Bard College runs programs in St. Petersburg http://smolny.bard.edu and in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan http://www.bard.edu/bardabroad/auca/  WFU students may be eligible for tuition discounts; check with the program officer upon applying.

You can also study Russian in the EU!  The University of Daugavpils, in Latvia, offers Russian programs, including home stays with native Russian speakers: https://www.learnrussianineu.com

And there are lots of good programs right here in the US of A!  Middlebury’s prestigious Summer Language Institute is popular with WFU students http://www.middlebury.edu/ls, as is Indiana University’s Summer Language Workshop http://www.indiana.edu/~swseel/, which is one of the most budget-friendly options and has a special support program for ROTC cadets.  And both the University of Pittsburgh’s Summer Language Institute http://www.sli.pitt.edu and Arizona State’s Critical Languages Institute https://melikian.asu.edu/cli offer hybrid programs, half in the US and half in the target country.

So you see there are plenty of great options to choose from!  If you want to find out more about intensive summer or study abroad programs in Russian, contact Prof. Clark at clarkep@wfu.edu.  You can also follow the WFU Russian program on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Russian.wfu/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/RussianWFU @RussianWFU to get regular updates about study abroad and other programs.

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