Moscow, once draped in Soviet symbols, has readily adopted the trappings of capitalism and is now replete with neon billboards and shopping malls. Decidedly the center of political and economic power, the capital now rivals St. Petersburg in culture and the arts. The Moscow International University serves as the host institution for RLASP participants in Moscow. Founded by G. A. Yagodin, Minister of Education under Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow International is the first accredited private university in the post-Soviet Russian Federation. It specializes in the teaching of foreign languages, economics, finance, management, ecology, and sociology. American Councils places students in the university's Department of Russian as a Foreign Language.
The American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) serves both graduate and undergraduate students as well as working professionals. The academic program 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. The academic year, semester, and summer programs provide approximately twenty hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies at Moscow International University, the Russian State Pedagogical University (Gertsen Institute) in St. Petersburg, and the KORA Center for Russian Language in Vladimir. 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. Please follow the links below for more detailed information.
The American Councils Contemporary Russia Program offers students and current American teachers of history, social studies, and language arts an opportunity to study abroad in Russia and to gain new knowledge and competency in Russian area studies and Russian language. Contemporary Russia is the first American Councils program designed to serve participants at all levels of Russian-language proficiency, including those with no prior training in the language.
The American Councils Business Russian Language and Internship (BRLI) Program combines a specially designed curriculum focusing on the language of Russian business with an internship averaging ten to fifteen hours per week at a multinational company, business, or non-governmental organization agency in Russia. Moscow International University and the Russian State Pedagogical (Gertsen) University in St. Petersburg host this program; students may apply to study for a semester, academic year, or summer. BRLI participants are granted U.S. academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. The highly individualized BRLI curriculum can be tailored to serve students ranging from intermediate to near native speakers of Russian; however, less advanced students should consider whether their language proficiency will enable them to engage in substantive internships and benefit from instruction in the style and lexicon of business speech. (Students lacking a strong command of Russian grammar, for example, should consider enrolling in RLASP before applying to the BRLI program.) A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. Peer tutoring, Russian-American discussion clubs, and a broad range of extra-curricular activities provide unique opportunities for BRLI students to connect with Russian friends and immerse themselves in daily Russian life.
The Individualized Russian Language Program for Heritage Speakers is intended to address the specific needs of students who speak Russian at home or with relatives, or who grew up speaking Russian and wish to strengthen their Russian skills. Program participants work with American Councils staff and host university faculty to develop a tutorial program serving their unique needs as language learners. All individualized programs focus on the development of Russian language skills, including grammar, conversation, and phonetics; courses in literature, history, and area studies are available for advanced students. Participants attend a minimum of twelve hours of tutorials per week.