Moscow is the center of Russian cultural and political life. Whether spotting Lenin’s ghost in Red Square, exploring neighborhood boutiques, or sampling authentic Georgian cuisine, Moscow offers all the excitement of a cosmopolitan city. Students should know, however, that studying in Moscow, with its eleven million residents, impersonal attitude, and huge crowds in the metro, is not the typical “Russian” experience they might be expecting. As the ease of transitioning into such a large city cannot be overestimated, Moscow is best suited for students with strong language skills and prior experience in Russia.
Students primarily take their courses at the Middlebury center in Russian language, literature, and culture, with content seminars, "spetskursy", focusing on economics, politics, history, and regional studies. Middlebury's host institution, the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU), offers a full range of courses in the humanities and social sciences. Students with five semesters of Russian who have completed coursework in the same area of study may also choose to take some of their university courses at the Shchukin Theater Institute or the Higher School of Economics.