Explore Russia and Eastern Europe with Educational Travel Collaborative, L.L.C.
Dynamic. In flux. A place of reinvention. Untapped potential. A political tug of war. We don't usually think of these phrases as deeply relevant to Europe, but the East is a land of revolution, of restructuring, of genocide and reconciliation. And that's just since the 1990's. Learn, grow, and lead as you explore Eastern Europe and Russia!
Once Forbidden, Now Open to the World
From Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, Durres to Gdansk, Russia and Eastern Europe dazzle. While mass tourism has overwhelmed some of the region, a bit of creative planning can lead to real adventure!
Russia and the nations once dominated by the former Soviet Union are some of the most dynamic nations in the world. Employers specializing in global security, energy and infrastructure, demilitarization, peace and reconciliation, and countless fields of economics see this as one of the most important places in the world in which to gain understanding and experience. Let us help you craft an itinerary that can change the way you see the world, as well as, potentially, your future.
Spotlight: The Trans-Siberian
A Legendary Voyage, Full of Opportunity
The Trans-Siberian Railway - the very name evokes wonder, exploration, and pioneering spirit. Few know that the so-called "Trans Siberian Railway" actually has a number of routings with hundreds of possible destinations on the way. Having navigated many of them and planned travel along them all we are well-positioned to support you in designing your own route - not only which rail line to take, but where to stop and how to spend your time along the way. The Trans-Siberian cuts through areas vitally important to the understanding of mining, fisheries, immigration, international security, post-Soviet development, regional and national culture, environmental conservation, and so much more. Let us help you maximize your time along this beautiful, rugged, and varied route.
Cosmopolitan Cities. Isolated Enclaves.
The Trans Siberian can bring you through some of the world's most beautiful metropolises - rich in history, culture, and international significance. It will also take you through unique wilderness environs - deep and pristine forests, the world's deepest (and, some would say, most beautiful) lake - and communities isolated more by their geographical position than the politics that used to divide the world. A month or more spent on the world's longest rail line and the communities it connects will certainly not disappoint - either from the perspective of your personal growth or its limitless professional potential.
Spotlight: The Balkans
Timeless Riviera Cities
Dubrovnik may have been getting all the press and tourist inundation of the post-Game-of-Thrones era - but there are countless idyllic walled cities up and down the coast of the Balkans offering some of Europe's most authentic regional seaside communities. Isolated through the 1990's because of a complex political situation, local pride and cultural legacies have a deep impact here, with rich traditions and culinary pride in regional cuisine. It also means local people are excited to talk to outsiders about their experiences - opening doors for exploration of a variety of diplomatic, development-related, economic, and international security aligned subjects, among others!
World Class Mountains
The award-winning "Peaks of the Balkans" trail has put transnational hiking in this region on the international travel map - but even if you don't want to spend a summer on the trails, there are many exceptional day hikes from the cities and villages of the region both along, and off of, this route. The Balkans offers an exceptional opportunity to challenge yourself in nature and take in rich culture in small towns and coastal cities, all on the same trip!
As with any area of the world, there are particular planning notes that you should be aware of - Eastern Europe and Russia are no exception. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you set expectations and goals for your exploration of this exceptional part of the continent!
One of the things we find ourselves supporting aspiring travelers through most often is the adjustment of their expectations around how much they should attempt to see and do in a set amount of time. Eastern Europe has such variety in terms of the size and accessibility of the countries that make up the region - it is easy to say you could get a sense of Moldova in 6 days - doing the same for Russia would be quite a bit more challenging. Get in touch and we can talk you through what makes sense for the destinations that interest you and the goals you intend to pursue.
Entry Requirements and Fees
The politics of the region create some interesting entry and exit restrictions and fees for various passport holders, particularly those from the United States. We can work to plan your itinerary maximize your time, move you through the various bureaucracy that needs to be navigated, keep you out of long visa lines, and minimize the fees related to all of this red tape, so that you can focus on your personal and academic objectives.
Culture and Safety
Even in breakaway regions like Transnistria or the tense political climate of Minsk - you shouldn't run into serious risk here as long as you understand the ground rules of what is on the table for discussion and how it should be approached. We'll go over this with you in a way that is specific to your areas of interest, as well as review destination-specific safety and security guidance and explore expectations related to culture and social norms to make your travels through the region as comfortable and enriching for you as possible while helping you to confidently navigate this uniquely kaleidoscopic part of the continent!
Estimated Costs and Pricing
Every itinerary is different, tailored to what you want to do and see, and your speed and style of travel. That said, these ballpark figures provide a solid estimate of what all-in costs would look like, including our fees, international airfare, and day-to-day meals and expenses. Estimates are for one traveler, see our pricing and design page for more information on small groups, and pricing differences for gap year travelers versus shorter-term travel.
The Vast Majority of the Region
21-day Excursion from: US$ 5810
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 4872
Russia, the Riviera, and the Baltic States
21-day Excursion from: US$ 6230
1 Month of a Gap Year: US$ 4950