St Basil's

Russia, St Basil’s Cathedral

This intensive program studies international security, border issues, and global concerns of two neighboring countries – St. Petersburg (Russia) and Tallinn (Estonia) with an interlude during New Year in Narva (border city between Russia and Estonia). It focuses on understanding the politics, relations, and values that influence the diverse cultures of Estonia, the Baltic States, and Russia, as well as understanding the economic, political, geostrategic, and social issues affecting those countries. There are several tours including visits to sites in and near Tallinn, Estonia, for example the National Parliament; and to cultural sites in St. Petersburg, Russia. These tours broaden students’ understanding of Estonian, Baltic, and Russian culture and society.

International Security and Culture
Advancing Global Engagement


  • Identify the key customs and values of the Estonian and Russian peoples and how they shape the mainstream cultural landscape.
  • Develop greater understanding and skills in conflict analysis, conflict resolution, and mediation.
  • Improve skills in facilitating difficult conversations around dividing topics.
  • Gain a greater understanding of Estonia’s and Russia’s social, economic, and political institutions and how they impact present day society.
  • Identify the place of Estonia, the Baltic States, and Russia in the European and international security context.

Facts about Estonia

  • Estonia borders Russia and Latvia.
  • Estonia has a population of just 1.3 million but is larger than Denmark or Holland.
  • The Estonian language is a finno-ugric language – resembles most to Finnish and is different from Latvian and Russian language.
  • Estonia was occupied by the Soviets for decades but Estonia sees itself as more influenced by Nordic tastes and traditions – Scandinavia with a twist.
  • Occupation by Germans, Swedes, and Russians has influenced the architecture of cathedrals, cobbled streets, manor houses and palaces.
  • Great food is everywhere and you can even eat marinated bear.
  • Estonia is almost 50% forest.
  • Tallinn is Estonia’s medieval capital and by far the biggest city, with a population of around 400,000.
  • In 2011 Tallinn was the European Capital of Culture.
  • Tartu, with 100,000 people, is the major university town.
  • Estonia has over 1,500 islands.


Facts About Russia

  • Russia is located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.
  • Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of territory. Its total area is 6.6 million square miles.
  • The population of Russia is 143 million.
  • The currency of Russia is called the ruble or rouble.
  • Russia is a multiethnic and multifaith nation.
  • The official language of Russia is Russian. It is the only official language throughout the country.