St. Petersburg, Russia

Program Website Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Fall Semester - Late August - Mid December
  • Spring Semester - Mid February - Late June
  • Summer 2 Semester - Mid June to Mid July

Application Deadline

  • Fall Semester - March 15
  • Spring Semester - October 1
  • Summer 2 Semester - March 1


Study Abroad Coordinator: Katherine Pruess (

Students can study in Russia for a semester or summer term.  Study abroad in Russia and you will:

  • Begin your Russian language studies in spectacular St. Petersburg, where the entire downtown is a protected UNESCO heritage site
  • Gain insight into Russian history, politics, business, and culture through courses taught in English
  • Enjoy a rich cultural program including local and regional excursions to museums, historical sites, and theaters, and interaction with locals

The Russian Area Studies Semester Program is for students who are interested in an academic program in Russia with an English component. The program offers a set of courses, taught in English, on Russian history, culture, and civilization as well as a rigorous language program.designed for students who have an interest in Russia. The program can accommodate different levels of language proficiency, especially beginning and intermediate Russian language students. Students can improve their Russian language proficiency with intensive training; live in the 300-year old St. Petersburg and experience the relationship between traditional and modern elements influencing Russian society; participate in optional volunteer projects organized through a well-developed network of contacts that facilitate integration into Russian society; and experience a rich cultural program including local and regional excursions, visits to museums and historical sites, and interaction with locals.

The Russian Area Studies Summer Program  includes six weeks of study at the School of Political Science of St. Petersburg State University. The curriculum includes courses in Russian culture, business, politics, art and architecture, and Russian language. During the program, students visit places of historical and cultural significance in and around St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Valaam.

Take part in the Sobesedniki program and you’ll be paired with local students for a variety of language and cultural exchange activities. This partner program provides you with additional language support, while giving you insight into the lifestyles of your Russian peers.

You may also take advantage of a range of volunteer projects in St. Petersburg. You'll have the opportunity to work as teaching assistants in English language classes at St. Petersburg State University and private language schools. Although volunteer opportunities may change from semester to semester, it is generally possible for you to volunteer at the Hermitage, International Red Cross, and Salvation Army.


Fall/Spring Semester: Students participating in this program are required to take five courses.Students must take the Russian language component at the elementary or intermediate level. It consists of two courses-grammar and conversation. In addition, students take three area studies courses taught in English.  The program is designed for students with zero to four semesters of Russian. Students at a higher level (having taken at least one Russian class beyond intermediate) enroll in the Russian Language Program. The RAS program cannot accommodate advanced learners and cross-registration between RAS and RLP is not possible. Oral Proficiency Interviews: A digitally recorded oral interview is conducted with interested students at the beginning and end of each semester. The interviews are conducted by the Resident Director and follow American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFL) guidelines. These interviews provide students with easily accessible language "snapshots" of their pre- and post-program language proficiency.

Students will be charged Northeastern undergraduate tuition for 16 credits.  Should a student decide to transfer back the fifth course, he or she will then be charged an overload fee as defined on the Northeastern University Registrar’s website.  Please note: See Cost section for additional Study Abroad fees.

Summer Semester: Students enroll in 2 courses for 8 NU credits. Students may choose to take 2 area studies courses; or one area studies course and one language course.

Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only and not with Russian students. Study abroad students attend classes five days a week with one afternoon reserved for cultural activities. Classes are 90 minutes in length. All of the area studies courses are taught in English. Russian language courses are taught in Russian. Students who choose to enroll in a Russian language course are grouped by language level based on the results of a placement test. In-class participation often accounts for a large percentage of students’ grades as Russian teaching methodology emphasizes in-class learning.


View Evaluated Courses

If you are interested in enrolling in a course not in our database, please send this course for evaluation.

Policies and Process for Evaluations

Host University

Founded in the 18th century, St. Petersburg State University is one of Russia's leading institutions of higher learning. The University's 16 departments provide instruction for more than 20,000 students. The campus has expanded from its original site on the Neva River, and now includes over 400 buildings around the city center and the suburb of Peterhoff. CIEE students study at the University's Smolny campus, in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Overall GPA 2.75
  • 2 completed terms at NU, one of which may be a summer term
  • Transfer students and spring admits, please contact OISP for eligibility
  • 0–3 semesters of college-level Russian or equivalent
    • Official Transcript
  • Due to the length of the Russian visa process, CIEE requires students to have a valid passport in order to be accepted. Russian immigration requires that this passport is valid for 18 months beyond the end date of the program

Application Procedure

    • Online OISP Application
    • Completed online CIEE application

      • Upload a photocopy of your passport ID page to the CIEE online application
      • Upload your NEU transcript to the CIEE online application
      • The Home School Nomination forms will be completed online (Completed by your OISP coordinator).
      • One evaluation. If a program has a language prerequisite, the evaluation must be a language evaluation. The CIEE online application will prompt students and will send an email to their evaluator
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    Fall 2015 or Spring 2016: $22,660

    Includes: Northeastern University (NU) tuition for 16 NU credits ($22,310), and International Security and Emergency Support ($350). Please note that this program requires students to take five courses. Should students choose to transfer back the fifth course, the student will be liable for an additional 4 credit overload fee ($5,577.50). Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

    Summer 2 2014: $10,909

    Includes: Northeastern University (NU) tuition for 8 NU credits ($10,634) and International Security and Emergency Support ($275). Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.


    All study abroad students have the option to live in Russian homestays. Participants have their own room with a Russian family in a private apartment. Housing and most meals (two meals daily and three on weekends) will be included in the cost of housing. Students are responsible for weekday lunches. The University cafeteria offers very reasonably priced meals.

    CIEE also offers a limited number of rooms at a hostel in downtown St. Petersburg. The hostel is located within a 5-minute walk of Nevskiy Prospekt and a 10-minute bus to the CIEE Study Center or a 20-minute walk. Students are placed in a double room with another CIEE participant. Students are responsible for all meals.


    Envisioned by Peter the Great as his "Window to the West," French and Italian architects created a testimony to opulence with palaces, mansions, landscaped parks and gardens, canals, and vibrant colors. Having endured bombardment, famine, the horrors of Stalinist repression, and the city's near total devastation in World War II, the people now cope with an emerging new political and economic reality. Known as Leningrad from 1924 to 1991, the city of nearly five million is easily navigated by bus, trolley, and an efficient metro system.