Studying in Russia
Here at St.Olaf we believe the best way to learn Russian or about the Russian culture is to live there. In order that our students graduate with a high proficency in the language we require at least one semester of language study in Russia to complete the major requirements. While this may seem daunting, we have three excellent programs that immerse students into the language and provide a safe, opportunity-rich environment. Please explore the options below. If you have any questions please contact us.
Term in St. Petersburg at St. Petersburg State University
The 16 week program offered by the Faculty of Language and Literature of St. Petersburg State University includes 14 weeks of intensive language study; a course in Russian literature and theater since 1880, lectures
on contemporary Russian politics and civilization, and two weeks to visit other Russian cities and universities.
Semester in Siberia at Irkutsk State Technological University (ISTU), Fall Semester
This program offers students an opportunity to study in one of the most important geopolitical areas of Russia – Siberia. The program is based in the city of Irkutsk, one of the largest cities (population is around 590,000) in southern Siberian Russia and a major academic center of the region. Irkutsk is located about 66 km from Lake Baikal. Students have the opportunity to combine study of the Russian language with cultural studies that may include ethnographic studies, studies of ecology and environmental studies, and studies of religious and cultural minorities. The program will be enriched by educational opportunities unique to Irkutsk, such as studies focused on Lake Baikal, or studies of cultural and business interaction in Asia. The academic program is supplemented with excursions and field trips coordinated with the academic program through classroom preparation. Students live with Russian families selected by the host institution. All meals are taken with the family. Apartments are within walking distance of the university or near the public transportation lines.
Prerequisites: 2 years of Russian. However, students are encouraged to have three years of Russian language.
Semester at Novgorod State University
This program runs for 14 weeks and allows students a high degree of immersion into the language and culture. Novgorod is one of the oldest Russian cities and one of the best preserved and maintained. Students live with a Russian family and attend classes both in the classroom and around the city, learning about some of the 99 churches within the Novgorod area. Students can take classes in Russian literature, grammar, culture and other areas of study. This is considered to be one of the premier study abroad programs in the nation due to the quality of NovSU and of Novgorod the town. The town is located three hours southeast of St.Petersburg and 6 hours northwest of Moscow making it ideal for travel.
Russian 255: The Capitals in Russian Literature, Interim
This Interim off-campus program travels to Moscow, St.Petersburg and Novgorod. During their stay, students study the role of the two capitals in the literature and arts of Russia from the 18th century to the present day. This is primarily a literature course, although there are numerous opportunities for students to study other aspects of Russian culture and life. The trip begins in Moscow where students spend two weeks before traveling to St. Petersburg and Novgorod for the remainder of the trip.
Students are required to read books by Gogol, Dostoevsky, Bulgakov and other texts by various writers; keep a daily journal and, of course, attend excellent plays, tours and musical performances. Along with daily lectures, students have ample time to explore the cities on their own. All the classes are taught in English so a mastery, or even knowledge of the Russian language in not required (although it is helpful when trying to order food!) This trip is an excellent opportunity to visit Russia in a relaxed and informal manner.*
Russian 256: Theater in Russia, Interim*
Students study drama and theater through the reading of dramatic criticism and plays. Students attend approximately twenty productions, group discussions, master classes, lectures and tours. Language barriers are used to our advantage to address issues of staging, acting and audience reactions. Texts and all lectures are in English. Students look at Russian and Western classics and a variety of theatrical styles from opera to puppet theater. Counts for Russian Area Studies and Theater elective credit. ALS-A
*This trip is not offered every year.