Russian Studies Abroad History, Politics, Literature, Political Economy, and Business
Russian Studies Abroad provides a broad educational foundation for students planning a professional career with ties to Russia. Students can choose between two unique locations: Moscow or St. Petersburg. Classes in each location have been focused to appeal to different interests and are detailed extensively in the curriculum section below.
With a program core of intensive language study and cultural immersion, combined with courses covering subjects from culture and history to politics and economics, to finance and marketing, you'll gain a wider, fuller, first-hand perspective on Russia for your future career in government, business, or academics.
- Dates and Costs - (students choose one location)
Semester: $10 650* Spring: Feb 4 - May 23, 2015 (Apply by Oct 15, 2014) Fall: Sept 9 - Dec 19, 2015 (Apply by May 15, 2015)
Full Year: $20 950* (TBC) Sept 9, 2015 - May 22, 2016 (Apply by May 15, 2015)
Students will choose between Russia's "two capitals" and two sets of class choices tailored to different interests.
- Moscow is the center of Russian power and Russian history. Students looking to study Russia’s domestic politics, history, or historical culture will find the program in Moscow optimized for them at Moscow State University, Russia's top-ranked academic institution.
View All Moscow Courses
Required Core Courses:
LAN 101-303 Russian Language Intensive courses offered at five different levels, from beginning to advanced. Class size is small (3-8 students). 9 credits. Prerequisites: none
ART/LIT/SOC/HIS/POL/ECO 381: Russian Studies Seminar A survey course of Russian society and culture. The course objective is to understand the development of the Russian culture over the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. (More Info) 3 credits. Prerequisites: none
Electives (Choose two + three back-up; Courses offered subject to minimal enrollment.)
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Business, Law & Diplomacy Courses
BUS/ECO/POL 342 Political Economy of Russia This course introduces students to the political economy of Russia, and to a lesser extent, of the other states of the ex-Soviet Union. "Political economy" refers to a strongly interactive process of economic factors driving political decision-making. The course begins with an examination of the command economy of the USSR and proceeds to an examination of perestroika. The major portion of the course is an examination of the policies of the post-Soviet government with a focus on current policies. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
BUS/ECO 534 Russian Business Practice This course examines economic, political, cultural and demographic conditions and trends that influence business practices and investments in Russia. The course will identify issues managers face in developing countries in key business areas, including finance, marketing, personnel management and organization, production and governmental relations. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
POL 335 Russian Political System Students will explore Russia’s main political and legal structures, learn about economic reforms and challenges, as well as domestic and foreign policy. The first part of the course (three lectures) provides a brief survey of Russian Imperial and Soviet history and introduces historical legacies that play an important role in Russian politics today. In the second part of the course we will explore in depth contemporary Russia’s political, economic and legal structures and challenges as well as the country’s efforts to find its new place in the world. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
POL 435 Legal Structure in Russia The goal of this course is to provide an understanding of Russia’s current legal and political system. Topics include the influence of poverty and wealth on the legal and political system, rise of capitalism and its effect on politics, legal and political reforms under the Gorbachev, Yeltzen and Putin administrations, and intellectual property rights. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
POL/BUS 421 Professional Internship Students participate in a professional internship at a company, not-for-profit organization, or law firm. Internship positions include, but not limited to, business (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.), international relations and law. Internships are supervised by MSU faculty and/or SRAS Program Coordinator. Credit is awarded based on satisfactory completion of work and academic expectations, including a daily journal and final paper. One credit hour is awarded for every 40 work hours. Note that the internship elective should be paired with either Russian language OR electives only as schedule does not allow for a full class load. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
Russian Language & Culture Courses
ART 266 Russian Art Examination of the art of Russia, from icons of the 12th century to contemporary art. Particular attention is given to understanding this art in its cultural and historical context and to the elucidation of the Russian tradition as a part of European art history. Artists discussed include Rublev, Repin, Petrov-Vodkin, Malevich, and Goncharova. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
COM 340 Mass Media in Russia Introduces the student to the history and development of the various mass media in Russia, including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, with emphasis on news media. Students also discuss current issues and trends within the context of the new communications environment created by digital information technologies. Attention is given to the role of advertising, public relations, media ownership, and the public in shaping the content of mass communication. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
HIS 371 Russian History Russian history is much more than leaders and their personalities. The Russian people have been resilient through centuries of chaos, wars, famines and revolution. It is a history rich in culture and texture far different from America's. Russian history is a complex story that has been greatly debated and contested in the west for the past fifty years. We will sample the different interpretations, primary documents and some literature to discuss the evolution of Russia in the twentieth century. Come with enthusiasm and all will be well. 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
LIT 223 Russian Literature A survey of 19th century through contemporary Russian literature, including major works by Pushkin, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Babel, Olesha and Zamiatin. Along with issues of narrative technique and style, the course also deals with some of the central questions of the Russian literary tradition: Russia's relation to the East and West, the problem of the "superfluous man," the generation gap between "fathers and sons," the nature of the "moral life," the feasibility of radical social change, issues of the "new man" and "new woman," the role of the intellectual in the "new world." 3 credits.** Prerequisites: none
RS 421 Community Internship Students participate in community service at a non-governmental-organization (NGO) or volunteer organization. Internships are supervised by MSU faculty and/or SRAS Program Coordinator. Note that the internship elective should be paired with either Russian language OR electives only as schedule does not allow for a full class load. Credit: N/A.** Prerequisites: none
Find out about all our Moscow-based programs:
- St. Petersburg is still Russia’s “Window on Europe.” Students looking to understand Russia’s perspective on international issues or interested in how international businesses can succeed in Russia should choose St. Petersburg, wtih classes hosted at UNECON, one of Russia's premier business schools.
View All St. Petersburg Courses
Required Core Courses:
RS 100/200/300 Russian Language Intensive language study offered at five different levels, from beginning to advanced. Class size is small (3-8 students). 9 credits. Prerequisites: none
Culture Lab Excursions, seminars, and other out-of-the-classroom experiences at locations of historical, cultural, or other interest.(More Info) Contact SRAS about requirements for receiving credit. Prerequisites: none
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Each elective runs in a "block system" of 28 contact hours covered in approximately two weeks. Students may take up to 7 electives for credit each semester, and schedule permitting, attend (audit) others. Each elective yields approximately 1.5-2 US semester credits. To facilitate credit transfer to US institutions, some courses may be treated as modules within a 3-4 credit course.
History, Political Economy, & Diplomacy Courses
Introduction to the Russian Civilization Students will examine the genesis and nature of subcultures and the specifics of modern Russian subcultures. The main focus will be on analyzing the social and cultural reasons that youth subcultures form, often turning the basic values and norms of society on their heads. The role of globalization will be considered. At the end of the course students will present the results of their own research.
Modern Russian Youth Subcultures This course examines the genesis and nature of subcultures and the specifics of modern Russian subcultures. The main focus is to analyze the social and cultural reasons for the formation of youth subcultures, which transform the basic values and norms of society and indicate the problem of identity in the global world. Students will conduct independent research and present the results of their own research at the end of the course.
International Energy Security: Key Elements Students study the economic and political fundamentals of energy security. Contemporary world energy supply and international challenges are considered including the economics of resource trade and related national security policy making. The course explores the peculiarities of an exporting and importing energy security model, by using the energy relations between Russia and Germany as a case study.
Russian Political System A comprehensive view on the political system of contemporary Russia, modern history of its formation after the USSR collapse and problems it has to face.
Russian Media Landscape in Historical and Mediapolitical Perspective Students will come to know history, nature, and functions of Russian journalism and of the Russian media system. Students will study the specifics of today’s hybrid media system in Russia and globally analyze the reasons for the structural and economic crisis of the global media market. Students will analyze national media images and the role of new media in the political mobilization of civil society.
Foreign Policy in Russia This course offers a combination of history and theory. We begin by investigating of the sources of the Russian conduct (theories, frameworks and approaches) and analyze the foreign policy institutions and priorities of Russia. We will examine several theoretical models that impact Russian Foreign Policy: type of government, ideology, leadership politics, bureaucratic and interest group politics, the European security system, Russia’s historic borderlands and “empire,” and international economic system. The second part of the course is aimed at close examination of regional aspects of Russian Foreign Policy with particular attention to relation with the West, newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, and the Far East.
Green Economics and Policy The course is aimed to provide students with understanding of common market failures and how they might be addressed by means of command-and-control and market-based instruments. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to compare and contrast their benefits and shortcomings in both theoretical and practical terms.
Community Internship Students participate in community service at a non-governmental-organization (NGO) or volunteer organization. Internships are supervised by FINEC faculty and/or SRAS Program Coordinator. Note that the internship elective should be paired with either Russian language OR electives only as schedule does not allow for a full class load.
Business and Communication
Competitive Strategies in Russia This course describes the theoretical models and peculiar features of rapidly developing Russian markets. A considerable share of the course is devoted to case study discussions, which stimulate student activity and build understanding of numerous factors that have to be taken into account in managing a company in Russia.
Cross Cultural Communication in Business Environment The course is aimed to provide students with basic insights on how cross-cultural differences influence modern global and local business environment. The objectives of the course are structured in the way as to move from theoretical knowledge to practical skills and are based on the scheme: cross-cultural knowledge – awareness – competence.
Reducing Gaps in Business Communication Skills Business communication skills are the core skills for employability and graduate competitiveness. Constantly growing requirements to top-graduates include skills in business interaction of different formats. The course introduces the main formats of communication essential for efficient performance at a workplace. The course is aimed at eliminating the gap between competences in communication for general purposes and business communication.
Sustainable Finance How is the financial sector influenced by sustainable approaches in business and how can the approaches contribute to the mitigation of environmental and social challenges without compromising the interests of business? This course will provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the forces causing sustainable (“green”) investments in the financial industry to gain traction in today's world. Prerequisite: The course is open to students studying in the area of economics, financial markets and sustainability management in financial institutions.
Future Tourism and Global Traveling Tourism is one of the most dynamic sectors of the world economy. Globally, tourism is at the core of many developed and developing economies. Russia's tourism market, benefiting from Russia's natural and cultural diversity, is large and growing. This course will focus on the challenges of doing business in today’s Russia, with a focus on tourism. This course include seminars and examine a typical business plan to promote environmental, sport, and extreme tourism, as well as event tours, exotic cooking, and adventure tourism.
Development and Promotion of the Tourist Cluster Students will study the design and management of tourist areas. Promotion, use of technology, and human resource management are all covered.
Development and Marketing of Services Students will attain a holistic overview on service design, development, and marketing. Students will understand the differences between products and services and how they are both related. Key elements and theories of service design and services marketing such as: co-creation, perceived quality, etc. will be discussed. Students will also understand different models for marketing services and gain insight into services consumer behavior.
Private Equity and Other Innovative Sources of Financing This course covers private equity as a financing source for companies as well as other innovative ways of financing such as mezzanine capital or asset-backed financing solutions. A specific focus is placed on business angel and venture capital investment as a sub-form of private equity financing focused on funding young growth companies. Besides introducing key concepts, the focus of the course will be on applying the theoretical foundations to real-life situations presented in several case studies.
Financial Institutions and Markets This course examines the economics of financial markets and the management of financial institutions, both domestic and international. Topics include an overview of international financial markets, pricing and risk factors, interest rates, markets for securities and financial services, and markets for derivative financial instruments, government regulations and agencies, and the impact of public policy on the economy. Special accent will be made on Russian financial markets.
Event Management Our life is full of events. We all are event managers from time to time. An event manager has a lot to worry about — event cost management, handling event management information technology, and developing event scope. He or she needs to master communication management, as well as control event deadlines and due dates through forecasting and event schedule management. By attending this course you will learn the leading methodologies and practices in the event management field. Event management is a requirement for professionals in many fields, with many employers now identifying event management skills as vital for corporate success.
Professional Internship Students participate in a professional internship at a company, not-for-profit organization, or law firm. Internship positions include, but not limited to, business (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.), international relations and law. Internships are supervised by FINEC faculty and/or SRAS Program Coordinator. Credit is awarded based on satisfactory completion of work and academic expectations, including a daily journal and final paper. One credit hour is awarded for every 40 work hours. Note that the internship elective should be paired with either Russian language OR electives only as schedule does not allow for a full class load.
Globalisierung als neue Phase in der Entwicklung der Weltwirtschaft - Globalization as a New Phase in Development of the Global Economy (course taught in German).
Internationale Wettbewerbsfaehigkeit der Volkswirtschaft Russlands - International Competitiveness of the Russian Market (course taught in German).
Find out about all our St Petersburg based programs:
Prerequisites: Minimum GPA of 2.5 overall and 3.0 in major courses. No prior knowledge of Russian required.
About the Classes: All courses are taught in English and designed to fulfill credit requirements in multiple areas. Your classmates will be mostly North Americans and West Europeans. When you arrive for your program, you will be placed in a group according to your language level, as determined by a short written or oral exam. Depending on your level, you may be placed in a group that is already formed, or with other new arrivals of the same level.
Program Objectives: Two semesters of RS-100/200/300/400 is the equivalent of two to three years of college-level Russian at home. You will gain the language skills to be a strong candidate in many career opportunities in and related to Russia. After this program, we recommend continued studies in specific courses or internships related to your academic and professional objectives.
Credit Transfer and Transcripts: How many credits your home university may award depends entirely on your home university. SRAS recommends discussing this with your advisor and SRAS before you apply. Students planning on applying for credit transfer must read our FAQ page for more info. The program is hosted by Moscow State University (MSU), St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON). For the Moscow program, academic credit and transcripts are issued by The State University of New York, the university of record for this program and an accredited American university. The university of record assumes responsibility to evaluate and monitor academic standards for this SRAS program. For the St. Petersburg Program, transcripts are issued by UNECON, an accredited and well-known Russian university.