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  • Locations: St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
  • Program Terms: Summer I
  • Budget Sheets: Summer I
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer I 2019 02/17/2019 ** Rolling Admission 05/31/2019 06/14/2019
NOTE: On campus classes prior to departure: 05/11, 5/23, 5/28 at 6-8.30pm; Travel period: 05/31-6/14/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Program Description:

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Russian Literature Study in St. Petersburg, Russia

Program Overview

The faculty program Director, Professor Rypma, will be offering program  information tables. Please feel free to stop by and connect with Professor Rypma on the program.
Check our program page regularly for announcements related to sessions. Come to meet the program faculty director,  Professor Rypma and study abroad specialist to learn more about the program and scholarships !

Program Faculty Director: Professor Judith Rypma
This 3-credit hour, four and a half week Special Topics course offers a blend of the study of Russian literature (in translation) and Culture with a Study Abroad experience that explores sites associated with key authors from the syllabus and others who play an important role in Russian culture. Time, lectures, and excursions will be divided between classes held on WMU's campus and those held at Leningrad State University's campus in Pushkin, Russia (also known as Saint Petersburg State University) and in a hotel (the second of over 2 weeks abroad) in the nearby city of St. Petersburg (a World Heritage and UNESCO Site).
This course will focus on engaged reading and critical discussion of Russian literature (in translation). In addition to reading works as part of the literary canon, students will examine how some of this literature helped formulate, react to, and alter social, political, and intellectual movements and how it responds to and interacts with other world literary and philosophical movements.   Sessions both in the U.S. and in Russia will consist of lecture, all-class and small team discussions.

Literature in St. Petersburg 2019 program itinerary: 2019 Itinerary and Assignments.pdf
Pre-trip classes on campus prior to departure: 05/11, 5/23, 5/28 at 6-8.30pm; 4030 Brown Hall.
Travel period: 05/31-6/14/2019

Start by sending Professor Rypma an email and telling her that.  Her email is  She will put you on the list for trip information and updates.


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Location & Related Considerations

St. Petersburg - St. Petersburg is a Russian port city on the Baltic Sea. It was the imperial capital for 2 centuries, having been founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, subject of the city's iconic “Bronze Horseman” statue. It remains Russia's cultural center, with venues such as the Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, and the State Russian Museum showcasing Russian art, from Orthodox icon paintings to Kandinsky works (Wikipedia, 2017).

Accommodation for Disabilities/Special Needs:
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact WMU Disability Services for Students at (269) 387-2116 ahead of their term abroad. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the study abroad course's instructor. For more information, visit WMU Disability Services for Students.

Safety and Security:
Students are expected to research their country of destination to learn more about issues related to safety, security, and physical and mental health. For general information about Russia, consult The CIA's World Factbook and the U.S. State Department.  If the state department has designated any travel destination as level 3 or higher, or if the travel destination(s) contain regions designated level 3 or higher, participants must sign a WMU travel waiver prior to travel. For specific information related to safety and security, consult OSAC (United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security).
For advice concerning health issues and related concerns, consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, once students receive a message that they have been enrolled, they can also use resources provided by WMU's international Health and Emergency Insurance provider, GeoBlue.

The following general comments are derived from OSAC: The numbers and types of serious and very serious violent crimes varied within the administrative districts of St. Petersburg and often correlated to each district’s economic prosperity and population density. While the majority of violent crimes occur outside the city center, a significant number take place near major hotels and affluent neighborhoods. Criminals go where the money is, and lax zoning laws result in the absence of clearly defined lines between affluent and poor neighborhoods. In the Central District (home to many stores, tourist sites, businesses, and consulates), only about a third of reported crimes are serious or violent felonies. Both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General’s Office reported that violent crimes targeting foreign nationals increased in St. Petersburg from 760 incidents in 2015 to 830 instances in 2016.
Please consult the full report for additional information and precautionary advice and exercise all means of necessary caution.

Infrastructure measures, construction safety standards, licensing, and regulatory procedures vary by country. Try to avoid travel in unsafe vehicles on unsafe roads, and exercise caution when using stairways, ramps, and handrails. Take extra precaution when hiking in areas with poor trail geography and infrastructure, especially if guardrails and other safety features are missing or dilapidated. Bring and use bug spray to help protect against insect-borne illnesses, especially from mosquitos and ticks. Protests occur frequently on university campuses and in public spaces; avoid these protests and refrain from engaging with (including photographing) the demonstrations. In addition to consulting the above-mentioned governmental agencies, review the WMU website, especially the section entitled “Health and Safety Abroad."


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Academic Eligibility
Good Academic Standing. Sophomore level or higher. Undergraduate and Graduate Students. English, Education, and International Studies majors and minors. Various Majors Welcomed. No previous study of Russian language is required.

Academic Program
Study Abroad: Russian Literature & Culture program will be offered for 3 credit hours.
Program Director and course instructor: Professor Judith A. Rypma, some classes will be taught by or in conjunction with  the faculty at Leningrad State University ((in translation; no foreign language skills needed)                                             
Students selected to study with the "Russian Literature in St. Petersburg" program will study Russian literature and receive exposure to music, art and history of the country via field trips and cultural events. Students will earn three (3) credit hours of ENG 4970 or ENG 5980 Special Topics.

Program structure:
This program begins with a few on campus sessions in May and finishes in June.
Program travel dates: 05/25/2018-06/08/2018
Pre-trip classes on campus: May 15, May 17, May 22, 2018

Participants will be enrolled for credit in Summer I.

Academic Credit
WMU academic credit will be awarded for  ENG 5980 Special Topics: Russian Literature & Culture program (3 credits) upon successful completion of the program. 
Students are urged to work closely with the appropriate academic advisor(s) to determine how these credits will be counted toward their degree requirements.


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Cost & Financial Aid

Please see program fees and financial aid budget estimations under Direct link

Program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the Haenicke Institute for the Global Education Study Abroad Scholarship. (Please note that this scholarship is suspended for spring, summer I, and summer II 2018 programs. Funding is expected to be available again in fall 2018).
Students may also be eligible for the Arts and Sciences International Study Scholarship.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad. After a student has been accepted to the program, he/she must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs. It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time). *Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.
Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad, so plan ahead!  Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to receiving financial aid for the semester, such as the program commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable).  These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.

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Accommodation: Hunting Lodge Hotel in Pushkin
Russian name of the hotel: Ohotnichia Usaba

Nearby Attractions/Palaces, museums:
The Alexander Palace, Catherine Palace, Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, Museum Pushkin Dacha,
Catherine Park, Buffer park, Alexander Park, Pavlovsk Park, Babylovsky park
Saint Sophia Cathedral, Cathedral of St. Catherine, Church of the Sign, The Roman Catholic Church of St. John and etc.

Stores (grocery), Pharmacy, ATMs, Sberbank of Russia, Bank Saint Petersburg, VTB 24 Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank, Bank Alexander


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Literature in St.Petersburg 2019 program itinerary: 2019 Itinerary and Assignments.pdf

Note: Participants must attend all scheduled classes and participate in all activities during official program time, which is determined by the faculty director. Before making any side plans, students should first confirm them with the director. In particular, applicants are encouraged to pay close attention to the Statement of Responsibility included within the application which further details this requirement.

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Additional Resources

Host Institution Information (external links)
 Leningrad State University
Summer Program

Demographic Information
St. Petersberg - Lonely Planet
Country Specific Information - Russia
Culture Gram
Students Abroad

Contact Information
Program Faculty Director
Professor Judith Rypma,
Department of English
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
269 387 2628 (o)
Location: 925 Sprau

WMU Study Abroad Specialist:
Anastassia Kaml
Study Abroad Specialist
Phone: (269) 387-5890
Campus Location: 2425 Ellsworth Hall

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