Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Center for Global Education


Middlebury College in Moscow, Irkutsk & Yaroslav

Posted on July 22, 2010


Through our affiliation with Middlebury College international schools, Wheaton offers students three unique opportunities to immerse themselves in the study of Russian language and culture. The programs, located in Moscow, Irkutsk and Yaroslavl, afford students the opportunity to engage in university studies and community life, thus encouraging linguistic and cultural integration. Students are able to learn about the political and social development and history of this culturally diverse nation, which has figured so prominently in world and U.S. history. An important part of this learning comes from the home-stay experience. Students also are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, sports, performing arts or become volunteers in a range of community service organizations. Russian-language internship opportunities are available at all three sites, to qualified students.


Moscow (9,000,000), Irkutsk (500,000) and Yaroslavl (650,000) are three major cities and cultural centers. Each has its own distinct character and significance in Russian history.

Moscow, as the capital, is the center of Russian cultural and political life. The Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil’s are the images most associated with this large cosmopolitan city. Moscow, like other parts of Russia, continues to undergo enormous growth and transition, which will challenge students seeking an urban setting.

Irkutsk is located in the south central province of Siberia. Its proximity to Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake, makes it a location which attracts naturalists and scientists to explore the unique flora and fauna found here.

Like Moscow, Yaroslavl is located in the western region. Yaroslavl is an ancient city with a rich history and artistic tradition, which is reflected in its architecture, many theaters and museums. It is a university city with a lively social scene. A Middlebury Resident Director is at all three locations, providing students with guidance in all aspects of study abroad in Russia.


Academic year, Fall or Spring semester options

Program Dates

Academic Year: late August to mid-May
Fall Semester: late August to mid-December (Mid January for university courses)
Spring Semester: late January to mid-May (Mid June for university courses)

Courses & Credit

Five courses, totaling 15 to 16 semester hours of credit, will earn 4.0 Wheaton credits. The courses are selected from Russian linguistics, culture & civilization, and Spetkursy Seminar (Students choose from literature, history, or politics.)

Admission Requirements

Four semesters of college-level Russian to the intermediate level. Evaluation of applicants’ language skills is an important part of the application process. GP A: 3.0 in Russian Language and Studies, with a 2.85 cumulative GPA.

Housing & Board

Students stay with Russian home stay families and receive partial board (2 meals per weekday and 3 on weekends.)


Wheaton Comprehensive Fees. Expenses covered include tuition, room & partial board (two meals per weekday; three on weekends), insurance, orientation, and program excursion.

Other Expenses

Students are responsible for $500 administrative fee, entry visa and personal expenses.


Materials are available in the Center for Global Education. Students also work closely with Wheaton faculty advisors in the Russian Department.


Call to make an appointment with Dean Young at the Center for Global Education, ext. 4950. Program details are subject to change at the discretion of the Center for Global Education.

Courses of Study

All courses are taught in Russian. Students enroll in required Russian Language courses, determined by an evaluation of each student’s level of language proficiency.

The normal course load is five courses, with four Core courses selected from:

  • Advanced Russian Grammar
  • Speech Practice
  • Phonetics
  • Russian Culture & Civilization

Plus: Choice of one Spetkursy Seminar* in Literature, History or Politics

*Spetkursy seminars are offered in arts, humanities and social science subjects related to the host city and region. Sample courses are listed in program materials or may be found at the Program's site.

Students enrolling for the Academic Year, with demonstrated language proficiency at the advanced level, may enroll directly in courses offered at the following Russian universities:

  • Russian State University of Humanities in Moscow
  • Irkutsk State University
  • Yaroslavl State University

All Second Semester students are expected to enroll in one mainstream university class. Academic credit for language internships must be approved by appropriate Wheaton faculty.

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