Russia: Summer Study Abroad

Russia onion domes

Summer Study Abroad Program

Four or eight-week summer immersion program in Russia that takes you from Europe to the Pacific, from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Vladivostok

Studying Russian culture and exploring the thorny issue of national identity in Russia will give you a profound image of the country, its people and its history.

Exploring  Moscow, founded in 1147 and now the biggest city in Europe, will give you an overview of recent and ancient history and provide you with an opportunity for an intensive dose of authentic Russian culture.  Walk through Red Square, which saw the edicts of Ivan the Terrible, the burning of Moscow by Napoleon, the Communist revolution, all the way to Paul McCartney playing a triumphant "Back In the USSR" to Vladimir Putin and thousands of screaming Russian fans. 

Visiting St. Petersburg, known for its canals as Venice of the North, will give you insight into the east-west conflict within the Russian cultural heritage. Visit the Hermitage, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world.  Walk along the streets of Dostoyevsky’s characters.  Explore where and how the Communist Revolution began in 1917.

Taking the Trans Siberian railroad from European Russia, across the Asian continent to the Pacific Ocean will help you understand the Russian preoccupation with size. See the steppes that brought Genghis Khan to Russia, experience the natural beauty of Siberia and Lake Baikal that holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. See the small towns, large cities, the taiga, the mountains and the steppes.

Today’s Russia is a fascinating blend of a thousand year history with its reinvention as a modern semi-capitalist nation and an almost inexplicable blend of East and West.   To quote Winston Churchill “ Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” –  Experience this riddle first hand, live with Russian families, ride the trains with them, stay in student hostels, study with Russian scholars and under the guidance of experienced UNH faculty. Be a participant in solving this riddle!

This program will not run in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns
Tentative Program dates

May 21 - June 21, 2020 (4-week option) or May 21 - July 21, 2020 (8-week option)

Information Session


Application Deadline

February 6, 2020

deposit deadline

February 15, 2020

How to apply Financial Aid/scholarships


Arna Bronstein
Associate Professor of Russian and Coordinator of the Russian Program
Russia Study Abroad Program Director

Mike Merrill
Education Abroad Advisor/Program Manager
Global Education Center, Conant Hall 310


The program has no pre-requisites and all majors are encouraged to apply. No previous study of the Russian language is required. 

Students will need a passport valid at least 18 months through the end of the study abroad program at the time of application.


At the time of application, all students are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • At least 12 credits earned at UNH
    • Freshmen students not meeting the 12-credit requirement may be allowed to participate in the program. Approval is needed from both the Program Faculty Director. Contact the COLA Center for Study Abroad for guidance.
  • A declared major
  • A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
    • Students who do not have a declared major or who have an established GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 may still apply. Admission will be at the discretion of the program faculty director.
  • Good standing with the Student Conduct System
    • A student who is on probation, regardless of the underlying violation, must successfully petition through the Academic Standards and Advising Committee (ASAC) for permission to participate. Students who have had a past violation will also be required to petition. Please contact your Dean’s Office for more guidance and the petition form, if needed.

Four-Week Program

The 4-week program is open to all students regardless of major or knowledge of Russian. Students earn 8 credits through RUSS 425: Introduction to Russia: Contemporary Russian Society and Culture (Discovery World Cultures) and RUSS 525: Russia: Mythology and Propoganda (Discovery Historical Perspectives), designed to give students an immersion experience in Russian culture and national identity. Instruction will be provided by UNH faculty, including online prior to departure, and in Russia. Guest lectures by local scholars in Moscow and Survival Russian taught by RUDN University, our Moscow partner organization, will complete the program. Students who have completed Intermediate Russian by the start of the program may earn credit for RUSS 725: Topics in Russian Society and Culture in place of RUSS 425.

Eight-Week Program

Students participating in the 8-week program will take part in all program-related courses, travel, and activities during the first four weeks of the program, and then will extend their stay in Moscow with an additional 4 weeks of intensive language study at RUDN University. Instruction also includes 4 hours of conversational work a week in addition to classroom-based content. Students earn 8 credits through RUSS 685 (transfer credit, which can count towards a Russian major or minor, as needed by the student and approved by the Russian Program). Students interested in this option should have completed at least one year of Russian language study. Exceptions to this requirement may be made a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Program Faculty Director.

Required pre-travel meetings for all students at UNH will prepare students for the Russian experience. In line with UNH’s goals to educate students to become global citizens, this immersion experience will give students insight into what it means to experience a different culture and language.

If you have questions on which program option is best for you academically, please consult with the Program Faculty Director, Prof. Arna Bronstein.


Classes will be conducted as excursions, field trips and discussions by the on-site UNH staff. Outside lectures will be provided by Russian area specialists and survival Russian language instruction by the staff of RUDN University, a well-known and established Russian institution.

The below is a sample itinerary from a past program, but it should give students an idea of the program structure. Finalized dates and schedules will be provided to accepted students as part of the program pre-departure process. The activities and site visits are field-based activities that form part of the program coursework. All travel within Russia and program-related entry fees are included in the program fee.

Program 1 (first 4 weeks for all students, 8 credits): St Petersburg - Moscow - Novosibirsk - Irkutsk - Vladivostok

May 21 - departure from Boston Logan
May 22 - arrival to St Petersburg, rest
May 23 - downtown orientation, Nevskiy Avenue, Kazan cathedral, Peter and Paul fortress
May 24 - Hermitage, boat tour at night
May 25 - Peterhoff, ballet at night
May 26 - Siege museum. Late departure to Moscow
May 27 -  transfer to host families.  Downtown orientation
May 28 - Kremlin and Red square. St Basil’s cathedral
May 29 - Russian parliament tour, Lenin’s mausoleum
May 30 - Tretyakov Gallery
May 31 - Russian dances. Novodevichiy convent
June 1 - Modern history museum
June 2 - free time
June 3 - Space museum and VDNKH scavenger hunt
June 4 - Gorki - Lenin’s residence
June 5 - Cold war bunker
June 6  - Modern Tretyakov Gallery scavenger hunt
June 7 - Jewish museum
June 8 - Victory park
June 9 - departure to Novosibirsk
June 10 - arrival to Novosibirsk, rest
June 11 - walk in the city, Zoo
June 12-  train to Irkutsk
June 13 - arrival to Irkutsk, rest
June 14 - Decembrists museum, City museum
June 15 - Talzi museum, Baykal
June 16 - free time/Baykal
June 17 - train to Vladivostok
June 20 - arrival to Vladivostok, rest
June 21 - Vladivostok fortress, City museum and island Russkiy
June 22 - departure to Moscow/Boston from Vladivostok

Program 2 (optional 4-week extension, 8 additional credits (see "Courses"))

June 22 - Arrive in Moscow
July 22 or 23 - Depart Moscow

Russia study abroad students


Summer school tuition and a course fee will cover instruction, course materials, excursions, and housing. In addition to the fee, you will need funds for meals, for all personal and incidental expenses, and for travel to and from Russia.

  NH Resident, 4-week/8-credits Non-NH Resident, 4-week/8-credits NH Resident, 8-week/16-credits Non-NH Resident, 8-week/16-credits
UNH Summer Tuition $3,672 $4,048 $7,344 $8,096
Program Fee (estimated) $2,920 $2,920 $3,920 $3,920
Study Away Administration Fee $100 $100 $100 $100
International Health Insurance Fee $70 $70 $70 $70
Technology Fee $51.25 $51.25 $102.50 $102.50
Registration Fee $20 $20 $20 $20
Total Cost $6,833.25 $7,209.25 $11,556.50 $12,308.50

Housing and Meals

In St. Petersburg, students will be housed in a student hostel with breakfast and dinner catered by a local caterer. In Moscow, students will be provided homestays with English-speaking Moscow families. Breakfast and dinner will be provided by the homestay families. In both cities lunch will be with the group during a field trip or on your own at your leisure. On the Trans-Siberian Railway, students will stay in a "coupe."


Group travel from Boston to Moscow and back will be available, but the cost of that travel is not included in the tuition and fee. We will assist you in applying for a Russian visa – the cost of the visa is not included in the tuition and fee (approx. $500). In order to obtain a Russian visa you will have to have a passport valid for one and a half years from the date of your arrival in Russia.

Payment Info and Refund Policy

Accepted students will be required to make a $500 non-refundable deposit payment no later than February 15, 2020 to confirm participation in the program. The deposit payment will be credited to the student's summer tuition bill.

You can make this payment in two ways: 
1. Log into Webcat, click on Billing, click on Make a Deposit, and then select the Russia Program
2. Bring or send a check made payable to the University of New Hampshire to student billing in Stoke Hall. For a paper check, please put your name and "Russia Deposit" in the memo line.

Students not admitted into the program will be returned their deposit payment checks

View ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON study abroad payment deadlines, cancellation and refund policy