Why study in St. Petersburg with the Bard-Smolny Program?
Explore a city with a fascinating history that is one of Russia’s culturally most dynamic
Take a wide selection of courses in a unique American-style liberal arts program with Russian students
Learn about Russian society through coursework, homestays, volunteering, internships, and the arts
Open to all majors and may be of particular interest in these subject areas:
Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies
Peace and Conflict Studies
Russian, Central, and East European Studies
If you are looking for a challenging environment in which to pursue your academic studies while advancing your Russian language skills, we invite you to consider studying at Smolny College in St. Petersburg—Russia’s first liberal arts college. By choosing the Bard-Smolny Study Abroad Program, you will become part of a dynamic, innovative, and ambitious undertaking in international liberal education.
Smolny has 14 academic programs (majors) and six areas of concentration (minors), and there are over 130 courses offered each semester. Course lists for upcoming semesters are usually posted by Smolny near the end of the preceding semester.
The program begins during orientation, with an introduction to the city. Excursions typically include walking tours, visits to museums, and a welcome dinner with Smolny classmates. The cultural program continues throughout the semester, with an average of one excursion every two weeks to a museum, opera, ballet, theater, or palace; social activities, including bowling and dinners; and several weekend excursions outside of St. Petersburg. All events are conducted in Russian, and Smolny classmates are invited along on excursions. The cost of all program-related excursions is included in the program fee. Students may visit: Hermitage, Kuntskamera, Russian State Museum, and Tsarskoye Selo.
Russian as a Second Language (RSL)
The Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program boosts the development of students’ speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. The program aims to facilitate students' adjustment to everyday life in Russia, and to the Smolny academic environment. Students who are attending Smolny for the fall semester are encouraged to enroll in our Summer Language Intensive (SLI). The program is designed to provide the equivalent of 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.
Smolny’s RSL faculty are experts in working with international students. Most students find that our instructors' teaching style blends grammar-based methods (most commonly found in the classrooms of Europe and the former Soviet Union) with the more communicative methods popular in the United States.
Internship and Volunteering Opportunities
The Bard-Smolny Program encourages interested students to pursue volunteer service and/or internships during their time in St. Petersburg. Internships are available at various businesses, organizations, and cultural institutions throughout the city. Faculty and staff at Smolny have a wealth of contacts in the NGO, artistic, and media fields and can help organize these opportunities. North American students on the Bard-Smolny Program have found internships at places including the St. Petersburg Times, an English-language newspaper; the State Hermitage Museum; and Memorial, a Russian NGO focusing on human rights in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Placement is determined by the student's Russian language skills.