The American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Programs (RLASP) is designed to maximize linguistic immersion in Russian. The academic program is designed to improve participants' oral, listening, reading and writing proficiency in Russian language and to develop their knowledge of regional history, politics, culture and society. The academic year, semester and summer programs provide approximately 20 hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation and cultural studies at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan. One day per week of the academic program is set aside for local cultural excursions.
Almaty is Kazakhstan's largest city and cultural center. Settlements in and around the current city have been inhabited since prehistoric times, and was a vibrant stop along the Silk Road for travelers and traders alike. Much of Kazakhstan was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the mid-nineteenth century and has had a marked Russian presence ever since.
Program participants may live in a university dormitory or with a local host family. The majority of American Councils participants choose the host-family option. All host families provide private rooms, telephone access, and keys for their American guests. Host families also provide two meals per day. Living with a host family immerses program participants in everyday life, while offering some of the comforts of home. Host families also expose participants to authentic, contemporary language and culture in informal, social settings. All host families are screened, selected and monitored by American Councils home-stay coordinators and resident directors. Students may change their housing arrangements during the program, although these adjustments require some time to be completed
Ohio State Program Contact
Would you like to schedule an appointment? Click on the coordinator link above to request one.
Courses and Credits
Admitted participants are required to register themselves in the temporary study abroad placeholder course, ARTSSCI 5797. Specific registration instructions will be provided in the Ohio State letter of acceptance.
All language and content classes are conducted in Russian by host university faculty with extensive experience in teaching Russian as a foreign language to American students. Each program features approximately 20 contact hours per week of in-class instruction; roughly 16 of which are dedicated to Russian-language study. Students are placed according to proficiency level in groups of 3-5 for core Russian language classes, including Conversation, Phonetics, Grammar and Lexical Studies. Area studies offerings include (but are not limited to) Mass Media, literature, History and Politics and Contemporary Society.
Undergraduate students can expect to earn 10 credits on the summer program, 16 credits on the semester program, and 32 credits on the academic year program. Graduate students or more advanced undergraduate students will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All students are assigned based on the results of a placement exam taken upon arrival in-country. All returning students will take an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) through the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures to help verify the appropriate credits. Failure to pass the OPI satisfactorily will prohibit the student from taking the next language course in the sequence. To learn more about these credits or the OPI, interested students should contact Dr. Jenny Suchland
, Undergraduate Studies Chair, or Dr. Larysa Stepanova
, Language Program Coordinator.
Students are strongly encouraged to review the credit transfer process
in full beforehand.
Applicants are required to submit applications to both OIA (start at the "Apply Now" at the bottom or top of this page) and to American Councils by the Ohio State application deadline.
In order to be eligible to apply for this program, students must have completed at least two years of college-level Russian prior to departure and must meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements
and Conditions for Participation
. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.
Students may not graduate during the same term in which they are participating on a third party provider/direct enroll program.
Passports are required for every Ohio State study abroad program. For many study abroad destinations, passport information is required to apply for an entry visa (as early as 6 months prior to departure). For information about applying for a passport, go to travel.state.gov
Students will pay the American Councils program fee and GeoBlue international insurance fee. A waiver of tuition for Ohio State students that participate on university-approved third party provider or direct enroll programming is in effect until June 30, 2017. The American Councils program fee includes international airfare from Washington D.C., housing, in-country tuition, most meals, all group travel in Russia, insurance, orientation in Washington, D.C. and a Russian visa.
If students withdraw or become ineligible any time 11 days after the acceptance notification from OSU, they will be held responsible for a $200 cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy
Students should begin researching funding opportunities
before they have been accepted into a study abroad program. Grants and Scholarships
deadlines may occur before the study abroad program application deadline.
Please review the RLASP page
for additional funding opportunities.
U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov
(travel advisories/country specific safety information)
Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov/travel
(pre-travel health guidance)
Ohio State reserves the right to change without notice any statement contained herein, concerning but not limited to rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses. In the event of a change to an existing U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, CDC Travel Health Notice or other risk designated criteria
, the Office of International Affairs reserves the right to cancel any program prior to departure or while in progress. Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, is prohibited.