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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Irkustk, Russia
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Program Homepage: Click here
  • Program Sponsor: Middlebury Schools Abroad 
  • Restrictions: Grinnell applicants only
Grinnell Approval Deadlines/Program Dates:
Grinnell Approval Deadlines/Program Dates:
Term Year Grinnell Approval Deadline Grinnell Decision Date Program Start Date Program End Date
Fall 2019 12/05/2018 02/18/2019 TBA TBA
Spring 2020 12/05/2018 02/18/2019 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Program by Theme: Human Ecology, Sustainability and Environment Subject Areas of Interest: Anthropology, Biology, Environmental Studies, GWSS, Math, Psychology, Russian & Eurasian Studies, Sciences
Language of Study: Russian Campus Program Advisor: Kelly Herold
OCS Contact: Jonathan Larson Language Prereq: 4 semesters
Housing: Home Stay
Program Description:
Russia Banner

If there is one thing that remains constant in Russia, it is rapid change. The mental snapshots that students take home from Russia are very different from those they bring with them. Language learning happens in the classroom.  Cultural insight happens in places like the home, theater, recital hall, cafeteria, and supermarket.

Irkutsk is a regional cultural center with spectacular natural attributes whose winters are among the sunniest of any major city in Russia. The life and history of the city are closely tied to Lake Baikal, known as the Pearl of Siberia, the world's deepest fresh-water lake. Baikal's 80 percent endemic species thrive in a vast body containing one-fifth of the world's fresh water. Students can learn about the lake's ecology while simultane­ously benefiting from the region's recreational opportunities. The city of 600,000 is host to multiple universities and is full of students who are active in all walks of Russian cultural life.  Irkutsk boasts several theaters and museums, and the plentiful social and cultural outlets should assuage any fears about Siberian isolation. Past students have taken advantage of Irkutsk's proximity to Mongolia and China, as well as to the Russian Far East, for travel during vacations or after the conclusion of the academic program.

Students take courses at the Middlebury center in Russian language, literature, culture, politics, and history, with particular focus on regional Siberian studies, while Irkutsk State University, Middlebury's host institution, offers mainstream courses in biology, geography, and geology that focus on Lake Baikal, in addition to a full range of liberal arts disciplines.


Why study in Irkutsk?

  •   Live in a mid-sized city on the edge of the globally unique Lake Baikal.
  •   Explore the regional ties of the Russian Far East to Mongolia and China.
  •   Improve your Russian through intensive language study, homestays, and co-curricular activities
  •   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:
Environmental Studies
Russian and Eurasian Studies