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Russian as a Second Language
Study Russian in Russia, Ukraine, or Kyrgyzstan

This Program is Available in:
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Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program packages are designed for flexibility to suit almost any need or interest. Study for a week or a year. Choose the bustling streets of Moscow or the rugged hills of Kyrgyzstan. Take advanced courses or start with the basics. Home Stays and TORFL Testing are optionally available. Full summer programs can be combined with seminars and adventures ranging from business courses to horse trekking. With SRAS, it's all up to you.

Dates and Costs

Semester Options

Spring: Cost: $8,995
     Jan 30
- May 20, 2017  (Apply by Oct 15, 2016)

Fall: Cost: $8,995
     Sep 4 - Dec 15, 2017  (Apply by May 15, 2017)

Summer Options

Full Summer (10 weeks): Cost: $6,695
     May 29 - Aug 4, 2017  (Apply by: March 15, 2017)
     Customizable with optional seminars! Click here.

Early Summer (8 weeks):
Cost: $5,895
     May 29 - July 21, 2017  (Apply by: March 15, 2017)

Late Summer (6 weeks): Cost: $4,995
     June 26 - Aug 4, 2017  (Apply by: March 31, 2017)

Extended Deadlines! Full summer and early summer programs in Bishkek, Batumi, Kiev, and Odessa are still accepting applications through April 25! Batumi, Georgia and Odessa, Ukraine are additional locations open for summer RSL programs.

Academic Year, 2016-2017

Full Year: Cost: $16,995
     Sep - May/June  (Apply by May 15, 2017)

Flexible RSL - Name Your Dates!

Name your own dates! Apply at least three months in advance. Not available in all areas or at all times.

Base 4-week progra
m: $3,995
Each additional week: $525


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RS-100/200/300 Russian Language Study  
Courses offered at six different levels, from beginning to advanced. For more information see SRAS's suggested syllabi for beginning (100), intermediate (200), and advanced (300).
Academic Hours:  Fall, Spring: 300*  Summer early/late/full: 160/120/200*

RS-101: Culture Lab
Excursions, seminars, and other out-of-the-classroom experiences at locations of historical, cultural, or other interest. Syllabi available for: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Bishkek, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, and Kiev

Optional: RS-103/203/303: Intensive Russian Tutoring
Take optional, intensive hours of individual tutoring customized to your level and needs. Additional cost varies by location. Contact SRAS for more information.


Optional Summer Seminars

Customise your full summer program with these optional seminars to learn even more about Russia or Central Asia! Note that these seminars will take place within the same timeframe as the full summer RSL. General dates are listed below for your information. RSL must be taken in the same location as the seminar. To apply - just sign up for a full summer of RSL in the appropriate location and send your SRAS representative a note saying that you want the add-on package! 

Environmental Studies - Irkutsk - $695

Students enroll for Full Summer RSL as described above. A total of 160 academic hours of language instruction are delivered in addition to a four-week course on Siberian Environmental History. The final two weeks of the program are spent on a GBT Trail Building Expedition.

Program costs: Full summer RSL ($6,695) + Seminar ($695) = $7,390.

Dates: The Environmental History courses typically starts in late June, with the trail building expedition taking place in early August.

Siberian Environmental History
Siberia's environmental problems caused by the transition from a planned economy to a free market economy and what the government, businesses, and NGOs are doing about it.
Academic Hours: 28

GBT Trail Building Expedition

Volunteers help construct sustainable ecotourism infrastructure as part of a massive trail building project around beautiful Lake Baikal. Volunteers will carve trail beds, clear fallen trees and dwarf pines from the trail, build new trail, construct small bridges and dikes, and more! More information can be found on the GBT site.

Anthropology - Bishkek - $695

Students enroll for Full Summer RSL as described above. A total of 180 academic hours of language instruction are delivered in addition to a three-week seminar on The Life of Kyrgyzstan. The final week of the program is spent on a horse trek through the local mountains.

Program costs: Full summer RSL ($6,695) + Seminar ($695) = $7,390.

Dates: This seminar and trek take place in the period of late June-late July.

The Life of Kyrgyzstan
Students will experience a range of guest speakers who will speak on history, culture, and modern social issues, particularly those pertaining to rural life in Kyrgyzstan. Students will also learn more about the local cuisine by learning its place in Kyrgyz history and culture and learning to prepare it themselves.

Horse Trek
Spend a week exploring the rugged mountains beyond Bishkek. Daytime activities are plentiful and varied. In the mountain valleys, it's possible to see the occasional mountain sheep and hear the high-pitched screech of marmots. Watch eagles soar overhead and savor being physically active in the clean mountain air. You'll probably meet some of the locals that live and work in the mountains - and probably even be invited in for some traditional hospitality to help you rest a bit from the journey.

Art and Museums - St. Petersburg - $1,195

Students enroll for Full Summer RSL as described above. A total of 160 academic hours of language instruction are delivered in addition to a four-week seminar on Art and Museums in Russia.

Program costs: Full summer RSL ($6,695) + Seminar ($1,195) = $7,890.

Dates: This 4-week seminar takes place from mid-June to mid-July.

Art and Museums in Russia
Academic Hours: 80
All courses are taught in the context of social history with a special class on censorship and coercion in Russia that until very recent times had a strong influence on the development of the arts in the country.

Art History
Through carefully designed venue-based tutorials led by specialists, students are introduced to various facets of Russian art through history. Our range of material will include: Russian folk art; Orthodox icons; the state-endorsed works of Classicism associated with the State Academy of Arts; and the plethora of the avant-garde movements in the first third of the 20th century to the contemporary artistic trends in the early 21st century. The course covers all forms of art including: architecture and city planning, painting and graphic art, sculpture and decorative arts such as furniture, textiles, fashion, and jewelry.

- Plus Choose One -

Studio Art
Daily studio classes in situ or in the studio space of the Hermitage Youth Center will focus on developing sketchbooks based on the superb artistic and architectural artifacts abounding in St. Petersburg. These unique visual experiences will allow students to develop personal iconographies forming an inexhaustible and exceptional resource for future work in any area of the visual arts. Students will also try their hand (with students from other tracks and SRAS programs) in a variety of traditional print techniques such as monotype, lithography and drypoint and will practice traditional folk wood-painting, creating a souvenir to take home. The studio course culminates with a final showing of the works created at the Hermitage Youth Center.

Museum Studies
The Hermitage provides an excellent base for museum studies due to the museum's vastness, superbly high quality and universality of its art collections, its up-to-date storage facilities, its highly advanced and versatile preservation and restoration practices, and extensive educational activities. All these aspects of museum work are explored through a series of targeted workshops with emphasis on the restoration of icons, paintings and sculpture, often including on hands-on demonstrations. Students will also explore St. Petersburg's extraordinary multiplicity of museum types such as a museum of private collections, a memorial apartment, a country estate museum, a literary museum, and a newly formed museum of Russian avant-garde art, an educational college art museum, a museum of religions, and a museum of political history. At each of these places particular issues associated with the ongoing formation of the collections as well as with the evolution of display concepts are discussed. Special attention is given to matters of restitution that are important for many museums in Russia.

Culinary Anthropology - Ukraine & Georgia - $1,295

Students enroll for Full Summer RSL as described above. A total of 140 academic hours of language instruction are delivered in addition to a four-week seminar devoted to culinary anthropology. Based in Kiev, Ukraine, this course includes travel to the Crimean Peninsula (famous for its wines) and to Georgia in the Caucasus.

Program costs: Full summer RSL ($6,695) + Seminar ($1,295) = $7,990.
**Travel costs to and housing in Crimea and Georgia also included as listed.
**Because a visa is not required for this location, it is possible to add this seminar to base RSL programs in other SRAS locations. Contact us for more information.

RS-200 Eurasian Culinary Traditions
Students will learn about the history, folklore, and traditions of various national foods and try their hands at creating these dishes from scratch. Students will additionally meet for short tastings throughout the semester which will focus on quickly introducing students to an even greater number of Eurasian foods and flavors. Guest speakers will discuss attitudes toward diet and nutrition and food trends both from a historic and contemporary perspective. Students will write various short pieces on the foods, their tastes, textures, and histories, as well as their travel experiences and cultural insights. At the end of the program, these will be collected into a keepsake cookbook.
Academic Hours: 30

RS-200L Eurasian Food Production
This lab portion will bring us to historical sites where we can observe evidence of what may have been the earliest production of wine and villages where you can try your hand at food preparation using traditional methods and learn to create unique spice mixes. We will also look at modern food production of traditional foods through visits to factories, farms, and restaurants.
Academic Hours: 20



*Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, visa and registration, pre-departure materials, local orientation, health and accident insurance, housing as listed below, round-trip airport transfers, SRAS in-country support, and use of a mobile telephone for the duration of the program.

  - Programs in Russia and Bishkek include dormitory accommodation; home stay is available in all Russian locations and in Bishkek at additional cost.
  - Programs in Kiev include home stay with half board. Shared apartments may be available upon request.
  - Summer program in Batumi (Georgia) includes home stay with breakfast. Dinner option available at additional cost.

*Prerequisites: There are no GPA or previous Russian language study requirements for RSL courses. The only limitations may be in scheduling of beginners' courses, which usually only start at the beginning of the semester or summer sessions.

*Program Objectives: Two semesters of RSL 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 academic year, we recommend continued studies in specific courses or internships related to your academic and professional objectives.

*About the Classes: Class size can range from 2 to 12, but is usually 4-6. 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. Note that for programs outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg, particularly in the summer, enrollment can be such that you may have individual lessons rather than group lessons. Individual lessons are more intensive than group lessons and thus those students on individual lessons may have a reduced schedule.

*Program Dates/Availability: Note that dates in Moscow, Vladivostok, or for year-long programs regardless of university or location may differ by several days; Not all sessions may be available in all locations. Please inquire with us to confirm dates.

*Academic Hours: An academic hour is 40 minutes. Totals listed are minimum hours for full-semester or summer-session courses. Customized courses will vary. Some locations may offer additional seminars in language or other subjects. Some locations may offer additional intensive individual lessons - in this case the overall number of hours may be shortened as individual lessons are far more intensive than group lessons. Customized courses are available for advanced students and heritage speakers with specific interests. See our FAQ page and/or contact SRAS for more information.

*Credit Transfer and Transcripts: While a 15-week semester of RSL is designed to be the equivalent of 15-18 credits (summer is 8-9 credits), 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. Transcripts may be requested (click for details) and are issued by the host university.

**Visa Concerns for Kiev Programs: Please note that due to visa considerations, stays in Kiev are kept to under 90 days. Dates and class intensity may thus vary based on student needs. Contact us to discuss your options - longer programs are possible if brief travel outside of Ukraine is added (at additional cost) within the 90-day period, for example, or if an upgraded visa is obtained (at additional cost). You may also be interested in our program: Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space, also held in this location.

Youth in St. Petersburg by K. Drischler
Youth in St. Petersburg.
Photo by SRAS student
K. Drischler.
Red Square by H. Frank
Red Square.
Photo by SRAS student
H. Frank.
Traveling in rural Russia by K. Rozic
Traveling rural Russia.
Photo by SRAS student
K. Rozic.

"Thank you very much for all of your help and guidance over the past few months. The SRAS staff have been extremely kind and supportive, and I could not have asked for a better study abroad experience or student blogging experience. I never miss an opportunity to mention SRAS to fellow students at IU who are considering traveling to the former Soviet Union, and hope to see more Hoosiers choose SRAS over some of the far more bland and boring options available to them for overseas study.”

A. Wilson - Summer 2013 (Kiev)




"Siberia has been fantastic! I have enjoyed all of the excursions, the linguistic university, and all that life requires in Irkutsk. My Russian skills have blossomed. I am very glad that I chose to endure the non-English city first. It has been frustrating and beneficial."

Corinne Hughes – Fall 2011 (Irkutsk), Spring 2012 (St. Petersburg)




(Moscow Coordinator) Lisa is AMAZING!! She is always available and willing to help anyone in the SRAS program and she really makes you feel supported which is hard to do in this crazy city. I love this program, I'm going to recommend that my department suggest it to other students every year. Thank you for everything!!

N. Szablya, 2009





I feel like SRAS is an organization that cares about their clients. I don't know how many times I emailed (Program Director) Renee before my trip and had a response... no matter how insignificant it was, within a couple hours. I never felt like I was on my own... I feel confident recommending this organization to anyone who is looking to go to Russia.

D. Bunkelman, 2004


Free Language Resources

 SRAS students tour St. Petersburg
Study at home,
then study abroad!

2010-08-20 - Advanced Level

2010-08-20 - Intermediate Level

2010-08-20 - Beginning Level