During their first semester at the School in Russia, participants take four courses. For most students, this consists of four of the following:
- Advanced Russian Grammar
- Choice of one спецкурс in Literature, History or Politics
- Russian Culture & Civilization
All courses are taught in Russian and are exclusive to School in Russia participants. Instructors are selected from various departments of the host university. For language courses, students are divided into language level groups based on the results of a language placement test given prior to arrival in Russia, and on the results of interviews and testing on site. Culture & Civilization and спецкурсы are not divided according to language level, but are taught to the group as a whole. Each class meets for two пары (four academic hours) per week and includes written and oral graded exercises.
(Just click on a course title below to see a description of the class.)
Advanced Russian Grammar (Core Course)
The course program is divided into two traditional aspects: morphology and syntax. Training is conducted according to the following model - finding required language forms in texts, understanding how they are formed and how they function in a sentence, as well as their independent implementation in speech. A greater emphasis is placed on journalistic and scientific styles.
Phonetics (Core Course)
The course purpose is the sequential development and activation of oral speech skills, discussion skills and public speaking skills.
The primary goals of the course are: activation and partial correction of previously learned lexical and grammatical knowledge, intensive activation and development, first of all, of Russian oral communication skills (in the form of monologues, dialogues, and free discussion); increased vocabulary and the improvement of intellectual analysis skills, both in language and in life.
Russian Culture and Civilization (Core Course)
Students learn about Russian folklore and mythology, Russian traditions and conceptions of the world, as well as about the art of Literature. There are several basic topics in the course: “History and Culture of Yaroslavl as a reflection of History and Culture of Russia”, “Russian people and their relation to Nature”, “A Russian inside the Russian society”, “A Road as a National Epos”, “Searches for the National character in classical and contemporary Russian Literature”. The course is taught in the form of a seminar, so discussion plays a large role in class. Students also write research papers.
History of Russia: 9th Century to 1861
This course allows students to study Russian history from the 9th century until 1861. In each period, major political events, aspects of economic progress, social relations, questions of everyday life and customs of Russia's ethnic groups are explored. The course does not impose one single correct point of view. Rather, it gives students the chance to generate their own opinions on topics in Russian history. The course includes excursions to the city's historical museums.
Modern Russian History and Contemporary Politics
This is an analysis of Contemporary Russian Politics in which students learn about the tendencies of political processes in Russia, political relations, political interests and political behavior. Students study the main trends of election campaigns in Russia as well as domestic and international Russian politics.