Fall 2021 semester cancelled

The situation and the policies outlined here are subject to change, so please return to this page for updates as we approach the start of the semester. Students will be given detailed information and instructions in their correspondence with Middlebury prior to departure and upon arrival in Russia.

Current Situation in Russia

For up-to-date information, please see the U.S. Embassy site.

Program Changes

  • The official arrival date will need to change to accommodate the quarantine period. More details forthcoming.

Program-Specific Protocols

Arrival

  • Travelers arriving from abroad must register at a local headquarters for the fight against coronavirus infection
  • 14 day quarantine is required. 
  • Most host families agree to have students at their apartments for this period of time.
  • Irkutsk State University provides a dormitory for two weeks quarantine.

Housing

  • Students in Irkutsk may stay in dorms instead of with host families, if they prefer.
  • In Moscow, host families have stipulated that students will have their own set of dishes for meals.

Middlebury Center Space

  • At all indoor facilities, masks and hand sanitizers required (ideally gloves as well).
  • A distance of 1.5 meters will be maintained. 
  • Body temperature will be measured before students come to class.
  • Class space will be cleaned and ventilated more frequently than usual.

Public Spaces

  • Individuals violating mask wearing regulations are subject to fines.
  • Street food should be avoided.

Travel

  • International travel will not be permitted during the semester.
  • On all intercity trips (by train or bus), temperature is measured at the entrance. All passengers are provided with individual protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

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All travelers from abroad have to register at a local headquarters for the fight against coronavirus infection:

Moscow 
Irkutsk 
Yaroslavl

 

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Middlebury-organized courses will continue online if in-person instruction is no longer possible. Students would return to their remote coursework after a one week to allow for travel and rest.

For mainstream courses at a host university, Middlebury may be able to organize individual classes in cases where university courses can not continue. But at this point all of our host universities offer hybrid courses, with online instruction already in place. 

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Credit-bearing internships will only be allowed if they can be completed online. Internships might also be limited due to organizations’ willingness to bring in new interns under the present, unstable circumstances.

The School in Russia is in the process of working with our internship partners to investigate options for the spring semester. School in Russia staff will update students who have expressed an interest in internships via email about the results as soon as they have them. If you’d like to pursue an online internship or hybrid online/in-person internship, please let our on-site staff know what you’d be interested in.

In Irkutsk, we will have opportunities for students to intern at the Ecological Center as well as the sustainability NGO “Vtornik” (second-hand store/recycling), and the Big Baikal Trail (ecological NGO). There may also be non-credit volunteer opportunities at a local dog shelter.

In Yaroslavl, there will be internship opportunities at the Art and History Museum, and at NGOLIFT” (a city youth related actions projects).

In Moscow, there may be continued opportunities with the Carnegie Center, the Garage Art Gallery, and perhaps at the Jewish Museum and Center for Tolerance.
    There will also be non-credit volunteer opportunities in Moscow working at a local dog shelter and a cat cafe, working in local forest parks doing conservation work, or at the Moscow hippodrome, for those specifically interested in working with horses.

 

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Students should budget $1,000 minimum for any quarantine-related expenses that might be needed.

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Students may remain in their housing during the quarantine period. Food (if not provided by a host family) and other necessities could be easily delivered by courier service. If there is a need to see a doctor, doctors could make a visit at home. Staff could help at any time.

Students will be given support in catching up on work or accessing course content virtually, and will be given extensions on assignments or exams missed. 

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Program staff will assist students in arranging a call or visit to a local doctor and taking an express test. If students test positive, they will be required to stay in isolation and get tested until the results come back negative twice. Local doctors will contact students regularly and ask about body temperature and symptoms. If the health condition requires hospitalization, then the student will be taken to a hospital by ambulance.

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No. As is the case in the US, not all individuals are required to be vaccinated. The host country might not be as far along in the vaccination rollout process, so it is possible that host families, faculty, etc. will not yet have had access to a vaccine.