Explore Russian at CLI

The Critical Languages Institute is a national training institute for less commonly taught languages, offering summer intensive courses and study-abroad programs around the world.

Every summer, CLI brings students from across the U.S. together to develop their linguistic and cultural competency rapidly and effectively through intensive in-person immersion programs. Students have the opportunity to live on the sprawling Arizona State University campus alongside faculty and staff while speaking, studying, and living in Russian.

Arizona State University is a large, metropolitan university. The main campus, housing over 64,000 students, is located in Tempe, 15 minutes by light rail from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Emblematic of the lively, eclectic atmosphere of Tempe is the city's main street, Mill Avenue.

Explore the tabs below to learn more about the Russian course offerings at CLI.

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Apply by January 27th, 2023 to qualify for CLI scholarship opportunities.

Course Options

First-year Russian in Tempe, Arizona

First-year Russian in Tempe, Arizona

First-year Russian provides beginners a solid introduction to Russian grammar and conversation. Students who complete the course successfully will reach a proficiency of Novice High or Intermediate Low.
Students will be able to communicate in day-to-day situations in Russian, will be able to read and write effectively on familiar topics, and will have a solid foundation for further study or travel.
The program introduces Russian culture through authentic materials and media, as well as activities in Russian and structured interactions with Russian speakers.
First-year Russian combines 4 hours a day of classroom instruction as well as daily informal activities in Russian led by facilitators representing Russian-speaking communities from around the world.

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First-year Russian in Tempe, Arizona and 4-week extension in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

First-year Russian in Tempe, Arizona and 4-week extension in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

First-year Russian students enrolled in this program introductory course will immerse themselves in Russian culture while strengthening their mastery of the language through specially designed courses and extramural activities.

Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is a city of 1 million, situated at the base of the Tian Shan mountains. The city is multiethnic, home to Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, and Russians. The primary language is Russian, although Kyrgyz is also spoken widely. Renowned for its tree-lined streets and its network of gravity-fed glacier-water canals, Bishkek is considered one of the greenest cities in the world. Modern Bishkek is a very youthful city, with an active cafe and university culture.

The 4-week extension in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan offers an extensive program of extramural activities. Most are conducted in one-on-one or small group formats with local activity guides. All activities are conducted in Russian.

  • Daily conversation practice
  • Twice-weekly small-group activities, tied to classroom topics
  • Museum visits (small group activity)
  • Cooking classes
  • Craft classes
  • Shopping and bartering lessons
  • Weekend trip to Talas and the Manas Ordo mausoleum
  • Weekend trip to the Ala Archa gorge 
  • Weekend trip to Barskoon

CLI's program in Bishkek is managed jointly by Arizona State University and the School of Russian and Asian Studies. Classes are conducted at the London School of Bishkek.

Program Fee

The 4-week extension program fee of $4,500* covers:

  • 60 hours of instruction
  • 3 academic credits
  • online talks, excursions, and cultural activities
  • 4 weeks housing
  • insurance
  • visa
  • phone and phone card

It does not include:

  • international travel
  • meals
  • personal expenses

*All prices and descriptions on this page are subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts

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Second-year Russian in Tempe, Arizona

Second-year Russian in Tempe, Arizona

Students will solidify their command of Russian and raise their listening, speaking, and communicative skills to the Intermediate Low level or better. Graduates can interact in day-to-day life in Russian comfortably and read texts on familiar topics with ease.

The program explores Russian culture through authentic materials and media, as well as activities in Russian and structured interactions with Russian speakers.
Second-year Russian combines 4 hours a day of classroom instruction as well daily informal activities in Russian led by facilitators representing Russian-speaking communities from around the world.

Apply Now

Second-year Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Second-year Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Students will solidify their command of Russian and raise their listening, speaking, and communicative skills to the Intermediate Low level or better. Graduates can interact in day-to-day life in Russian comfortably and read texts on familiar topics with ease.

Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is a city of 1 million, situated at the base of the Tian Shan mountains. The city is multiethnic, home to Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, and Russians. The primary language is Russian, although Kyrgyz is also spoken widely. Renowned for its tree-lined streets and its network of gravity-fed glacier-water canals, Bishkek is considered one of the greenest cities in the world. Modern Bishkek is a very youthful city, with an active cafe and university culture.

The second-year program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan offers an extensive program of extramural activities. Most are conducted in one-on-one or small group formats with local activity guides. All activities are conducted in Russian.

  • Daily conversation practice
  • Twice-weekly small-group activities, tied to classroom topics
  • Museum visits (small group activity)
  • Cooking classes
  • Craft classes
  • Shopping and bartering lessons
  • Weekend trip to Talas and the Manas Ordo mausoleum
  • Weekend trip to the Ala Archa gorge 
  • Weekend trip to Barskoon

CLI's program in Bishkek is managed jointly by Arizona State University and the School of Russian and Asian Studies. Classes are conducted at the London School of Bishkek.

Program Fee

The Bishkek program fee of $7,400* covers:

  • 180 hours of instruction
  • 10 academic credits
  • online talks, excursions, and cultural activities
  • 8 weeks housing
  • insurance
  • visa
  • phone and phone card

It does not include:

  • international travel
  • meals
  • personal expenses

*All prices and descriptions on this page are subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts

Apply Now

Third-year Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Third-year Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Students will solidify their command of Russian and raise their listening, speaking, and communicative skills to the Intermediate Mid level or better. Graduates can interact in day-to-day life in Russian comfortably and read texts on familiar topics with ease.

Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is a city of 1 million, situated at the base of the Tian Shan mountains. The city is multiethnic, home to Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, and Russians. The primary language is Russian, although Kyrgyz is also spoken widely. Renowned for its tree-lined streets and its network of gravity-fed glacier-water canals, Bishkek is considered one of the greenest cities in the world. Modern Bishkek is a very youthful city, with an active cafe and university culture.

The third-year program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan offers an extensive program of extramural activities. Most are conducted in one-on-one or small group formats with local activity guides. All activities are conducted in Russian.

  • Daily conversation practice
  • Twice-weekly small-group activities, tied to classroom topics
  • Museum visits (small group activity)
  • Cooking classes
  • Craft classes
  • Shopping and bartering lessons
  • Weekend trip to Talas and the Manas Ordo mausoleum
  • Weekend trip to the Ala Archa gorge 
  • Weekend trip to Barskoon

CLI's program in Bishkek is managed jointly by Arizona State University and the School of Russian and Asian Studies. Classes are conducted at the London School of Bishkek.

Program Fee

The Bishkek program fee of $7,400* covers:

  • 180 hours of instruction
  • 10 academic credits
  • online talks, excursions, and cultural activities
  • 8 weeks housing
  • insurance
  • visa
  • phone and phone card

It does not include:

  • international travel
  • meals
  • personal expenses

*All prices and descriptions on this page are subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts

Apply Now

Fourth-year Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Fourth-year Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Students entering with Intermediate Mid proficiency expand and solidify their command of Russian vocabulary, grammar and spelling, and develop advanced listening, reading, conversational, and composition skills.  Students will engage in a wide variety of activities, combining textbook material with authentic texts and videos. Frequent extramural exercises conducted with native speakers provide students a first-hand, practical knowledge of the language and culture.  By the end of the course, students should expect to reach a proficiency level of Intermediate High.

Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is a city of 1 million, situated at the base of the Tian Shan mountains. The city is multiethnic, home to Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, and Russians. The primary language is Russian, although Kyrgyz is also spoken widely. Renowned for its tree-lined streets and its network of gravity-fed glacier-water canals, Bishkek is considered one of the greenest cities in the world. Modern Bishkek is a very youthful city, with an active cafe and university culture.

The fourth-year program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan offers an extensive program of extramural activities. Most are conducted in one-on-one or small group formats with local activity guides. All activities are conducted in Russian.

  • Daily conversation practice
  • Twice-weekly small-group activities, tied to classroom topics
  • Museum visits (small group activity)
  • Cooking classes
  • Craft classes
  • Shopping and bartering lessons
  • Weekend trip to Talas and the Manas Ordo mausoleum
  • Weekend trip to the Ala Archa gorge 
  • Weekend trip to Barskoon

CLI's program in Bishkek is managed jointly by Arizona State University and the School of Russian and Asian Studies. Classes are conducted at the London School of Bishkek.

Program Fee

The Bishkek program fee of $7,400* covers:

  • 180 hours of instruction
  • 10 academic credits
  • online talks, excursions, and cultural activities
  • 8 weeks housing
  • insurance
  • visa
  • phone and phone card

It does not include:

  • international travel
  • meals
  • personal expenses

*All prices and descriptions on this page are subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts

Apply Now

Fifth-year Russian in Yerevan, Armenia

Fifth-year Russian in Yerevan, Armenia

Students entering with Intermediate High proficiency expand and solidify their command of Russian vocabulary, grammar and spelling, and develop advanced listening, reading, conversational, and composition skills.  Students will engage in a wide variety of activities, combining textbook material with authentic texts and videos. Frequent extramural exercises conducted with native speakers provide students a first-hand, practical knowledge of the language and culture.  By the end of the course, students should expect to reach a proficiency level of Intermediate High.

Located in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains, with stunning views of Mount Ararat, Yerevan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Armenia. A compact city with a population of roughly one million, Yerevan offers a wide variety of educational and cultural opportunities in a friendly and safe environment. One of the oldest cities of the world, Yerevan is dotted with ancient churches, monuments, and archeological sites.

This program is designed to be customized to each student. Excursion and activity schedules vary year to year, but have included:

  • Armenian film showings
  • The Pharajanov Art Museum
  • Tsistrnakaberd (Genocide Museum)
  • Church service at Zvartots
  • The Matenadaran literature museum
  • Virap monastery
  • The Erebouni Museum
  • Lake Sevan
  • Mashtots Avenue
  • Cognac factory
  • Oshakan tour & Mashtots grave
  • Cascade Museum
  • Martiros Saryan Museum

CLI's program in Yerevan is developed in the ASU Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. It is directed by Dr. Siranush Khandanyan of Yerevan State University.

Program Fee

The CLI Russian program fee of $5,000* covers:

  • 120 hours of instruction
  • 6 academic credits
  • 8 weeks housing
  • excursions and activities
  • insurance
  • phone and phone card

It does not include:

  • cost of travel to Yerevan
  • meals
  • personal expenses

*All prices and descriptions on this page are based on 2022 estimates and subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts.

Apply Now

Sixth-year Russian in Yerevan, Armenia

Sixth-year Russian in Yerevan, Armenia

Students entering with Advanced proficiency expand and solidify their command of Russian vocabulary, grammar and spelling, and develop advanced listening, reading, conversational, and composition skills.  Students will engage in a wide variety of activities, combining textbook material with authentic texts and videos. Frequent extramural exercises conducted with native speakers provide students a first-hand, practical knowledge of the language and culture.  By the end of the course, students should expect to reach a proficiency level of Intermediate High.

Located in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains, with stunning views of Mount Ararat, Yerevan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Armenia. A compact city with a population of roughly one million, Yerevan offers a wide variety of educational and cultural opportunities in a friendly and safe environment. One of the oldest cities of the world, Yerevan is dotted with ancient churches, monuments, and archeological sites.

This program is designed to be customized to each student. Excursion and activity schedules vary year to year, but have included:

  • Armenian film showings
  • The Pharajanov Art Museum
  • Tsistrnakaberd (Genocide Museum)
  • Church service at Zvartots
  • The Matenadaran literature museum
  • Virap monastery
  • The Erebouni Museum
  • Lake Sevan
  • Mashtots Avenue
  • Cognac factory
  • Oshakan tour & Mashtots grave
  • Cascade Museum
  • Martiros Saryan Museum

CLI's program in Yerevan is developed in the ASU Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. It is directed by Dr. Siranush Khandanyan of Yerevan State University.

Program Fee

The CLI Russian program fee of $5,000* covers:

  • 120 hours of instruction
  • 6 academic credits
  • 8 weeks housing
  • excursions and activities
  • insurance
  • phone and phone card

It does not include:

  • cost of travel to Yerevan
  • meals
  • personal expenses

*All prices and descriptions on this page are based on 2022 estimates and subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts.

Apply Now

Funding Options

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions of higher education to assist meritorious undergraduate students and graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and related area or international studies. Eligible students apply for fellowships directly to an institution that has received an allocation of fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Melikian Center offers both academic year and summer-length FLAS Fellowships. The application for the Summer 2023 FLAS Fellowship will close on January 27th, 2023.

The Summer 2023 Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) provides eligible students with a $2,500 stipend and $5,000 in tuition during the Summer 2023 semester for funding intermediate and/or intensive study of Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Kazakh, Macedonian, Persian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian, or Uzbek domestically or abroad.

A separate application is required to apply for this funding opportunity.

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Title VIII Graduate Awards

Title VIII Funding

The Department of State's Title VIII program funds graduate students with U.S. citizenship to study less commonly taught languages.

Students who apply for an Arizona-only program may receive up to $5,000.  Students who apply for an Arizona program with a 4-week abroad extension may receive up to $10,000.  Students who apply for an 8-week study abroad program through CLI may receive up to $10,000.

Past CLI Title VIII fellows can be awarded the fellowship up to two more times, for a maximum of up to 3 fellowship awards, as long as they maintain their graduate student eligibility.

A separate application is required to apply for this funding opportunity.

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Melikian Center Awards Program

Melikian Center Awards Program

Supported by the Melikian Center's endowment and by private donations, the Melikian Center Awards Program provides scholarships of up to $1,500 for superior applicants to study critical languages at CLI.

This funding opportunity is open to all CLI applicants. High school, community college, and non-students are especially encouraged to apply.

A separate application is required to apply for this funding opportunity.

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Need-Based Fee Reduction

Need-Based Fee Reduction

The Melikian Center offers up to a $1,000 reduction of the published CLI program fee for qualified Pell Grant eligible students and non-students with an annual family income of $50,000 or less. This $1,000 reduction applies to Tempe-based or study abroad programs. Please note that a limited number of fee reductions are available; not all students who apply will receive a need-based fee reduction.

To qualify for this funding opportunity, please indicate your Pell Grant eligibility on your general CLI program application.

A separate application is not required to apply for this funding opportunity.

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Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The State Department's Gilman Scholarship provides awards of up to $5,000 for students in financial need to study abroad, including in CLI overseas programs. Gilman applications require certification of the program by your institution's study-abroad office.  If you apply for Gilman support, please contact cli@asu.edu for assistance in getting the required information to your institution.

Gilman summer study applications are accepted from August to October and January to March. Students interested in this opportunity should apply for the early competition, if possible, since applicants to the later competition will not learn their award status until after the deadline to commit to CLI study. Please contact cli@asu.edu for details on timing your Gilman application.

An external application is required to apply for this funding opportunity.

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Project Global Officer

Project Global Officer

Project GO offers full funding for CLI programming in Indonesian and Russian. Project GO at ASU is run by Arizona State University Critical Languages Institute in cooperation with the ASU Army, Air Force, and Naval ROTC units. Project GO participants study alongside non-ROTC students.

ASU Project GO has a limited number of openings. Participants are selected on a competitive basis. Selection criteria include academic achievement, potential to commission, commitment to mastering the language of study, and leadership potential. See the ROTC website for details.

Beginners study at ASU for 2 months, then go abroad for 1 month.  

Intermediate & Advanced students study abroad for 2 months.

An external application is required to apply for this funding opportunity.

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About Critical Languages Institute Language Programs

Costs

Program Costs

Thanks to ASU institutional support, CLI does not charge tuition (in-state or out-of-state) for its credit-bearing courses. Instead of tuition fees, we charge a flat administrative fee of $1,750* for all domestic programs in Tempe. Please note that this fee covers academics only; it does not cover room and board, travel, study abroad program fees, books, or insurance.

This fee is the same regardless of language and number of credits taken. In-country extension programs may have additional fees.

*All prices and descriptions on this page subject to change. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts. For information about our reduced program fees for low income/Pell Grant eligible students, please see the Funding Options tab.

Dates and Times

Dates and Times

Russian and Indonesian in Tempe, Arizona:
May 22nd - July 14th, 2023
Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 12:40PM

Language programs in Tempe, Arizona (Excluding Russian and Indonesian):
May 30th - July 14th, 2023
Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 12:40PM

Language programs abroad:
June 19th - August 11th, 2023
Monday - Friday

4-week extension programs abroad:
July 19th - August 11th, 2023
Monday - Friday

Credit and Syllabi

Credit and Syllabi

Most CLI programs offer 8-10 undergraduate credits, though there are exceptions. All 4-week extension programs offer an additional 3 credits under the SLC 494 course designation.

Please view your program's course syllabus for detailed information.

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Housing and Meals

Housing and Meals

CLI offers language-oriented on-campus housing at one of Arizona State University's Tempe campus dormitories.

ASU typically offers double-occupancy rooms for $35*/day, with bathrooms shared between two double-occupancy rooms. ASU has a very limited supply of single-occupancy rooms. Participants who wish to live in an ASU dormitory and require rooms with ADA accommodations should email cli@asu.edu as soon as possible. Bed linens are available to rent for an additional one-time $45* charge.

Typical amenities include: laundry facilities, kitchen facilities, vending machines, air conditioning, and basic cable.  Kitchens are usually shared among residents of the hall and the CLI language clubs. CLI does not provide supplies for kitchen areas.

CLI students are not required to live in the ASU dorm or to eat on campus. Private summer sublets are available near campus; price and quality vary. CLI does not assist with off campus housing arrangements. 

CLI participants may eat on campus or may make their own meal arrangements. ASU offers a food court in the student union. CLI does not offer a meal plan for any of its on campus programs. 

*All prices and descriptions on this page are based on 2022 pricing and are subject to change. Once ASU provides us with 2022 pricing, we will update this page accordingly. Participants are responsible for checking current prices and details before signing billing, housing, or meal contracts.

Housing options for study abroad programs may vary.

Depending on program selection, students will live in dormitories, apartment-style housing, or with family home stays for the duration of their program. Further details will be provided to applicants via their application portal.

Placement Testing

Placement Testing

If you are applying for a 2nd-year course or higher, you must take a placement test before the start of your program. Each language test will consists of a short test or writing sample. Placement tests will be calibrated to account for mid-semester progress at the time of testing.

CLI 2023 Information

Stay informed about the latest information on scholarships and application deadlines.

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