If there is one thing that remains constant in Russia, it is rapid change. The mental snapshots that students take home from Russia are very different from those they bring with them. Language learning happens in the classroom. Cultural insight happens in places like the home, theater, recital hall, cafeteria, and supermarket.
Irkutsk is a regional cultural center with spectacular natural attributes whose winters are among the sunniest of any major city in Russia. The life and history of the city are closely tied to Lake Baikal, known as the Pearl of Siberia, the world's deepest fresh-water lake. Baikal's 80 percent endemic species thrive in a vast body containing one-fifth of the world's fresh water. Students can learn about the lake's ecology while simultaneously benefiting from the region's recreational opportunities. The city of 600,000 is host to multiple universities and is full of students who are active in all walks of Russian cultural life. Irkutsk boasts several theaters and museums, and the plentiful social and cultural outlets should assuage any fears about Siberian isolation. Past students have taken advantage of Irkutsk's proximity to Mongolia and China, as well as to the Russian Far East, for travel during vacations or after the conclusion of the academic program.
Students take courses at the Middlebury center in Russian language, literature, culture, politics, and history, with particular focus on regional Siberian studies, while Irkutsk State University, Middlebury's host institution, offers mainstream courses in biology, geography, and geology that focus on Lake Baikal, in addition to a full range of liberal arts disciplines.
Further information about Middlebury in Russia: Irkutsk specific to Wheaton College students
Wheaton College is committed to providing students with opportunities to broaden their understanding and vision beyond the borders of this campus and this country. We work in collaboration with carefully selected partner institutions around the world to support our students as they prepare to study abroad and while they are overseas. Students must apply to Wheaton's Center for Global Education as well as the institution through which they plan to study abroad. The most up-to-date information can be found on the program provider's website above.
Four semesters of college-level Russian to the intermediate level. Evaluation of applicants’ language skills is an important part of the application process. GPA: 3.0 in Russian Language and Studies, with a 2.85 cumulative GPA.
Courses & Credits:
Students take courses at the Middlebury center in Russian language, literature, culture, politics, and history, with particular focus on regional Siberian studies, while Irkutsk State University, Middlebury's host institution, offers mainstream courses in biology, geography, and geology that focus on Lake Baikal, in addition to a full range of liberal arts disciplines. Students must enroll in five courses, totaling 15 to 16 semester hours of credit, and will earn 4.0 Wheaton credits. All courses are taught in Russian.
Housing & Meals:
Students stay with Russian home stay families and receive partial board (2 meals per weekday and 3 on weekends.)
Click here for the Middlebury in Russia budget worksheet!
(Estimated personal expenses are available on the Middlebury website)
Other Items to Note:
- All students accepted to a study abroad program will be assessed a $500 non-refundable confirmation fee at the time of final confirmation of study abroad participation.
- Students are not charged the technology, laundry, or student activities fees while on a study abroad program.
- Fees billed by Wheaton will be charged to students on their regular Wheaton College student account during regular billing cycles (July/December).
For Wheaton specific questions contact:
Center for Global Education
5 Howard Street
Norton, MA 02766-2322