The cultural capital of Russia is the best place to be in the country. I studied abroad there in the fall of 2009, and it was the best experience of my life. Now back at Binghamton, I am pursuing a Russian major as well as my formally declared Political Science Major. American Institute of Foreign Study offers an amazing study abroad program in St. Petersburg. They provide many options for classes to be taken on the campus of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and the campus is only a fifteen minute metro ride from the heart of the city.

The best part of this program is the trips it offers. We took a four day visit to Moscow, where we went on a few tours and saw the Moscow circus. We took a four day trip to Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia. Also, at the beginning of the trip you meet your fellow abroad students in London, England, where you also have a few days to see the sights. Also, around St. Petersburg, there are numerous trips to places around the city. A few include Dostoevsky’s former apartment, Catherine Palace in Pushkin, and a day trip to Novgorod.

While on campus, you have the choice to either stay in an apartment or do a home stay. By doing a home stay, you can enrich yourself further into Russian culture, but if you stay in a the apartments, the class schedule is very relaxed and you will have a lot of time to be out and about and learn about Russian culture, cuisine, or whatever your heart desires!

AIFS takes care of all of your travel information, all you have to do is get a passport and you are on your way. The price is affordable; it is about the same cost of out-of-state tuition here at SUNY Binghamton. I would highly recommend this program if you are interested in Russian studies or just want to go abroad! You do not have to know a word of Russian to go on this program, but you are required to take language classes while in Russia.

-Andy Temple

Binghamton, class of 2011



Last Updated: 11/20/14