Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia

Study Abroad in St. Petersburg: Living Abroad

Housing and Meals

Choose one of the housing options below:

Student Residence Hall

  • Shared double room
  • Shared bathroom and kitchenette


  • Single rooms
  • Shared bathroom
  • Access to kitchen facilities


  • Allowance worth $800 to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals and groceries

During the first month in St. Petersburg all students live in the student residence hall to facilitate the adjustment to the Russian way of life. After the first month you can then choose to stay in the residence hall or to live in a homestay.

Internet access is included in all AIFS housing in St. Petersburg.

Housing Options

Student Residence Hall

The student residence hall is occupied by both Russian and international students at the University and staying here is a great way to make new friends. You will stay in a two-room suite (two students per room, four students per suite) with a kitchenette (hot plate, microwave and refrigerator) and bathroom in each suite, or in a double room with a communal kitchen and shared bathrooms on each floor.


Living in a Russian homestay is a great way to become integrated into the culture of the country and learn Russian. 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 when you apply to stand the best chance of being allocated a homestay.


Meals are not included in the residence hall or in the homestays. You will be given a meal allowance to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals in local cafés including the University cafeteria and buying groceries so that you can cook your own meals in the student residence or homestay. The allowance is worth approximately $800 which students find a great help when managing their living costs in St. Petersburg. Homestay students can also use their allowance to pay their family to cook meals for them. Students who do not wish to receive the meal allowance can opt out and pay a reduced program fee of $12,195 .

Cultural Activities

In addition to day trips and excursions, a cultural calendar of weekly activities and social events is included in your program fee. These activities will include both typical tourist sites and attractions and lesser known visits which take advantage of the expert knowledge of our local AIFS staff and give you a more authentic and insightful view of Russian life and history. Typical activities, tours and visits include:

  • Guided city tour including Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Smolny Cathedral and Neva Embankment with a view of the Hermitage
  • The Russian, Dostoevsky, Political History and Hermitage Museums
  • Yusupov Palace
  • A classical concert at Philharmonic Hall
  • Ballet at the Mariinsky Theater
  • Opera at the Mikhailovsky Theater
  • Siege of Leningrad tour
  • Ice hockey match
  • Baltika Beer Brewery tour
  • Conversation exchange with Russian students
  • A boat trip along St. Petersburg’s rivers and canals

AIFS students have also joined local sports teams (including lacrosse, frisbee, American football, basketball and soccer) during their semester abroad which has helped them to integrate with the local community.

You may be asked to pay a small supplementary fee for some events.

Volunteering Program

We can assist you if you are looking for volunteer opportunities while in St. Petersburg. Past placements have included assisting at the Hermitage Museum, working as an English teacher’s assistant, working with horses and helping at an orphanage, all of which students have enjoyed.

There are more opportunities out there, just tell us what you are interested in and we will endeavor to make it happen. Placements are made after arrival.

AIFS in St. Petersburg Resident Director, Academic Year and Semester Programs

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.