Due to the linguistic and cultural challenges of studying abroad in Russia, it will be particularly important for you to organize your study abroad experience through an accredited program that will provide you with a lot of infrastructure (embassy contact, a residency director, etc.). For this reason, the UI Russian Department is adamant that their students travel through The American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program, a linguistic and cultural immersion program based at universities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir.
A program of the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR), the Language and Area Studies Program is a nationally accredited program that provides students from all over the country with the opportunity to study abroad in Russia for an academic year or semester. ACTR also offers an 8-week language-immersion program in the summer.
Most program participants live with Russian host families (screened in advance by American Councils homestay coordinators) for the duration of their stay. On-site residency directors provide students with contact information for peer tutors recruited from host universities as well as information about volunteer and internship opportunities. Excursions to local sights of social, cultural or historic significance take place weekly and are conducted in Russian.
Two years of college-level Russian is required. A program orientation is held in Washington D.C. prior to departure for Russia.
According to Peggy Mills, ACTR's Language and Area Studies Program boasts a 99.9% acceptance rate of UI students who are well-known and well-liked at participating unversities. Further, because it is an accredited program, participants rarely have trouble transferring study abroad credit when they return to the UI.
Current and complete information about the program, as well as application instructions, can be found at the ACTR study abroad web page. Also be sure to attend the ACTR information session hosted by the UI Russian Language Program (usually in the winter or early spring).
Before or after mailing an application to ACTR, students must consult with Peggy Mills and Study Abroad Advisor Maria Hope concerning UI registration, financial aid, and other procedures. To schedule an appointment with Peggy Mills, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an appointment with Maria Hope, contact the receptionist for the Office for Study Abroad at 335-0353.