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, 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. A student, however, should still consult with faculty members to ascertain which program might best suit her needs.
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.
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. There is also a January Term Program in the Republic of Georgia. Since admission to many study abroad programs in competitive, students are advised to consult with members of the department early in their academic careers.
- 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
- January Term in the Republic of Georgia
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.
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.
Summer Internships and Research Abroad
A summer internship or research project in Russian or Eurasia allows students to use Russian and to apply what they have learned to explore possible career paths. It is also a wonderful opportunity to engage with other Russian speakers in a different cultural context.
Students have the option of developing their own summer internship or research project. Support for unpaid opportunities is available through the Universal Application Funding (UAF), which offers students access to funding from a variety of College fellowship sources to cover travel and living expenses for the duration of the project. Students with a family contribution of less than $5000 may also receive a $500 grant to apply towards their summer earnings contribution. Both the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives and the Career Development Center have student evaluations of past international internships on file.