When one thinks of Russia, some commonly associated things are the USSR, President Vladimir Putin, vodka, the Matryoshka dolls, and the Sputnik rocket.
But Russia is more than these things that it is famous for. In fact, it is also home to world-renowned philosophers, artists, and writers, such as Leo Tolstoy, Feodor Dostoyevsky, Vladimir Lenin, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who have contributed their works to the world.
In recent years, Russia is also becoming a study destination for many international students from all over the world. And the number is increasing. In 2015, Russia recorded around 200,000 international students, and in 2017, the number increased to 230,000.
Thinking of studying in Russia? Read on to learn some of the things worth noting by aspiring international students.
Home to Top-Notch Universities
Russia’s rise to becoming an international study destination is not surprising, especially if you know that many of its higher educational institutions consistently rank in various world rankings. Thirty-two of its institutions ranked in the 2021 QS University Rankings, 11 in the 2020 Shanghai Rankings, and 5 in the 2021 Times Higher Education Rankings.
Moreover, due to Russia’s aim of welcoming more international students, many institutions, especially in their postgraduate programs, also offer a wide range of courses taught in English.
Russia is the Largest Country in the World
Officially called the Russian Federation, Russia is the largest country in the world, and is home to more than 200 ethnic groups and 100 unique languages. Although Russian is the official language, if you get to visit its other regions, you will find that there are more languages and cultures that do not fit the usual image of Russia. For example, Russia may be known for its cold and extreme climates, but due to its vast size, there are also parts of the country that are warm, such as the city of Sochi and Astrakhan.
Russians Love to Give Gifts and Receive Them
Gifts, who doesn’t love them? In Russia, gift-giving is actually part of its culture and etiquette. If you want to immerse more into the culture and show your appreciation toward your Russian friends, hosts, and colleagues, knowing the country’s gifting etiquette is worth noting. Some things foreigners should know when they give gifts are the following:
- Cheaper gifts do not need to be gift-wrapped, unlike expensive gifts that must be wrapped and accompanied by an appropriate card.
- If you will give flowers, avoid giving carnations, which are associated with death and other Soviet holidays.
- When visiting a family with children, it is polite to bring small toys and sweets for the children.
Christmas in January
In many parts of the world, Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December. Russia, however, celebrates it on the 6th of January. This is due to the country’s Orthodox Christian background and influence. This also means that their Christmas celebration in Russia might differ in how other countries celebrate them. For example, a popular Christmas tradition in Russia is fortune-telling and attending the Christmas liturgy.
Start your journey as an international student in Russia by browsing through MSMUnify list of courses today. If you want to know how much Russian tuition fees and living expenses costs, check MSM Unify’s article on the cost of education in Russia.