Service Learning Experience: Russia

Dates & Itinerary I Costs I Eligibility I Apply

This is a non-credit service learning program during the interim session.


The purpose of this trip is to provide UNC students with the opportunity to experience Russia in some of its diversity. The group will have the chance to experience life in the big city and the village, as well as the two major Russian holidays of New Year's and Christmas.

During the first portion of the trip, students will spend several days in Moscow, including the New Year's Eve. Students will visit many of the standard tourist attractions (Red Square, the Kremlin, etc)., experience the famous metro, plan their own New Year's Eve party, and more.

The group will then travel via night train to Smolensk, located west of Moscow, not far from the border with Belarus. Students will spend one night in the town.

During the second portion of the program, students will complete a service learning project in several villages in conjunction with the American Friends of Russian Folklore (AFRF). Assisting Dr. Lena, Minyonok, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, students will gather and record folklore from the province of Smolensk. In the village, students will have the opportunity to experience a traditional Russian Orthodox Christmas and interact with many of the local residents. Depending on language skills, students may help with interviews of the local residents, recording residents singing their folk songs or recording interviews, or taking photos of interactions with residents. The trip will give students the opportunity to meet Russians in the countryside and their lifestyle, while at the same time helping record and preserve folklore traditions. Students will stay with host families/individuals in the village.

Throughout the program students will have short talks conducted by Dr. Minyonok who will give students background information on Russian folklore and history so students can better appreciate and understand the local culture.


Dates & Itinerary

Application Deadline: October 1
Program Dates: Interim Session: December 28, 2013 - January 11, 2014

Day 1: Depart Denver
Day 2: Arrive Moscow
Day 3-4: Moscow
Day 5: Depart Moscow
Day 6: Arrive Smolensk
Day 7: Visit Talashkino museum, depart for village
Day 8-10: Field Work and local sites
Day 10: Christmas
Day 12-14: Field Work
Day 15: Return to Moscow
Day 16: Depart Moscow


Program Fee


Paid to AFRF

Study Abroad Administration Fee


Billed to Student Account

Study Abroad Health Insurance


Billed to Student Account

Estimated Airfare


Individual Expense Paid to Airline

Russian Visa


Paid to Russian Consulate

Personal Expenses


Individual Expense (varies)





This program is open to all UNC students. Students should be 18 years or older with a clean disciplinary record.



Students should complete the International Service Learning Application. There is a minimum of 5 students and maximum of 10 students permitted on this trip. Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Students must submit a $500 non-refundable deposit at the time of application.

For more information, contact:



Applications for Spring 2014 are due October 1st