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Voronezh State University (VSU) – a classical university – is an internationally recognized centre of Russian Studies.

Our Russian Language Programmes provide a unique possibility to enjoy study in a Russian setting and upgrade your knowledge of the Russian Language and Russian culture.

Russian as a second language is taught at the Institute of International Education – a large and specialized department within the framework of the Voronezh State University that coordinates all the work with international students and is in charge of tuition and accommodation.

Classroom activity is combined with an immersion programme in the city and the countryside. On the weekends students engage in exciting trips to the local tourist attractions of Voronezh Region.

Alongside with studies we offer a one-week tourist programme with visits to Moscow – St. Petersburg and Moscow – the Golden Ring towns (Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Suzdal, etc.) and other places of interest in Russia.

To join a programme which interests you, please see the relevant page:

The courses taught under "Russian as a Foreign Language" programme

Russian as a Foreign Language – speaking practice (2–6 ECTS)

Depending on the internship length and the general level of Russian language proficiency, this course includes 4 to 10 hours of practical classes per week, as well as 2 to 5 hours of independent work.

Forms of control: the first semester ends in a credit test, followed by a final exam at the end of the course.

Course content:

Topic 1. Meetings and introductions. Voronezh State University.
Topic 2. About yourself.
Topic 3. Names. Their etymology. Russian and English (Estonian, Chinese, etc.) names
Topic 4. A walk around Voronezh. Public transport.
Topic 5. Today's forms of communication. The Internet. Mobile networks. Talking on the phone.
Topic 6. Shopping. Grocery stores. Department stores.
Topic 7. National and Russian cuisine. Lunch at a restaurant.
Topic 8. Russian speech etiquette and behaviour rules.
Topic 9. Healthy lifestyle. Sports. National kinds of sport. My favourite sports.
Topic 10. Medicine. At hospital.
Topic 11. Russian state, folk, and religious holidays. International holidays.
Topic 12. The educational system in Russia vs in the students' country.
Topic 13. My future job.
Topic 14. Seasons (depending on the students' time of arrival and length of stay in Russia). Autumn. Winter. Spring. Summer.
Topic 15. People. Appearance. Character. National behaviour stereotypes.
Topic 16. Family. Family customs and traditions. Gender stereotypes.
Topic 17. Leisure. Tourism.
Topic 18. Modern art.
Topic 19. Russian and international cinema,
Topic 20. Theatre. Russian theatre. National theatre.
Topic 21. Russian customs and traditions.
Topic 22. Souvenirs for friends and relatives.

The Russian language in the Mirror of the Foreign Students' Native Language (2 ECTS)

The purpose of this lecture and seminar course is to organize the foreign students' theoretical and practical knowledge of the Russian language against the background of their mother tongue. The characteristics of the Russian language are revealed based on the results of comparative and contrastive studies of Russian and foreign (Romance and Germanic) languages.

This specialized course is mainly aimed at advanced level students majoring in translation and intercultural communication.

Workload – 54 hours (30 hours of lectures, 6 hours of seminars, 18 hours of independent work).
Final control – exam.

Practical (Systemic and Descriptive) Grammar of the Russian Language (4 ECTS)

The practical classes of systemic and descriptive grammar of the Russian language are taught to foreign students of all majors and types of enrolment. These classes are aimed at organizing, enhancing, and expanding the knowledge and skills that the students have already obtained at the pre-university courses in Russia or their native country.

Workload – 144 hours (72 hours of in-class learning, 72 hours of independent work).
Final control: 1st semester – credit test; 2nd semester – credit test/exam.

Variant Forms in the Russian Language: Vocabulary, Grammar, Stylistics (3 ECTS)

The foundations of this specialized practical course are the semantic and functional principles of presenting the language material. The results of comparing the systems of the Russian language and the students' mother tongue are also taken into account. The variant forms are viewed in three traditional levels: vocabulary, grammar, and stylistics. At each stage, the students deal with a range of special exercises and tasks.

Workload – 108 hours (72 hours – practical classes, 36 hours independent work).
Final control: 1st semester – credit test; 2nd semester – exam (test-based).

The Challenging Issues of the Russian Syntax: the Semantic and Functional Approach (3 ECTS)

This course is aimed at activating the vocabulary having no direct equivalents in the foreign students' mother tongue.

It is directed at advanced level students who have already mastered the descriptive grammar of the Russian language.

Workload – 108 hours (72 hours of in-class lecture and seminar learning, 36 hours of independent work).
Final control: 1st semester – credit test; 2nd semester – exam.

Comparative Syntax of Russian and English (1.5 ECTS)

The purpose of this specialized lecture and seminar course is to extend and elaborate the students' knowledge in the sphere of Russian syntax against the background of English. A special focus is placed on inter-linguistic parallels and the differences in basic language patterns between the two languages.

Total workload – 54 hours (24 hours of lectures, 12 hours of seminars, 18 hours of independent work).
Final control – credit test.

Practical Phonetics (1 ECTS)

This specialized course is aimed at developing and improving the skills of pronouncing Russian sounds correctly, as well as at teaching the rhythm and intonation of the Russian language. The course includes a revision of sound articulation rules, word stress, intonational and rhythmical structure of the Russian language.

A special focus is placed on the development of phonetic hearing and skills of understanding Russian speech, correcting and ensuring fluent and accurate pronunciation of Russian sounds, mastering the rhythmical characteristics of Russian intonation, as well as overcoming the interference of the students' mother tongue.

This specialized course includes 36 hours of in-class work during one semester.

Vocabulary and Word Formation (2.5 ECTS)

This course is aimed at familiarizing students with the lexical system of the Russian language and the most common word formation patterns, as well as at assisting them in gaining insight into the complex cases of Russian language use.

Workload – 90 hours (60 hours of in-class learning, 30 hours of independent work).
Final control – credit test.

The Russian Verb (3 ECTS)

This course is aimed at advanced level foreign students and interns.

Workload – 116 hours (72 hours of in-class learning, 44 hours of independent work).
Final control: 1st semester – credit test; 2nd semester – exam.

A Practical course of translation (English > Russian) (2 ECTS)

This course is aimed at teaching foreign students to translate various authentic texts from their native language (intermediary language) into Russian.

Workload – 72 hours (36 hours of in-class learning, 36 hours of independent work).

Contemporary Spoken Russian (1.5 ECTS)

Knowing phonetic, lexical, and grammatical features of spoken Russian will help interns, especially those who had studied the language outside the Russian language environment, to better understand fluent native speakers' Russian and to become engaged in spontaneous communication in the Russian language.

The seminar aims to make the interns familiar with the features and tendencies of the evolution of contemporary spoken Russian, including jargonization, the assimilation of borrowings, fewer restrictions in the use of invective vocabulary, etc.

The purpose of the classes is to teach students the characteristics of contemporary spoken Russian, which would not only enable them to better understand Russian speech, but also help them, react adequately in spontaneous conversation.

Workload – 54 hours (36 hours of in-class learning, 18 hours of independent work).
Final control – credit test.

Scientific Register (3 ECTS)

This specialized course is aimed at assisting foreign students in mastering the Russian language as a means of obtaining a university degree, professional development, and engaging in the selected field of study. The students are encouraged to take an active part in all types of academic activities: speak at seminars and practical classes, listen to lectures and make notes, read professional literature, take tests and exams, do research projects, discuss professionally relevant topics, etc.

Workload – 108 hours (72 hours – practical classes, 36 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test.

Russian for Business Communication (3 ECTS)

Foreign students living in present-day Russia face the need to study economic terminology, clichés and formulas, which make up a separate sphere of communication – business Russian.

At the practical classes, students will find answers to a lot of relevant questions: what inflation and hyperinflation are, how Russian banks and stock exchanges work, how to open an account or get a bank loan, start a joint venture or their own business, discuss a debatable financial issue, or establish a mutually beneficial co-operation.

Total workload – 108 hours (72 hours of in-class learning/seminars, 36 hours of independent work).
Final control: 1st semester – credit test; 2nd semester – exam.

Print Media Language (3 ECTS)

This subject is aimed at familiarizing students with the current issues of social and political, economic, and cultural life of the Central Black Earth Region and Russia in general. The purpose of the course is to develop and improve the abilities and skills of reading texts on public affairs, economics, and the social and cultural sphere issues.

Workload – 108 hours (72 hours – practical classes, 36 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test.

Methods of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language (3.5 ECTS)

This optional specialized course is aimed at students obtaining a Bachelor's, Specialist's, or Master's degree, with majors other than Philology, who would like to teach a Russian course in their native country.

Workload – 126 hours.

Russian Literature (4 ECTS)

The aims of this course may vary depending on the level of language proficiency and interests of the interns, as well as on the course duration – from a general review of the history of the Russian literary process to an in-depth study of its separate periods, schools, selected authors and specific works. It is also possible to concentrate on certain topics, combine a general review course with a selected topic, or to include additional topics in the course programme.

Workload – 144 hours (72 hours – lectures and seminars, 72 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test, exam.

The Culture of the Voronezh Region (4 ECTS)

This specialized course was developed in order to provide students with the information on the city where they are living and studying, as well as to expand their background knowledge on the history, culture, nature, and traditions of the Russian people. The course is aimed at advanced level students and interns.

Workload – 148 hours (72 hours – lectures and seminars, 36 hours – independent work, 40 hours – trips and educational tours).
Final control – exam.

Russian Regional Culture (1.5 ECTS)

The course is aimed at intermediate and advanced level foreign students and interns.

The purpose of the course is to give foreign students a general idea of Russian geography, as well as the historical and cultural identity of each particular region. The main task is to raise the level of Russian language proficiency while expanding and improving the students' cross-cultural competence.

Workload – 54 hours (36 hours – lectures and seminars, 18 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test.

Russia: Past and Present (video course) (4 ECTS)

The objectives of the video course are to: teach students to better hear and understand fluent Russian speech in conditions which are as close as possible to real-life communication; teach them to use the language effectively not only for communicating information, but also to express their feelings and emotions; develop their speaking skills, including an ability to hold a discussion; introduce new cross-cultural information connected with the lifestyle and way of thinking, as well as the system of values and relationships of the Russian people; and increase the students' motivation to continue learning Russian.

Workload – 144 hours (72 hours – in-class learning, 72 hours – independent work).
Final control: 1st semester – credit test; 2nd semester – credit test.

Russian History and Culture as Shown in the Paintings by Russian Artists (video course) (1 ECTS)

The sphere of art provides great material both for developing and mastering speech and for making students aware of the history, way of life, traditions, and religion of the Russian people.

The video course consists of 23 ten-minute films telling students about the masterpieces of Russian art on display at the Tretyakov gallery.

Workload – 36 hours.
Forms of Control: 2 tests during the semester, final control – credit test (essay).

A Search for "the Russian Idea": Russian Thinkers on the Russian Man's Destiny (1.5 ECTS)

This course tells students about the works of Russian thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries, which discuss the uniqueness of the Russian history and culture, Russian national identity and character, the Russian idea, the destiny of the Russian man and Russia's place in global history.

The specialized course is aimed at advanced level students majoring in the humanities.

Workload – 54 hours (36 hours – lectures and seminars, 18 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test.

The Russian Song (2 ECTS)

The aim of this specialized course is to familiarize foreign students with the finest examples of Russian songs: popular folk songs, different genres of lyrical sentimental songs called "romances", the Soviet period songs, as well as the songs composed and performed by amateur singers and composers.

The objectives of the course are to: learn songs with the help of lexico-grammatical and cultural commentaries; make students familiar with the history, culture, and traditions of the Russian people, as seen through the songs. The texts of the songs are accompanied by lexico-grammatical and cultural commentaries and brief information on the authors.

The course lasts one (36 hours) or two (72 hours) semesters, depending on the length of the students' internship and whether they wish to continue the course after the first semester.

Russian cinema (video lesson) (1.5 ECTS)

The course is aimed at intermediate and advanced level foreign students. The objectives of the course are to: expand and improve students' cross-cultural competence in the sphere of Russian history, culture, everyday life in contemporary Russia; as well as to master their linguistic and communicative competence.

The course lasts for one semester. Workload – 54 hours (36 hours – practical classes, 18 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test.

The Great Russian Composers (audiovisual course) (3 ECTS)

The course is aimed at intermediate and advanced level foreign students and interns.
The aim of this course is to familiarize foreign students with Russian musical culture of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as with the life and work of a number of outstanding Russian classical musicians.

The course is also directed at developing the students' cross-cultural, linguistic, and communicative competence. This specialized course enables students to get a better understanding of the Russian language and culture, which contributes to more effective intercultural communication, as well as tolerance and intellectual enrichment of the people.

Workload – 108 hours (72 hours – in-class learning, 36 hours – independent work).
Final control – credit test.


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