First I would like to point out that the method which I am going to describe applies only for Russian or/and Austrian students. There might be also similar opportunities for students from different countries. For these, please do further research. So how does this work out, what are the requirements and what costs are covered?
I am talking about a Summer College program, the one I did in St. Petersburg costs 250 EUR for three weeks, which is 12 EUR a day. To be able to apply for this program you need to be a student of any Austrian or Russian University. You should have some basics in Russian/German to have a bigger chance to be accepted for this program, since the amount of available spots is limited. You can choose between different cities as St. Petersburg, Moscow or Nizhny Novgorod. The price and dates of these destinations vary slightly. There is a short application process which requires a motivation letter and few other documents which you can check out here http://www.isi-forum.at/. Please consider this program only if you are really interested into the other culture.
The three weeks for 12 EUR / Day in St. Petersburg covers:
- Flight from and to Vienna
- Accommodation in a student dorm (not a 3 stars hotel)
- 45h of Russian language classes
- Lunch (weekdays)
- Excursion, tours, entrances around St. Petersburg
- Getting to know the Russian culture and Russian habits
Russian students have similar procedures, most of them have to cover only the transport costs to the chosen destinations. Accommodation, German classes, lunch and excursions are for free.
Why is this so cheap?
It is sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research which supports the education of these two languages (as far as I know). The aim of this program is to improve your language skills, get to know a foreign culture, share your cultural experiences and build valuable connections for your future.
How is the Summer College experience?
If you are a traveler, like to learn other languages, connect with local people and get to know different cultures, it’s absolutely worth it. If you only look for cheap vacation, this is not for you. Here is a short video of activities we did during our time in St. Petersburg when no classes were hold.
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