Return to the search form Return to your search results

ACTR Business Russian Language & Internship Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer


Moscow or St. Petersburg, Russia




Advanced Russian language

Application Due:

Summer 2/10, Fall 3/1, Spring 10/1

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

The Business Russian Language and Internship (BRLI) Program of the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) combines an internship placement averaging 10-15 hours per week with an individualized curriculum focused on the language of business. Cultural immersion is encouraged through peer tutoring, Russian-American discussion clubs and organized extra-curricular activities. UI participants join a group of students from other colleges and universities. Less advanced students without a strong grammar base should consider a semester on the ACTR Language and Area Studies program first, followed by a session on BRLI. A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. UI students earn resident credit on this program.

Academic Program

The curriculum is tailored to students’ language needs, from prior study with a strong grammar base through near-native proficiency. Internship placements vary from multinational companies to local businesses to non-governmental organizations. Credit is reported on a Bryn Mawr University transcript and is applicable towards outstanding major or certificate requirements depending on department review and approval.

For more information

Before or after mailing an application to ACTR, students should also consult with the relevant Study Abroad Advisor concerning how to apply, UI registration, financial aid, and other campus procedures. They will be requested to submit a UI Application Sheet as well. To schedule an appointment, call the receptionist at 335-0353.

Current and complete information on the program, can be found on the ACTR webpage here.



In the years since the collapse of the USSR, Moscow has grown into a multiethnic and multinational metropolis. Elements of its Soviet past remain, but the city has moved fully into the capitalist present, embracing western economic and cultural norms to a much greater degree than much of the rest of Russia. Today, Moscow remains the country's political and economic capital, and rivals St. Petersburg in both arts and culture.

RLASP, BRLI, and heritage speaker participants in Moscow are hosted by the Moscow International University (MIU), which was the Russian Federation's first accredited private university. Founded in 1991 by G.A. Yagodin, the USSR's last Minister of Education, MIU is known for its teaching of foreign languages, economics, finances, management, ecology, journalism, arts management, and city management. Students studying with American Councils are placed in MIU's Department of Russian as a Foreign Language.

Participants of American Councils' Contemporary Russia program are hosted by Moscow State University, Russia's largest and most prestigious higher education institution. Content courses, taught in English, are led by esteemed members of the university's history department.

St. Petersburg

A young city by Russian standards, St. Petersburg celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2003, just one year after a national census put its population at around five million residents. Since its near demolition and depopulation during WWII, St. Petersburg has been painstakingly rebuilt to reflect the glory of the former capital and both its current status as the cultural center of Russia and its historical origins as the window to Europe.

The two-hundred-year-old Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen University) located in the heart of the city, is one of Russia’s leading educational institutions, with twenty unique academic departments and more than 20,000 students. Its storied department of Russian as a foreign language is the proud host of American Councils’ RLASP, BRLI, and Heritage Speakers programs.


While a small city by Russian standards at 360,000 residents, Vladimir boasts cultural clout as a one-time Russian capital and an important member of the historical Golden Ring. Located 125 miles to the east of Moscow, Vladimir is both far enough from the country’s epicenter to maintain its sense of traditional Russian hospitality and close enough to eschew any sense of isolation.

In Vladimir, RLASP participants are hosted by the KORA Center for Russian Language Study, a private organization founded in 1991 by faculty from Vladimir State University. The KORA center has worked closely with American Councils since 2000, and all of its faculty members are specialists in the instruction of Russian as a foreign language with extensive experience working with American students.


Program participants may live in a university dormitory or with a Russian 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 Russian 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.

Travel Arrangements

Roundtrip airfare from Washington D.C. to the site abroad is not included in the program fee. Students make their own arrangements to arrive in Washington D.C. for the mandatory orientation a few days prior to departure as well as the roundtrip flight from Washington D.C. to Russia and return to the U.S. upon conclusion of the program.


The Program Fee is charged on your U Bill and covers tuition, housing and most meals, excursions and in-country travel, health insurance, visa fees, and the UI administrative fee.

Additional costs include airfare, books and supplies, lunches, local transportation and personal expenses.

The Iowa Regents mandatory CISI worldwide insurance coverage will also be charged on the U-bill.

How to Apply

Students also must meet with study abroad advisor Kerby Boschee. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353. Approved applicants click the following link to apply: application.


All students participating on this program are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. Specific details about the orientation will become available at a later date.

All BRLI participants attend a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. at the start of their program. Orientation sessions address health and safety, Russian academic culture, host-family life, culture shock, strategies to maximize language gain, and key survival phrases in Russian. Participants have a chance to meet and get to know their resident directors, fellow participants, and BRLI alumni during the two-day program. Students are housed in three-person rooms in a downtown hotel, a short walk from the American Councils Washington office. Participants depart for Russia from Washington, DC at the end of the program. Lodging and meals are provided.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343