St. Petersburg is Russia's cultural capital. For students interested in the arts or literature, studying at St. Petersburg State University (SPGU) is an easy choice. You’ll be surrounded by beauty and culture: canals that weave through the city’s impressive mix of architectural styles, the largest art collection in the world at the Hermitage, respected conservatories and theatres, the settings and inspiration for countless Russian literary classics, and some of the most cutting-edge music clubs in Europe.
Location The main SPGU campus is located on Vasilievsky Island, about a 10-minute walk from Василеостровская metro station on the far western end of the green line. This main campus is also a 10-15 minute walk from the Hermitage and Nevsky Prospekt (both of which are on the main island – i.e. St. Petersburg's center.) However, the entire campus is spread out over a larger area, with the two dorms are each located a short bus ride from Приморская metro station, also on the far western end of the green line. See our google map for more details.
Campus/Student Life Because SPGU is a large university, if you want to become involved in student life you will need to make a bit of an effort. The foreigners are separated from the Russians in the dorms (and sometimes even segregated by nationality). This means you may not have trouble finding a Russian-speaking foreigner, but if you're really looking to befriend Russians, you may want to look into joining clubs, finding and participating in campus events, and trying to make yourself feel approachable in general.
Dorm Details The dorm where our students are housed is called "Benua House" and is located at Galernaya street, 75. It is a 10- to 15-minute walk across the river from your classroom building and only a 20-minute walk from Nevsky Prospekt. Free WiFi is available in the dorm and for other internet options in the city see our guide for alternatives). You will have 1 or 2 roommates. This is a newly renovated facility and so conditions are above average as dorms go. Each floor shares a kitchen and bathroom facilities. Linens and towels are provided.
Home Stay For a more immersive experience (and additional cost), our more adventurous students often elect to stay in a Russian home. It's not for everyone, but it is an experience! Limited availability.
SRAS Support at SPGU Student support is carried out by locally-based SRAS staff as well as the staff of the Russian Language and Culture Institute. Several excursions (free with most of our programs) are organized throughout the semester. Upon enroling with SRAS, students receive a detailed guide with specific information about the university and surrounding area. All arriving students on SRAS programs are given a practical tour covering SPGU, how to use the local public transportation, and where to find the nearby shopping center. Our St. Petersburg Coordinators are always available by cell phone (most programs come with free use of a cell phone) to answer any questions, discuss any concerns, or help in the event of emergency.
University Facilities Laundry facilities are available. If you like to work out, there are a few options not far from the dorms, including a small park to jog in and a new hip health club. There is a commercial Internet café not far from SPGU. Internet is available in most dorm rooms.
Campus/Near-Campus Food There are several eateries and cafeterias on campus, and there are plenty of options for restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores nearby.
Nearby Attractions This section coming soon.
Summary: Pros and Cons Pros: the university’s central location, unique cultural/artistic setting.
Cons: relative lack of a strong sense of a university community (though there is a dorm community)