Harvard Summer Program in Tbilisi, Georgia

10/1/20: In light of the significant and prolonged uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Harvard Summer School is closely monitoring the feasibility of operating our 2021 summer study abroad programs. The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide more information as it becomes available. For further travel resources, please visit the Harvard Global Support Services website and Harvard’s coronavirus website which is frequently updated and contains the latest announcements, guidance and resources.

Advance your Russian-language skills while exploring Georgian and Russian culture, history, literature, and film.  

The Harvard Summer Program in Tbilisi provides you with a hands-on experience living and studying in the capital of the Republic of Georgia, along with a full course in intermediate Russian language meeting daily. Additional lectures with regional experts on Russian and Georgian culture, history, literature, film, urban studies, and Russian literary works dealing with the Caucasus and their cultural mythology (Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy). 

You also delve into Georgian politics, history, and culture. These program elements will provide a larger context for Georgia-US relations, as well as Georgia-Russia relations and will make use of Tbilisi as a laboratory, including meetings with writers, politicians, and NGOs. Topics will be brought to life in excursions and trips within Tbilisi and throughout Georgia. Pre-departure introduction to the Georgian language and alphabet for participants. Language classes, along with many excursions, events, museum tours, etc., will be conducted in Russian.

You also travel extensively within Georgia—to Mtskheta, Davit Gareja, Batumi, and Kazbegi—to gain a deeper understanding of the Georgian nation and its regional context.

Program Structure

Your studies include intermediate-Russian language courses every weekday along with additional excursions, museum visits, and lectures on Georgian culture, history, literature, film; and Russian literature and culture pertaining to the Caucasus.


RUSS S-BG counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit and also counts as two 4-credit courses towards the language citation. 

RUSS S-BG Study Abroad in Tbilisi, Georgia: Intermediate Russian (34089)

Veronika Egorova
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

The Harvard Summer Program in Tbilisi, Georgia, provides students with a full course in intermediate-level Russian language instruction. Language study tracks the content of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Russian B-level courses (equivalent to Russian Ba-Bb, Bta-Btb, or Bab), preparing students to continue in Advanced Russian/Third-Year (Russian 101-103); the program includes 140 hours of language instruction. Our unique situation in Tbilisi also allows us to explore Georgian culture, history, literature, and film, including Georgia's cultural and political relationship with Russia. The ancient capital city of Tbilisi, which is rapidly developing itself for the twenty-first century, offers a distinctive and fascinating site for urban studies and a guiding theme for Russian-language learning. We undertake small-group fieldwork projects that allow us greater contact with the city and its residents and opportunities to use Russian in real-world situations.

Prerequisite: One year of college-level Russian or placement into the course through an exam or consultation with the instructor.

Where You Live and Study

Tbilisi is an ideal city to immerse yourself in the Russian language and study Georgia's complex, diverse history, cultures, and artistic legacy. 


You stay in double rooms at a small hotel convenient to the historical center of Tbilisi and to the Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film and Georgia State University, where classes will be held. The hotel is also a short walk from the museum and arts district and offers numerous shopping and restaurant opportunities nearby. All hotel rooms and the classrooms have air conditioning. Wifi is available at both the hotel and the university.

Daily breakfast and dinner will be provided at the hotel’s restaurant. You are responsible for lunches except for special program events. Georgian cuisine is a highlight of this program, and you have ample opportunity to explore Tbilisi’s restaurants and cafes, which feature truly amazing food at very reasonable prices.


The 2021 online application system is expected to open in January. Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline. 

You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. You will be notified of your admissions status in each program by late February. 

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, audio or video submissions, etc.)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS): Please note that the OCS funding application is separate. OCS funding awards are tied to a specific program, and cannot be transferred to another program.

If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at summerabroad@summer.harvard.edu, or by telephone at (617) 998-9602.

Cost & Expenses

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodations
  • Scheduled program activities
  • Some meals (the program will provide further details)

You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. Note that for 2021, expense categories--especially airfare--may be subject to significant fluctuations.

  • International airfare ($1,600 - $2,000)
  • Ground transportation ($200)
  • Meals ($800)
  • Personal expenditures, communications, course materials, and miscellaneous ($400)

If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly.

See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options.

Additional Information