Learning Outside the Classroom

The School in Russia encourages all students to take full advantage of their experience abroad by participating in learning experiences outside the classroom.  Internships, volunteer work, and cultural activities provide students with opportunities to deepen their social immersion in Russian culture, enhance their language skills, and gain a better understanding of present-day Russia.

Internships

As an interesting complement to their study of the Russian language and culture, students of advanced Russian ability have the opportunity to pursue unpaid internships as part of the School in Russia program.  The School in Russia requires that all internships take place in an environment that is at least 60% Russian-speaking, and in provincial cities internships are usually only available in 100% Russian-speaking organizations.  Hence, students must have sufficiently advanced Russian speaking and writing skills in order to qualify for an internship. Normally a credit-bearing internship will be for at least 10 hours per week over an eight-week period of the semester.

For the most part, experience shows that the majority of students are best able to participate in internships during their second semester in Russia. However, certain single-semester students, particularly those with applicable work experience or high levels of Russian, may be granted permission to pursue an internship.

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to pursue an internship for credit and may earn one course unit for the internship on a letter grade (A-F) basis.  Credit-bearing internships are graded A-F.

Detailed internship rules, descriptions and information are available on our website and instructions for applying are included in pre-departure materials.  Students who hope to apply for an internship will be required to submit a professional (not academic) resume and cover letter in English addressed to the director with your application and you may wish to consult with their career services center now for assistance in writing and editing your resume.

Internships are not guaranteed for any participant.  They are granted on a competitive basis and are subject to the agreement of the School Abroad and the prospective employer. Placements are dependent on availability, previous experience, qualifications, and the language ability of each student.

Students who pursue internships are expected to follow through with their commitment until the end of the semester. Students who withdraw from a credit-bearing internship after on-site registration period will earn an “F” and will be ineligible to enroll in another course.

Libraries

Library cards (читательские билеты) for university libraries can be obtained after students receive their student IDs.  One passport photo is always required.

Library cards for city and regional libraries may also be arranged.  Students who wish to use these facilities should consult with their Resident Coordinators and their Russian language instructors for instructions and assistance.  Librarians are notoriously impatient and unhelpful to the uninitiated.  Access to certain archives and specialized libraries may also sometimes be arranged through the university ИНОТДЕЛ, but this is usually limited to graduate students working on specific, approved projects arranged through the university. Students should be aware that in Russian libraries, books are not usually taken out. Some books may be checked out if a deposit is left, but most must be used exclusively in the library.  Coats and bags must also generally be checked before entering the library.  With the exception of dictionaries and notebooks, no written material can usually be brought into reading rooms.

Computers

Computers are available at internet cafés, but students generally prefer to take their laptops with them.  Taking a USB key facilitates printing.