Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia

Living Abroad

AIFS in St. Petersburg Resident Director, Summer Program

AIFS Resident Director

Kathryn Alcock

Phone: 7 812 534 1152

Здравствуйте! That means "hello!" in Russian. 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 Peter the Great St. Petersburg 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 all students will live in the residence hall to get accustomed to the program. Students who select a homestay will move in after the first week. Students are required to complete a housing form by May 1 stating whether they prefer the residence hall or a homestay.

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, or in double bedrooms with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities on each floor.  


  • 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 generally placed on their own in a homestay but a double 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.

Internet access is included in both the residence hall and homestays.


  • You will receive an allowance to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals and groceries. The allowance will not cover the cost of all meals but is very helpful when budgeting. In addition AIFS arranges meals for the first three days of the program and a farewell meal.

Cultural Activities

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 City 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.