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Russian Studies Abroad: St. Petersburg
Focus on Political Economy and 


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Russian Studies Abroad – St. Petersburg provides specific insight into political economy and business, as viewed from Russia's "window on Europe." A program core of intensive language study and cultural immersion is combined with courses covering subjects ranging from culture and history to politics, economics, and especially business. This program is designed to bring an international element a wide range of topics and potential career paths and to fill varied credit requirements.

Each session includes a required core of intensive language and an extensive cultural program. Students may then add to this any three electives as listed below.

- Dates and Costs -

Fall, 2014: Cost: $9 350*
Sept 1 - Dec 19, 2014  (Apply by May 15, 2014)

Spring, 2015: Cost: $9 350*
Feb 2 - May 23, 2015  (Apply by Oct 15, 2014)

Full Year:  $17 500 (TBC)
Sept 3, 2014 - May 22, 2015  (Apply by May 15, 2014) 

Summer: N/A Check our program guide for other options.


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- Curriculum -

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



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 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. 

Theories of Country Development: Why Economies Rise and Fall
The aim of this course is to provide the basis for understanding the long term strategies of the most successful countries in the world, to understand international relations in the modern world and to provide a theoretical background for analyzing the conflicts and confrontations of nations for different sources of development. 

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.

Regional Integration: Legal and Economic Perspectives
This course covers the fundamentals on regional integration from both a political economy and a legal perspective. Students analyze modern regional trade agreements (RTAs) / economic zones (EU, NAFTA, Mercosur), with particular attention given to regional integration on the post-Soviet territories and in Russia. The course explores potential conflicts between RTAs and between RTAs and national legislation. It also covers the elementary economics of regional integration including the political economy of wide RTA proliferation, the core ideas of trade creation and trade diversion, and policy advice to RTA drafters.

Counteracting Transnational Criminality
The course covers the basic provisions of the Criminal Code and legal practices in the Russian Federation and the counteraction against transnational criminality in Russia and abroad. Particular attention is paid to qualification of economic crimes (crimes against property and crimes in the sphere of economics, including corporate fraud). The course will include lectures, discussions, and seminars where students will have to solve practical cases.

Theories of Country Development: Why Economies Rise and Fall
The fundamental basis for all economic theory and policy is to improve living standards and promote stable, prosperous societies. This course examines the major strategies and ideologies used by nations over the past two centuries for economic growth. From this, we will gather insights into what makes economies successful; strategies often lie hidden beneath the larger banner of a particular theory or set of beliefs. We will learn how economies work and why some countries grow quickly and others don’t, with attention paid to ideas, ideologies, policies, and sources for development (such as natural resources).

Innovative Economies: Russia and Foreign Expertise
Students will develop an understanding of the link between theory and practical aspects of innovative economics as well as the mechanisms and market-based instruments for Russia's transition to an innovative economy. Students will also develop skills of being critical consumers of business and economic information, as well as an ability to analyze economic case studies.

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.

Historical Developments in Energy and Environmental Policy and Politics
More information coming soon


Business and Communication

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in Russia!


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.

Put Your English to Work: 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.

Valuation of Common Stock, Investment Styles, and Value Investing
This course covers the topics of equity valuation, the stock market, investment styles, and value investing. It introduces common techniques of valuing listed company shares. Furthermore, the topic of investment styles is addressed and the most common investment styles are described in more detail. The third part covers in detail the investment style of value investing by describing some its most successful examples.

Doing Business in Russia: Tourism
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.

Marketing and Innovation
Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of marketing in new product/services. Students will also be presented with a general overview of different product/service development models and the related pricing, distribution and communication tools. Students will learn of the organizational structures fostering innovativeness and creativity and how the marketing department is positioned within them. 

Legal Regulation of Russian and International Business
This course covers the basic legal regulation of international business activity, including participation of Russians in international business and foreigners conducting entrepreneurial activity in Russia. The course will be organized in the form of lectures with active participation of the students in discussions, seminars, and practical case studies.

Economics of Innovation and Knowledge Management
This course studies the modern methodologies and system-wide concepts relevant to using and managing knowledge in an innovation economy from a corporate and global perspective. Students will study and present case studies and improve their analytical, presentation and team-building skills.

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.

Managing International Exchange Risks
More information coming soon 

Project Management
More information coming soon 

Apply Now!
 Contact us for more information on this program!

Contact SRAS about late submissions. 

*Cost Includes: tuition for study as outlined, dorm stay, visa and registration, pre-departure materials, local orientation, admission to all included venues, health and accident insurance, round-trip airport transfers, SRAS in-country support, and use of a mobile telephone for the duration of the program.

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 Europeans along with some Asians and Americans. 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.

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 online FAQ page for more info. This program is based at and transcripts are issued from St. Petersburg State University of Economics, an accredited institution of higher education in Russia.


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