Study Abroad


The Summer Intensive Study Program in Russia offers three and a half weeks of courses in Russian Language (taught in Russian at all levels), several excursions in the city, with an opera and/or ballet performances; and a trip to Novgorod. Students live in two-room suites in a students’ dormitory. Rooms are furnished and have a separate bathroom. Transportation to school and scheduled events is provided by the host institution.

May is a fascinating month in the city of St. Petersburg. A celebration of the city’s anniversary takes place, which features an international band parade down Nevsky Avenue, an orchestral concert and ball on Palace Square in front of the Hermitage, and fireworks on the banks of the Neva River. In addition, the city’s famous White Nights develop during this time, reaching their peak in mid-June.

The host institution, the Gornyi Institute of St. Petersburg, has a venerable history: it was founded in 1773 by Catherine the Great. It represents one of only three Russian universities that have been declared a “national treasure” by the Russian government. The Gornyi Institute is well-known in the Russian departments in the U.S., for it offers excellent facilities for the instruction of Russian and attracts the finest teachers of Russian from all over the world.

More information about study abroad programs is available at the Buckman Center for International Education.

The next Maymester is planned for the May-June of 2014. If you are interested, contact Prof. Alexandra Kostina at or x3991. 

Students Comment on Their Experiences

“For me, Summer Intensive Study Program in Russia provided many new and enjoyable experiences. I loved sitting underneath the Baltika tent with my fellow classmates, devouring shashlik while enjoying the beautiful nighttime view of the Gulf of Finland. … While touring the exquisite rooms of the Hermitage, I viewed original works from Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Picasso. My first visit to the circus was in Moscow and my hands ached afterward from gripping my seat in nervous anticipation when the acrobats swung precariously from trapezes. Participating in the Russia Maymester was extraordinary and I hope that someday I will be able to return to the “motherland” once again!”

Jera Bradshaw (Summer Intensive Study Program, 2004)

“Although the St. Petersburg weather was less than desirable, I had an incredibly enriching experience. … I feel that the program gave the invaluable ability of practicing my language … in an immersed environment. From attending language and politics classes to going on an epic quest for five-ruble coins to befriending young Russians in a bar/tent, Summer Intensive Study gave each of us the experience of interacting with Russian society and culture. … I laughed with two young filmmakers at two in the morning outside Red Square.  I made a new friend with a published Russian poet on a train to Moscow.  I smiled as a postal worker referred to me as “comrade.”  I only wish that I could have spent more time there, and I intend to in the future.”

Logan Wheeler (Summer Intensive Study Program, 2004)

Six Rhodes students participated in the Russian Maymester in St. Petersburg in the summer of 2008, three in the summer of 2009. They took classes in the Russian language and literature, enjoyed sightseeing, two ballet performances, numerous museum visits, and a trip to Novgorod.  Here are some pictures. The next Maymester is planned for the May-June of 2011. If you are interested, contact Prof. Alexandra Kostina at or x3991.