How to get to St. Petersburg?

All the year round you can get to Saint Petersburg by plane; you can arrive by train or bus or you can come by ship. For Finnish students arrival is extremely convenient. The Russian-Finnish border is only 250 km from Saint Petersburg, and for this reason many Finns come in their own cars, and go home on the weekends. We had a Dutch student who arrived by bike after riding all the way through Eastern Europe. One of our Chinese students even arrived by roller skate! She worked at the UN in New York, flew to Moscow and put her skates on there. Its only 600 km, and no ticket expense. The choice is yours.Why make Saint Petersburg your destination for Russian study? Why study Russian language, culture, history, political science and other subjects with us?

Well, in the first place, we're Saint Petersburg State University. We are Russia's best known, most recognized and oldest university. There are none older. Russia's Czar Peter the first founded it in 1724. Before 1724 Russia's youth preferred military campaigns, feasting on crepes during the pagan holiday of Maslenitsa and hunting bears--on hometown streets.

Much has changed in 300 years. The bears have retreated to distant forests and the zoos, and all of Saint Petersburg's young people study. The competition to get into our university is enormous. Russia, and Petersburg in particular, has many different universities and institutes of higher education. The Internet is full of offers for those foreigners who would like to study Russian in all sorts of programs for all levels, sometimes at very low prices. But none of these advertisements can guarantee the quality of the knowledge that you will gain for your time and money.

We do, and for that reason admission to our programs is competitive. Everyone knows about Americans' pragmatism and businesslike approach. This approach led American politicians, in particular Senator Fulbright, in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War when it seemed that nobody needed Russian, to recommend that America's youth learn about Russia right here in Saint Petersburg (called Leningrad at the time) State University, and, in fact in our program. They were not mistaken. Interest in Russia and the Russian language has grown considerably since then, and many of the more than 10,000 American citizens who acquired a quality education on our programs in the course of these 35 years went on to excellent careers in politics, business and science.

Business people are always careful and approach decisions seriously. This is especially true in Japan, and it has now been eighteen years that we have been teaching Russian language and culture to the employees of the leading Japanese firms and banks, including "Mitsui," "Marubeni," "Panasonic," "Sumitomo," "Mitsubishi," "Sakura," "Export-Import Bank," and others, all by word of mouth.

On our site you'll find comments from dozens of young men and women from many other countries, all of whom have studied with us. We make every effort to accommodate our students' wishes and fufill their requests, and we can find a solution to fit almost any educational situation. Your time and money will be better spent on studying Russian at Saint Petersburg State University's Russian Language and Culture Institute than anywhere else.

And then there's the second reason to come to Saint Petersburg and nowhere else. As you probably already know, our city is the cultural capital of Russia. On a per capita basis we have as many museum, historical monuments and tourist routes as Florence, Madrid, Paris, Cracow or Prague. In terms of parks we're in the same league as London and Kyoto. When it comes to canals, Venice is our competition. Practically every writer to have written in Russian, every Russian poet, every Russian composer and artist, theater personality and movie star has felt almost obliged to spend at least some time in Petersburg, to dive into the life of this city and create something of genius...and many, many have succeeded. The extremely high concentration of a well educated creative intelligentsia means that the city's population on the whole speaks correct, classic Russian free of slang and dialect. And this is precisely the kind of Russian that you will learn when you study with us as opposed to what you might find in provincial Russian cities or even in Moscow.

And yet another reason to come to Saint Petersburg is economic. Russia is moving very fast to a market economy. In the majority of Russia's regions the selection of goods, foodstuffs and services is similar to that in most European cities. But if the social reforms have gone far in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the provinces are still prone to periodic problems like unexpected electrical blackouts or loss of hot water, a shortage of public transportation and problems with medical care. It goes without saying that these infrastructure problems can affect the foreign guest as much if not more than the locals.

In Moscow and Saint Petersburg these problems are taken care of, but because of the market situation, the cost in Moscow for the majority of goods, foodstuffs and services is about 30% higher than in Petersburg. In other words, in our programs you get a better education for less money, and our regularly scheduled excursions to Moscow and other cities give you the opportunity to see the rest of Russia as well.