RLASP serves both graduate and undergraduate students as well as working professionals. The academic year, semester, and summer programs provide approximately 20 hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies at Moscow International University, the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen Institute) in St. Petersburg, and the KORA Center for Russian Language in Vladimir. In the fall of 2014, American Councils also launched RLASP at Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan for students who wish to study Russian in an immersion environment but are unable to travel to Russia due to funding restrictions or other concerns.
Program features include homestays, weekly excursions, travel to other regions of Russia/Kazakhstan, conversation partners, and a wide range of opportunities to pursue internships, volunteering, hobbies and personal interests in a Russian context. Content courses for area studies credit are offered in subjects such as Russian literature and history, political science, and contemporary Russian society. All courses are taught in Russian by expert faculty with experience teaching foreign students.
One day per week of the academic program is set aside for local cultural excursions. Excursions and travel include major sites such as art galleries and churches, but also include destinations off the beaten path. Students also participate on an extended regional field studies outside their host city.
Participants have the option of living with host families or in university dormitories. Host families provide private rooms and engage students in conversation and culture. All participants receive two meals per day.
American Councils conducts an informative pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. and an in-country orientation upon each group’s arrival. Full-time, expert resident directors are available to assist participants abroad. Additionally, participants receive comprehensive overseas medical
insurance for the duration of the program.