Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Russian summer school is coming...

It's almost time for Russian summer school! *slight panicky feeling* 

Last night I had my first dream about being in Russia. It was a confusing mix of trying to buy bread and water from a little kiosk, using wooden tokens to ride the metro, and getting outdated rubles from an ATM. Pretty sure reality won't look much like that, though. Right? But who cares, I'm SO excited!!!

Yesterday the school sent out a class schedule-

Class 1 and 2 are language lessons. The afternoons are culture sessions: a human library, a visit to a neuroscience center, and museums, museums, museums. On the weekends, students can take an optional getaway.

What trips do you think sound best? I'm hoping Kazan-by-train happens. A Russian blogger once wrote about Good Kazan / Bad Kazan and it looked like a really interesting place.
And the roommate survey arrived. This was my favorite question-

Where did the nice early bird / night owl questions go?

In terms of packing, the only thing I've done so far is get business cards, which are really more of calling cards. Haven't you secretly always wanted a bilingual card with your name on it? ;)

One thing I'm not going to pack is a phrasebook or a dictionary (even though that red Russian dictionary is still my best friend.) Hooray! This is Round #2 of studying abroad in Russia and last time I was frantically cramming Pimsleur CDs from the library. I'd taken Russian 101 and 102, meaning I could barely even say hello. It's so hard to tell if you're making progress with a foreign language but this is finally a clear sign- being able to travel there with just your own brain.

I don't know why the world of Russian summer schools was invisible for so long. Now that I'm looking, they're all over the internet. In addition to the Nizhny Novgorod program, there's also-
  • Kalmyk State University. $501 USD. July 16 - July 31, 2016. Intensive course of Russian language (60 hours), accommodation in a comfortable dormitory (hostel), meals, excursions (Elista, Volgograd, Moscow), interesting games and trainings with volunteers, transfer Moscow-Elista-Moscow.
  • Udmurt State University. $440 USD. July 2016. 109 academic hours of intensive Russian language training, exciting excursions, handmade souvenir workshops, singing-video-discussion clubs, hot lunches from Mon-Fri, official transcript of credits, accomodation.
  • Omsk State University. $469 USD. August 1 - 20. 72 hours of Russian language instruction, course materials, accommodation, daytime program, evening activities, airport transfers.
  • Siberian Summer School, Yakutsk. $1,012 USD. August 1 - 19. Siberia-themed lessons, field trips, accommodation, lectures in English and/or Russian with English interpretation.

But if your tastes are a little fancier and you don't want to spend your summer in a place like Udmurtia, you'll have to shell out significantly more money.

Also on the pricey-but-worth-it side is Arizona's Critical Languages Institute. Forget plain old Russian. Instead have a summer fling with a language like Bosnian, Uzbek, or Macedonian.

Alright, off to start packing now for real!


  1. Ahh! Have fun! A few more suggestions:

    I did this program the two months before my freshman year of college: (Beloit is awesome!)

    I was also chosen to participate in the Critical Language Scholarship program which actually pays you to study but you have to be a student of some kind:

    1. Thanks for these, Polly! Beloit looks like a good program (and reasonably priced for being US-based). I would be a student all over again for the sake of CLS- it seems so cool! Did you study Russian there? How's your Russian now, by the way? Does your husband help you out?

    2. Yes, I did study Russian in Kaliningrad (at the Baltic State Fishing Fleet Academy XD) My Russian is... lazy. Usually my husband will speak Russian and I'll speak English. Works for us but confuses everyone else!

      Good luck on your trip - let me reiterate how jealous I am!

  2. Thanks for such an informative post! Congrats on going to Russia and good for you for continuing to study the language!
    I am planning on studying at Liden and Denz language school in St Petersburg this winter. It came highly recommended to me by my Russian professor. It is great to know there are many options for studying in Russia though!

    1. That's so exciting, Liz :) I hope you have a great time there! Their youtube video is very impressive... the students kept saying "modern" and it certainly looks that way. Do you plan to blog from there?

    2. They do seem really proud of their new facility :)
      Hopefully it's not completely devoid of the unusual Russian ways we know and love ;)
      I am a terrible blogger and picture taker, but may throw up a post or two while I am there!

    3. Hooray, I would love to read about your experiences in St. Petersburg!

  3. Enjoy every second of it!!! Definitely try to make it to Kazan - it's beautiful there, especially in the summer.
    My summer Russian language school 5 years ago at NovaMova in Kiev will forever hold a special place in my heart! That's where I fell in love not only with Ukraine, but with a certain German fellow as well ;)
    Studying in Kiev, there was no visa required, host family stay, and very affordable. They now have a language school opened up on the Black Sea in Georgia as well

    1. Spasibo, Chelsea! I didn't know that's where you guys met. That means he was learning the language too? And anything on the Black Sea sounds soooooo tempting... will check that out for sure.

    2. Yep! Mario speaks Russian too! For a long time we spoke mostly Russian together, but since I moved to Germany we speak mostly English and German :)

  4. I REALLY need to take Russian courses. I'm so mad at how little I progressed this year. Have fun in Russia! I love Kazan, by the way.

    1. Even the name (Kazan) looks cool :D

      Wishing you luck in your studies. If you can get some time off, you should come to NN too and take some classes!