Russian Summer Program

The Russian summer program seeks to improve participants’ Russian in the following four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. These four language skills will be developed through in-class language instruction, cultural presentations and activities, and host family stays. Language classes will provide an authentic and safe environment for students to extensively study Russian approximately 20 hours per week. In-class instruction will be supplemented by various cultural activities designed to increase participants’ knowledge of Russian culture, society, religion, and politics.

Possible Program Locations: Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia
Program Dates: Summer programs last six to eight weeks and typically start in mid-June to early July and end in early to mid-August.
Accommodations: Host families or a combination of group housing and host family stays

Why Russian? Russian language skills can offer a competitive advantage. “Russian language studies in the United States declined notably in the two decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2013, only about 22,000 students were enrolled in Russian language programs. Compare that to the almost 800,000 studying Spanish or approximately 198,000 studying French, and you’ll appreciate how special Russian becomes on a resume—and how coveted it is by employers.” Read more.

Good to know: Cyrillic uppercase and lowercase letter forms are not as differentiated as in Latin typography. Upright Cyrillic lowercase letters are essentially small capitals (with some exceptions).

Russian Academic Year Program

The Russian academic year program seeks to improve participants’ Russian in the following four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. These four language skills will be developed through classroom language instruction, other selected classes taught in the target language, cultural presentations and activities, professional development opportunities, volunteer work, and host family stays. Participants will also have several projects to complete during the NSLI-Y academic year program, both research and extracurricular. Special attention will be placed on opportunities for participants to interact and build friendships with Russian-speaking peers.

Possible Program Locations: Moldova
Program Dates: Late August to May/June
Accommodations: Host families

Why Russian? There are about 270 million Russian speakers in the world. Read more!

Good to know: In addition to temperature changes, Russian academic year participants will experience traditions and holidays unique to each season during the program, including harvest festivals and New Year’s celebration. Participants will also witness state holidays and historically commemorative events, such as World War II Victory Day. In addition, many host families may observe Christian traditions, including Christmas and Easter celebrations.

Fun fact! Russian is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the eighth most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers. It is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.

Pre- and Post-Program Expectations

All participants will be required to participate in pre-program language learning programs, as guided by their implementing organization. All participants will be required to complete a pre-program survey, pre-program language assessments (if requested), and several post-program surveys and language tests.

Find more information on Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, and Russia on each country’s U.S. Embassy site.

Explore multimedia stories about the NSLI-Y Russian summer and academic year programs on NSLI-Y Interactive.

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Questions? Need more info? Contact us at 866.790.2086 or

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