Russia St. Petersburg

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Living Abroad

AIFS in St. Petersburg Resident Director, Summer Program

AIFS Resident Director

Kathryn Alcock

c/o Professor Kruzhkov, Russian Language Center
St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University
Polytechnicheskaya 29
St. Petersburg 195251 Russia

Phone: 7 812 534 1152

Hello! When I first came here from England, I only knew two words in Russian and now St. Petersburg is my home!

I have been working for AIFS in St. Petersburg since 2008 but I have lived here for much longer. I first came to this beautiful city in 1991 (when it was still Leningrad!) and studied ballet at the world famous Vaganova Ballet Academy. After graduating, I danced in many theaters in St. Petersburg and Europe. On my return to the U.K. I studied Russian in London. I returned to my beloved St. Petersburg in 2006 and completed an Advanced Russian course at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University.

Studying abroad will be one of the most fantastic experiences of your life. I look forward to welcoming you to St. Petersburg – I'm sure you will fall in love with this city as much as I have!

The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.

Housing and Meals


During the first week you will live in the residence hall to get accustomed to the program, then choose from two housing options:

Residence hall Stay in the residence hall for Russian and international students. Students live in 2-bedroom suites, two students per room, with a kitchenette and bathroom in each suite.

Homestay Living in a Russian homestay is a great way to become integrated into the culture of the country and learn Russian. All our homestay families are different and many of them have hosted AIFS students for well over 10 years. Students are typically placed on their own, but a shared room with another AIFS student may be available on request. Homestays are limited and subject to availability and we recommend that you sign up for this option as soon as you apply to stand the best chance of being allocated a homestay.


You will receive an allowance to subsidize the cost of breakfast and one other meal Monday through Friday. Please note: the allowance is a subsidy and will not cover the cost of all meals.

Local Transportation

You will receive a transportation pass valid for the duration of the program.

Cultural Activities

Study and socialize at the Russian Language Center, one mile away from the main University campus. There are numerous opportunities to take trips into the city and surrounding area. You will receive a transportation allowance for free travel on public transport in the city.

Learning does not begin or end in the classroom. To help you get a true taste of Russian culture, the AIFS Resident Director organizes cultural and social events every week which are included in the program fee. Past activities have included visits to:

  • The Hermitage Museum
  • The Russian Museum
  • Political History Museum
  • Theater performances
  • Midnight White Nights tour
  • Baltika Beer Brewery
  • Boat trip along St. Petersburg’s rivers and canals
  • Siege of Leningrad tour
  • St. Isaac’s Cathedral
  • Conversation exchange evening with Russian students

Please note that students may need to pay a small additional fee for some of the activities above.