- What is Smolny?
- Life in St. Petersburg
- Summer Language Intensive
- Dates & Costs
Health issues are generally the same in Russia as they are in the U.S. Adapting to a new climate, food, water, and way of life may affect one's health during the first few weeks, but usually has no lasting effects.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control maintains updated information about health concerns abroad, including Russia (www.cdc.gov). If you plan to travel to Russia, it is advisable to make sure that your inoculations against diphtheria, polio, and tetanus are up to date. Inoculations against hepatitis A and B are also advisable but not required. It is important to keep in mind that Russia has a high STD infection rate, including HIV/AIDS.
All participants of the Bard-Smolny Program are required to be covered by privateinternational medical insurance that covers Russia. Students who are not covered will be unable to receive a visa.
If students are not covered prior to their participation in the program, we recommend that they consider purchasing HTH Worldwide insurance for a small fee during their period of study with the Bard-Smolny Program. HTH's policy is valid in Russia as well as other countries (other than the U.S.) during this time and offers:
While there are no official HTH doctors in St. Petersburg, the insurance policy will cover pre-authorized visits to western-style clinics operating in St. Petersburg, where consultations in English are available.
U.S. prescriptions cannot be filled at a Russian pharmacy. It is best to bring a supply of prescription drugs that will suffice for your entire stay. Be sure to bring a copy of your prescription with you in case customs authorities ask you for it.
Russian pharmacies are well stocked with over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medicine, vitamins, and anything else students may need. You should be able to fill your entire cosmetic and toiletry needs in Russian drug stores and "parfumerias," unless you are attached to a specific American brand.
Psychiatric care in English is available in St. Petersburg at both the Euromed Clinic and the American Medical Center. If students so desire, they may schedule private consulations with a Smolny psychotherapist who is a professor of psychology at St. Petersburg State University, and who has worked with foreign students for many years at her private practice.
St. Petersburg is generally a safe place, with crime levels similar to large cities in the United States. Petty crime is by far the most widespread form of criminal activity and can be dealt with by using everyday street smarts. Students should keep their wallets or purses in secure locations and be aware of their bags and pockets, and they are advised not to carry large sums of money unless absolutely necessary.
If students ever find themselves in immediate danger, our program staff is on call 24 hours a day. Our program orientations feature extensive units on safety in St. Petersburg, and the student handbook is an invaluable source of information for those who are concered about their security abroad. All Smolny students are supplied with a compass, whistle, and city map upon arrival to St. Petersburg.
We encourage students to review the information on safety and security in Russia available from the U.S. State Department by clicking here.