Russia may not be the first country that comes up when thoughts turn to international studies. But the truth is that this oft-underestimated, increasingly innovative country boast a long list of amazing offerings for students from all over the globe. Wondering what’s waiting for you there? Let’s count down five reasons to include Russia on your list of prospective international study destinations.
1. It’s home to a breadth and depth of prestigious universities.
As the world’s largest country, it’s hardly surprising that Russia is home to so many universities -- 950 of them, to be exact. What may come as a surprise? How many of its higher education institutions offer world-class, globally-recognized educational opportunities. Russia now participates in the Bologna Process, and many of its premier universities are members of the European Universities Association. A whopping 22 Russian universities, meanwhile, earned spots on the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017.
Russia recently earned a plum spot on Bloomberg’s roundup of the world’s most innovative economies, but its innovative spirit is not limited to the financial sector. A Russian education uniquely fuses traditional academic rigors with a commitment to innovation in the form of competency-based education across a breadth and depth of areas of study. And while we’d be lying if we didn’t say that studying in Russia was demanding, a degree from a Russian institution is highly prized by the world’s employers -- making it well worth the effort.
There’s a reason why Russia’s best and brightest high school grads fight so fiercely for sought-after spots at the country’s universities. From engineering and economics to law and medicine, Russia offers near-endless opportunities for academic enrichment.
2. You can get a top-notch education for much less than you’d find elsewhere.
According to data provided by Study in Russia, the maximum cost of tuition at the country’s most elite universities tops out at 344,000 roubles annually -- that’s $6,100 a year. Meanwhile, full-time bachelor’s degree programs start at just 63,000 roubles a year -- or $1,100.
The only thing better than cheap tuition? Free tuition. The Russian government grants thousands of scholarships to international students every year. In 2016, for example, 15,000 scholarships were granted to international applicants covering full tuition, a maintenance allowance, and dormitory accommodations.
Lastly, university academic competitions also offer financial incentives to academic superstars.
And while Moscow may be expensive compared to other parts of Russia, the cost of living there is still significantly lower than it would be in spendier spots, such as the UK.
3. Innovation and research are alive, well and heavily prioritized in Russia.
While mention of the word Russia may initially bring to mind the austerity of a post-Cold War landscape, the country has come a very long way since then. Not only are many of its facilities state-of-the-art, but it also places a premium on international collaboration. If you’re looking for a truly global, cutting edge international study experience, it may well be waiting for you in Russia.
4. You can learn an in-demand language.
Not only is Russia currently a regional power, but it is returning as a world power. Because of its emerging status, everyone from the federal government to global corporations are looking for Russian language specialists.
Planning on a career in science or technology, meanwhile? Russian is also increasingly important in these fields -- following only English in terms of number of academic publications in fields like mathematics, geology, physics, chemistry, and biology.
5. It’s an amazing place to live.
From its glorious architecture and fabled history to its vibrant culture and dazzling nightlife, there’s no end of things to see, do and discover in Russia. Lovers of the arts and sporting enthusiasts are equally likely to find plenty to love in Russia.
While your own host university will surely have plenty of activities to keep you busy, traveling throughout offers an amplified experience. Not only is Russia home to multiple climate zones, it also lays claim to 26 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Red Square, the Kremlin, the Golden Mountains of Altai, Lake Baikal, the Holy Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, and many amazing others. Many Russian universities even organize student trips to these landmarks.
While the US, the UK and Australia have collectively earned a reputation as the “big three” of international study destinations, Russia’s promise is monumental in its own right. Wondering where to start when it comes to finding the perfect Russian university for your international study experience? Check out Masterstudies comprehensive list of universities, colleges and programs in Russia.
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