Bucknell offers students of Russian an opportunity to practice what they learn in class through either a semester's or summer's study in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Currently Bucknell accepts credit from four programs, all of them excellent, but each with its individual strengths. Before selecting one of these programs, students consult with the Russian Program faculty on which one is best suited for his or her needs. Normally, students spend a semester of their junior year in Russia.
The School of International Training offers a program in St. Petersburg which provides homestays in apartments with Russian families. Often the student is 'adopted' as the brother or sister of Russian children of similar ages. Not only does the homestay provide constant contact with the language and insights into the culture of Russia, but security for the participant as well. In addition to the normal course of studies, this programs also provides a work internship in some US, Russian, or joint venture company.
The University of Boston program in Moscow is similar to the SIT program in that it offers both homestays and internships in addition to a regular course of study. Often these internships result in permanent job offers. The courses offered in all these programs generally include one or two grammar courses at the student's current level plus courses in Russian culture and civilization, history and politics, geography and economics. Field trips to historical and cultural monuments also play an important role in these programs.
The Institute of International Education provides excellent courses at the University of St. Petersburg with housing in the university dormitories where US students live with Russian roommates. The Russian roommates not only help with the adjustment to life in Russia, but provide a 'ready-made' clique friends for the Bucknellian. Special security is provided by the University and IIE.
The University of Illinois program at the Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language in Moscow is the fourth program currently approved by Bucknell. It offers the regular course of study with living arrangements under special security in the International Hotel not far from Moscow University. The courses are similar to those offered by other programs, however, in the most prestigious Russian language institute in Russia.
Students who cannot study abroad for a semester may study for 6-8 weeks in Russia in the summer under programs similar to the semester programs. These shorter programs are not as effective a means of learning the language and culture as the semester programs; however, those accepted for Bucknell credit are adequate in both respects.