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! Summer, SMU-in-Moscow: Language and Culture
Moscow, Russian Federation
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Cost Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English, Russian Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore Housing: Student Residence
SMU Abroad Advisor: Nancy Simmons, Program Director: Tatiana Zimakova,
SMU Abroad Application Cycle: January 15-March 1 Deposit Deadline: April 1
Summer 2014 Program Dates: May 22-June 23
Program Description:

go beyond 2

SMU-in-Moscow: Russian Language and Culture

Moscow State University: Moscow, Russia

May 22-June 23, 2014

SMU Abroad programs are eligible for all proficiencies, including Global Engagement. Students who wish to receive credit for proficiencies must petition the course through the UC office located in Clements Hall G02. 

SMU-in-Moscow is a 5-week intensive study of the language and culture of Russia. The program is intended for students of all levels of Russian including those without previous language training, and with different majors ranging from history, politics and business to music, arts, theater and dance.

The program offers a unique opportunity to live in a vibrant city of Moscow and discover the world's largest and least understood country, study the rich Russian culture in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and to learn Russian language at Center for Russian Language Studies of Moscow State University. It is located on the Arbat Street, in the heart of Moscow near the Kremlin and many cultural Landmarks. This program is for students with various levels of Russian Including no previous language training, and with different majors ranging from history, politics, and business to music, theater and dance.  

Program Leadership:  Dr. Tatiana Zimakova, a native Russian, is the chair of Russian Studies in the SMU Department of World Languages and Literatures. She graduated from Moscow State University and obtained a Ph.D. from the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of International Economic and Political Studies. She received the prestigious MacArthur fellowship and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan.

Contact Information: Dr. Tatiana Zimakova, 214-768-2294,


Students are required to enroll in the Russian Culture course and one Russian language course. Students earn between six and seven hours of SMU academic credit in this program.

CFA 3320, WL 3323 or HIST 2323: Russian Culture (3 credits)

  • University Curriculum= Ways of Knowing OR
  • University Curriculum= Pillars/Creativity and Aesthetics (Level 1)
                                     Pillars/Historical Contexts (Level 1)

May be taken as an Honors course with prior approval of SMU Honors Program

A systematic exploration of diverse aspects of Russian culture, including contemporary society, history, politics, art, architecture, music, theater and literature, taught by Dr. Tatiana Zimakova that involves both classroom and on-site investigations (see Excursions below).

Students experience changes of a society that was once shut off from the rest of the world. They analyze Russia's cultural and political change that has transpired over the ages to gain a better understanding of contemporary Russia. Topics include post-Soviet Russia from its struggle to create a civil society and democratic institutions to the unexpected effects of a transition to a market economy.  As part of the course, students discuss:

How the art reflected the many political, cultural and economic changes in the country, as well as Russian influences on American performing arts.

What are Russian influence on American performing arts.

Why Russia has more literary museums than any other country in the world, why writers in Russia were like a second government and why a poet in Russia is more than a poet.


All levels of Russian language, beginning through advanced, are taught by professors of Moscow State University. The University is the center of intellectual and cultural activity of Russia. SMU students study with university students from around the world. Classes are held Monday through Thursday.

RUSS 1401: Basic Russian (3 credits)

No previous study of Russian required

RUSS 3302: Practicum in Conversation and Phonetics (3 credits)

Prerequisites: Russian 1402 or two semesters of college Russian

RUSS 3304: Grammar Practicum (3 credits) 

Prerequisites: Russian 2351 or Intermediate Russian 3302

RUSS 3361, 3362: Comparative Grammar of Russian and English (3 credits)

Prerequisites: Russian 3304 or Advanced Russian

RUSS 4185/4285: Internship in Russian

Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing; an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher; GPA in Russian of 3.3 or higher; sponsorship of professor and of the organization, agency or corporation. 

Textbooks and Films

Included in the program fee, students receive a list of required texts and films after acceptance into the program.

Program Activities and Excursions

Students get practical experience in Russian culture by visiting cultural sites, cathedrals and palaces, art and literary museums, theaters and music performances.

Excursions for the summer may include:

Moscow cultural sites: Students visit the Kremlin, the Armory and the Diamond Fund, St. Basil's Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Gorky and Izmailovsky parks, Sculpture Garden, Mansion Tsaritcino, All-Russia Exhibition Center, Novodevichy Convent. They tour the city by bus and cruise the Moscow River and observe the different faces and architectural styles of Moscow, including aristocratic, Stanlinist, Soviet and Modern.

St. Petersburg Tour:  Known for its world-class museums and palaces of baroque and rococo architecture, students spend four days in this glorious city. Students tour the city by horse carriage, cruise the Neva River and its canals, visit magnificent churches and cathedrals, experience the art collections of the famous Hermitage as well as tour Petergof, Peter the Great's Summer Residence.

Performing Arts in Moscow and St. Petersburg:  Students have an opportunity to attend the International Music Festival, 
"Stars of White Nights" and to visit the famous Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theaters. 

Chekhov International Theater Festival: Students attend some performances of Moscow's 250 professional theaters and gain an understanding of the Stanislavski System and Method of Acting at this annual event.

Pushkin Museum of Fine Art and Tretyakov Gallery:  In these and other exhibition spaces, students study Russian art of the 20th century and its remarkable artistic legacy, spawning some of the world's dominant and influential art movements such as the Avant-Garde, Socialist Realism, Non-Conformism and Sotsart.

Literary Museums:  Students visit the places and writings of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Bulgakov to examine the special role of writers in Russian history and national life.


Students live in the Moscow State University student residences (single or double room) with access to the student cafeteria and snack bars as well as kitchen facilities.  Linens are provided.

Program Fee Information


SMU Tuition

Room and board

Invitations from the Russian Ministry of Education

Accommodations in St. Petersburg

Lectures and discussions with invited guests

Program excursions, theater performances and museum entrances


Airport pick-up/drop off for students on group flight

International Travel Health Insurance


International Travel to/from program location*

Travel documents, including passports and visas

Meals, approximately $30/day

Cell phones**

Personal expenses, entertainment and travel

*Although the program fee does not include roundtrip airfare to the program destination, SMU will coordinate a group roundtrip flight. All participants are required to take this flight unless special arrangements are made with the program director.

After the program has officially concluded, students can choose to extend their stay in Europe or leave from a destination other than Moscow.

**Students are required to have a cell phone that works in Russia, as well as in other countries where they plan to travel. Students should check with their current carrier for service or plan on purchasing a phone upon arrival.

Application and Acceptance

Students may submit an application to the SMU Abroad Office during application cycles: January 15-March 1. It is possible this program may be full before the deadline; therefore, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications may be submitted after the deadline only if places are available in the program.

Once the application is complete, the student will be contacted for an interview by the program staff.

Program Admission and Pre-departure Orientation

Admission:  Admission is competitive. Admitted on a rolling admissions basis, program directors and faculty select participants based on application materials, admission requirements and student interviews.

Orientation Sessions:  To prepare students for a smooth, safe and enriching experience, admitted SMU students are required to attend the scheduled program orientation meetings prior to departure. Session dates are organized by the program director.

All students receive a pre-departure guide and program-specific materials. Topics discussed are culture and course questions, as well as a review of required forms, travel plans and documents, currency and money issues, packing, insurance and safety. Students from other universities receive orientation summaries, including the guide and materials, by email.


There is a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 due by the deposit deadline of April 1. This deposit confirms acceptance, holds the student's place in the program and is applied towards the balance of the program fee. Students will make the deposit payment in Access.SMU using the regular University payment procedures.

Final Payment should be made as soon as possible, but no later than May 1.
After student have paid the non-refundable program deposit and returned your Course Enrollment Form (signed by you and your academic advisor) to the SMU Abroad Office, students will be registered for courses in Access.SMU. Once students have been registered, students can make final payment in Access.SMU using the regular University payment procedures.

Financial Aid
Students who receive financial aid or scholarships may be able to apply their aid package to SMU Abroad programs.  All aid should be confirmed with the Office of Financial Aid.

SMU Abroad Cancellation and Refund Policy
A student who cancels enrollment or withdraws from an SMU Abroad program must notify the SMU Abroad office in writing. The effective date of cancellation is the date that SMU Abroad receives the written notification.  It is not sufficient only to withdraw an application on-line.

A student who cancels enrollment or withdraws from a program forfeits the program deposit.  The student may also be charged either a cancellation fee or the remainder of the published program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. These fees cover expenses incurred on behalf of the student up to the effective date of the cancellation (see below).

Summer Programs
Remainder of Program Fee
Prior to the payment due date
On or after payment due date, but before published start date
On or after published program start date

Undergraduate SMU Abroad Programs are managed by:

International Center/SMU Abroad

Blanton Building, Suite 216

6185 Airline Drive

Dallas, TX 75205



Southern Methodist University does not discriminate in any education practice, education program or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or veteran status. SMU's commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

SMU Abroad reserves the right to change, at any time and without prior notice, any provision or requirement, including but not limited to, requirements, itineraries, courses, cancellation and refund policies.  Fees are subject to change due to inflation and/or fluctuating exchange rates.

SMU Abroad reserves the right to recall participants from international programs and to close programs whenever it determines that the health or safety of its participants may be of risk.

SMU Abroad is not responsible for any loss or damage that may occur when participants travel outside of scheduled program activities. In addition, independent participant travel before the start or after the conclusion of SMU Abroad programs is entirely at the individual's own expense and risk.

This program is currently not accepting applications.