SRAS is looking forward to welcoming students to Russia for summer study abroad programs. It is certainly an interesting time politically to be studying in Russia and we would like to reconfirm SRAS policies that place student safety as our first priority.
Recently, 60 American diplomats were expelled from Russia and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg was closed. This is in direct response to the recent U.S. action of expelling 60 Russian diplomats and closing the Russian Consulate in Seattle. While it is unfortunate that, due to recent events, diplomatic relations between the two countries appear to be worsening, this “tit for tat” at the highest levels of government is common and should not have an impact on students. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok will remain open with American Citizen Services functioning. Generally, the only time we need to reach out to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy is for replacement of a lost passport or a serious incident with the law. In the event either of these or other cases come up, we will contact and work with the Embassy in Moscow or closest Consulate. Be assured the U.S. diplomatic mission will monitor the situation in the St. Petersburg region and all around Russia and will inform U.S. citizens of any safety concerns. SRAS also closely monitors the situation in all areas where we have students to ensure student safety.
We believe that bringing students to Russia is more important than ever now – it is an opportunity for a new generation to learn in a unique and challenging environment. We hope that study abroad will serve to develop relationships and understanding between cultures that may ultimately lead to an improved diplomatic and political situation as students graduate and enter careers in a global world.
SRAS will maintain contact with the diplomatic mission in Russia and also monitor the political situation to ensure that students are informed and safe. It is our observation that at the person-to-person level, relations between Americans and Russians are strong and dialogue remains open and positive. As always, we urge students abroad to be observant, respectful and open to different perspectives as they live through this interesting political time and apply critical thinking and analysis to what is going on around them.
Student safety is a first priority for SRAS in ensuring a successful study abroad experience focused on education and building transferable professional skills. Students, educators, and parents who have questions or concerns about study abroad to Russia are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.