“During any season, at any hour of the day, Moscow thrills visitors with its artistry, history and majesty,” raves Lonely Planet. The same qualities that make Russia’s iconic capital city an amazing place to visit also make it an extraordinary international study destination. Read on for a roundup of six reasons to get your master’s degree in Moscow.

1. It’s hub of everything from education to entrepreneurism

Moscow plays host to many of Russia’s top universities, and many have predicted its status as an up-and-coming international education hub. This is consistent with a general trend in Russia in which its universities are rising in status in global assessments like the QS and Times Higher Education most recent World University Rankings. Indeed, universities in Moscow and throughout Russia have their eye on international students, and are taking action to continue to grow.

“Improvements come at times when the Kremlin is striving to boost the numbers of foreign students. Earlier, the amount of such students enrolled in Russian universities went up by 40% from 2013 to 2017. The country currently hosts more than 243,752 international students and aims to triple the amount to more than 700,000 by 2025,” the Foreign Policy Association writes.

Moscow’s strength in business studies is garnering special attention. Not only has the city been pegged as an up-and-coming international business education hub, but its climate is also ripe for startup success. Cleverism recently drilled down on the many reasons why Moscow offers an inside edge for entrepreneurial endeavors, including its bustling location, extensive transportation system, tax and legal incentives, and local resources.

2. It offers an inimitable blend of the old world and the cutting edge

A rich history and forward-facing attitude make Moscow an intriguing study in contrasts that is at once remarkably cosmopolitan yet steeped in an old-world charm. Cities like Moscow are home to active social scenes which have been compared to those of New York. And the country’s history is inextricably interwoven into everything. (How many countries after all, can lay claim to both the world’s oldest mountains and deepest lake?) Amazing architecture, diverse museums and galleries, a strong theatrical tradition, extraordinary cuisine and vibrant nightlife are just a few of the exciting old and new things you’ll find in Moscow.

Another area where Moscow shines? Mobile internet. Thanks to numerous WiFi around the city and free WiFi in public transport, you’ll be connected wherever you are -- a major boon for on-the-go students.

3. There’s a remarkable amount to see and do

International studies aren’t undertaken in a vacuum. Rather, they happen against the backdrop of their host universities, cities and countries. When it comes to opportunities for discovering new things to see and do, there’s no better place than Moscow.

From multiple locations for taking in the city’s breathtaking views to its historic city center and magnificent promenade, there’s an abundance of things to take in. Venture outside the city limits and you’ll find everything from one of the country’s oldest towns to tranquil nature hotels and spas. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life without stepping foot outside the city’s limits, Moscow tops World Atlas’s list of cities with the most green space.

When it comes to accessing all of Moscow’s offerings, an efficient and expansive metro system makes it much easier to get around.

4. It’s more affordable than many of its western neighbors

Moscow has become much more affordable in recent years. Compare it to major international study destinations like New York, Sydney, London, and Paris, and it’s comparatively a steal. The blog Russiau provides a closer look at what international students can expect to pay for everything from travel to food while in Moscow.

5. HSE is waiting!

While learning or mastering Russian is a compelling reason to study abroad, students looking for English-taught programs can still take advantage of everything Moscow has to offer thanks to the English-taught master’s degree programs at the National Research University’s Higher School of Economics (HSE University).

One example? Its Prototyping Future Cities master’s program. Aimed at preparing the next generation of smart city planners, it addresses a breadth and depth of topics, including technological innovation, urban design, business models, strategy and societal concerns. The result? Students gain a comprehensive and holistic perspective on urban expansion and regeneration while living and studying in a city that embodies the urban evolution process.

And this is just one example.  In total, HSE offers an impressive 33 English-taught master’s programs across everything from Business and Politics in Modern Asia to Systems and Software Engineering. Whichever field they choose to specialize in, international graduate students at HSE University gain access to a carefully designed combination of classroom instruction and experience-based learning thanks to internship opportunities at major research centers, business, and organizations - both in Russia and around the world.

QS ranked it among Russia’s top universities in multiple fields of study, including economics and econometrics and business and management studies. It also made QS’s Top 50 Under 50.

HSE also shines when it comes to diversity: it enrolls more than 900 international students from 70 countries annually, thereby granting students even broader perspectives and insights.

Conde Nast Traveller recently hailed Moscow as “a dazzling mix of medieval churches, Soviet skyscrapers, art galleries, sushi bars, nightclubs and bath-houses.” Thanks to HSE, it also presents an equally dazzling range of opportunities for international students.