Students receive between 12 and 17 credits per semester, nine of which are normally completed in the Russian as a Second Language
program. Heritage and other high proficiency speakers may have the RSL requirement reduced or waived, and can they can replace these credits with academic courses.
With the help of an academic advisor at Smolny, students choose from a mixture of course offerings
the majority of which are taught in Russian. Each semester, a handful of courses are offered in English; Russian students also enroll in these courses.
Those students who opt to spend the entire academic year at Smolny often report that their second semester is especially rewarding, and their Russian language will usually reach a level that enables them to take a full academic course load in Russian. These students will sometimes conduct independent research in Russian, if they are so interested.
In addition to traditional classroom learning, many Bard-Smolny students gain knowledge, experience and further insight through an extracurricular internship or volunteer program
. Please see Recent Course Listings and Internship Opportunities for a list of organizations that have hosted Bard-Smolny interns and volunteers.
Course Equivalency: Click here
to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed.
Students may live in a hostel or with a Russian host family
. The vast majority of the students choose the Russian homestay as it allow for maximum cultural and linguistic immersion.
The program also offers students a cultural program designed to introduce students to Russian history and culture. The program begins with an introduction to the city and continues throughout the semester, with an average of one excursion every two weeks to an area museum, opera, ballet, theater, or palace; social activities, including bowling and dinners; and several weekend excursions outside of St. Petersburg. All events are conducted in Russian, and Smolny classmates are invited along on excursions.
In the summer, students can choose to enroll for four or eight weeks for intensive language study. The program consists of 22 hours per week of language instruction. Course work is supported by a cultural program, which integrates academic experience with a feel for the city of St. Petersburg. Course work for upper-level students includes a thematic workshop that focuses on language learning through content-specific instruction, such as Russian history and literature. Past workshops have included Russian politics, literature, and art history. For housing, students live in homestays.