Immersion in Russia
By Melissa Barton
Russia’s advantages for the student are obvious: the cost of living is low compared to the U.S., the country is rich in historical and cultural resources, and the language is fascinating and challenging.
I studied there through The Colorado College’s sister school, the Nevsky Institute of Language and Culture (www.nilc.info), which has
affiliations with several foreign universities, including Oklahoma Univ.
Many universities and colleges have similar study abroad programs in Russia. Students wishing a more independent experience may have to make the arrangements themselves. Many organizations (see sidebar for two)
make this easier, although the cost is greater than for no-frills direct enrollment in a Russian university. Whatever the program, I would strongly recommend a homestay.
A U.S. student ID can provide substantial discounts for cultural events such as opera and ballet. Public transportation in Russia is extremely cheap.
The language barrier is challenging, but the experience of studying in a country where few people speak English and relatively few Americans study is worth it.
Selected Study Programs in Russia
School for International Training (SIT), www.sit.edu, offers a Russian semester program which includes homestays in St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, and
The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), www.sras.org, facilitates American participation in a wide variety of Russian study, travel,
and internship programs, including the cheapest accelerated Russian language classes and summer biology and geology camps (with Russian students). SRAS also facilitates direct enrollment in Russian universities.