The program that sent Soviet undergrads to the United States last year is now a true exchange. On Aug. 16, 64 American college students headed off for a year of study in the Soviet Union. After a two-week orientation, they will disperse to 16 universities, from Moscow to Irkutsk to Alma-Ata. (Tbilisi dropped out at the last minute because of unrest.) To take part, students must apply through one of the 32 participating colleges and universities, located mainly in the Northeast. Because course work will be done in Russian, the students must have at least an intermediate knowledge of the language, meaning a minimum of three years' study, organizers say.

If a student can speak the language of one of the non-Russian republics, such as Estonian or Ukrainian, study in those languages is possible.

At first, the organizers were concerned that not enough students would be willing to study in non-Russian republics. But many Americans warmed up to the idea. Some understood that getting to know a non-Russian language and culture would make them a valuable commodity in the States. Others, too, had befriended some of the non-Russians who had studied here and wanted to study at their universities.

For more information, contact: American Collegiate Consortium for East-West Cultural and Academic Exchange, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753; (802) 388-0222 or 0223.

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