Summer Language Institute - Russian

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Russian is again emerging (after a lull in the last decade of the twentieth century) as a language of importance in the arena of international politics and business/commerce. It has never ceased to be such a language in the world of literature and culture. At the Russian Summer Language Institute, we’ll cover all of the fundamentals of grammar necessary to meet the demands of language use and communication in everyday life, which include conversing (speaking and listening) and reading, the latter being essential for newspapers, completion of forms, etc.  We’ll also introduce you to Russian history and culture (music, literature, film) and pop culture. 

Pedagogy and Philosophy

We describe our program as intensive and accelerated. We use a well-established communicatively oriented textbook (GOLOSA) supplemented, in the last two weeks, by instructor material which presents more advanced grammatical information relevant to all, but primarily to those who wish to use Russian in scholarly pursuits (reading original texts). With regard to the presentation of material, we divide the day into two parts: morning, which focuses on grammar, reading, and listening; and afternoon, which focuses on speaking and writing, with continued attention to grammar and listening. Students are expected to participate actively in both the morning and afternoon sessions, which both involve board and group work. Our over-arching goal is to put the language to use.

What students say about Russian SLI:

Thank you again for an incredible experience at the Summer Language Institute...If there's one lesson I took away from the summer, it is confidence; confidence that I can tackle this language, no matter how daunting it seems, if I want it hard enough. And now armed with a strong foundation of grammar, I am more confident than ever.

Unique Features of the Program

We cover two full years of Russian, the equivalent of first-year AND second-year yielding twelve credits and fulfilling the University of Virginia language requirement. No previous knowledge of Russian is assumed or required. Upon successfully completing our program, you can expect to enter Third-Year Russian at the University of Virginia, or its equivalent at the school you attend. We welcome qualified high school students, and graduate students who find they need Russian in their research but have not yet begun their study of the language. Subject to interest, we add an optional extra hour to the academic day during the last two weeks of the program, during which we focus on scholarly texts representing various genres and disciplines, the type of texts that graduate students typically confront in their research.

Program Structure

The typical academic day comprises 7.5 hours, and is organized as follows:

  1. Morning session: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    Grammar, reading, and listening with primary instructor
  2. Early afternoon session: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Speaking/conversation, writing, and additional work on grammar and listening with native speaker graduate teaching assistant
  3. Late afternoon session: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Culture, further review of day’s material, Russian conversation; this session also involves, as part of culture, some out-of-class activities; e.g., cooking
  4. There is at least one hour of homework every night.

2022 Costs

Students in all SLI programs, including the non-credit option, must pay the Institute Fee of $60.00 and the Comprehensive Fee.

See Summer Session Housing for information on housing costs. See Dining for Information on meal plans.

  Virginia Resident Non Virginia Resident

Required Fees

       Institute Fee 

       Comprehensive Fee







Undergraduate Student Tuition
(12 credits)
$423 x 12cr = $5,076 $1,552 x 12cr = $18,624
Graduate Student Tuition
(12 credits)
$489 x 12cr = $5,868 $992 x 12cr = $11,904
Non Credit Study Option Tuition $5,076 $5,076

Please note that graduate level tuition applies to current UVA students who will graduate in May, before the start of the SLI.

Contact Information: 

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Director: Professor Mark J. Elson
New Cabell Hall 261
(434) 924-6685