ACTR Russian Language and Area Studies

Program Details

Program Location Moscow/St. Petersburg/Vladimir, Russia
Sponsor ACTR
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 30030
Duration Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Current Program Dates
Spring 2023 01/21/23 to 05/21/23
Past Dates
Fall 2022 08/28/22 to 12/17/22
Page Links
Please Note: Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice

Application Details: Application Currently Closed

This program is temporarily suspended.


ACTR Russian Language and Area Studies

The American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) is designed to improve participants' oral, listening, reading, and writing proficiency in Russian language and to develop their knowledge of Russian history, politics, culture, and society. Programs provide approximately twenty hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies. One day per week of the academic program is set aside for local cultural excursions. A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. Peer tutoring, internships, community service, and a broad range of extracurricular activities offer U.S. students a unique opportunity to connect with Russian friends and actively engage in Russian daily life.

Locations:  Participants can choose between Moscow (Moscow International University), St. Petersburg (Gertsen University), or Vladimir (KORA Center for Russian Language Study). 

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:ACTR.


ACTR Russian Language and Area Studies
This program is open to students with at least two years of college-level Russian. Admission is competitive and is based on Russian language ability, academic record, and references.  An outside selection committee comprised of at least two experts in Russian and second-language acquisition make all selection decisions. American Councils outbound staff may interview applicants as part of the admissions process. Selected applicants will be contacted by telephone to schedule interviews.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: 2 Sem Russian

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Liberal Arts]

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

Due to COVID-19, excursions are subject to change.

All RLASP participants attend a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. at the start of their program. Orientation sessions address health and safety, Russian academic culture, host-family life, culture shock, strategies to maximize language gain, and key survival phrases in Russian. Participants have a chance to meet and get to know their resident directors, fellow participants, and RLASP alumni during the two-day program. Students are housed in three-person rooms in a downtown hotel, a short walk from the American Councils Washington office. Each group departs with its resident director for Russia from Washington, D.C. at the end of the program. Lodging and meals are provided.

American Councils programs maximize linguistic and cultural immersion into Russian society. All programs feature approximately twenty hours per week of in-class instruction; roughly sixteen hours of which are dedicated to Russian-language study. Students are placed according to proficiency level in groups of three-to-five for language classes. Core Russian language classes include Russian Conversation, Phonetics, Russian Grammar, and Lexical Studies. Area studies offerings include (but are not limited to) Studies in Mass Media, Russian Literature, Russian History and Politics, and Contemporary Russian Society; all area studies and literature courses are taught in Russian.

All courses are conducted by host university faculty with extensive experience in teaching Russian as a foreign language to American students. Faculty at our partner universities also attend regular development seminars sponsored by American Councils and led by U.S. experts in Russian-language pedagogy. Recent seminars have addressed American academic culture, the American idea of a liberal arts education, student-centered learning, and communicative teaching strategies.

In 2000, American Councils established a peer-tutoring program for all RLASP participants. Students now have the chance to meet for two hours per week with tutors recruited from the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language at their host universities (in Vladimir, peer tutors come from the Vladimir State University). In addition to valuable academic support, the peer-tutoring program provides an important opportunity for American students to meet their contemporaries in the increasingly fast-paced, cosmopolitan culture of post-Soviet Russia.


Due to COVID-19, excursions are subject to change.

Most American Councils programs offer weekly local excursions as well as extended group travel to regions outside Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir. All travel and excursion programs are conducted in Russian. University faculty, peer tutors, and host family members often join U.S. students on both local excursions and extended trips.

Below are some of the excursions and long trips that our students have taken recently:

St. Petersburg: Stroganov Palace, Yussupov Palace, Mikhailovski Castle, Vyborg, Museum of the Political History of Russia, Memorial Museum of the Blockade of Leningrad, and St. Petersburg Classical Theater for a performance of Dostoyevsky’s Dream of the Ridiculous Man.

Moscow: Borodino, Sergeev Posad, Moscow River cruise, Red October Chocolate Factory, Russian State Duma, MosFilm, The Lenin Library, Star City, and The Kremlin

Vladimir: Golden Gate Museum of History, Vladimir Historical Museum, Bogolyubovo, Uspenskiy and Dmitrevskiy Cathedrals, and the Gus-Kristal glass factory.

Extended Excursion Destinations: Suzdal, Pskov, Novgorod, Volgograd, Kazan, Kizhi, Rostov-na-Donu, Tula, Voronezh, Yaroslavl, and Sochi (home of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games).


Program participants may live in a university dormitory or with a Russian host family. The majority of American Councils participants choose the host-family option. All host families provide private rooms, telephone access, and keys for their American guests. Host families also provide two meals per day.

Living with a host family immerses program participants in everyday Russian life, while offering some of the comforts of home. Host families also expose participants to authentic contemporary language and culture in informal social settings.

All host families are screened, selected, and monitored by American Councils home-stay coordinators and resident directors. Students may change their housing arrangements during the program, although these adjustments require some time to be completed.

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

The Program Fee includes: housing, tuition, most meals, all group travel in Russia, insurance, and orientation in Washington, D.C.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Fall 2022

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $19,500.00
Study Abroad Fee $914.10
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $2,000.00
Local Transportation $200.00
Books and Supplies $150.00
Meals $300.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $400.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

Students interested in this program should investigate the Boren Awards program which provides funding for study abroad in geographic areas, languages and fields of study critical to U.S. interests.  Applicants to this program are eligible to apply to the Boren program. 

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline.  To insure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Fall Semester Programs Mar 1
Most Spring Semester Programs Sep 15

Returnees Information

ACTR Russian Language and Area Studies

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email