Russian Summer Course on Zoom – Cambridge 2020: Practical Information

Saturday 22nd August – Sunday 23rd August,
Saturday 29th August – Sunday 30th August

The OPENING of the Russian Summer Course will take place on Saturday, 22nd August, at 9:30 am, on Zoom.

Image result for расписаниеTimetable at a glance:

10:00 – 10:45 – Lesson 1
11:00 – 11:45 – Lesson 2
12:00 – 12:45 – Lesson 3

19:30 – 20:30 – Evening Programme

Daily Themes: Each day will have a very broad theme, based on quotations from Russian books, poems and songs to put us in the mood. This does not mean that we’ll be studying or discussing the quoted books or poems all day – they are only there to suggest a variety of topics for the day and can be interpreted very broadly:

Evening Programme:

  • Saturday, 22nd August – Evening of Introductions
  • Sunday, 23rd August – Film Night (a short Russian film with English subtitles, followed by discussion in both languages)
  • Saturday, 29th August – Talk by Professor Simon Franklin (Department of Slavonic Studies, University of Cambridge) “How Old Is Russian Literature” (in English; Q&A in both languages).
  • Sunday, 30th August – Quiz Night and “Do svidanya!”

Tackling Technical Problems

If you experience a last-minute problem during the course (e.g. you can’t get connected to your Zoom session), or have some other urgent query of technical nature, please contact our technical assistant, Peter Yurasov-Ford, immediately via WhatsApp +34 685 27 90 67, or a simple call on 07530 950 211, or email: , and he will do his best to help you.

Groups, and What To Have on You

  • Grouping. You will find that you have been allocated a specific group number, but please bear in mind that a few higher-level groups are very similar to one another. So the actual group number does not indicate how close to one or the other end of the distribution anyone is – please don’t attach any significance to the group number. We simply tried to place the students of a similar level together.
  • Flexible approach. If at the end of the first day of teaching or later during the course you feel that you are under- or overstretched, please share your concern with us by email ( ), or WhatsApp (0781 510 1481) and we shall discuss possible solutions.
  • Preparation? No preparation prior to the course is required on your behalf, but please make sure that you are familiar with the Russian alphabet!
  • Equipment. Please make sure you have a pen and paper/notebook with you at all lessons and for the evening activities too! (You may also like to have a printer ready and easily accessed, should you decide to print out a document.)
  • Which device? We recommend that you use a desktop PC or laptop and not a mobile phone. According to Zoom’s own website, the Zoom experience on your phone or tablet is not as robust as the desktop version for Windows or Mac.It is best to download and use the desktop Zoom application. However, if you are unable to do so on your computer, please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Edge, rather than Internet Explorer which does not support many features of Zoom.
  • Dictionaries? You will not really need a dictionary for your online lessons – your teachers will provide translations, and there will be plenty of chance for interaction and asking questions. Yet, you may choose to have your dictionary with you just in case – or merely for comfort!
  • Russian keyboard? It is great if you have it, but it is not needed for the course as you will not be expected to type in Russian online.
  • For the Evening of Introductions. On the first night (Saturday 22nd August, 7:30pm), for our Evening of Introductions, we would like to ask the participants to find at home and bring to the session an object (a souvenir, a book, a card, a picture, a food or drink item, or indeed anything else) that is directly or indirectly linked to Russia or the Russian language. If people wish they may also choose to wear something Russian or resembling Russia (no matter how small – it could be a kerchief or a cap), but the dressing up is optional!

Zoom links, IDs, and passwords. Participants will receive a detailed timetable with Zoom links to different teachers’ lessons via email. This information will also be shared with them on Google Drive. There will be folders for each group and each lesson, clearly marked, on Google Drive, shared with all students. The link to Google Drive folders will be sent out by email.

Free Zoom Training (prior to the course)

If any participants are uncertain about using Zoom and think that they might benefit from a short (30-minute) Zoom training session prior to the course, they are invited to sign up for it here: .

The training will be offered to any interested participants free of charge on Saturday 15th August at 11:00 am (i.e. a week before the course starts).

Placement Quiz

It is a quick four-part multiple-choice quiz, which would help us place the participants in suitable teaching groups. Please note that the teaching groups will be flexible and will be re-adjusted in the process, should there be a need.

A few points to bear in mind before you start:

  1. The four parts are of ascending difficulty. There is no need to do them all – please use your own judgement and leave higher sections blank once you feel you are out of your comfort zone.
  1. Even if you are leaving certain questions/sections blank, you still need to scroll down to the end of each section and click NEXT. At the end of the last section please click SUBMIT.
  1. The results would only be accurate if you don’t use any dictionaries or other aids, so please do avoid the temptation! We would like the results to be a fair reflection of your current level, for your own benefit. They will be kept safe and confidential.

Finally, here is the QUIZ:
All the best of luck!

Deadline: As soon as you can please, but ideally no later than the end of  Wednesday 22nd July.

 Payment details

Please pay by direct transfer (BACS) to the following account:

Name: Cambridge Sterling Scholar
Bank: Lloyds Bank
Sort code: 30-90-89
Account No: 39424068

We would be grateful if you could avoid paying by cheques if at all possible; however, if absolutely necessary, please get in touch and we shall let you know the address to which the text should be sent.

FEE: £120
15% discount for students under 25 in full-time education: £102

Full payments are due by 25th July 2020 (the fee includes a non-refundable deposit of £50).

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