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The light blue and white Smolny Cathedral, surrounded by snow in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Program at a Glance

CIEE, St. Petersburg

Country Russia
City St. Petersburg
Class Level So, Jr, Sr
Experience Type Themed
Minimum GPA 2.5
Term Fall sem, Spring sem, Summer
Taught In English
Language Prereq no
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About The Program

Overlooking the Baltic Sea, Saint Petersburg is the cultural heart of Russia. Canals and rivers wind through the city where you’ll study Russian language, culture, and history. Take a deep dive into modern Russian lectures ranging from Russian rock bands to Soviet space pups. Program trips might take you to Moscow and the Kremlin, medieval Novgorod, or Estonia. Forge a community connection with optional volunteer projects. Outside of class, cruise to Peterhof Palace, the “Versailles of Russia.” Political science and history buffs will love seeing where Soviet experiments in the space race blasted off. Practice your language skills as you ride a Russian tram and taste traditional deep-fried doughnuts.

Where you'll study

Saint Petersburg State University

On the bank of the River Neva in Saint Petersburg is a collection of buildings originally commissioned by the Empress Elizabeth in 1744 as a nunnery for orphans. Catherine the Great turned it into a boarding school for young women aristocrats. During the Soviet regime, the buildings—known as the Smolny Complex—fell into ruin until the early 1980s. Now part of Saint Petersburg State University, the restored Smolny Complex will be the location for your classes. The main building is located in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of downtown Saint Petersburg. The sky-blue cathedral that is part of the complex is an unrivaled masterpiece of design and a striking edifice in the city’s landscape.

CIEE St. Petersburg

CIEE St. Petersburg is on the campus of the Higher School of Economics, a research-based institution and a leader in the Russian education system. Program courses are taught by HSE faculty. Located near the Mariinsky Theater and St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, it is within walking distance of several metro and bus stops.