Is this program right for you?
This program is for students with at least two years of college level Russian and an interest in immersing themselves in a Russian academic environment. Students have the option of taking content courses in Russian or English along side Russian students at Smolny College at St. Petersburg State University.
For the intensive summer language program, students need to have at least 2 semesters of college level Russian.
Students receive between 14 and 17 credits per semester, eleven 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.
View the Course Equivalency Database 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. Read more about the course equivalency process and how AU counts study abroad credits on our Courses and Credits page.
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.