AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia
Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
Course Descriptions


Recommended credits are shown in parentheses. Courses are subject to change at the discretion of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.

Russian Language and Liberal Arts Program

Course level is determined by a placement test once in St. Petersburg. Students are advised to obtain approval for several different levels of Russian from their academic advisors in the U.S. before traveling to Russia in order to ensure that they can receive credit for the level that they test into.
Russian Language Courses (one course required each semester)
Course Code and Credits: Russian 101/102 (9)
Course Title: Elementary
Course Description:
Beginner college level course in Russian grammar, conversation, phonetics and writing practice.
Course Code and Credits: Russian 201/202/203 (9)
Course Title: Intermediate
Course Description:
Vocabulary, grammar, composition, phonetics and techniques of written expression with further development of vocabulary and pronunciation.
Course Code and Credits: Russian 301/302 (9)
Course Title: Advanced
Course Description:
Structural exercises in grammar, use of different categories of language (commercial, administrative, journalistic, familiar, colloquial, formal) and extensive written work.

Elective Courses - Taught in English (at least one course required each semester)

Choose up to three elective courses. These must be confirmed two months before arrival.

Course Code and Credits: Art History 303 (3)
Course Title: History of Russian Art and Architecture
Course Description:
The ancient Russian art of 11th – 17th centuries as a type of religious art: ancient Russian architecture and painting (icons, frescoes). Russian art from the time of Peter I to the end of the 19th century. "Modern" art style as a new tradition in Russian art. Soviet official art (Russian avant-garde and socialist realism) and unofficial art of 20th century. Contemporary Russian art trends. Many works discussed are seen locally in exhibits at the Russian Museum.
Course Code and Credits: History 305 (3)
Course Title: Russian History from Kievan Rus to the Revolution
Course Description:
The founding and expansion of the Russian State from Kievan Rus through tsarist Russia to the eve of the revolution. The geography of Russian lands, the foundation of Kievan Rus and the adoption of Christianity; the Mongol conquest and rise of Moscow; the Time of Troubles and appearance of the new Romanov dynasty through to its demise together with the Russian Empire following two revolutions. 
Course Code and Credits: History/Political Science 315 (3)
Course Title: Contemporary History of Russia: The Communist Phase
Course Description:
Russia’s historical background from the October Revolution to the collapse of the USSR. The seizure of Russia by the Bolsheviks in October 1917 through the Civil War (1918-1922), Stalin’s role and that of his Communist followers. Problems of reforms under Communist domination (N.S. Khrushchev, M.S. Gorbachev), the mellowing of the Communist dictatorship, growing corruption of elites and the final demise of Communist dictatorship.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 307 (3)
Course Title: Classic Russian Literature
Course Description:
Reading key works in translation, students trace the history of classical Russian literature from 11th-century beginnings to the turn of the 20th century. A major focus is on 19th-century works and biographies of writers such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol and Chekhov.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 309 (3)
Course Title: 20th Century Russian Literature
Course Description:
Focus is on major themes of Russian literature since 1917, with students reading (in translation) highly regarded works written both in Russia and abroad by authors such as Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn.
Course Code and Credits: Political Science/Sociology 311 (3)
Course Title: Contemporary Russian Life
Course Description:
Major elements of contemporary Russian life: politics, law, economics, government, healthcare, art and education. Topics include everyday life and issues, nationality questions, political trends, and international relations of Russia with the world.