Office of International Programs

St. Petersburg: Russian Language and Culture

St PetersburgSt PetersburgAt a Glance
City: St. Petersburg
Topic: Language & Culture
Credit: 2 Brown courses
Dates: June 8 - July 26
Application Deadline: March 1
Faculty: Professor Svetlana Evdokimova and Professor Michal Oklot, Brown University


 Now in its seventh 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.  Download the course syllabus.

Proposed excursions and field trips include:

  • St. Petersburg city tour
  • Visit St. Issac Cathedral
  • Russian Art Museums
  • Iusupovskii Palace
  • Evening boat trip
  • 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 Languages and Comparative Literature at Brown University and currently is Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages. With a special interest in 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature and culture, she has published works on Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Chekhov.

Michal Oklot, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages, is the administrative coordinator for the St. Petersburg program. He works in Russian and Polish literatures of the 19th and 20th centuries, especially Gogol and his continuators, and has particular interests in Slavic history of ideas, Central European Modernism, and literary theory.

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. You will benefit from traditional Russian hospitality and will be able to develop friendships that will last beyond your 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 you in a family that meets your needs and expectations. We cannot arrange for 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

Summer 2014 Tuition and Fees: $9245. 

Cost includes tuition, housing, partial board, program- and course-related field trips, and emergency travel assistance coverage.  Visit the program cost page for an estimated program budget for Summer 2014, including cost of living expenses for Summer 2014. Limited financial aid is available for Brown students. 

Grant Opportunities

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