Virtual Study Abroad (Smolny College, St. Petersburg State University)

Deadline: August 10, 2020

As many institutions move towards virtual instruction for Fall 2020, we are pleased to announce a virtual study abroad program through the Bard-Smolny partnership. With this program, students at US institutions can still access an international education experience during this moment of uncertainty. Students will be immersed in Russian language and culture through courses taught by faculty members from Smolny College within Saint Petersburg State University. The program features 11 credits of Russian language instruction and one or two academic courses taught in English or Russian. There will also be guided virtual cultural experiences through virtual museum tours and guest speakers. Open to students with at least two semesters of college level Russian.

Tuition for the Bard-Smolny Fall 2020 Virtual Study Abroad Program is $11,000. While the courses are taken through Smolny College, the credits are conferred by Bard College.

Semester dates: Orientation: August 24, 2020 at 10:00 am EDT, Fall 2020: September 1 to December 18, 2020.

Sample list of academic discipline courses: Students may select up to two academic discipline courses, which generally meet once per week for 4 academic hours and are 3 credits each.
– Russian-Jewish Literature (in Russian)
– Translation of Literature to the Language of Film: Russian classics on the world screen (in English)
– Petersburg Texts (in English)
– Architecture in Soviet Russia (in English)
– Russian Autocracy: Moscow and Petersburg Periods XV Century – February 1917 (in Russian)
– Scriabin and His World (in English)
– Demography History, Problems, and Policies in the USSR/Russia (in English)

During Summer 2020, the Bard-Smolny program hosted a virtual Russian language cafe. This program included Russian language instruction, virtual meet-ups with four-year Smolny students, and cultural programming inlcuding virtual museum tours and guest speakers.

Participant Feedback: “It was a great opportunity to practice my Russian language skills in an organic setting without the pressures of being in a class, and a perfect balance of instruction and stress-free conversations. All the Bard-Smolny professors are positive and very encouraging, regardless of one’s level of Russian comprehension. I really liked the conversation hours with Russian students because I was able to connect with people my age and learn conversational words that you wouldn’t normally use in a formal, classroom setting.” – Catherine Nixon, Princeton University

“The subject matter itself was always intriguing, and was made even more so by interactive components to lessons and lectures. I was definitely nervous, especially embarking on a program like this via Zoom, but I loved every minute of it. The online format was not that much of a hindrance, and I am grateful for the connections I made with students from schools in the US and in Russia alike.” – Mira Sneirson, Williams College

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