Student Life

At the School in Russia, we understand that the time students spend outside of class is as important to their linguistic and cultural immersion as the time spent in formal educational situations.  Where students live, what language they interact in regularly, and what activities they pursue with Russian peers all play key roles in their ultimate experience.

Co-Curricular Activities

Participation in extracurricular pursuits is a major priority of the School in Russia. On-site staff and university faculty work actively to assist students in locating individual activities.The School in Russia strongly encourages participants to pursue individual activities outside of classes and away from the other American students in the group.

Although "campus life" as we know it in the United States does not exist in Russia, and the network of clubs and activities at a Russian university can appear limited to American students, a wide variety of opportunities are indeed available at facilities throughout each city.

The School in Russia, with help from its host universities, maintains contacts at a variety of facilities in each host city and can advise students on particular pursuits. However, ultimate responsibility for arranging extracurricular events, once they are identified, lies with the student. The School in Russia will help participants to locate activities, but expects that students will follow through independently once those activities have been found.

Yuming Li, from Kenyon College, plays basketball with a team at Irkutsk State University. The team won the ISU tournament with Yuming in the fall 2018 semester!


The School in Russia organizes one or two out-of-town trips for program participants each semester, to cities and regions of historical and cultural interest. A limited number of city excursions are also organized each semester, at each site.

Irkutsk students visited Vladivostok!

Except in situations where an excursion is a required component of a particular course, all trips and excursions are optional. Students may choose to not participate on group events, at their discretion. However, the program cannot reimburse or otherwise compensate students for events missed.

Destinations for trips vary from site to site and from year to year. Past groups have traveled on short trips to Nizhnyi Novgorod, Pskov, Vologda, Vladimir/Suzdal, Tver'/Torzhok, Tula/Yasnaya Polyana, (western Russia), and Ulan-Ude, Krasnoyarsk, Khakassiya, Tuva and a variety of sites on Lake Baikal (Irkutsk). Longer trips have taken students to Arkhangelsk, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Sochi, Kazan, and the Lapland areas of the Murmansk region.

General Information

Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Russian-American diplomatic relations - bicentennial celebration

History of American-Russian Relations,, Three of the largest Russian language search engines. Catalog and information for most of the country's museums--may be searched by region. Site of Russian Life magazine.  Articles about culture and history of Russia in English.  Recommendations for inexpensive US-Russia calling card options.