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The Magic and Power of St. Petersburg, Russia
Saint Petersburg, Russia (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Fact Sheet:
Type of Program: UCCS Faculty-directed Programs
Program Description:

The Magic and Power of St. Petersburg

This course will provide, both students and interested non-University participants a unique cultural experience. St. Petersburg is a magical city, with overarching palaces and cathedrals of historic important throughout the city. Guided by Dr. Mel Weissman, a professor who has lived in St. Petersburg and understands the cultural importance, and phenomenon that is St. Petersburg. 

The program takes place between May 17th, 2018 to May 25th, 2018, that way no academic instruction will be interfered through this trip. This adventure is open to students for credit, and offers a once in a lifetime experience to explore the deep history from an academic perspective in St. Petersburg.


Prior to leaving, applicants must submit a short 3-4 page essay on your interest in St. Petersburg, and what you anticipate during your visit. Upon coming back, applicants will write a longer essay, University of Chicago style, that describes significant experiences and points of special interest from your trip.

Applicants should consult the following sources for their knowledge and essay:

Pushkin, The Bronze Horseman
Biographies of Peter and Catherine the Great (Massie is suggested)
Gogol's, The Nose and The Overcoat

Russian Museum: Icons of Rublev, and Theophan Grek.
Bruillov, Destruction of Pompey

Examples of Byzantine and Italian influence.

Itinerary Trip and Details

Applicants will be exploring St. Petersburg for its history through cathedrals, and beautiful architecture. Applicants are encouraged to take notes of the history, and utilize the facts they learn from tour guides.  Towards the end of the trip, applicants will be given local guides to help them understand the culture of St. Petersburg, as well as explore Stroll Nevsky Prospect: the center of St. Petersburg, with many shops and cafes. 

Upon arriving at St. Petersburg, applicants will explore The Hermitage, a winter palace with 1100 rooms and private residences for Empresses and Tsars. This museum was founded in 1764, when Empress Catherine the Great had collected a substantial amount of paintings and put them on display. They will also explore the Cathedral of Spilled Blood, an ancient cathedral that marks the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. At night, applicants can spend the night at the Moscow Hotel for 9 nights, a 4-star hotel that offers air conditioned rooms, 5 restaurants including a panoramic restaurant, and is located 50 meters from the Alexander Nevsky Square Metro Station. Free Wi-fi is included in the hotel.. Breakfast is included within the hotel every morning. 

Applicants can expect to see the Peterhof, a palace with lush gardens surrounding the building, well known for their 160 gravity fed fountains and fantasy grottos. The gardens are visually "awesome"; and applicants can expect an ice cream break as well. Peterhof reflects the electric nature of Peter and the Empress Catherine. A tour of the Peter/Paul foretress will open applicants up to the ancient history of the building, being built between 1712-1733. The fortress is the oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, located on an island on the Neva River. The fortress once served as a prison for political undesirables!

From there, the Usupov Palace is next. Known for its family theatre rooms, the Usupov Palace contains opulent architecture, where Rasputin was poisoned and shot. There is a murder exhibit dedicated to Rasputin for applicants to explore. Then, applicants can expect the Pushkin/Tsarkoe Selo, Catherine the Great's palace. Built by an Italian architect, the palace contains mass amounts of art by Catherine the Great, a true visual landsight. The gardens of the palace provide a great place to enjoy ice cream, and to take a break within the tour.

Optional tours included in the excursion is the Free Yourself Russia Folkshow ($154 per person), Swan Lake ($222 per person), and Iolanta ($122 per person). The Free Yourself Russia Folkshow is performed by Peter's Quartet, a professional vocal quartet group. 

Cost and Payment Information

The total cost for this program is $3,367. Costs included in the excursion are Hotel, Breakfast, Internet, Transportation, Tour Manager, Entrances, and Water (2 bottles of water per person per bus service). Please note travel insurance is required for this trip.

Costs not included in the trip are the following:
- International Air
- Gratuity
- Optional Tours
- Meals
- Optional Activities
- Personal Items and Shopping

Health and Safety

Health and safety are paramount to a successful experience studying abroad. We encourage students to research health and safety considerations of the destination in which they wish to go. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) provide up to date and comprehensive information about health and safety abroad. Please visit the following links to find more information:
U.S. Department of State:
Centers for Disease Control:

About Dr. Mel Weissman

Dr. Mel Weissman is a professor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, teaching Russian History and Medieval History Survey. Previously living in St. Petersburg, Dr. Weissman is a many time visitor to Russia (at count, 41 times). 

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 01/31/2018 ** Rolling Admission 05/17/2018 05/25/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.