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Summer Russian Language Teacher Program

This summer, spend four weeks at the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen) studying Russian language, pedagogy, and culture with other pre- and in-service Russian language teachers.

Program Description

Summer Russian Language Teacher Program

The Summer Russian Language Teacher Program offers current and prospective U.S. teachers of Russian language and culture from schools and universities an opportunity to reach new levels of competency in Russian. The four-week program is designed to accommodate the particular professional interests and needs of teachers of Russian, incorporating grammar and conversation courses with lectures and workshops in culture and civilization, literature, and foreign language pedagogy.

The program will take place at the Russian State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg from July 1 to July 31, 2021. Fifteen finalists will be selected to receive program funding. All program expenses (tuition, housing, visa, international airfare, cultural activities and insurance) will be paid for these participants. See "Funding" section below for full details.

Program Components

AcademicsAcademics / Courses

Combining language courses with seminars in Russian pedagogy and culture, the four-week academic program offers a total of 80 hours of instruction designed to accommodate the particular interests and needs of Russian teachers. The academic program will consist of the following:

  • Russian Language Instruction (approximately 48 total hours)
    Participants will be placed in groups of three to five based on language proficiency at the start of the program. Russian-language coursework will be geared to each group’s proficiency level and will include: Grammar and Stylistics, Speech Practicum, Phonetics, and Reading and Mass Media.
  • Language Pedagogy and Portfolio Development (approximately 16 total hours)
    This specially designed class will maximize the benefit of Russian language study by guiding each participant in the development of authentic teaching materials for their U.S. classroom.
  • Seminars on Russian Culture (approximately 16 total hours)
    Seminars will be taught in Russian and will meet for one hour per day. Participants will select from a variety of seminars offered by RSPU faculty. During each seminar, instructors and participants will also explore how course material can be creatively adapted to U.S. classrooms.

Participants’ daily academic schedules from Monday through Thursday will consist of three hours of Russian language instruction, one hour of cultural studies, and one hour of pedagogy development. The fifth day of the week will be devoted to cultural excursions; midway through the program, participants will take an extended trip to Moscow.

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive the equivalent of five graduate credits from Bryn Mawr College for RUSS 515 Intensive Conversation Specialization and RUSS 525 Intensive Grammar Specialization.

LocationLocation & Institution

The Summer Russian Language Teacher Progam takes place at the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen Institute) in St. Petersburg, Russia.

ExcursionsExcursions & Cultural Activities

One day a week of the academic program is set aside for visits to local sites of social, cultural and historical significance. All excursions are conducted in Russian. Sites will include:

  • The Peter and Paul Fortress
  • The Russian Museum
  • The Hermitage
  • Tsarskoe Selo

At approximately mid-term, participants will travel on an extended three-day trip to Moscow to maximize exposure to key historical sites and provide additional opportunities to gather teaching materials.

Housing & MealsHousing & Meals

Program participants may choose to live in a university dormitory or with a Russian-speaking host family.

Program fellows who choose host family housing will live with specially selected Russian host families. Families provide fully-furnished private rooms and two meals per day. In addition to invaluable logistical support, host families offer unique insight into Russian daily life, ongoing language practice in a warm, supportive environment, and advice and assistance as participants adapt to Russian culture.

Participants who choose the dormitory option will share a room with other American Councils participants or with other international students. Two meals a day will be provided.


All program participants are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. at the start of the program. Orientation sessions address health and safety, academic culture, host family life, culture shock, and strategies to maximize language gain. Participants will also have a chance to meet and get to know their resident director and fellow participants during the orientation. Lodging and meals will be provided. Upon arrival in the host country, participants attend an informative in-country orientation.

SupportSupport Services

Support Staff

While overseas, participants have access to in-country program staff that provide around-the-clock emergency support. A full-time resident director oversees the academic and cultural program; assists participants in academic, administrative and personal matters; and coordinates activities with the host institution faculty. During the program, the AC Study Abroad Team in Washington, D.C. stays in close contact via email and telephone with in-country program staff and provides updates as needed to study abroad offices, university partners, and family members.


Participants are enrolled in comprehensive overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) for the duration of the program. CISI provides medical coverage of up to $250,000 per accident or illness. Enrollment in the CISI plan also provides full coverage for emergency medical evacuation.


All participants are provided with a single-entry visa to the host-country for the duration of the academic program. It is the participant's responsibility to obtain any other visas required by their individual itineraries. Visa application information and forms are provided upon acceptance to the program.


Finalists will each receive funding covering:

  • round-trip international airfare from Washington, D.C. to St. Petersburg, Russia
  • tuition and fees at the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen)
  • five graduate hours of academic credit through Bryn Mawr College
  • single-entry Russian visa
  • housing with a host family or at a university dormitory that includes two meals per day
  • pre-departure and in-country orientations
  • airport transportation
  • weekly cultural excursions and a trip to Moscow
  • overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance
  • logistical support and 24/7 emergency contact

Finalists are responsible for:

  • cost of domestic transportation to/from Washington, D.C.
  • some meals
  • local transporation in Russia
  • incidentals

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