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AC Language & Area Studies Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Vladimir, Russia




Summer: Two years of college-level Russian

Application Due:

Summer: 2/10
Fall/Academic Year: 3/1
Spring: 10/11

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

The Russian Language and Area Studies Program of the American Councils (AC) is designed to improve students’ oral, listening, reading, and writing proficiency in Russian language and to develop their knowledge of Russian history, politics, culture, and society. The program is offered at one of three locations: St. Petersburg, Moscow, or Vladimir, with the final placement to be determined by AC. UI participants join a group of students from other U.S. colleges and universities. A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. The program is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Academic Program

For academic guidance, students should consult instructors and advisors in the UI Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Coursework from the Russian Language and Area Studies Program is applied towards specific UI major requirements according to outstanding requirements. UI students earn resident credit on this program.


This is an eight-week, intensive language-immersion program. Excursions to local sights of social, cultural, or historic significance take place weekly and are conducted in Russian. Two years of college-level Russian are required. Students earn 8 s.h. of language credit reported as two intensive courses: conversation and grammar.


The program is offered for the semester or the academic year. The program entails twenty hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies, with one day per week set aside for local cultural excursions. Peer tutoring, internships, community service, and a broad range of extracurricular activities offer students the opportunity to connect with Russian friends and actively engage in Russian daily life.

For More Information

Ryan Ourada
Study Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator

Phone: 319-335-0353

The University of Iowa
International Programs, Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Moscow International

The Moscow International University serves as the host institution for RLASP participants in Moscow. Founded by G. A. Yagodin, Minister of Education under Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow International is the first accredited private university in the post-Soviet Russian Federation. It specializes in the teaching of foreign languages, economics, finance, management, ecology, and sociology. American Councils places students in the university's Department of Russian as a Foreign Language.


Moscow, once draped in Soviet symbols, has readily adopted the trappings of capitalism and is now replete with neon billboards and shopping malls. Decidedly the center of political and economic power, the capital now rivals St. Petersburg in culture and the arts.

Russian State Pedagogical University

The Russian State Pedagogical (Gertsen) University serves as the host institution to RLASP participants in St. Petersburg. Located just behind the Kazan Cathedral in downtown St. Petersburg, the Gertsen University is one of the leading educational institutions in all of Russia. American Councils places students in the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russia's most western city, is a monument to the country's past imperial grandeur. A work of art in and of itself, St. Petersburg remains the center of Russia's artistic life.

KORA Center for Russian Language Study

The KORA Center for Russian Language Study hosts RLASP participants in Vladimir. Founded in 1991 by faculty from the Vladimir State University, the KORA Center for Russian Language Study has hosted American Councils students since the summer of 2000. All KORA faculty members are specially trained in the instruction of Russian as a foreign language and many have extensive teaching experience in the West.


Though they city lies just 200 kilometers from Moscow, the pace of life in Vladimir is leisurely. Residents of Vladimir have more time to spend with friends and family, and this is reflected in their warm hospitality. Vladimir has a population of 360,000 and is a regional capital, yet it retains its small-town charm; one of Russia's oldest cities, Vladimir is part of the historic "Golden Ring."

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.


Program participants may live in a university dormitory or with a Russian host family. The majority of American Councils participants choose the host family option. All host families provide private rooms, telephone access, and keys for their American guests. Host families also provide two meals per day. Living with a host family immerses program participants in everyday Russian life while still offering some of the comforts of home. Host families also expose participants to authentic, contemporary language and culture in informal, social settings.

All host families are screened, selected, and monitored by American Councils home-stay coordinators and resident directors. Students may change their housing arrangements during the program, although these adjustments require some time to be completed.

Travel Arrangements

Roundtrip airfare from Washington D.C. to the site abroad is not included in the program fee. Students make their own arrangements to arrive in Washington D.C. for the mandatory orientation a few days prior to departure as well as the roundtrip flight from Washington D.C. to Russia and return to the U.S. upon conclusion of the program.


The program fee is charged on the U-Bill and covers tuition, housing and most meals, excursions and in-country travel, and visa fees.


The Course Fee is charged on your U-Bill and covers tuition and fees including registration, orientation, field trips, and cultural activities as described on AC's program website for Russia. Students are also charged a study abroad administrative fee.

The Summer 2019 drafted course fees can be found at the following link:

PDFSummer 2019 Estimated Cost ST PetersburgPDF

PDFSummer 2019 Estimated Cost MoscowPDF

Additional costs include study abroad administrative fee, Regents CISI health insurance, airfare, books and supplies, meals, local transportation, and personal expenses.

The Fall 2019 drafted course fees can be found at the following link:

PDFFall 2019 Estimated Cost PDF

Additional costs include study abroad administrative fee, Regents CISI health insurance, airfare, books and supplies, meals, local transportation, and personal expenses.

How to Apply

Full program information and the AC application to download is available here.

Students also must complete the UI application for study abroad.

Orientation Information

Acceptance materials from AC will include a Program Handbook with extensive information about life in your host city and program details.

All students also attend a general TIPS orientation for UI Students Studying Abroad. Additional individualized meetings address program-specific topics as well as billing and credit procedures at Iowa.

RLASP participants attend a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. at the start of their program. Orientation sessions address health and safety, Russian academic culture, host family life, culture shock, strategies to maximize language gain, and key survival phrases in Russian. Participants have a chance to meet and get to know their resident directors, fellow participants, and RLASP alumni during the two-day program. Students are housed in three-person rooms in a downtown hotel—a short walk from the American Councils Washington office. Each group departs with its resident director for Russia from Washington, D.C. at the end of the orientation. Lodging and meals are provided.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343