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St. Petersburg, Russia
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Russian Area Studies and Russian Language, St. Petersburg State University - Summer, Fall & Year
Dear Participants,
Thank you for choosing the University of California Education Abroad Program! For this program, UCEAP has partnered with CIEE. As a UCEAP student, the terms of your participation differ from students who are enrolled with CIEE independently or through another university. It is important for you to be aware of these differences and understand your unique responsibilities as a UCEAP student abroad.
You will be concurrently enrolled at UC while participating through CIEE in St. Petersburg. The grades you earn while in St. Petersburg will appear on your UC transcript as direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, and unlike other students you may meet in the program, you will pay your fees to UCEAP rather than directly to CIEE. You will also carry an additional insurance policy that is a part of your UCEAP participation. Finally, you will have additional resources and contacts through UCEAP with whom you need to communicate. The details of these separate and unique “UCEAP elements” of your participation are outlined in this short supplement. Please be familiar with them before departing for Russia.
Note that this guide is meant to be a supplement to the CIEE Program Handbook; it is critical that you also read the CIEE Program Handbook, as it contains extensive, critical information about your program, St. Petersburg, and life in Russia.
Click a heading below to see section content.


Your first point of contact while abroad will be the on-site CIEE Resident Staff in St. Petersburg, including:
Resident Director
Dr. Irina Makoveeva
Cell phone: 001-7-965-784-1509
Office phone: 011-7-812-576-4494
Student Services Manager
Jarlath McGuckin
Cell phone: 011-7-965-784-1513
Student Services Assistant
Katya Rubtsova
Cell phone: +7-905-232-6301


While you will stay in close touch with the CIEE staff and the faculty in St. Petersburg, you will also need to keep a list of contacts on hand for the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs all over the world, and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. As a participant in the St. Petersburg program, you will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
International Operations Specialist
Kathryn Rich
Phone: (805) 893-4255; E-mail: 
International Academics Specialist
Lauren Nestler
Phone: (805) 893-4683; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Svetlana Kovalchuk 
Phone: (805) 893-4812; E-mail:
Academics & Your UC Registration
As a UCEAP student in a program administered by CIEE, make sure you understand all of your academic resources, as well as your academic responsibilities. Remember that other students on the program will be bound to different home-university policies. Regardless of CIEE regulations, you must meet UCEAP requirements.
Read through the following guides now to know what sort of information is in each, and know how to access them easily when you have questions later:
  • The Academic chapter includes UCEAP academic regulations on unit requirements, information on taking fewer units than the program requirement, instuctions on the MyEAP Study List registration process, changing courses, petitions, grades, and more. 
  • CIEE Program Handbook (available in your MyCIEE account "Readings" section)
    The Academics section in the CIEE Program Handbook outlines your CIEE academic program. Read this guide closely; you will be held accountable for this information, as well as UCEAP academic policies in the UGSA.
Who Should I Ask About...
  • UCEAP academic regulations/MyEAP Study List: UCEAP (email Lauren Nestler in the Systemwide Office)
  • CIEE St. Petersburg course specifics and concerns: CIEE on-site advisor
  • UC college or department requirements: your college or department advisor and/or campus EAP advisor
You have the additional resources of UCEAP staff in case of difficulties. The CIEE on-site staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.
Credit and Registration
Because you will be receiving direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, you will be concurrently enrolled with both CIEE and UCEAP. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript. Timely completion of your Study List is also a requirement of the Student Agreement you signed.
Registering through CIEE: Signing up for courses
  • You will complete a course pre-selection process in your online CIEE account. You will receive notification from CIEE when this pre-selection screen is available. At this time you will find out which courses are being offered for your term of participation. You will indicate your top choices and alternates in this online pre-selection.
  • Remember to be flexible, since exact offerings and timetables may not be available until after arrival.
  • There is a traditional add/drop period at the very beginning of the program. Once this period is over your course registration will remain final.
  • Take your UC department advisor’s name and email with you to contact regarding using any new course to satisfy particular department or college requirements. Neither CIEE nor UCEAP staff can assist you with questions about fulfilling home department requirements.


Registering through UCEAP: Entering your courses into your MyEAP Registration Study List

  • Immediately after your arrival, you will receive detailed instructions from the UCEAP Systemwide Office via email on how to complete your MyEAP Study List. It is critical that you read and respond to all e-mails regarding the registration process.
  • You will search the MyEAP course catalog to select existing courses taken by previous students in St. Petersburg and enter course information for new course offerings.
  • Include the correct number of units in UC quarter units (even for semester campus students).
  • The Systemwide Office reviews courses (especially subject areas and division) and finalizes Study Lists. Check your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your courses will appear on your transcript.
  • If you have concerns about meeting program requirements or other related questions, first consult the relevant sections of the Academic chapter of the UGSA, then contact the Systemwide Office if needed.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
​Detailed information on handing money abroad can be found in your CIEE Program Handbook.
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Diversity at UCEAP
UCEAP Insurance Plan
CIEE Insurance
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Physical Health
Racial/Ethnic Harassment
Incidents of unprovoked, violent harassment against racial and ethnic minorities regularly occur throughout the Russian Federation. The U.S. Embassy Moscow and Consulates General continue to receive reports of U.S. citizens, often members of minority groups, victimized in violent attacks by “skinheads” or other extremists.
Exercise caution in areas frequented by such individuals and wherever large crowds have gathered. U.S. citizens most at risk are those of African, South Asian, or East Asian descent, or those who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be from the Caucasus region or the Middle East. Minorities are also at risk for harassment by police authorities.
Mental Health
Health Risks
Prescription Medications
Russia also has very strict rules on the importation of large quantities of medication. Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs common in the United States are prohibited in Russia, and large quantities of any medicine will receive scrutiny.
Upon entering Russia, carry a copy of your U.S. prescription and a letter from your physician detailing your condition, treatment and medication regime.  U.S. citizen visitors have been detained in Russia for not being able to prove that their prescription medication was lawfully obtained in the United States.
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Due to continued civil and political unrest throughout much of the North Caucasus region of Russia, the U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Chechnya and all other areas of the North Caucasus, including North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. The U.S. Government’s ability to assist U.S. citizens who travel to the North Caucasus region is extremely limited. Throughout the region, local criminal gangs have kidnapped foreigners, including U.S. citizens, for ransom. U.S. citizens have disappeared in Chechnya and remain missing. Close contacts within the local population does not guarantee safety.
Crime & Prevention
​Detailed information can be found in your CIEE Program Handbook.
Civil Unrest
​Avoid public demonstrations, whether properly authorized or not, and avoid any large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures. Occasional peaceful demonstrations near the U.S. Embassy do not generally interfere with public services, but avoid them when possible.
Traffic & Transportation Safety

​Road traffic deaths in Russia are five times higher than in countries with the best road safety records in the world. One-third of car crashes in Russia are caused by speeding vehicles and close to 40% of all road fatalities are among pedestrians.

Although Russia has made significant progress since 2006, a stronger, multisectoral response is needed to reduce the still high number of road fatalities.


LGBT Students
​Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is widespread in Russia, as harassment, threats, and acts of violence have been targeted at LGBT individuals. Antigay sentiment has been spreading in Russia’s conservative society. In June 2013, Mr. Putin signed a law allowing the police to arrest tourists and foreigners suspected of being gay or pro-gay and detain them for up to 14 days. He also signed a bill classifying “homosexual” propaganda as pornography with vague wording that could subject anyone arguing for tolerance or educating children about homosexuality to arrest and fines. There is no defense for such actions, which occur against a backdrop of growing violence against gays and could be seen as a license for even more violence.
Government officials have been known to make derogatory comments about LGBT persons, and St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Ryazan, and Kostroma recently have banned “the promotion of homosexuality” to minors, effectively limiting public expression and assembly on LGBT issues. Legislatures in Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Kaliningrad are considering similar measures, and there has been a push for a national ban, which has the support of a number of groups including the Russian Orthodox Church. It is unclear exactly how these statutes are being applied, although arrests have occurred under these laws, and one person has been fined approximately $170 in St. Petersburg for holding up a sign supporting LGBT rights.
Public actions (including dissemination of information, statements, displays, or perceived conspicuous behavior) contradicting or appearing to contradict such laws may lead to arrest, prosecution, and the imposition of a fine. Gay public displays of affection, including holding hands, or displaying symbols like a rainbow flag are now banned and can lead to arrest. LGBT students should review the U.S. Department of State LGBT Travel Information page and the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Student Life chapter.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety
Russia has a poor fire safety record, with about 12,000 deaths reported in 2012.
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.