This program offers a wide variety of courses in Russian language, Russian culture, history, and politics. You will take 4 courses, all taught in English; intensive Russian courses are also offered. Courses typically meet twice per week. Field trips are also offered as part of this program and may include excursions to sites in St. Petersburg like the Hermitage and Peter and Paul Fortress as well as overnight excursions to Moscow, Novgorod and other regional destinations. Interested participants have the opportunity to teach English at St. Petersburg State University, if desired. Further information about the range of courses on this program can be found at the CIEE website.
Envisioned by Peter the Great as the “Window to the West” in 1703 and created by French and Italian architects, St. Petersburg became a testimony to opulence with golden palaces, pastel-colored mansions, and landscaped parks, gardens, and canals. Other nicknames share the spirit of electrifying city: Paris of the East, City of the Czars, and City of Three Revolutions. Having endured the horrors of World War II and Stalinist repression, the people now cope with a new political and economic reality. It is the most westernized city in Russia and its cultural capital, too. Known as Leningrad from 1924 to 1991, the city of nearly five million is easily navigated by foot, bus, trolley, and an efficient metro system.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
You will take one Russian language course and can choose additional area studies courses to complete.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the CIEE St. Petersburg Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page.
At least one semester of Russian is recommended but motivated students with no previous Russian have been very successful in this program. Due to the length of the Russian visa process, CIEE requires students to have a valid passport in order to be accepted. Russian immigration requires that this passport is valid for 18 months beyond the end date of the program.
Housing and Meals
Your housing will be arranged by CIEE. You will live in a homestay, where most meals will be provided, or in a hostel, where you will be responsible for providing your own meals.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
One academic recommendation
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
NOTE: Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.