Slavic and Eurasian Studies

American Home (Vladimir)

American Home's March 2015 Alternative Spring Break Program

The first deadline for The American Home's March 2015 Alternative Spring Break Program in Saturday, October 25 (

 “My first time in Russia had more of an impact on me than I could have possibly anticipated...  the thing that probably has affected me most is not Moscow, not Red Square..., but Vladimir and the things I experienced there. I felt more alive there than I have ever felt before.”  (Adam Treml, ASB participant, March 2012)

VLADIMIR:  Help several community organizations, including the Youth Health and Education Center, Karl Liebnicht Orphanage, Russian Orthodox Church, Handicapped Children's Association “Light” and others, while interacting with Russian university students and experiencing the delight and wonder of provincial Russia.

MUROM:  Help university students at the Murom Institute (an affiliate of Vladimir State University) to improve their English language skills; prepare audio and video materials for their English language program.  During the Soviet period Murom was a closed city.  Today it remains isolated from traditional tourist routes.  Foreign language faculty and students are eager for contact with native English speakers.

Links to pictures, participant blogs, and television news reports are below.  They may give you a sense of some of the things that students can do, see, and experience while participating in the Alternative Spring Break program.

Participants do not have to speak Russian.

I hope that you will be able to share information about the programs with your students, colleagues, and anyone who might be interested in helping others in Vladimir and Murom!  Upon request, I can send a PDF flyer with more details about the program.

If you have questions about any aspect of the American Home's work, please do not hesitate to contact :

David Johnson

Coordinator, Intensive Russian Program, American Home (Vladimir, Russia),

Lecturer in Russian, Vanderbilt University,




 Russian Television Reports:


Applications Accepted All Year (

Program fee:         one-to-one instruction       group instruction (2-5+ people, 15-35% discount)

Four weeks                   $3,990                                                   $3,228 - 2,536

Six weeks                     $5,522                                                   $4,563 - 3,556

Eight weeks                  $7,053                                                   $5,898 - 4,576

Longer and shorter programs, including semester, summer, and fall, winter, and spring break programs are also possible.

The benefits of the American Home's long-standing Intensive Russian Program are provided to both individual and group participants:

+              experienced faculty specializing in teaching Russian to non-native speakers;

+              program and schedule customized to the needs of each student or group of students;

+              study from one week to one year;

+              individual home-stay with a Russian family;

+              “Russian friend-conversation partner” program;

+              on-site administrative support;

+              well-equipped classrooms in a comfortable, home-like, atmosphere;

+              excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vladimir, Suzdal and Bogoliubovo;

+              opportunities to meet and socialize with some of the more than 400 Russians participating in the American Home English Program and others;

+              opportunities to participate in a variety of activities—for example, volunteering at an orphanage


Application Deadline March 1, 2015 (

Program Benefits: small stipend, room and board with a Russian family, three hours per week of one-to-one Russian lessons, teacher training and lesson planning assistance, a pleasant, well-equipped, and organized teaching environment.  Teacher obligations: Plan and teach four (possibly five) classes that meet twice a week, hold office hours, present a brief lecture on any aspect of American culture, airfare to Moscow, visa fee, obtain TESOL certification.



“What you've done is truly incredible. The excitement and positive energy that we witnessed was something that I'd rarely seen before. You deserve hearty congratulations! (US Embassy Official, visiting the AH (2010)).

"I'm a big supporter of the American Home in Vladimir; You have been doing such an amazing job for so many years!(Professor Maia Solovieva, Faculty-in-Residence, Lecturer in Russian, Oberlin College).

“I am extremely impressed by all that I have learned about the program: the educational opportunities..., the enthusiasm of the participants,the careful planning the American Home staff puts into each participant's experience. In the post-Soviet period there are many opportunities for Americans in Russia; I find the Serendipity program one of the most exciting” (Dr. Judith E. Kalb, Russian Program, University of South Carolina).

“Vladimir offers a real opportunity to immerse yourself in Russian language and culture. Such immersion can be very frightening at first, and that is why...the American Home is such a plus. Here I am given the opportunity to work with Russians in an atmosphere that is very familiar, fostering, and comfortable. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to experience Russia for what it really is...” (Matt Plischke, Miami University (Ohio)).

“Not only have the staff at the American Home helped facilitate my travel, they also have offered kindness and hospitality. They are truly wonderful. I don't know what we would have done without them!” (Wendy Woith, PhD, RN).

“The AH has a superb staff and an excellent reputation in the community” (Momar Ndiaye, Director, Office of International Studies, Illinois State University).

“Galina and the [rest of the staff] made a profound impression with their efficiency and helpfulness. If only everyone we worked with on [our] trips was as reliable and efficient as [the AH] staff” (Diane Ignashev, Professor of Russian, Carlton College).

You have a fantastic program here. This is cooperation at its finest, and the skills and respect that you are giving your students is invaluable” (Patrick Buzzard, NASA, US Embassy, Moscow).

“Vladimir and the American Home are ideally situated. Vladimir is a part of Russia's famed Golden Ring, and the American Home lies in the heart of downtown Vladimir. Here, you have all the advantages of Russian city life, but with all the charm of the nearby dachas. The American Home really is the meeting and mixing point for two cultures. The longer I stay, the more I discover how much Vladimir has to offer me” (Erika Boeckler, University of Wisconsin at Madison).

“Every night when I come home from work I’m greeted enthusiastically by my 15-year-old host brother, Pasha. After dinner we drink tea, and Pasha usually launches into one of his favorite conversation topics and doesn’t stop for quite some time. Living in Vladimir...has provided a rich assortment of unique experiences that I know I wouldn’t have encountered elsewhere” (Joanna Greenlee, Gordon College, Wenham, MA).

“Thanks to the people who have worked so hard and who remain committed to its success, the reputation that the American Home has earned with the people of Vladimir has to represent one of the most successful relationships any American organization has developed anywhere in Russia.” Karen Hasara, former state legislator and former mayor of Springfield, Illinois

“The American Home is easily the single most influential American presence in [Russia] outside Moscow and St. Petersburg.” (Dr. Nils H. Wessel, Professor of Government, Emeritus, US Coast Guard Academy)

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  • Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

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