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Bard-Smolny Study Abroad Program
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Program Terms: Smolny Academic Year,
Smolny Fall,
Smolny Spring
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Smolny Fall,
Smolny Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Smolny Fall 2014 04/01/2014 
Rolling Admission 08/14/2014 12/28/2014
 NOTE: Students must arrive in Saint Petersburg on or by the above start date. The optional group flight leaves August 13.
Smolny Academic Year 2014-2015 04/01/2014 
Rolling Admission 08/14/2014 06/06/2015
 NOTE: Students must arrive in Saint Petersburg on or by the above start date. The optional group flight leaves August 13. Spring 2015 dates are still tentative and subject to change.
Smolny Spring 2015 10/01/2014** Rolling Admission 01/22/2015 06/07/2015
 NOTE: Students must arrive in Saint Petersburg on or by the above start date. The optional group flight leaves January 21. Spring 2015 dates are still tentative and subject to change.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Admission is competitive and space is limited. Students are encouraged to apply in advance of our application deadlines.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Number of Credits: 15
 Minimum GPA Required:
Language of Instruction: English, Russian
 Language Prerequisite:
Language Proficiency Required: 2 years college-level Russian Housing Options: Dorm, Homestay
Internship Option?: Yes
Program Description:

Smolny Logo



Bard-Smolny Program

The Bard-Smolny Program in St. Petersburg, Russia, offers an academically rich environment for students from North American colleges and universities who wish to study in Russia for a single semester or the full academic year. All students are required to have completed at least two years of college-level Russian or its equivalent by the time of their enrollment, and Bard-Smolny's emphasis on Russian language interaction makes the program as valuable for heritage speakers as for intermediate to advanced students of Russian.


From their very first day, Students enroll side by side with Russian students in classes at Smolny College, the first liberal arts college in Russia. Students develop a more mature sense of the Russian language through both this academic immersion and their required participation in Bard-Smonly's own Russian as a Second Language Program (RSL). Smolny's academic courses are designed to meet North American students' requirements for their B.A. degree at their home college or university.

Smolny College has 12 academic programs (majors) and 8 areas of concentration (minors),  which totals to an offering of over 130 courses each semester. While some courses are offered in English (5-7 each semester), the majority of courses are taught in Russian. A list of recent course offerings is available on our website.

Smolny CoverAcademic Programs (Majors)

  • Art and Architecture
  • Cognitive Studies
  • Complex Systems in Nature and Society
  • Economics
  • Foreign Languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Italian)
  • History of Civilizations
  • International Relations, Political Science and
  • Human Rights
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Performing Arts (Theater, Film)
  • Sociology and Anthropology

Areas of Concentration (Minors)

  • American Culture and Civilization
  • Computer Science
  • Eastern Culture and Civilization
  • French Culture and Civilization
  • Gender Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian Culture and Civilization

Russian as a Second Language (RSL)

The main objective of the RSL Program is to boost and balance the development of students' speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. The program also aims to facilitate students' adjustment to everyday life in Russia, and to the Smolny academic environment. Students take three 3-credit Russian language courses which meet twice per week for one and one-half hours per session, and they are also enrolled in an additional one and one-half hours per week of phonetics. The RSL course of study includes such diverse language components as grammar, phonetics, conversational Russian, academic reading, and composition.

Prior to the start of the semester, students are required to participate in an on-site, two-week Russian Language Intensive that consists of twenty academic hours of language instruction per week. The intensive serves to improve students' conversational skills and prepare them for exposure to academic Russian.

Heritage speakers and other high proficiency speakers may have the RSL requirement reduced or waived. A specialized RSL program designed to meet the needs of heritage speakers is also available to qualified students.

We recommend that students participate in an immersive summer language program before entering the Smolny College semester program. There are many choices for student summers in both Russia and the United States, and we encourage you to consider enrolling in our own Summer Language Intensive (SLI). Both four- and eight-week long programs are offered. The program is designed to provide students with an equivalent to one year of Russian language study, and it offers a comprehensive introduction to Smolny as an academic institution.  There is usually a two-week break between the SLI program and the start of the fall semester.

Additional Bard-Smolny Program Highlights

  • Students have the option of living either in a dormitory or with a host family. We recommend students to stay with host families, as doing so accelerates language acquisition.
  • Bard-Smolny includes a full cultural program that introduces students to Russian history and culture. Excursions typically take place once every two weeks and include visits to museums as well as the opera, ballet and theater, social activities such as bowling and dinners, and several weekend excursions outside of St. Petersburg to Moscow and surrounding areas.
  • Students are encouraged to pursue volunteer service and/or internships during their time in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, course credit is not received for internships.