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Where will your Russian take you?

Russian is the fifth most spoken language worldwide. Russia has a population of almost 150 million people and there are roughly 270 million Russian speakers in the world. It is one of the five official languages of the United Nations and remains the unofficial lingua franca of the former Soviet republics, an indispensable communication tool across all of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

  • Russian is the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.
  • Russian is the unofficial lingua franca in Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
  • There are substantial numbers of Russian-speakers in Cyprus, Finland, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, China, the U.S., and Israel.


UNC Study Abroad Office

For UNC students, please make sure to follow UNC Study Abroad’s guidelines for studying abroad. UNC students that wish to receive transfer credit from going abroad should apply through UNC Study Abroad’s Student Initiated Programs (if the program is not already approved by UNC Study Abroad).

Spring: Applications open August 1 and most are due September 10.

Summer: Applications open November 15 and most are due January 31.

Fall: Applications open November 15 and most are due March 1.


Study Abroad & Intensives Programs

UNC Summer RUSS Courses

Domestic/Virtual — Summer

Complete the first-year or second-year RUSS sequence through UNC’s summer courses.



Domestic — Summer

STARTALK is a federal grant program managed and funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund innovative programs with strong language learning outcomes for K-16 students in support of the STARTALK goals. STARTALK grants currently support programs offered in the following critical need languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian.

  • Note: You have to apply for the specific programs.


Middlebury Summer Intensive

Domestic — Summer

Spend a summer at the School of Russian at Middlebury and you’ll experience the single most effective method for rapid language acquisition: a total immersion environment with the Language Pledge—a promise to read, write, speak, and listen only in your language of study.


Indiana University Summer Intensive 

Domestic — Summer

Every June and July, the Russian Workshop at IU brings students from across the U.S. together to develop their linguistic and cultural competency rapidly and effectively through in an intensive in-person immersion program. Students live in a Russian dorm alongside faculty and staff, speaking only Russian — studying, living, and playing in Russian — all summer long.


Bryn Mawr Summer Intensive

Domestic — Summer

The Russian Language Institute at Bryn Mawr offers a highly focused curriculum and a study environment conducive to the rapid development of the four language skills (oral, listening, writing, reading) as well as cultural competence.


Concordia Language Villages

Domestic — Summer

The Concordia Language Villages Summer Russian Program offers a fun-filled and adventurous summer in a camp-like arrangement. This summer program covers Russian language classes, cultural activities, and related field trips for a real-life glimpse.

National Security Language Initiative for Youth

Virtual or Abroad — Summer

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program is a fully-funded summer study abroad opportunity through the Department of State.

  • Note: Apply for the language, not the location.

Deadline: Typically Late October/Early November


Future Leaders Exchange Abroad (FLEX Abroad)

Abroad — Academic Year

FLEX Abroad provides a unique fully funded exchange experience for American high school students to build global awareness and intercultural competency. Live with a host family and attend high school in Georgia, Kazakhstan, or Poland.

Critical Language Scholarship

Virtual or Abroad — Summer

The Critical Language Scholarship Program is a fully-funded summer study abroad opportunity through the Department of State.

  • Note: Apply for the language, not the location.

Deadline: Typically Late October/Early November


RLASP Study Abroad

Abroad — Spring, Fall, Summer, and Academic Year

American Council’s Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program is an intensive Russian language study and cultural immersion. Possible locations: Yerevan, Armenia, Tbilisi, Georgia, Tallinn, Estonia, and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Deadline: different for each option (fall, summer, etc.)


Study, Research, and Custom Programs Abroad (SRAS)

Abroad or Virtual — Spring, Fall, Summer, and Academic Year

SRAS is a study abroad provider that is dedicated to the educational opportunities offered by challenging locations. SRAS offers programs all over Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Deadline: different for each option (fall, summer, etc.)


UGA’s IRLCCB Program

Abroad — Summer

UGA’s Immersion in the Russian Language, Culture, and Communities in the Baltics Program offers an intensive study abroad experience that capitalizes on intellectually rich cultural hubs of Russian emigre residing in Riga, Latvia.

Deadline: Typically early spring (Jan/Feb)


Project GO *ROTC Only 

Abroad or Domestic — Summer

Project Global Officer is a nationwide program open to all qualified ROTC students offering fully-funded opportunities in critical language education, overseas study, and cross-cultural experience.

  • Note: Have to apply to each program

Deadline: Typically early spring (Jan/Feb)


CIEE College Study Abroad

Abroad — Spring, Fall, and Summer

CIEE offers a variety of college study abroad programs covering semester, summer, and January terms. In addition to studying internationally, we provide internships abroad where students gain professional skills and experience in real-world work environments. For Russian specifically, students have the option of studying abroad in Tallinn, Estonia.

Deadline: different for each option (fall, summer, etc.)