Bard Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia 

Student Life

Student Life

Student Life


Students may choose from two housing options:
  • Host family: Home-stays foster language acquisition and provide a support network outside of Smolny. Most families hosting Smolny students have hosted international students before, and each semester potential host families are reinterviewed by members of Smolny staff in their homes. Our host families know that language acquisition is important to students and are often ready to spend time talking with students, answering questions, and sometimes even helping with homework. Students have a private room, generally have two meals a day on weekdays and full board on weekends, and access to a washing machine. The host family provides clean linens.  
  • Youth Hostel: Students may instead opt to live in a youth hostel near Smolny’s main academic building. Students will have access to a kitchen area where they can prepare their own meals. The hostel does not have planned activities for residents or have many opportunities for cultural interaction. Students have a private room and supply their own towels and bed linens.


The Bard-Smolny program begins with a comprehensive online predeparture training. Students fly as a group to St. Petersburg and undertake a two-day orientation that will focus on program expectations (academic and behavioral), safety and health information, a discussion of cultural adjustment strategies, and an introduction to life in St. Petersburg. On the final day of orientation, students move into their semester housing. 

Student Activities

Smolny also has a student-run Social Committee, which organizes student get-togethers and parties throughout the semester. Past events have included a fall party, a New Year's Eve party, Cosmonaut day, and end-of-semester events. Visiting students can also create new clubs and organizations. In the past students have created a collaborative journal, a student newspaper, and various sports clubs. Students are always invited to participate in the numerous lectures, seminars, and conferences that take place at Smolny College. Expand for more. Expand