In short, I think I may want to spend either next semester or all of next year at the Independent University of Moscow, but I've only really decided this recently. I haven't spoken to my university, asked for recommendations yet, or filled out the application form, and all of this must be done by the end of March. So it's definitely late for me to be making this decision (and because of the lateness I may decide against going through it). One impetus for the decision is the fact that one of my classes is taught by someone who both studied and still teaches at the Independent University of Moscow (he goes back there every other semester or so), and it's one of the best classes I've taken. The advanced coursework offered in Moscow is another impetus and of course the idea of actually studying in Moscow! Beyond that, the program itself seems to be held in extremely high regard in general. If I decide to go through with this, I'm probably going to try to get together the application over the next week, which is my spring break, and may communicate with my university remotely--not an ideal situation, I know. Anyway, has anybody participated or known any former participants? How selective is the program? Is it like REUs where hundreds of people apply for just five to ten spots? I'd just like to hear general comments about the program and so forth. I would talk to my professor who's been there, but, as mentioned above, this is bad timing: I'm now on spring break and am flying home tomorrow! So at best I'll be able to communicate only remotely next week. If I don't decide to do it next semester, the following semester would be an even more likely candidate. I know there's also a well-known program in Budapest, but I think Moscow has a selection of courses that match the material I need and want to cover much more nicely. Thanks!