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Siberian Studies looks at a unique environment and the problems it faces today. Students will explore Siberia's history from its first colonization, to its Soviet industrialization, to its current transition to a market economy. Students also critically consider Russian and international theories on how to understand and manage the impact of these events in addition to learning the Russian vocabulary and cultural norms related to environmental issues.

This innovative course also allows students to opt for additional hands-on experience by serving an internship with a local environmental NGO, museum, or other organization. Students with advanced Russian skills can gain more language practice, cultural integration, or non-language credits by joining mainstream classes attended by Russians. Students staying for a second semester can, for their second semester, choose to enrol in more mainstream courses and continue their internship, or can elect to conduct a research project.

The environment is a local and global issue. Tomorrow's environmental professionals will need to cross borders and communicate with a wide range of people to achieve their goals. This program is geared to help train those professionals today.

Jump to: Curriculum; Requirements; Photos; Application.


- Dates and Costs -

Semester: Includes RS-100/200/300, RS-311, and RS-311b.   
     Fall: $8 995* 
            Sep 4 - Dec 15, 2017 (Apply by May 15, 2017)
     Spring: $8 995* 
             Jan 29 – May 18, 2017 (Apply by Oct 15, 2017)
Summer: See Siberian Summer Adventure

Full Year: Includes one standard semester (see above) and one session with RS-100/200/300 and RS-302 or RS-303.
    Cost: $16 995*

    Dates: Sep 4, 2017 – May 18, 2018
              (Apply by May 15, 2017)

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- Core courses: All levels -  

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:   300**

RS-311: The History and Environment of Siberia
Overview of the history of Siberia from its ancient beginnings to its Russian colonization, Soviet industrialization, and modern condition. Special focus on the history of Irkutsk. Explore Siberia's environmental problems as caused by industrialization and its transition from a planned to a free market economy. Learn what the government, businesses, and NGOs are attempting to do about these economic problems. Additional focus on professional (environment and ecology) language development.
Academic Hours: 56 (plus culture lab)**

RS-311b: Culture Lab
Excursions, seminars, and other out-of-the-classroom experiences at locations of historical, cultural, or other interest. See full description here.

- Optional courses - 

RS-4XX: Mainstream Courses
Students with advanced Russian skills may optionally enrol in courses in history, literature, environmental sciences, and other subjects. These are taught in Russian and attended by Russian students as part of their degree programs. The list of available courses is most often not available until just before the start of the semester (after your arrival to Russia). These classes replace language study hours hour for hour.
Academic Hours:  Varies; Course optional  

RS-351: Internship
Study the issues of concern to today's Siberia by interning with Great Baikal Trail or another local NGO or business. Or, delve further into the history with work at a local museum. Or, meet and host discussions with locals at a local educational institution. This hands-on internship provides an opportunity for students to work closely with and meet local Russians while helping to improve language skills and the local environment and economy. Due to academic schedule, first semester students do limited volunteer work  and may take on more extensive responsibilities during the second semester of a full-year of study.
Academic Hours:  Dependent on individual internship; Course optional

RS-352 Research Project
Available only to second semester students

Conduct field or archival research in Irkutsk area on subject of your choice. Students will submit a project proposal in advance, which will be discussed with SRAS staff to hone its methodology and focus. The project must result in a paper of at least 15 pages.
Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Project

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*Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, dormitory accommodation, visa and registration, pre-departure materials, local orientation, health and accident insurance, cultural program, round-trip airport transfers, SRAS in-country support, and use of a mobile telephone for the duration of the program. All prices listed on this page are subject to change without notice.

*Prerequisites: Overall GPA of 2.5 and 3.0 in major. Previous Russian language study not required. 400-level courses require advanced knowledge of Russian.

*Program Objectives: To give a solid overview of Siberian Russia and Russian language skills to prepare the student for career opportunities in and related to Russia. Two semesters of RS-100/200/300 is the equivalent of two to three years of college-level Russian at home. 

*Language of Instruction: These courses are taught in English. Advanced Russian speakers will be given additional readings in Russian and other opportunities to practice their Russian skills.

*About the Classes: Siberian Studies is a relatively small program. For RS-100/200/300, class size can range from 1 to 12, but is usually 4-6 during the semester and 1-3 during the summer. All other courses 300-level and below are small-enrollment courses specially arranged by SRAS. Class size is typically 1-3 persons during both semester and summer sessions. 400-level courses are taught with Russian students and class size varies widely. Shortly after you arrive for your program, you will be placed for language lessons 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. If larger-than-normal enrollment occurs in the summer, group lessons may be arranged with increased hours. Individual lessons are more intensive than group lessons.

**Academic Hours: An academic hour is 40 minutes. Totals listed are minimum hours for full-semester or summer-session courses. See our FAQ page and/or contact SRAS for more information.

**Credit Transfer and Transcripts: While this program is designed to be the equivalent of 15-18 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). For all courses listed above except internships (SS-302), the Eurasian Linguistic Institute issues the transcript. SRAS may provide a separate certificate for SS-302 upon request.

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