Office of International Programs

St. Petersburg: Russian Language and Culture 2019

St. PetersburgSt. Petersburg









At a Glance

City: St. Petersburg, Russia
Topic: Russian Language & Culture
Credit: 2 Brown courses/credits
Approximate Dates: June 9 - July 27, 2019
Application Deadline: February 15, 2019
Faculty: Professor Svetlana Evdokimova, Brown University; Lynne deBenedette (Senior Lecturer), Brown University


Now in its tenth year, Brown’s St. Petersburg program offers an intensive language program coupled with extensive exposure to culture and art.  Students spend seven weeks at the Nevsky Institute of Language and Culture, enjoying one of the most beautiful cities in the world, living with local families and taking advantage of the local museums and historic landmarks. Language classes are complemented by afternoon field visits, guest speakers, and lectures. Weekend excursions and activities center around famous palaces and parks in St. Petersburg's suburbs. 

Courses and Excursions

Students must enroll in the following course:

RUSS 1060: St. Petersburg: A Window on Russia

An interdisciplinary exploration of Russian cultural history through its literature, art and architecture, religion, social and political thought, and performing arts. All the important elements of Russian culture will be presented through the prism of the city of St. Petersburg, its history, its urban and cultural landscapes. The course examine a wide range of cultural expressions: religion, civic rituals, values and practices, social customs and popular entertainment. Field trips to museums, theater, and city tours focused on specific themes complement the classroom curriculum. Taught in English.  See a sample course syllabus at bottom of page. 

Possible excursions and field trips include*:

  • St. Petersburg city tour 
  • Visit St. Isaac Cathedral
  • Russian Art Museums
  • Iusupovskii Palace
  • Novgorod day trip
  • Pushkin
  • Petergof

*Excursions subject to change based on scheduling and academic programming requirements.

Students also enroll in one of the following language courses; course level depends on the student's prior language experience:

RUSS 0250: St. Petersburg: Introductory Russian Language
RUSS 0350: St. Petersburg: Intermediate Russian Language
RUSS 0450: St. Petersburg: Advanced Russian Language

Program Faculty and Staff

Svetlana Evdokimova is Professor of Slavic Studies and Comparative Literature in Brown University's Department of Slavic Studies. With a special interest in 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature and culture, she has published the books Alexander Pushkin's Historical Imagination and Pushkin's Little Tragedies: The Poetics of BrevityShe has also published numerous articles on Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov. 

Lynne deBenedette is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University. Her research interests involve issues in second language acquisition (SLA) which affect teaching practice, including curriculum design / program articulation, effective use of technology, processing instruction and foreign language teacher education and the professional development of language instructors.

Language courses are taught by language faculty from the Nevsky Institute of Language and Culture, located in the heart of St. Petersburg. Founded in 1996, the Institute today is recognized for a dynamic approach to language instruction, teaching and research, offering coursework in Russian language studies and a variety of other subjects. Students receive 90 hours instruction in Russian language from experienced Russian faculty, under the supervision of the Brown program director.

Housing and Meals

The program features homestays with Russian families. Living with a Russian family is a unique cultural experience that will enhance the students’ language acquisition, provide a support network, and create a safe, enjoyable, and friendly environment for a newly arrived international student. Participants benefit from traditional Russian hospitality and will be able to develop friendships that will last beyond their stay in Russia. All the host families are carefully screened for security and appropriate living conditions. In collaboration with Nevsky Institute, Brown will make every effort to place students in families that meets their needs and expectations. We cannot set up housing arrangements prior to or after the program dates.

Students will have access to breakfast and one larger meal with their host family, daily. 

Program Costs

To get an idea of 2019 program costs, visit the 2018 estimated program cost page. Limited financial aid is available for eligible Brown students. 

Grant Opportunities

Our grant database offers a wide range of funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and researcher in different fields of work.

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