Barnaul was founded in 1730 for its proximity to the mineral-rich Altai Mountains and its location on the Ob river. It is the capital of Altaii Krai. In addition to copper, substantial deposits of silver were discovered and by 1747, the city became the major silver center of Russia. By the 1900s Barnaul had grown into a major center of trade and culture, especially after the construction of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway.
Today a city of more than 650,000, Barnaul is extremely diverse ethnically and has a well-educated population who embrace opportunities for economic development and international cooperation. The city boasts six universities and institutions of higher learning, providing many social and cultural opportunities for young people.
Visitors to the city find an excellent system of public transportation and a vibrant nightlife with museums, art galleries, theatres and concert halls. Barnaul is the gateway to Western Siberia, surrounded by pine forests, hiking trails, the Altai Mountains, ski lodges, and tourist complexes.
About the Program
Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an exchange program with the Altai State Pedagogical Academy (ASPA) and its “Linguistic Institute”, located in Barnaul. This is a reciprocal exchange program and both ASPA and HWS students will benefit from the opportunity to meet one another at their home campuses before undertaking the semester abroad. The program curriculum is organized by the Linguistic Institute, where HWS students will study alongside Russian and other international students.
This program emphasizes language skills and an understanding of the rich cultural heritage of Russia and the former Soviet Union. All instruction takes places in Russian, although students who wish to fulfill requirements for majors or minors other than Russian area studies will have the option to undertake ONE class taught in English in disciplines such as anthropology, politics, international relations, economics, environmental studies, English literature, and history.
Students will take a full-semester academic courseload with a focus on Russian language, culture, and society. All students will take an intensive Russian language class at their appropriate level for which they will earn two HWS course credits. Students will also select a Russian language elective and, if desired, an English language elective. There are opportunities for fieldwork in some areas (such as archaeology and environmental studies) and for service learning, both on a credit and a non-credit basis.
For more detail on courses offered, please visit the PDF listing of courses offered here.
This program is designed for students with a major or minor in Russian Area Studies or those who desire to improve their Russian language skills. The program can also serve students interested in development, social change, international relations, anthropology, and folklore.
This program is open to all juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must have completed two years of college-level Russian or the equivalent with a GPA of 3.0. Three years of college-level Russian study are recommended for those who are interested in service-learning as part of their Russian experience. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Note: due to the timing of the academic calendar on the Russia program, seniors participating in the spring semester may not be able to return in time for commencement on the HWS campus.
Students will live with a Russian host family, an experience that will provide unique insight into Russian family life. The homestay will serve to enhance the student’s linguistic skills and to facilitate immersion in the local culture.
All students will participate in a two-day orientation program in Moscow that will include a variety of cultural activities and local tours. Once students arrive in Barnaul, ASPA staff will organize visits to areas of local and regional interest, and excursions to other regions of the country may be offered. Excursion destinations may include the Altai Mountains, Novosibirsk, Biysk, Chenal, and sites in and around Barnaul.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room and board fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing, meals, and program-related activities and excursions. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, visa, immunizations, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at approximately $1200-$1400 from the East Coast, visa at $500, books at $200, and immunizations at $100. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
This program is offered every semester.
All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and will be in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
FALL HANDBOOK / SPRING HANDBOOK
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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