Our internships take place in three cities in the European part of Russia — Voronezh, Ryazan, and near Kostroma (bottom to top on the map)
In these provincial cities, the pace of life is slower and fewer people speak English. This way, you practice your Russian and interact with Russians more frequently. Local narratives stretching back centuries offer new perspectives on Russian and global history.
Voronezh is a typical example of a fast-developing regional center that has retained an honest and down-to-earth provincial character. Founded in 1584, the city is the 15th largest in Russia and is home to just over one million inhabitants. As the birthplace of the Russian navy (yes, that’s right), Voronezh also has some notable claims to historical fame.
Bustling and busy, Voronezh is a city on the move. Modern high-rises blend easily with Soviet and czarist-era architecture, and a large student body gives it a youthful flair. The local cappuccinos are brewed to a standard a Brooklyn hipster would appreciate and the nightlife feels distinctly European. If you’re into history, check out the local museums. Looking for a research topic? Get a library pass, and check out the local collection.
Whatever you want, Voronezh does not disappoint.
Ryazan (population: around 500,000) is as beautiful as it is inspiring. Over one thousand years old, the city is an important cultural, educational, and economic center located just to the southeast of Moscow. Remember Pavlov and his dogs from your psychology class? He was one of the city’s famous residents. Maybe you also know Sergei Yesenin (hint: a famous Russian poet). He lived there as well.
Ryazan is a city that is aware of its heritage. Walking the streets, you see newly built high-rises that reflect the city’s drive towards modernity. But these mingle easily with the stone and wooden city of the past. Generous parks and gardens give Ryazan an airy feel, with the majestic Ryazan fortress above the Oka River at the center of it all.
Your host city will be a small town of about 20,000 people, about an hour’s drive from Kostroma — a stop on the stunning Golden Ring to the northeast of Moscow. Founded in the 13th century, the host city turned 800 years old in 2014.
Notwithstanding its long history, the town is small. It is cozy and sleepy, replete with wooden timber homes with cats sitting among geranium plants on the window sills. A river meanders through the town center, hugging green riverbanks, as onion-dome church cupolas hover above.