The poet Dana Gioia has written: 'We want a world to walk upon, not reasons to remain at home.' One of the best ways to "walk the world" is to learn another language, and one of the best ways to learn another language is to go where they speak it twenty-four hours a day. If you want to learn Russian, at some point you've got to go to Russia.
The Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies highly recommends that all of its majors and minors take advantage of a learning opportunity abroad in Russia or Eurasia. Learning abroad will provide unique study and/or research opportunities that will greatly expand a student’s understanding of, and engagement with, the language and culture. Opportunities to study the non-Russian languages of Eurasia are rapidly expanding. Summer immersion programs at home (Indiana, Middlebury, University of Arizona), and summer and academic-year programs abroad offer instruction in Polish, Czech, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Armenian, Georgian, Azeri, Uzbek and Tajik, among others. In some cases, applicants may be expected to have an intermediate-level command of Russian.
The Russian and Eurasian Studies Department at MHC has approved the programs listed below. Since admission to many study-abroad programs is competitive, students are advised to consult with members of the department early in their academic careers. We have had great success getting our students into these competitive programs.
Most of our majors study abroad for a semester or the entire year in Russia. There are numerous programs you can choose from. You should consult with the faculty on the best program for you, and visit the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives here at Mount Holyoke. Below are some other organizations and links that can help:
- Intern Abroad
Information on internships, volunteer projects, language schools, job opportunities abroad.
- Global Experiences offers internships in Italy, Australia, Spain and France in many areas and ESL teaching, volunteering abroad programs in Ecuador, and adventure travel.
- International Research and Exchanges Board
A congressionally-funded body dedicated to field research and exchange programs between the U.S. and countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Where to Study
The Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies recommends the following programs to students who wish to study for a full academic year, a semester or a summer in Russia or Eurasia. For more information about study abroad programs, how to apply, financial aid, and credit transfer, see the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives.
- Since admission to many study abroad programs in competitive, consult with members of the department early in your academic career to ensure the right program for you.
- American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS is an international not-for-profit organization working to advance education, research, and mutual understanding across the United States and the nations of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Southeast Europe. American Councils offers the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program for a year, semester, or summer.
- Russian Language Program, St. Petersburg State University: academic year, fall or spring semester
- Russian Language and Culture Program, St. Petersburg State University: summer
- Russian Area Studies Program, St. Petersburg State University: fall semester or spring semester
- SIT Study Abroad
- Middlebury College School in Russia. Programs in Irkutsk, Moscow, Voronezh and Yaroslavl
For other links and details on study abroad, see Study Abroad Programs in Russia and Eurasia. For a list of where past and present Russian and Eurasian studies and Russian language and literature majors have studied, and a summary of the courses that they took abroad, check this searchable database. Note that this is not a definitive list of what is possible and should serve only as a useful guide and planning resource.
When to Study
Most students elect to study in Russia or Eurasia in their junior year. Some double majors elect to spend only one semester abroad. Study Abroad may be also used toward fulfillment of major requirements.
Russian and Eurasian studies or Russian language and literature majors or minors should contact the department before registering for courses abroad to determine what courses may receive credit towards the major or minor upon satisfactory completion. Many courses taken abroad will be able to count towards fulfillment of the major or minor.