- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.50 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- Students interested in the Russian Language program track should have 4 semesters of college-level Russian (or equivalent)
Students will choose from one of two program tracks on the CIEE St. Petersburg program:
(0-4 semesters of Russian language required)
Students with 0-4 semesters of Russian are invited to immerse themselves in Russian history, culture, politics, language study, and university life at CIEE St. Petersburg. Select coursework across a range of academic areas, in English, along with Russian language classes matched to your skill level. Integrate yourself into the local community through volunteer work. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.
No Russian language experience is required for this culturally immersive program in St. Petersburg. Students are placed in language courses that match their skill level and select additional coursework in Russian history, culture, politics, civilization, and cinema at CIEE St. Petersburg. Students are placed in language class based on testing at the beginning of the program. Students who have completed at least one Russian class beyond intermediate should consider our Russian Language program. As students gain proficiency, they are encouraged to use their skills in school, at home, and on the streets. Students are expected to speak Russian at the CIEE site. CIEE staff offers tutoring by experienced instructors to help students review challenging grammar or classwork.
(4 semesters of Russian language required)
The CIEE St. Petersburgh Russian Language program track is designed for students who want to increase their command of the Russian language and includes rigorous language coursework, choice of electives at St. Petersburg State, and excursions and field trips in the city and beyond. A lecture series adds further cultural color, with topics ranging from Russian rock to Soviet space dogs.
Students interested in this program track should have 4 semesters of college-level Russian (or equivalent). Students agree to speak only Russian. Students take the ACTFL oral proficiency interview at the start and end of each semester and receive a score to help gauge progress. CIEE staff offers tutoring by experienced instructors to help students review challenging grammar or classwork.
Academic Year: late August - mid May
Fall: late August - mid December
Spring: early February - mid May
Refer to CIEE's website for the specific dates, if available.
Peter the Great’s vision of St. Petersburg as a “Window to the West” was captured by French and Italian architects with golden palaces, pastel-colored mansions, and landscaped parks, gardens, and canals. With World War II and Stalinist repression in its rearview mirror, St. Petersburg is the cultural capital and most westernized city of Russia, and easy to navigate by foot and public transportation. The city’s many nicknames include City of the Tsars, City of Three Revolutions, and Venice of the North, but we’re quite sure you’ll call it simply fabulous.
Russian Area Studies Program
CIEE students will study at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) campus located at Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboevdova 123 in central St. Petersburg, behind the stunning St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral.
Russian Language Program
St. Petersburg State University, founded in the 18th century, is one of Russia’s leading institutions of higher education. The campus has expanded from its original site on the Neva River, and now includes more than 400 buildings around the city center and beyond. CIEE students attend class at the stunning Smolny campus, where the renowned school for noble ladies was found in 1764. It’s in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown St. Petersburg. All courses are taught by faculty from St. Petersburg State University.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.