Learning Abroad in Russian Studies

Learning Abroad in Russian Studies


“Russian is the native language of some 150 million citizens of the Russian Federal Republic. It is one of the 5 official languages of the UN, and… it is an increasingly important language for business and trade as Russian institutions, both public and private, integrate with their European and American counterparts.”
—From "Why Study Russian?," a publication of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages and the American Council of Teachers of Russian

Department Recommendations

Review the following suggestions from the Slavic Languages and Literatures program before beginning your study abroad research.

Seek cultural immersion

  • Look for programs that offer significant cultural integration. Deep involvement in the host culture leads to personal growth and builds cross-cultural skills.
  • You are encouraged to consider programs that get you into classes with host-country students at a host university and programs that get you out of the classroom and into the community.
  • Seek a program that houses you with a family or host-country roommate, or look for systematic experiences outside the classroom such as internships, service-learning or research opportunities, or the option to take some courses in a host-country university.
  • Be realistic; not all students are ready for the same amount of cultural immersion.
  • Improve second language skills
  • Select a program that allows you to continue your language development through coursework and cultural activities.
  • Plan your language course sequence carefully so that you can continue with your language program upon your return.
  • Ideally, students should have completed at least two years of language coursework at the University of Minnesota prior to studying abroad in order to maximize your language skills overseas.

Work on your Russian major or minor

  • Meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Gary Jahn to discuss your program interests.
  • The Director of Undergraduate Studies will screen overseas coursework and help you fit appropriate courses into your major or minor requirements.
  • Look for junior- and senior-level courses.
  • Look for courses that investigate the literature or culture of the country in which you are studying.
  • Use an Academic Planning Study Abroad (APSA) form to structure and document your consultation with your major adviser. List more courses on the form than you will actually take. A particular course or schedule may not be available on-site, and it will be useful to have prior feedback on additional courses from the adviser particular to your language. If your course choices change, notify your adviser via email.
  • For tentative pre-approval of a course abroad, provide a syllabus to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for review at least a month before departure.
  • For exact course substitution, be certain to bring syllabi, reading lists, and other course materials back with you from your study abroad program. The Director of Undergraduate Studies will use them to determine exact course equivalencies.

Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

  • Plan early to apply study abroad credits to the University’s Liberal Education requirements. Decide early which requirements you want to satisfy through courses taken abroad so you don’t fulfill them on campus.
  • Consult the Learning Abroad Center's U Credit Abroad Search of study abroad courses that have been approved for Liberal Education.

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students

CLA students can apply for CLA Study Abroad Scholarships in addition to other Learning Abroad Center scholarships.



CIEE St. Petersburg

  • This program permits you to explore Russian history, culture, and language in the classroom and through local excursions and field trips.
  • Fall or spring semester
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Russian required.

Additional Options to Consider

Non-Credit Opportunities

  • Non-credit opportunities can be a great option for students who do not need academic credit but want to gain skills and experience abroad related to their field of study.

Student Experiences

Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.