Duke in Russia

Language, Culture, Policy Studies and Neuroscience

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and the Global Education Office for Undergraduates of Duke University offer two programs based at the St. Petersburg University in St. Petersburg, Russia. The program is directed by Professor Edna Andrews of the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies of Duke University.

St. Petersburg, located near the Gulf of Finland, is the second largest Russian city. Some of the most outstanding features of St. Petersburg are its beautiful palaces and churches and the "White Nights,” which peak at the end of June.

Program Fast Facts

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Term: Summer
  • Dates: May 14 – June 24,2017
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2017
  • Academic Theme(s): Language, Culture, Policy Studies, and Neuroscience
  • Credit Type: Duke Credit
  • Eligibility: All of the classes for this option are taught in Russian. A minimum of two semesters of Russian at the college level, or equivalent, is therefore strongly suggested. However, depending on the number of participants, beginning students may be accepted. All students who are accepted into the program must take a placement test before the spring semester ends.
  • Duke Affiliation: Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies of Duke University.
  • Housing: Students reside in university housing in St. Petersburg and in hotels on excursions
  • GEO Advisor: Alayne Wood
  • Academics
  • Excursions


Options and Courses

Duke in Russia offers three different options. Each option consists of two courses and has a different focus, according to student interest. Options 1 and 2 do not require any previous knowledge of the Russian language. Option 3 requires some previous language knowledge, depending on which level of instruction is desired.


  • COURSE 1: PUBPOL 399A/CULANTH 399A/ICS 399A/RUSSIAN 399A (CZ, SS, CCI, EI)  Global Russia: This course focuses on the globalization of Russian culture as manifested in popular and academic cultural forms, including political ideologies, media and artistic texts, film, theatre and television, markets, educational and legal institutions, historical and contemporary social movements and ethical issues
  • COURSE 2: One of the following—RUSSIAN 112, 207AS, 307AS Russian Language and Culture: Intensive study of contemporary Russian language and important elements of Russian culture. Outcomes include measurable Common European Framework (CEFR) proficiency standards in speaking, reading, writing, listening comprehension, and grammar. 


  • COURSE 1: NEUROSCI 439AS/LINGUIST 473AS/RUSSIAN 439AS (NS, STS, R) Neuroscience and Multilingualism: In-depth analysis of PET, fMRI, MEG, EEG/ERP studies of multilingualism and their implications for linguistic theory.  A close examination of the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological aspects of imaging studies and the importance of neuro-functional explanations play a central role in building new theoretical paradigms of language acquisition, maintenance, and loss.
  • COURSE 2: One of the following -- RUSSIAN 112, 207AS, 307AS Russian Language and Culture: Intensive study of contemporary Russian language and important elements of Russian culture. Outcomes include measurable Common European Framework (CEFR) proficiency standards in speaking, reading, writing, listening comprehension, and grammar.


For Option 3, students at all levels of Russian may participate.

  • Each student registers for two Duke Russian language courses appropriate to the student's level. Course placements are based on previous coursework and a placement examination. All students are required to take a test at the end of the program. Grades are based on performance in class and all written examinations (including the final). Examinations in the program are developed and graded by the Department of Slavic Languages and Eurasian Studies of Duke University.
  • Course numbers are based on the student placement testing and/or proficiency testing. The most common courses that students take are 207/208, 307/308, and 407/408 which are Russian Language and Culture courses at different levels.


Each summer, program participants enjoy a full complement of excursions, both day trips and extended trips, all included in the cost of the program. Excursions include transportation, guided tours, most meals, and lodging for overnight trips. Below are some possible group excursions with Duke in Russia. Excursion destinations are subject to change each summer.

An excursion of several days to some area in the Russian Federation is being arranged, and will be announced later this fall. During the last week of the program, the group will be "on tour" in Moscow.

In each of the Russian cities, the program will include visits to major sights as well as to cultural performances in the evenings (ballet, opera, theater, etc.). The program then returns to St. Petersburg for departure. Weekends and afternoons will be used for films, concerts, and excursions to local sites and other cities near St. Petersburg.


Summer 2017

Estimates are based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $6,582.00 $6,582.00
Program Fee $1,308.00 $1,308.00
Transcript Fee N/A $40.00
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $10,480.00 $10,520.00


Program Staff

For additional information contact the Global Education Office for Undergraduates or the program director:

Edna Andrews

Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Global Education Office Contact:

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager


Apply Now

Students applying to the Duke in Russia summer 2018 program should submit the following to the Global Education Office. This program has rolling admission. Applications must be submitted no later than February 1, 2018:

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate on this program
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)

Non-Duke Applicants: Non-Duke students must be degree-seeking students in good standing at an accredited college or university. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in study abroad on Duke’s programs.

In order to transfer credit for the courses, they must consult their advisor and/or registrar.

Summer program and scholarship applications, as well as financial aid information for Duke in Russia will be accepted on a rolling admissions basis with a final deadline of February 1.

Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a space-available basis.


GEO policy for graduating seniors who wish to apply for a Duke summer study abroad/away program:

Students must be active, matriculated students in order to participate in any Duke-in summer programs, including Duke’s domestic summer programs. All program courses must be taken for graded credit. If seniors plan to graduate in May of the year they plan to study abroad in the summer, they will not be eligible to participate on any of our summer programs unless they receive approval from their academic dean at Duke to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended.

Non-Duke students planning to graduate in May in the year they plan to study abroad in the summer must provide approval to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended from the appropriate official at their home institution. Such approval must be furnished in writing to GEO before the student will be allowed to participate in the summer program. This approval may be sent via email to the appropriate program assistant at GEO. 

Duke students who defer their graduation to participate in study abroad should consult with their financial aid advisor in the Duke Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to determine whether they are eligible for a summer aid package and/or a GEO summer scholarship.

Russian Language Placement Exam

After acceptance, all students must take a Russian Language placement exam. Duke students should consult with Professor Andrews regarding the time and place of this examination. Non-Duke students should indicate on their application the name and address of the faculty member who will proctor their examination. Exams must be returned to Professor Andrews before the stated deadline.