|Language of Instruction:||Russian||Language Prerequisite:||4 Semesters of college level language|
|Minimum Cumulative GPA:||3.0||Credit Available For:||College, Huntsman|
|Other Eligibility Requirements:||Grades of B or better in Russian||Type of Program:||Island|
|Application Deadline:||Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: October 1|
Photo Credit: Kateryna Brezitska
|The Academic Program
|The Application Process|
This program requires an advising session with a Program Manager prior to opening an application. To view the schedule for upcoming group advising sessions, or to schedule an individual appointment, select the ‘Schedule an Advising Appointment’ button on the Penn Abroad homepage.
American Councils: Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program
The Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) serves both graduate and undergraduate students as well as working professionals. The programs provides approximately 20 hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies at Moscow International University, the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen Institute) in St. Petersburg, and the KORA Center for Russian Language in Vladimir. Program features include homestays, weekly excursions, travel to other regions of Russia, conversation partners, and a wide range of opportunities to pursue internships, volunteering, hobbies and personal interests in a Russian context.
American Councils conducts an informative (mandatory) pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. and an in-country orientation upon arrival. Full-time, expert resident directors are available to assist participants abroad.
RLASP maximizes linguistic and cultural immersion into Russian society and features approximately twenty hours per week of in-class instruction; roughly sixteen hours of which are dedicated to Russian-language study. Students are placed according to proficiency level in groups of three-to-five for language classes. Core Russian language classes include Russian Conversation, Phonetics, Russian Grammar, and Lexical Studies. Area studies offerings include (but are not limited to) Studies in Mass Media, Russian Literature, Russian History and Politics, and Contemporary Russian Society; all area studies and literature courses are taught in Russian.
GradingAs on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. ACTR reports grades using a standard A to F scale. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy.
Learn More About RLASPHear what it's like to live with a Russian host family!
Students with GPAs of 3.3 or higher, advanced language skills, and outstanding recommendations may be nominated by the selection committee to be honors students. As honors students, program participants may substitute regular courses at their Russian host university for the American Councils area studies offerings. The selection committee must nominate all honors students. This feature depends significantly upon university schedules and the readiness of individual faculty to accommodate American students whose schedules require early completion of the class. With guidance from the resident director, it is the responsibility of each individual honors student to locate a viable class and obtain permission from the instructor to attend. All academic year and semester RLASP participants are encouraged to audit regular university classes. In recent years, RLASP participants completed courses at their host universities in Art History, Mathematics, Sociology, Theater Studies, Russian History, Psychology and Literature.
In 2000, American Councils established a peer-tutoring program for all RLASP participants. Students have the chance to meet for two hours per week with tutors recruited from the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language at their host universities (in Vladimir, peer tutors come from the Vladimir State University). In addition to valuable academic support, the peer-tutoring program provides an important opportunity for American students to meet their contemporaries in the increasingly fast-paced, cosmopolitan culture of today's Russia.
Upon arrival in Russia, American Councils staff can arrange internships or community service placements for RLASP participants. Internship placements depend significantly on the participant's Russian-proficiency level and the needs of the Russian organization. Internships are unpaid and non-credit bearing; therefore, American Councils strongly encourages students to pursue internships and community service activities in fields which are of interest to them. Participants consistently rate their internships and community service as substantive and valuable; many former students report that their out-of-classroom experiences gave them unique insights into Russian society and language, as well as a deep sense of personal fulfillment.
One day a week of the academic program is set aside for travel to local sites of social, cultural and historical significance. All excursions are conducted in Russian and include sites such as museums, churches, schools, research centers, municipal offices, and historical estates.
Regional field studies
At approximately mid-semester, resident directors arrange a week-long regional field studies trip outside of the host city. RLASP groups have recently visited Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-na-Danu, Samara, Sochi, Suzdal, Volgograd, and Yaroslavl.
Please review the Getting Started Guide. The Russia Program Manager will provide specifics regaridng the application process for American Councils.
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package.
- More on scholarships and financial aid for study abroad
- Student Financial Services
- Program Budget Sheet
In addition to these resources, we encourage you to reach out to a past program participant or ambassador to learn more about the program from a student perspective.