7 best summer schools to master your Russian in the Motherland

Legion Media
Still making plans for your summer break? Why not do it wisely and combine study with travel, and venture to one of these locations in Russia. There’s even a course that allows to see 5 Russian cities in 3 weeks!

Want to brush up on your Russian during your summer vacation? The best way to do it is to combine it with traveling to the Motherland, of course! Check out these seven summer language schools that still have places – so don’t miss out!

1. Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow

An intensive summer language school offered by HSE is an eight-week program for students with Intermediate and Advanced levels of Russian language proficiency. It includes 160 academic hours (20 hours per week) with the classes Monday through Thursday (10 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.)  and different excursions around Moscow on the weekends (entrance fees, tickets to museums, etc. are not included in the program fee).

Cost: $3,200 for eight weeks (including fees, dormitory accommodation, tutor’s help, and visa support).

Dates: June 3 – July 26.

2. Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Moscow

The Pushkin State Russian Language Institute offers a variety of summer courses aimed at foreigners who want to improve their language skills in no time. There are as many as 18 special programs to choose from, including “Start Speaking Russian” (beginners), “Business Russian” (level B1 and higher), “Russian Language for Diplomats and Students of Political Science and Sociology” (level B2 and higher), and even a course for teachers “Methodology of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language". Each course lasts for four weeks with 18-24 academic hours per week. In order to join the International Summer Course programs you have to pass a placement test at “PushkinOnline” and define your level of proficiency in Russian according to the Council of Europe scale (from A1 to C1).

Cost: $542-658, depending on the course (accommodation not included).

Dates: from June to August.

3. Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (Polytech), St. Petersburg

There are seven Russian courses with different focuses available at Polytech. You can choose from “Russian Language, Politics & Art in the White Nights”,  “Russian Language, History and Literature”, “Russian Language for Business Communication ”, “Russian language, Politics and Art”, “Intensive Survival Russian Language for Exchange Students”, “Russian Language, Literature & Business Culture”, and “Preparation for TORFL test”. All of these have different dates and specific costs, so be sure to pick the one that suits your interests - and fits your timetable!  

Cost: $256-725 depending on the course and duration (including tuition fees, cultural activities, field trips, study materials, visa support Invitation letter issuance).

Dates: from June to mid-September.

4. Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI," St. Petersburg

LETI offers five intensive courses of Russian language depending on the level of proficiency: “Russian Language and Cultural Heritage of Russia” (1 week, 36 academic hours), “Gems of Russian Culture in Russian Language” (2 weeks with 72 academic hours), and three 1 month-long intensive courses of Russian for A1, A2-B1, and B2-C1 levels.

Cost: $232-542 depending on the program and duration (including invitation, training, materials and cultural program).

Dates: from July to August.

5. Lobachevsky University, Nizhny Novgorod

The Russian language program at Lobachevsky University includes 20 academic hours per week with lectures taught in English and Russian. Apart from boosting your language skills, you’ll also learn more about Russian history, culture, social habits, and even key information about the Russian Orthodox Church. Lessons include interactive games and discussions. There is also an opportunity to live in a hostel or with a host family.

Cost: $542 for three weeks, including teaching costs, study materials, city tour, extracurricular activities (visits to museums, workshops, speaking clubs, and workshops).

Dates: July 8 - July 23 (Application deadline: May 21 - for non-EU citizens, June 20 - for EU citizens)

6. Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg

In 2019, the Ural Federal University offers three different programs that combine intensive Russian language courses with a cultural program in different parts of Russia. You can join a 3-week “Russian Walls: Rise and Fall” program that will take you on a journey across St. Petersburg, Moscow, Suzdal, Vladimir and Yekaterinburg. Or you can take mix of Russian classes that include sightseeing in Yekaterinburg, Kazan and St. Petersburg, following the story of the Russian Revolution and Vladimir Lenin in a “Russian Express-2019” program. Plus, there are two options for the “Russian Studies in Real Russia” program: a crash-course in Russian in the very heart of the Urals or combining it with a 1-week trip to St. Petersburg!

Cost: $1,040-2,198 depending on a course and duration.

Dates: from July to September.

7. Tomsk State University, Tomsk

The Summer School of Intensive Russian in Tomsk is open to students with all levels of Russian. It includes 60 hours of language classes covering speaking and writing, grammar, listening, pronunciation, and practical stylistics, plus discussions on current social, political and cultural issues, and introduction to Russian media sources and lectures on Siberia’s culture and history. Each student will enjoy an individual guidance and sightseeing program, as well.

Cost: $775 (tuition fees, airport transfers, cultural and social program, studying materials, coffee breaks, accommodation).

Dates: August 19 - September 6.

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