Russia St. Petersburg

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Study Abroad in St. Petersburg: Academics

St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University

The St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University was founded in 1899 by some of the most prominent Russian scientists of the day, including Dmitri Mendeleev who created the periodic table of elements. It became one of the major universities of Russia and the former Soviet Union. It was raised to the status of state technical university in 1990 and is now home to more than 20,000 students and 2,000 professors, lecturers and instructors including Nobel Prize winner the physicist Pyotr Kapitsa.

The academic program is organized by the Russian Language Center at the Preparatory Department for Foreign Students, one mile from the main campus. This department trains students from all over the world who wish to enter higher education at Russian universities and is highly regarded for excellent teaching of Russian as a foreign language.

Academic Overview & Policies

Students are required to take a 4-credit Russian language course and may also select one further 2-credit course plus a 1-credit course taught in English for a maximum total of 7 credits. Elective courses must be confirmed one month before departure and cannot be changed.

Required Russian language courses cover phonetics, grammar and everyday language. All levels are accepted, including beginners who are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Cyrillic alphabet before arrival. Classes are taught in small groups of up to 12 students after a placement test which is given the first day.

To achieve maximum benefit from instruction, language teaching is in Russian. Language classes meet 14 academic hours a week, Monday through Friday mornings (an academic hour is 45 minutes of class). Contemporary Life in Russia, History of Russian Art, and St. Petersburg’s Role in Russian History and Culture courses are optional and taught in English. A minimum enrollment of 10 students is required for these courses to run.

Attendance is required to receive full credit. Students exceeding the permitted number of unexcused absences may lose all or partial credit.

Grades No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a letter grade. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

Transcripts St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University issues transcripts. Students should obtain prior approval from their home institution for transfer credit detailing courses, class hours and grades. Transcripts do not indicate the credits recommended in this catalog.

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