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Moscow/St. Petersburg Summer Immersion

May 27 to July 2, 2008

Moscow, Russia

Program Overview

The Moscow/St. Petersburg Summer Immersion Program is an intensive five-week language and culture course sponsored by Dickinson College and given at the Russian State University for the Humanities. Language is taught not only in the classroom, but also "on-site,” in markets and shops, at exhibitions, and in the metro.     In addition to language study, a series of English-language lectures given by experts in their fields will focus on recent developments in Russian culture, society, politics, art, architecture, and theatre. University professors from the Russian State University for the Humanities and St. Petersburg State University will be among the guest lecturers.

The Setting

Russia is a rapidly changing country with old roots and rich traditions.  As a result of revolutionary changes that occurred in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Russia has joined the international community as a partner seeking cooperation in business, science, technology, and the arts. There is a new creative spirit in the country, and the energy of the younger generation is visible everywhere: in radical theatre productions and art exhibits, in new businesses and enterprises, and in the rebuilding of old cities and construction of new buildings. No longer an empire or a totalitarian state, Russia is trying to redefine itself by offering visitors a unique mix of rich tradition and rapid transformation.



Students must be in good academic standing and have completed at least the beginning level of college Russian or the equivalent prior to departure.  A special track for students with no previous experience in Russian may be available, depending on demand.

RUSSN-215 Moscow Summer Immersion

Students who successfully complete this program will earn one course credit (the equivalent of four semester hours).  Students will receive a letter grade for the course.


Students will be placed in a study group appropriate to their language skills.  There will be three hours of language instruction daily and regular field trips within Moscow, approximately four per week, to apply the language in real life settings

Program Activities

The program's rich cultural offerings will include numerous field trips to important historic sites and museums, as well as theatre, opera and ballet productions in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  The Moscow excursions typically include the Kremlin with its magnificent architecture and the Armory collection of the Tsars, the famous Tretyakov Gallery of Art, the Museum of the Second World War, and homes of such writers as Tolstoy and Chekhov. 


In St. Petersburg, students will visit sites of historic and architectural importance, including the Peter-Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum, and locations connected with the lives and works of such writers as Dostoyevsky and Gogol.  A highlight of the stay in St. Petersburg will be a trip to Peter the Great's Summer Palace at Peterhof.


In Moscow, students have the unique opportunity to live with Russian families.  This provides students with the opportunity to interact with native Russians, and to continue to practice their language skills outside the classroom.  Individual student initiative will usually determine the kind and amount of interpersonal contact derived from the living situation.  Families provide breakfast and dinner each day, and students receive a stipend for lunch.  While in St. Petersburg, students stay in dormitory-style housing and receive a meal stipend.


On-Site Administration

Christopher Lemelin, Assistant Professor of Russian, will lead the program.  A graduate of Yale University, Professor Lemelin has lived and studied in Moscow and St. Petersburg regularly since 1986 and directed the Dickinson Summer Immersion Program in 2006.  Irina Filipova from the Russian State University of the Humanities will assist with on-site arrangements.

Program Cost

The estimated comprehensive fee will be approximately $5,100, which covers tuition, room and board, excursions, admission to museums, and theatre tickets. Not included in the fee are mandatory primary health and accident insurance purchased in the U.S., travel costs to/from Moscow, visa costs, and all other incidental expenses.

For more information, contact

Assistant Professor Christopher Lemelin

Department of Russian, Dickinson College

Tel: 717-245-1834



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