Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Center for Global Education


Russian Language and Area Studies Programs in Moscow, St. Petersburg & Vladimir

Posted on September 2, 2010


The ACTR organization has been offering study abroad opportunities in Russia since1976. It is accredited through Bryn Mawr College and offers students programs in Moscow (The Moscow International University), St Petersburg (The Russian State Pedagogical University) and Vladimir (CORA – Center for Russian Language Study). Students enroll in core courses in Russian language, literature, Russian and Soviet culture, history, politics and contemporary mass media. Qualified students may audit classes at a university/institute in each location. Weekly excursions are organized and extend the learning experience beyond the classroom: students in Moscow visit the Bolshoy Theater, Kremlin, Pushkin Museum and the Novodevichy Monastery; in St. Petersburg, the Hermitage, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Mariinsky Theater and Yusupovsky Palace are a few sites; in Vladimir, students visit the Uspensky Cathedral, the Vladimir Museum of Art, as well as public schools and local newspaper and media organizations. ACTR offers a Peer Tutoring Program matching U.S. and Russian students as conversation partners. Participants also attend a two-day pre-departure orientation in Washington, DC at the start of the program. Each group departs with its resident director for Russia from Washington, DC.


Moscow (9,000,000) is the center of Russian cultural and political life. It is a large cosmopolitan city, which continues to undergo enormous growth and change. St. Petersburg (4.75 million) is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is often referred to as the Venice of the North or the Paris of the East, but its beauty is really a brand all its own. Vladimir is within a three-hour train ride to Moscow and is one of Russia’s oldest cities, once the capital of ancient Russia. It is considered one of the eight members of the Golden Ring of communities, which have played a significant role in Russian history.


Academic Year: late August to mid-May Fall Semester: late August to mid December Spring Semester: late January to mid-May

Courses and Credits

Four courses, 16 semester hours of credit, will earn 4.0 Wheaton credits.

Admission Requirements

Four semesters of college-level Russian to the Intermediate level. Evaluation of applicant’s language skills is an important part of the application process.

Housing & Board

Students may live in university dormitories or with Russian homestay families. Dormitory: Monthly meal stipend provided. Home-stay: 2 meals per weekday and 3 meals on weekends are offered.


Wheaton Comprehensive Fees. Expenses covered include tuition, room & board, gym membership fee, entry visa, insurance, program excursions and pre-departure orientation in Washington, DC.

Other Expenses

$500 administrative fee, round-trip airfare to meet group flight in Washington D.C. and personal expenses.


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


Make an appointment to see Dean Young in the Center for Global Education, ext. 4950. Program details are subject to change at the discretion of the Center for Global Education.

Semester and Academic Year Programs

All courses are taught in Russian. The normal course load is four courses. Moscow International University, Moscow Founded by G. A. Yagodin, Minister of Education under Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow International University is the first accredited private university in the post-Soviet Russian federation. It specializes in the teaching of foreign languages, economics, finance, management, ecology and sociology. The American Council places students in the University's Department of Russian as a Foreign Languages in the following courses:

  • Russian Conversation
  • Russian Phonetics
  • Russian Grammar and Lexical Studies
  • Contemporary Russian Society
  • Studies in Mass Media
  • Russian Literature

The Russian State Pedagogical (Gersten), University, St. Petersburg Located just behind the Kazan Cathedral in downtown St. Petersburg, the Gertsen University is one of the leading educational institutions in Russia. Students are placed in the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language and select courses from:

  • Russian Conversation
  • Russian Phonetics
  • Russian Grammar
  • Russian Phraseology
  • Studies in Mass Media
  • Russian History and Politics
  • Russian Literature

The KORA Center for Russian Language Stud, Vladimir Founded in 1991 by faculty from the Vladimir State University, the KORA Center for Russian Language Study offers the following courses:

  • Practical Russian Grammar
  • Russian Phonetics & Stylistics
  • Russian Conversation
  • Russian Lexicology
  • Linguistic Analysis of Russian Literature
  • Soviet History
  • Contemporary Russia
  • Russian Folklore
  • Traditional Russian Cuisine

Visit ACTR's site.

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