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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences

Across Russia’s borders, you can get a unique look at its culture, civilization, history, and language. Engaging courses taught in English include guest lectures, field trips to important sites within the country, and an interactive, discussion-based classroom.

Unique study opportunities

  • Explore media headlines and politics through the eyes of Russian citizens.
  • Participate in a directed research project of your own design with a faculty advisor in Russia.
  • Learn the evolution of modern Russian government.


Language of Instruction: English

Russian Language Study: Required

This program offers lower-division Russian language study at the beginning to intermediate levels.

You’ll take two Russian language courses, Russian grammar and Russian conversation, based on your level of proficiency.

All other courses are taught in English.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Five courses for a total of 25.5 quarter/17 semester UC units.
  • You may choose to take up to two courses on a pass/no pass basis.

Current Program Courses

You will take two Russian language courses and three elective area studies courses on this program.

Required Russian language courses:

  • Russian Grammar (lower-division) – 6 quarter/4 semester UC units
  • Russian Conversation (lower-division) – 6 quarter/4 semester UC units

Elective area studies courses (upper-division) – 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units each. Exact offerings may vary slightly depending on the term, enrollment, and instructor availability:

  • Russian History: Rise, Consolidation, and Progress
  • Russian History: The Soviet Union and Contemporary Russia
  • Contemporary Russian Politics & Governance
  • Russian Civilization: Popular Stereotypes and Social Behavior
  • Ethnic Studies: National & Ethnic Issues in Modern Russia
  • Intercultural Communication & Leadership
  • Directed Independent Research
  • The Arts of St. Petersburg

Research (optional): In lieu of one of the area studies courses, you have the option of enrolling in a Directed Independent Research course (INDR 3901 RASP). In this course, you meet with a faculty advisor throughout the semester for assistance with your research. The course requires a topic research proposal, which an on-site coordinator reviews for approval. ​

Catalogs and resources

  • Russian Area Studies: Review program highlights and current courses (scroll to the bottom) on the CIEE website.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

You will be taking courses with other study abroad students from the US, not Russian students. Courses are often 90 minutes long and are taught by local professors with many years of experience teaching American students. Russian teaching emphasizes in-class learning. However, courses on this program incorporate time outside of class for cultural activities, excursions, and class field trips. Area studies classes may also include visiting lecturers, topic-specific visits to museums, and other co-curricular activities.

Attendance and class participation are required.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. UCEAP uses CIEE’s grading rubric when transmitting grades back to your UC campus. The grades on your UC record will appear exactly as they are on your CIEE record. UC grades are final.

Fall semester grades are usually reported to your campus in late January. Spring semester grades are usually reported to your campus in late June.