Russian language study in Riga
Immersion is very important in studying a foreign language, and in Riga the environment is supportive and welcoming as everyone speaks fluent Russian – most accent-free Russian – even though Russian is not an official language in Latvia. Still, students can go to the Russian Chekhov’s Drama Theater in Riga in the evening or go to the cinema where many movies are Russian originals or have been dubbed into Russian for the wider Russian speaking audience. Students may also enjoy nightclubs with Russian rock bands, visit concerts of popular Russian singers at Arena Riga or attend a Russian Orthodox service in one of the many Russian churches across this beautiful city. The cultural environment is fundamental to successfully learning a new language, and in Riga students are completely immersed in the rich and complex beauty of both the Russian language and its dynamic heritage.
We use a combination of different methods and techniques in teaching Russian as a foreign language. Our approach includes:
- Academic courses (40 to 128 contact hours)
- Homestay with native Russian speaking families
- Professional internships in the Russian
- Courses about Russian history, art, and literature
The mission of the Baltic Center for Educational and Academic Development is to deliver the highest educational and professional experiences in Eastern Europe by providing programs in numerous fields as well as upper-level coursework in Russian studies, history, culture, and language.
Our programs include teaching Russian as a foreign language. We offer an unique combination of academic classes, homestay with Russian native families, and Russian language professional internships in various fields, such as accounting, marketing, journalism, chemistry, biology, physics, pre-med, theater, museum work, engineering, and many others. Our partner universities are Brigham Young University, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, Wharton Business School, etc. We have close ties and collaborate on Russian Studies component with Free University (Russian University in exile).
Baltic Center organizes in Riga various educational events, open lectures and conferences in order to bring top speakers and top experts to facilitate human capital development in the Baltic States.
|The capital of Latvia has traditionally been a multi-cultural city. Latvian is the only official language, however, majority of people in Riga understand and speak accent free Russian.||Mild climate The climate in Latvia is mild due to the Baltic sea. The summers are warm while winters are mild and the Russian frosts of -30C (-22F) do not usually happen in Riga. At summer time the Gulf warms up and Riga’s habitants enjoy a 20 km stretch of beautiful Jurmala beaches.|
|No need for an entry visa Latvia is a member state of the EU and a member of Schengen agreement. Students from the EU countries, the USA and Canada do not need visa to come to Latvia.||Riga is beautiful Riga was founded in 1201. Riga’s historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will enjoy wandering through the narrow streets of the old town, visiting the Dom cathedral or the Latvian National Museum of Art.|
|Travel around is easy Riga, with its central geographic position of Latvia, is a perfect travel hub. You can reach London in 2h 30min, Paris in 2h 45min, Amsterdam in 2 hours, and Berlin in 1h 50min.|
Academic courses in Riga
We offer Russian language courses for students of varying levels of proficiency. We combine different learning methods based on the communicative approach with a focus on meaning and on correct forms of usage and correctness of speech. This approach recognizes the specific typology of the Russian language, uses the functional-communicative method in presenting grammatical, lexical, and syntactical material, and recognizes the importance of cultural context in foreign language learning.
Most fundamental to this method is studying the language in the same language environment, which serves as a powerful factor in the full realization of communicative principles, as well as triggering spontaneous learning through different random communicative events outside of the classroom.
Our teachers are experienced professionals who can also assist students by creating a supportive atmosphere, building adequate learning motivation, and helping to reduce psychological barriers in foreign language learning and communication, which can be crucial in intensive language programs.
We often tailor our programs to match the unique needs of specific groups or even of individual students, and we are happy and able to accommodate a wide range of academic, business, and personal goals with an array of extracurricular stimuli, or to use the text-books of your choice.
We provide fully equipped and spacious classrooms in historical buildings in the Medieval Old Town, equipped with overhead projectors, video recording, wi-fi, computers with printers and copiers, and areas for individual study.
Russian for beginners
This introductory course is dedicated to developing functional competence in four basic skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing, as well as the expansion of cultural knowledge. It will give you a basic knowledge of the Russian grammar, studied in the context of communicative tasks that enable students to develop a conceptual understanding and control of all basic Russian structures.
Discussing topics will enable students to take part in simple conversations and to understand them. By the end of this class, you will be able to:
- Understand simple conversations about daily routines, family, school and work, announcements, etc.
- Express immediate needs and interests and hold simple conversations.
- Read and understand articles on familiar topics and brief literary texts.
- Write simple compositions about daily routines, family, school, and work, postcards and short letters.
- This course is normally equivalent to one year of college Russian.
The Intermediate Russian course is intended for the students, who continue to learn Russian and want to considerably increase their proficiency level. It provides focused instruction to help students expand their proficiency in reading, writing and speaking Russian.
Classes emphasize developing everyday Russian conversational skills that are appropriate to both casual and business situations. It aims:
- To increase the linguistic confidence of students by giving them an opportunity to talk on a variety of subjects.
- To improve their knowledge and use of grammar through emphasis on the most common problems.
- To enhance their understanding of the contemporary Russian language through a study of some everyday news.
- To provide an insight into contemporary Russian society and culture through media and films.
The Advanced Russian course is aimed at developing students’ communication skills and advanced reading and writing skills. Capitalizing on the Russian language environment the students can make a considerable jump in speaking and writing abilities. Students work to develop more sophisticated syntax, and grammar structures, which have high frequency usage in written texts and are the object of a special focus.
Textbooks correspond to the students’ proficiency level and include texts from the areas of current affairs, culture, business and politics. The course concentrates on discussing topics relevant to problems of contemporary society with special focus on discussion of cultural differences between the United States and Russia. Grammar is studied in the context of communicative tasks, and the vocabulary is significantly expanded. By the end of this class, students will be able to communicate on a wide range of themes with native speakers.
Russian for heritage speakers
This program will help speakers with home knowledge of Russian to proceed from no literacy to the level of competency that typically exceeds that of the students in the third or fourth year of Russian classes. They will master basic reading and writing skills (e.g. script and sound-to-letter fit, including reduced vowels and voicing/devoicing issues), they will review and reinforce Russian grammar, filling in gaps in difficult issues from noun declensions and verbal conjugations to the use of verbals.
This course will help them to expand their vocabulary in the areas traditionally beyond the scope of home use, including broad swaths of the humanities and social sciences (education, history, geography, politics etc.). They will learn how to avoid word-for-word translation and will be able to compare the original text and the resulting texts for the differences between the Russian and English word order. They will develop the listening comprehension and will be challenged to transform the communication into connected paragraphed discourse, working on proficient language performance as well as competence.
Prices and Booking
Baltic Center welcomes students who wish to master their Russian language competencies. We provide individual tutoring (one on one bases) as well as learning in small group setting (3-5 students). All programs start on Mondays. BaltCenter has flexible class schedule; classes take place from 9 am till 8 pm. Center is closed on Public Holidays. Classes take place in heritage building in art nouveau mansion in Central Riga. Students can use free high speed Wi-Fi, area for individual study equipped with computers, printers and copiers, and kitchen area.
We provide meeting at the airport and individual transfer to the dorm, hostel, or homestay family. Transfer to homestay family is mandatory. The transfer price for enrolled student is 30 euro.
Studying in a small group is 15 euros per academic hour (45 minutes).
The proficiency level can be determined by a test that we send by email after the registration.
Minimum length of study is 2 weeks.
Registration fee is 100 euros. The cost of standard two-weeks intensive course is 600 euros (40 hours).
Summer 2023 dates:
June 19 – June 30 (two weeks) Levels A0-A1 and A2-B1. 20 hours a week
July 3 – July 21 (two weeks) Levels A0-A1 and A2-B1. 20 hours a week
July 24 – August 4 (two weeks) Levels A0-A1 and A2-B1. 20 hours a week
August 7 – August 25 (two weeks) Levels A0-A1 and A2-B1. 20 hours a week
For levels B2-C2, for individual classes and available discounts for longer staying students please inquire at email@example.com
Additional individual on-line tutoring – 28 euros per hour.
Accommodation with a host family – 320 euros (breakfast/dinner); 220 euros (breakfast)
Homestay option for language students in Riga
The unique beauty of the Baltic States is that there is a significant Russian-speaking population, especially in Riga, and the Homestay option is not just about reasonably priced accommodation. The role of the host family is extremely important in creating a culturally and linguistically rich environment, with unlimited opportunities for language learning. One of the roles of the Host family is to directly introduce students to a number of common communicative situations, as well as to Russian cultural etiquette. For example, the Host family helps students to get acquainted with the public transportation system, take students shopping, to the cinema and the theater, and to provide the typical Russian family dining experience, beginning with food preparation and proceeding through the family meal for the entire experience—with all communication in Russian.
All of the host families who are selected meet our high standards for accommodation, commit to abide by our rules (like speaking only Russian even if they speak English fluently), and most of have successfully hosted many American undergraduate students before who likewise came to Riga to learn Russian in past academic years. In most instances, the host family also provides breakfast and dinner. All terms of the students’ residence are outlined in the legal agreement between our Center and the host families, and are constantly monitored by our administrative support staff, with immediate assistance available to all students with any unforeseen housing challenges.
Russian and Eastern European History courses in Riga
The courses, that we offer in English and in Russian, are designed to give participants new insight into the Eastern Europe and Russia past and today. They explore regional history, geopolitical developments and diplomacy, economic and political reforms, the role of the mass media in society, and new cultural phenomena shaping today’s Eastern Europe and Russia.
Program Contemporary Russia
This course introduces students to the politics and government of the Russian Federation. It commences with an analysis of the disintegration of the Soviet state and its consequences. It then looks in detail at post Soviet state and institution building. Foci include party systems, civil society and human rights, democratization in theory and practice, the nature of post communism, political culture and Russian nationalism. Russian international relations via-a-vis the USA, EU and post Soviet states will also be analyzed. The course aims to provide students with critical and conceptual awareness of the following key areas:
- The actors and institutions involved in state and institution building within Russia and the post Soviet states.
- The nature of political change in Russia.
- Russian political culture, beliefs and values.
- Russian foreign policy.
Objectives of the course
By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of key institutions and processes in Russian Politics.
- Exhibit a strong understanding of competing analytical and ideological approaches for understanding Russian Politics.
- Evaluate alternative explanations for particular political developments and events in Russia and the CIS.
- Develop a personal assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian political system.
History course “European History, Culture and Politics” offers an in-depth introduction to the historical, socio-cultural, and political contexts of each local society. It follows chronological approach and covers the main stages of local history and culture. Class work is supported by a well-considered series of educational visits and field trips that are intended to inspire while enabling students to contextualize their knowledge and gain first-hand insight. Site visits are directly tied to lectures, seminars, and assignments.
Location in Riga
Elizabetes iela 59, Centra rajons, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050