BRLI 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 (Herzen) 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. Program features include homestays, weekly excursions, travel to other regions of Russia, conversation partners, and a wide range of opportunities to pursue hobbies and personal interests in a Russian context.
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.) 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.
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 provides informative pre-departure and in-country orientations for all participants, along with full-time, expert resident directors in Moscow and St. Petersburg for 24-hour support and assistance. All participants are enrolled in comprehensive health and accident insurance during their program.