Yale Summer Session in St. Petersburg: Fourth-Year Russian I + Culture | Study Abroad | Yale University
Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyCIPE

Yale Summer Session in St. Petersburg: Fourth-Year Russian I + Culture

You are here

Program Information


New Haven, United States; St. Petersburg, Russian Federation




Sunday, May 24, 2020 to Tuesday, July 21, 2020



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills L5 & Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number

RUSS S160 & RUSS S242


2 Yale credits


Olga Khorokhordina   |   Nikolai Firtich


Yale College Applicants: RUSS 151 (Third-Year Russian II) and permission from the Summer Russian Language Program Director, Constantine Muravnik (constantine.muravnik@yale.edu).

Other Applicants: Completed six semesters of college-level Russian and evaluated by the Summer Russian Language Program Director, Constantine Muravnik (constantine.muravnik@yale.edu) prior to the February 15 application deadline.


An intensive "at-home-and-abroad" program featuring a semester’s worth of language study at the fourth year level of Russian. Students who wish to apply need to first contact Professor Constantine Muravnik.

The program consists of a language course adjusted to the specific needs of each student. The language course meets only in St. Petersburg for 8 hours per week; it runs in conjunction with a course on Russian Culture, which meets for 90 minutes twice per week both in New Haven and in St. Petersburg. The course on Russian Culture is an interdisciplinary and hands-on exploration of Russian cultural history in its transformations from the early 18th Century to the present through literature, visual arts and architecture, religion, social and political thought. Topics include conceptions of Russian nationhood; the myths of Moscow and St. Petersburg; dissent and persecution; elites, intelligentsia and attitudes toward the common people (narod); conflicting appeals of rationality, spirituality, and idealism. 

Numerous field trips to most important Russian museums and historical sites, including a three-day trip to Moscow and a two-day trip to Novgorod, are the integral parts of the course and the program. The trips to Novgorod and Moscow complete the picture of Russian history since they add to the Imperial Petersburg Period, which lasted from the reign of Peter the Great to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Novgorodian origins of Russian statehood (AD 862), Muscovy of Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible, as well as modern Moscow, the capital of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

The syllabus below is from a previous summer and contains dates that differ from those of the upcoming summer.


Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad updates program budgets in late January. Please note the year listed on the button below.

Summer 2020 Budget

Trips and Activities

Five special thematic tours of the Hermitage – the largest, oldest, and richest museum in Russia (and possibly in the world), trips to all major museums and exhibitions, historical monuments, Imperial palaces and parks, two extensive bus tours of the city, several banquets at Russian and Georgian restaurants, a trip to the famous Mariinsky Theater for an opera or a ballet, a boat trip on the rivers and canals of the city, a hydrofoil trip to the Grand Peterhof, as well as a three-day trip to Moscow on a luxury night train with sleeping accommodations and a two-day trip to Novgorod, the oldest city in the present-day Russia.


While in Russia students will live in the center of St. Petersburg with carefully selected host families who will provide breakfast and dinner on a daily basis. Living conditions and distance to where classes will be held at the Hermitage will vary amongst housing assignments.

Homestays are an integral part of this program. This living arrangement provides participants with the opportunity to learn more about the host culture, increase language proficiency, and form meaningful connections in the community. Students admitted into the program are expected to spend time getting to know their homestay family and be mindful of the need to balance time spent at home with time spent traveling or going out with friends. If you have any questions about living with a homestay family, we encourage you to reach out to the program instructor.

Participants must depart housing on the last day of the program.


The program starts in New Haven with the Russian Culture course. There are no language classes for the first three weeks on the Yale campus before moving on to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the final five and a half weeks. The hosting institution in St. Petersburg is the Hermitage Museum. All classes in Russia are held on the premises of the Hermitage on Palace Square. Students are issued special passes that allow them to circumvent the long lines and enter any part of the Hermitage throughout their entire stay in St. Petersburg.

Note: Effective Summer 2020, students using an Internatioanl Summer Award (ISA) to participate in this program will be eligible for free on-campus housing and meal plan for the New Haven period.

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and are expected to arrive to arrive in St. Petersburg on Saturday, June 13 (this will require departing the U.S. on Friday, June 12); additional information will be provided upon admission.

Participants will be assisted in securing the required visas and most will receive multiple-entry Russian Visas for three years; some restrictions to non-US citizens may apply.

The program staff in St. Petersburg includes two local student assistants, natives of Russia, who accompany students on all tours and provide them with additional language practice along with possible help in everyday matters in a foreign city.



For course content questions contact Constantine Muravnik. For general program questions contact the Study Abroad staff.

Learn More

Review eligibility requirements, the application process, and deadlines:

How to Apply