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  • Locations: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Program Sponsor: European Council 
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 2.0 Housing: Dorm
Language of Instruction: English Program Type: Non-GSU
Program Description:
About the Program | Program Information & Course Structure Payment & Refund Schedule | Deadlines & Late Fee Schedule Course Descriptions | How to Apply to the Program Insurance & Passport Information | What Students Have to Say | Contact Us Find Your Campus Representative List of all 2019 European Council Classes: Courses by Program | Courses by Subject 

About the Program

Few cities offer the stunning attractions of St. Petersburg, City of the Tsars. Created by Peter the Great as his “Window on Europe,” St. Petersburg is often referred to as the Venice of the north as it combines its Russian heritage with a European outlook. As one of the world’s architectural treasures, the city provides a backdrop filled with gold-domed cathedrals and Baroque palaces, museums, and ornate government buildings all of which seem to flow into the canals and waterways that divide the city. The natural beauty of the city is enhanced in June and July as the city experiences “White Nights,” a blending of twilight into dawn giving the city almost 24 hours of daylight.  The program offers excursions to several of the palaces and stately homes of Russian tsars that surround the city including Peterhoff, a magnificent palace with fountains flowing down to the Baltic, and Catherine’s Palace with its renowned amber room. Experience the music, art, literature, good food and great entertainment offered by this splendid city, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Dates: June 22 - July 23, 2019
Cost: $4,950 The package cost of $4,950 for the four-week program includes:
  • Round-trip airfare between Atlanta and St. Petersburg
  • Accommodations in St. Petersburg for the full four weeks
  • Breakfast on weekdays and group welcome dinner
  • Round-trip transportation between the St. Petersburg airport and the campus
  • Travel pass good for 40 trips on St. Petersburg subway system
  • Eight tours of the city and suburbs that include the city’s most significant museums and other landmarks
  • All field trip expenses
  • A primary health insurance policy providing coverage for medical expenses
  • 90 day student visa to Russia
The package cost does not include tuition, textbooks, extra meals, entrance fees, and weekend travel expenses, passport and related expenses, spending money, ground transport to and from the U.S. airport through which flights will be scheduled, or any other costs beyond those listed above
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Guy by River

Program Information & Course Structure

Considered the cultural heart of modern Russia, St. Petersburg, also known as the "Venice of the North" is one of the architectural treasures of Europe. The city is quickly gaining a reputation around the world as a city known for its culture and exciting night life. From classical ballet and opera to modern rock and traditional Russian folk music, the city offers something for everyone. Few cities can boast as many museums as St. Petersburg. From the Hermitage to the Russian Museum, the Natural Science Museum, the state Museum of Ethnography, culture abounds in St. Petersburg. There's even a vodka Museum, Bread Museum, and Chocolate Museum. The palaces and stately homes provide a glimpse into a time when tsars ruled the county. In the post-Soviet period, St. Petersburg has regained its reputation as a city of sophisticated, urban people with a taste for the good things in life. Classes are three-hour courses and there is a two-hour optional Russian Culture course offered on Monday evenings.  Each course meets in class sessions two days a week and has a required day-long field experience each week. Weekends involve planned group excursions to important cultural and historical sites in the St. Petersburg area. Kremlin The program also provides an optional three-day excursion to Russia’s capital city of Moscow.  Guided tours of the city and of the Kremlin and its museums and churches, a visit to Red Square, a walking tour of old Moscow, and a visit to a world-famous Russian circus are included in the excursion.

Web Links About the Program

Group and Optional Excursions

The program includes several planned group excursions which allow you the opportunity to tour palaces, and museums and experience Russian culture.

Excursions will include

Russia Volunteer Group
Optional Moscow Excursion A special feature of the program is an optional three-day excursion to the capital city of Moscow. The trip begins with an overnight train ride followed by a bus tour of the city. Students discover the treasures of Red Square with guided tours of the Kremlin including its museums and churches. Moscow gives students a different perspective on Russian history and culture. A visit to the world famous Russian circus and a walking our of the city are also included. The cost for the excursion is an additional $600.


The site for the four-week program is the campus of St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University (SSPU), one of the city’s oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in Russia. Located in a safe residential area, the site offers access to St. Petersburg’s theatres, museums, historical landmarks, and lively nightlife.Dorms Dormitory facilities are provided at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University’s international building referred to as IMOP. Students stay in large double suites, with two students in each room. Each suite shares a bathroom and kitchenette complete with a refrigerator and a microwave oven. Internet and phone access is also available in each room. A cafeteria and laundry facilities are located at IMOP. The cafeteria staff strives to provide a balance of traditional Russian meals with the occasional American standard. Breakfast will be offered everyday as part of the program; however hot lunches can be purchased at the university's cafeteria on weekdays. Click here to view the accommodations Click here for a virtual tour of IMOP which is where your dorms and classes will be held  


Russia Headscarves
Courses in the 2019 St. Petersburg Program are part of the regular offerings of member institutions; therefore, students may apply for loans or grants for which they would normally be eligible. Students should apply for financial aid at the campus where they are registering for courses. Campus representatives will assist students in obtaining information about financial aid. Students must meet all campus requirements in applying for financial aid. Students should plan to budget a minimum of $1,000 for extra meals, entrance tickets, evening entertainment, travel, and shopping. Some course excursions might involve additional fees; course instructors will inform students if such fees apply at the mandatory student orientation held at Middle Georgia State University on Saturday, May 11, 2019. All costs are subject to change because of unanticipated increases in airfares or other program elements or fluctuations in monetary exchange rates. The European Council will make every effort to keep program costs as advertised and will inform prospective participants of any changes as they occur.

Payment Schedule
March 15, 2019 Application form and $300 non-refundable program deposit due.
March 15, 2019  First payment of $2325 due
April 8, 2019 Final payment of $2325 due
April 18, 2019 Payment of $600 for the optional Moscow Excursion due
TOTAL: $4,950

Russia Lunch


Program deposits and other payments are applied toward required advances, purchase of airline tickets and other costs related to the program. Note that the $300 program deposit is non-refundable and covers processing and reservation fees; the program deposit can not be used for a subsequent fiscal year. Participants who withdraw from a program after the application deadline receive a refund according to the schedule below. Please note that all withdrawals must be emailed to the EC Coordinator, at AND to the student’s campus representative at the home institution.   
Withdrawal before March 15 All but $300 will be refunded
Withdrawal between March 15 and March 18 all but $500 will be refunded
Withdrawal between March 19 and April 1 all but $850 will be refunded
Withdrawal between April 2 and April 30 all but $2,000 will be refunded
Withdrawal after April 30 No money will be refunded
Red Square

Important Deadlines

March 15th - Deadline for application fee & application form.
March 15th- First Payment April 8th - Final Payment
March 16th- 4 passport photos are due
March 16th- An electronic copy of your passport is due. Faxed and Mailed copies are not accepted. (see late fee schedule below)
May 11th- There is an all-day*Mandatory* student orientation in Macon at Middle Georgia State College. This meeting starts at 9am and is over at 4pm. Students who fail to attend will be penalized by dropping  the final grades for study abroad courses by an entire letter; if you receive an “A” in the course, the grade of “B” will be submitted to your home institution as your final grade.

Late Fees for Passports & Photos 

Items received between Mar 17 – Mar 25 $25 late fee
Items received between Mar 26 – Apr 5 $50 late fee
Items received between Apr 6 – Apr 12 $75 late fee
Items received on April 13th or after Will be charged the $75 late fee and an additional $5/day.

Flight Deviation/Separate Airfare

Airfare is included in the price of the program. However, if you wish to arrive to Europe sooner, or stay later, there is a *possibility* that you can do this at an additional expense to you. Students are also allowed to do 100% of their airfare; however, in order to keep our group rate only a certain number of students may do this and must receive authorization from the EC Coordinator. If you are given, permission to do your own airfare, there will be a deduction from your SECOND payment. All deviation and separate airfare request must be submitted by March 28th and these opportunities are provided on a first come, first serve basis. All requests submitted after March 28th will be denied. *Please keep in mind that if you plan extended travel in Russia you will need to contact your program director ASAP as this will affect your Visa.  **If you will be traveling with your US Passport prior to departing for Russia, you will also need to speak with the program director as this may have an impact on your Russian Visa.  {Back to Top}  

Course Descriptions

Students may choose to take one or two classes unless their home institution requires two classes. Those who take two courses must chose one class in the morning, and one class in the afternoon. See your campus representative for your institutions course equivalency. Please note there is also an optional two-credit hour Culture Course offered on Monday evenings. LD- Lower Division UD-Upper Division

Morning Courses (Choose only one)
Russian Language (LD/UD)
Dr. Irina Gladkikh, St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University  
Three credit hours for one of the following Russian language courses: 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002, 3001, or 3002. Placement test are administered before classes begin. Field trips are designed to allow students to practice language skills and include visits to a supermarket, restaurants, walks around the University neighborhood, and other opportunities to apply the language skills acquired in class.

St. Petersburg in War and Revolution (UD)
Dr. Victoria Andreyeva (St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University)

This course will examine the cultural, social, and political history of St. Petersburg, a major center of both Russian and European history. It will focus on how residents of this city experienced war and revolution in the early modern and modern ages. It begins by considering St. Petersburg as the birthplace of Russia as a European empire and as a major center of Enlightenment thought. It then examines how this city in an age of revolution led to intellectual and cultural trends that challenged the tsarist state and Russian society. The course next turns to St. Petersburg as the epicenter of Russia’s revolutions of 1905 and 1917 that brought the end of the old order and the beginnings of the Soviet Union’s experiment in socialism. It concludes by considering how this city, as Leningrad, served as a defender of Russia’s revolutionary heritage during the Russian Civil War, the upheavals of the 1920's and 1930's, and lastly during World War Two. Students will be expected to gain a greater appreciation for Russia’s role in world history and European history, as well as important skills in writing and historical analysis.

Global Issues (LD) 
Dr. Mikhail Beznosov (West Georgia)

This course introduces the student to contemporary issues in international affairs. It is designed for those who have no prior knowledge of international relations or global issues. We will examine some of the most pressing, political, environmental and economic problems currently facing the global community today. The idea is to introduce the issues and discuss different points of view on them so that students can develop and articulate informed views on possible solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.


AFTERNOON COURSES (Choose only one)

Gogol Statue Group
Russian Politics (UD)

Dr. Mikhail Beznosov (West Georgia)

This course provides an introduction to Soviet, post-Soviet, and Russian politics and the way we in the West study and think about them. The substantive focus is on the political process and its policy outcomes. We will more briefly explore how the Soviet system evolved and how it addressed the complex issues that confronted it. We will consider the disintegration of the traditional Soviet system and the emergence of an independent Russian Federation. Primary attention will be directed to post-1991 (i.e., post-Soviet) political institutional, elite, and policy concerns. We will use a case study approach as we examine important issues on the contemporary policy agenda of the Russian Federation, with passing attention to other former Soviet Union (FSU) states.

International Economic Relations (UD)
Dr. Elena Vdovina (St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University)

The course starts with a short overview of the Russian economy focusing on major determinants of its economic growth. As international economic relations are to a certain extent regulated by the government, its commercial policy and the justification of protectionist policies follow. The main body of the course is divided into four sections of international economic relations including trade in commodities with dominating export of oil; trade in financial assets; investments with a particular stress on foreign direct investments and their role in the economic modernization, also Russia’s investment rating development; and international lending as part of economic relations. All these issues are analyzed in terms of their importance for Russia’s integration into the global economy. Special attention is paid to the prospect of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. Recent developments of economic cooperation both with the West and with the East are also analyzed. (Pre-requisites: Macro or Micro ECON. Taught in English)


Survival Russian Language and Culture (LD)
Irina McClellan (Valdosta State)

This is an introductory course in Russian Language and Culture, intended for those whose knowledge of Russia and its people is limited or non-existent. The course provides exposure to Russian alphabet, language and culture from medieval times to present time. Major emphasis will be given to the Russian way of life, to the life and attitudes of Russian citizens today.

Summer 2019 Director
McClellan Irina VSU


Directions on how to apply:
  1. Download and complete the European Council application.
  2. Turn in the application to your campus representative. If you do not know who your representative is click here.
  3. After you submit your application to your campus representative, please pay the $300 non-refundable program deposit at the payment page.
*Campus representatives forward completed applications to the program office at Valdosta State University.  Applications will not be processed by the EC office until both the application form (approved by the campus representative) and the $300 program deposit are received. ** Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis according to the date of receipt of the application and program deposit. Students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the application deadline to assure them of a place in the program as some programs will fill as early as November. Once a program is full, students will be placed on the waitlist. Please do not be discouraged if you’re placed on the waitlist as we always anticipate a 15% drop.   button button (1) Russie Red Square


    1. Any full-time or part-time student is eligible to participate in the program as long as the student will be 18 years of age by the time of departure.
    2. Students must be in good academic standing in order to be admitted to the program. Completion of an application form does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Note also that individual campuses may require letters of reference or other information beyond that required by the European Council.
Students from institutions that are not part of the University System of Georgia must become a transient student at Valdosta State University. Click here for information on becoming a transient at Valdosta State University {Back to Top}  

Health Matters and Insurance

Participants are provided with health-care from CISI insurance (Cultural Insurance Services International) that covers them while they are abroad. Students with special medical problems may be required to provide a physician's assurance of their ability to undertake foreign travel and study. It is not possible for the European Council to guarantee accessible facilities abroad for students with special needs. Participants should bring medications they regularly depend upon and should have copies of prescriptions in generic form in case they need to acquire additional medications. No special immunizations are needed to enter Russia, and the International Immunization Certificate is not required.  

Passports and Visas

Students taking part in the program will be required to obtain a visa in addition to having a valid passport. Passports must be valid for at least six months into the  future after the end of the program. If you passport expires on or before December 30th, 2019 then in accordance with Russia Visa rules and regulations you must apply for a new passport. Non US citizens should contact the program director to determine if a Visa is required. Participants are required to e-mail a scan of the information page from their passport to the European Council no later than March 16, 2019. Passport scans received after that date will be subject to late fees, please see "Deadlines" for more information. Additionally, if passports are submitted late, there may be additional penalties from the Russia Visa agency to expedite processing. In order to obtain an invitation, which is the first step toward obtaining a visa, you must send a scanned copy of the information page of your passport to Irina McClellan at by March 16, 2019. Once students supply the European Council with their passports, the European Council will provide you with instructions on how to obtain a Visa for travel to Russia. For everything you may need to know about getting a passport click on the link below: State Department - Passport Services and Information 

What Students Have To Say

  • I would say to bring enough money that you can fully enjoy the trip and not have to be always worried about spending money - you'll only be in this city at this time with these people once. I would say to NEVER miss a field trip or excursion and be prepared to stay up late and get up early. I am still catching up on sleep but it was so worth it. Don't waste your time and money to sit in the common room. I would say you should take loads of pictures and do a daily blog like I did firstly to have for yourself, because you'll forget things I promise, but so your family and friends can stay up to date on what you're up to and you won't be overwhelmed trying to tell them a months worth of experiences.
  • Regret nothing. Get out an explore the city! Don't you dare sleep your days away!
  • I loved all the guides excursions and all the history that I learned. I wanted to go to Moscow and I did. I'm glad that I spent the extra money. The cruise was wonderful. The cabins were little and there was not too much to do on the boat but I loved going to Finland, Sweden and Estonia
  • I thought that IMOP (the dorm building) was an incredible place to live full of opportunity. I had the pleasure of making friends that I spent many nights with that represent over 20 different countries.
  • Be prepared to try new things and to plan for things a little bit ahead of time.
  • Be prepared to try new things and to plan for things a little bit ahead of time.
Here are some blogs that previous students wrote while on their trip to St. Petersburg: Gavin Merwin's Blog The Bold Wanderer Lastly, click here to see a video created by one of our students as well!


If you do not have a campus contact or are unable to obtain the information that you need, please write or call Valdosta State University, the coordinating institution for the European Council, at the following address:
European Council Coordinator Ph: 229-259-2591
Irina McClellan St. Petersburg Program Director
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This program is currently not accepting applications.