Previous language study is not required. Students at all levels of language ability are invited to apply.

Russian Summer Program

The Russian summer program seeks to improve participants’ reading, writing, speaking and listening language skills 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: EstoniaKazakhstanKyrgyzstan, and Latvia.
Program Dates: Summer programs last six to seven 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. “Federal agencies have identified Russian as a priority language of national need. The agencies seeking expertise in Russian include the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Human Development, Department of Labor, and Department of the Interior. The FCC, ITC, FBI, CIA, NSA, and the Department of State have also identified Russian as a priority language. These agencies are hiring and need your Russian language skills!.” 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 significantly improve participants’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills 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: Kyrgyzstan.
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: Russian academic year participants will experience traditions and holidays unique to each season during the program, including harvest festivals and New Year’s celebrations. 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 celebrating Christmas and Easter.

Fun fact! Russian is the most geographically widespread language in 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 (except for those with no prior target language exposure), and several post-program surveys and language tests.

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

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