PSU Student from Columbia Wins Russian Language Contest

Fernando Castro (Columbia), 1st year student at the Faculty of Geology, PSU, took 3rd place at the Perm City Inter-University Olympiad in Russian as a Foreign Language.

In 2021, students from 9 countries and 6 Perm-based universities, entered the Olympiad. The contest tasks included a test, an written, and oral tasks. The winners of the Olympiad are:

1st place – Umaima Guidir, Morocco

2nd place – Wongai Chimamise, Zimbabwe

3rd place – Fernando Castro Eszibel Eloy, Colombia

To apply for the Olympics, contestants had to introduce themselves, talking about their age, studies and and hobbies, country of origin, future profession and future plans, as well as feedback about Perm.

The founders and organizers of the Olympiad were Perm Agrarian and Technological University; Perm City Youth Parliament; Perm Ethno-Centre Non-Profit Partnership; and Perm City Youth Palace. For the second year, the Olympiad takes place in online format. The has been supported by grant from Perm City Competition of Youth Initiatives Improving Inter-Ethnic Harmony.

Supporting the initiative, the grant competitors offer projects aimed at inter-university interaction of foreign students, improving inter-ethnic relations and international communication in Perm. Some projects regard social and cultural adaptation of foreign students, other aim to develop their creativity and individual progress, preventing inter-ethnic conflicts.

Why Study in Russia?

Let’s find out the reasons why students from abroad choose Russian Universities! Saida Kasumova, 4th year undergraduate, Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, Perm State University shares her insights and  research on that question:

1. Large selection of universities and educational programs. Her in Russia, there are 741 universities and more than 400 training modules. Such choice fairly attracts those foreign applicants looking for a higher education institution abroad. Russian universities offer more than 650 division modules for bachelors’, masters’, specialists’ and postgraduate studies. Also, the universities organize special preparatory courses for foreign students, including programs for studying the Russian language.

2. Value for money. Russian universities, compared to others worldwide, are popular for their low tuition fees, in comparison with universities in the USA, Canada or UK. According to the standards, set  by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the cost of a full-time bachelor’s program starts from RUB 83,000 (about $1,100). The cost of education in capital cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg will be significantly higher than in other regions, for sure. Overall, the level of education available for foreign citizens is optimal, with no compromise in efficiency of education service and level of  teaching staff involved.

3. Studying on budget (scholarship availability) remains an important point for many applicants. In 2020, 15,000 budgetary places were allocated for foreign students. Russia is one of the few countries where budget places are provided for foreigners. There are also opportunities to enter the budget or get any other benefits for prize winners in university contests of various kind.

4. Provision of courses of Russian language, that is, a deep study of the language of the host country. On arrival, a foreign citizen, has the opportunity to learn Russian from scratch, and then start studying at local universities. The latter provide preparatory courses allowing to master the basic level of the Russian language, its grammar and rules, as well as expand the knowledge of other related subjects.  Preparatory courses help future students to quickly adapt and successfully start their studies since entering the university.

5. The opportunity to get a double degree. In the early 2000s, Russia signed the Bologna Declaration, making a number of commitments to the common educational space of the participating countries. That is, for instance, while studying in Russia, not only a student may get a diploma by a Russian university, but also, by a European one. The Russian diploma is recognized in most countries of the world.

6. Campuses and dormitories. As already noted, there are a considerable number of Russian universities with their own campuses, including dormitories. This attracts many applicants, since it is fairly convenient for a student to reach the class without a delay. At the same time, the appearance of the university also acts as a priority, while making a choice.

7. Easy adaptation for international students. On average, it takes 1 year for a foreign student to adapt, according to those international students studying in Perm (according to PSU research).

Russia is known as a multinational country, with over 180 nationalities speaking more than 200 languages and dialects, with different religions and confessions – the fact that appeals many coming foreigners. Arriving in a country with such a diversity, a foreign student can easily find a friend from his/her own country – not to mention whole ethnic diasporas which are quite active here in Russia.

8. Climate and territory. Russia covers the largest area, globally, which affects its diversity. The advantage is that a young person can choose not only an educational program, but also a comfortable climate and area, upon his/her taste. For example, those who don’t mind rain may choose St. Petersburg, lovers of snow go to Siberia, and those who prefer sun and warmth – go down South. Still, Perm serves all tastes. An opportunity to travel across Russia at favorable prices is also a bonus. Each region has its own beauty and culture, with a support by local universities.

9. Simple interest which should not be denied. Russia remains a popular place of destination, much talked about and covered by media, globally. Based on feedbacks by many international students of Perm universities, some chose Russia as their future country of residence, upon their liking and taste.

International Students in Russia and Perm: Part 1, Basic Facts

Russian universities are fairly in demand among many foreigners, globally. How many international students come here to study – Russia, and Perm, in particular?

In 2019/2020 academic year, 315,000 students arrived in Russia from abroad, which is about 8% of the total number of students, nationally. According to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the total number of students in Russia in 2020/2021, both Russian and international, gained up to 4 million.

According to, among foreign students studying at Russian universities, the largest number of citizens is from Kazakhstan (more than 60,000 people) and from Uzbekistan (more than 40,000 people). Other major countries include Turkmenistan, China, Tajikistan, India, Ukraine, Belarus, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova.

Here in Perm there are 15 universities, only 2 of them are private, other all are state-governed and funded. Perm-based higher institutions offer:

  • more than 350 areas of training;
  • more than 200 specialties;
  • 2,000 professions upon graduation.

To mention, Perm State University offers its graduates 549 professions, which speaks for itself.

The number of foreign students is increasing every year. In 2019-2020, according to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Perm krai, 3757 foreign students from 55 countries studied here, locally. The largest number of students came from India – 1,676 students. Perm is also popular among students from Kazakhstan, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Morocco, China and Azerbaijan.

Next time we will speak, about the reasons that students from abroad choose Russian universities.

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