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CIEE Summer Russian Language in St. Petersburg, Russia
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CIEE Summer Russian Language in St. Petersburg, Russia

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Felt like home, but better

This program was the first one of my year-long study abroad programs and without a doubt, it was the best! The professors working with us were incredible instructors and professionals in their fields, but what made the experience such memorable was the hard work of the administrative staff. Learning a language can be tough, even if you're surrounded by it and its culture. It is scary to go out into another country that you're not very familiar with, but the way the administrative staff welcomed us, took care of us, was there for us 24/7 was incredibly calming. To add on, the offered excursions were informative, interesting and fun. They also updated us on the events taking place in town, which was very helpful. Also, their recommendations on where to go and what to do helped us integrate better with the locals and get the most out of the trip. Overall, the lessons I got in Russian were educational and the quality has been unmatched, but the reason I fell in love with St. Petersburg were the people who helped us see the city with their eyes.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best two months of my life

I can't express how grateful I am to CIEE for my study abroad experience. I explored one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all while learning copious amounts of Russian and making my best friends along the way.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Питер, моя любовь!

There is no city in the world like Saint Petersburg, and CIEE's program certainly helps you discover that. The program is an excellent balance of Russian immersion academics and cultural experiences. Every week there are optional experiences going on both cultural and social (some of the ones I participated in were a Russian cooking class, karaoke and game nights with Russian students) that help extend your social circle beyond just the students you have classes with. The Smolny institute is an incredible place to study, and the culture of Saint Petersburg surrounds you with every step. If I remember correctly, there are over 300 museums in Saint Petersburg, so you will never run out of something to do. Saint Petersburg in the summer is magnificent during the "White Nights", and I fell head over heels in love with the city. The summer program also has trips to Moscow and Novgorod, where you get to learn a lot about the history of Russia. I found that the CIEE program has a very good balance of showcasing Saint Petersburg , and allowing you time to explore it on your own. Additionally, the Russian immersion academics are really helpful. When I was there we were split up into groups depending on our language level, and we took all our classes with the same group of people. The classes were on different things - grammar, vocabulary, culture, film, phonetics, etc. - which I thought was very helpful because it was like taking classes back in the US, just in Russian. The Russian immersion vastly improved my language skills, which in turn helped me make Russian friends out and about. The CIEE staff is very professional and ready to help at any turn. They provided us a lot of information about how to stay safe in the city, where to go, what to do, and helped us get metro cards, phone plans, and other basic necessities. They really connected with us both in a professional and social manner, and they made us feel very welcome in Russia.

The only thing I would recommend being a bit wary about is homestay. I ended up with a pretty non-social woman, so I didn't get to speak that much Russian with her, and she lived really far away from the university so I was on the same bus for about an hour and a half every day, which was a problem for me because I have really bad insomnia and have a lot of trouble getting up early in the morning. Most of the people on the trip had a great host family experience, but I would recommend being very specific about what you are looking for in a homestay on the survey. I was a bit lax and ended up regretting it.

All in all, though, the CIEE summer program was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had in my life, and I highly recommend it to anybody who is interested in learning about Russia.