Study abroad program “Russian language and east European studies”

This program is aimed at majors in Slavic and East European studies, history, sociology, anthropology, and international relations.

In addition to intensive study of the Russian language, the program offers a number of elective courses in regional studies, the political system of the European Union, history, economics, law, etc. All non-language courses are conducted in adapted Russian.

The program gives 30 ECTS (15 US) credits.


Program features

Study program

In addition to the Russian language courses, the program includes diverse course options in political science, European Union political system and law, history, etc. These courses will be taught in Russian. Professors will adjust the language to help students follow the explanations. English presentations and materials may be used.

There are three blocks of courses:

  1.  Compulsory Russian language courses, required by Daugavpils University, 15 ECTS total.
  2.  Compulsory elective courses. The program provides a list of recommended courses. Students have to select the required course credit worth 9 ECTS.
  3.  Elective courses. Students are eligible to pick courses from the full course catalog, 6 ECTS total.

Pre-semester intensive Russian

Students can attend an optional pre-semester intensive Russian course in order to brush-up their language skills before starting the academic program.

The pre-semester Russian course:

  • is two weeks long and ends right before the semester start.
  • includes 40 lessons or Russian in groups, as well as 10 individual sessions with native conversation tutors.
  • gives no Daugavpils University credits.

The cost of the pre-semester course is not included in the semester program fee.

Daugavpils University

Daugavpils University hosts Learn Russian in the EU undergraduate study abroad programs.

Term of study

Undergraduate students can enroll for one semester or two consecutive semesters (academic year).

Duration and instruction

A semester program duration is 16 weeks and it includes 320 instruction hours, provided in Russian.

Credit award

Per semester, Daugavpils University will award up to 30 ECTS, the equivalent of 15 US undergraduate credits.

No entry visa required

Citizens of the USA, European Union, Great Britain, and many other countries need no visa to enter Latvia.

Russian language level

Native Russian professors provide Russian language instruction at Intermediate and Advanced levels.

Conversation practice

Conversation practice with native Russian communication tutors is included, 28 hours per semester.

Russian host families

Homestay are available in vetted and trained Russian-speaking host families, breakfast and dinner included.

Language immersion

In Daugavpils, modern standard Russian is the primary language of daily communication.

Excursions and study trips

The program includes weekday excursions in Daugavpils and weekend trips around Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia

Student services

Two-way transfer, in-country orientation, transportation passes, as well as 24/7 support will be provided.

Safety and health

Daugavpils is very safe. We provide local insurance and help students deal with healthcare providers.

Available courses

Block A. Compulsory courses (15 ects)

Students after 3-5 semesters of university Russian or equivalent

Students after 3-5 semesters of university Russian or equivalent


Conversational Russian and Communicative Linguistics


Culture and Information Communication


Practical Russian I


Students after 6 semesters of university Russian or equivalent

Students after 3-5 semesters of university Russian or equivalent

Modern Russian literary language: Morphology II


Russian conversational language and communicative linguistics


Practical Russian II


Block B. Compulsory elective courses (pick 9 ECTS)

European Studies in Trans-Border Perspective (part I)


Country studies (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Belarus)


History of the USSR (1922-1991)


Slavic People in the 16-19th centuries


Politics and Government in the Former USSR




Russian war in Ukraine and evolution of the EU and NATO foreign policy


Block C. Elective courses (pick 6 ECTS)

Students can select courses from the Course catalog



Application deadline

July 31, 2024

Optional pre-semester Russian

August 19, 2024

Semester start date

September 2, 2024

Semester end date

December 20, 2024


Application deadline

December 1, 2024

Optional pre-semester Russian

January 20, 2025

Semester start date

February 3, 2025

Semester end date

May 23, 2025

what people say

Student Testimonials

see all


Conor studied Russian on our academic year program at Daugavpils University. He thinks Daugavpils is a convenient and interesting town. He appreciates kind and welcoming people in Daugavpils.

USA, Washington

Learn Russian in the EU: Semester Abroad

You will hear from students, studying in different academic semester abroad programs at Daugavpils University. They have come from all over USA.


Rebecca arrived from Cambridge University, England for an intensive course in Russian to help her prepare for an exam. She enjoyed the city, practicing Russian with her hosts and discovering Latvia.

Cambridge University / England

Frequently Asked

  • Do you provide credit transfer?

    Yes. Daugavpils University awards European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits, the standard for most European countries. ECTS credits are widely accepted by institutions around the world.

    All international students enrolled in Russian-language study abroad programs at DU, regardless their academic level and picked DU courses, are administered through the ‘Eastern European Culture and Business Relations” study program. This originates in DU internal process management. Therefore, all courses listed in the transcripts, issued by DU to students at Russian-language study abroad programs, include a reference to the “Eastern European Culture and Business Relations’ program.

    Course codes at DU are assigned without any relation to the semester or year of study.

    Please find official information on the Latvian grading system here.

  • Are the courses taught in Russian?

    Russian is the primary language of instruction. All language, literature, and courses are taught in Russian.

    Courses in history, political science, and area studies will be also taught in Russian. Professors will adjust the language to help students follow the explanations. English presentations and materials may be used.

    Natural Sciences/STEM instructors are English- and Russian-speaking Daugavpils University professors. The language of instruction varies from English-only to English/Russian mix and up to Russian-only, depending on the instructor and the course.

  • Do you provide host family accommodation?

    Yes. Staying with Russian-speaking host families is the most popular lodging option among our students.

    We have implemented a system of selecting, vetting, instructing, and monitoring host families. They are our partners and provide valuable help in acquiring the language, traditions, and culture.

  • How can I secure my place?

    First of all, we need an application submitted through our website. Upon receiving the application, we will e-mail the student an acceptance confirmation letter.

    Then, we will open a personal student account in our IT system and send detailed instructions.
    Please see more in the Preparations timeline.

  • Are university courses available in the program?

    Yes. All undergraduate courses available through Learn Russian in the EU study abroad programs, are provided by Daugavpils University (DU). This guarantees their European and worldwide recognition. DU is a member of European University Association (EUA). DU diplomas are certified by the European Commission.

    Daugavpils University, established in 1921, is the foremost academic and research institution in Eastern Latvia. Its Department of Russian and Slavic Linguistics has a long tradition of research and instruction in the Russian language and literature. The department offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs in Russian philology, pedagogy, and intercultural communication.

  • Can I add lessons in history and literature to my Russian language course?

    Several our study options can include lessons or whole university courses in the Russian literature, history of Russia and the Baltics, political science, and even STEM.

    Please find more details at these links:

    Undergraduate Study Abroad Programs and Internships

    Individually Tailored Russian Language Program

  • Do you provide group courses?

    We provide group programs for universities, agencies, companies, and other institutional customers seeking a training solution for their students or employees.

    Undergraduate students on winter/summer/semester/academic year study abroad programs also may study in groups. This depends on course enrollment.

  • How I should plan my travel?

    We recommend arriving in Riga International Airport (RIX) not later than one day prior the program start day. Round-trip airport transfers RIX-Daugavpils is included into the semester abroad program tuition fee.

    Please let us know your arrival details timely.

  • Do you provide weekday excursions?

    The program includes the Daugavpils walking tour, excursions to the Church Hill, Daugavpils Fortress, Mark Rothko Art Center, 20th Century wars military memorials, the Holocaust Memorial, Russian Old Believers ethnographic site, and other destinations in Daugavpils and surroundings.

  • Do you provide cultural and sports activities?

    Absolutely! Daugavpils can offer diverse cultural opportunities. Daugavpils Theater drama and musical performances in Russian, Mark Rothko Art Center exhibitions, concerts, and festivals will give you an insight into cultural life of Daugavpils. Our culture manager prepares event information and helps in obtaining the tickets.

    Our dedicated manager will arrange sports events, help you find the best option for your routine exercises, and take you to exciting competitions.

    Of course, visiting an authentic Russian banya (steam house) is also available!

  • How experienced are your teachers?

    All our teachers are native Russian speakers. They all hold Master or Doctoral degree in teaching Russian, foreign language teaching, Russian literature, or Russian linguistics. All our teachers have at least 8 years of experience in teaching the Russian language to foreign students. Many of them are Daugavpils University professors.

  • How do you run your courses – online or in-person?

    Our courses are available in both in-person and online formats.

Entry requirements
and documents


Passport scan

Daugavpils University application

Current enrollment verification (a letter from the home university confirming good academic standing and the number of full semesters of university Russian will be completed by the start of the program with Learn Russian in the EU)

Host family placement form

Health Declaration



Participation Confirmation Fee
100 €
Optional pre-semester course
Russian language lessons (40 ac.hours)
€ 380
Communiation tutoring (10 ac.hours)
€ 120
Host family lodging, half board (2 weeks)
€ 480
Pre-semester total:
Tuition and fees for the program
€ 9220
Host family lodging, half board (16 weeks)
€ 3840
Books, copies, materials
€ 60
Local transportation
€ 180
€ 200
€ 13500
Apply now