Russia Study Abroad Country Profile

Russia Overview

Russia is consistently credited with major cultural contributions, most notably in the arts. From literature and philosophy to ballet, painting, and classical music, Russians have historically excelled in many creative areas. Russia’s architecture is also iconic. Red Square is the most famous square in Moscow and is instantly recognizable to people around the world. Russia has played a major role in the international political arena, and some of the most famous (and infamous) figures in modern history have called the country home. The largest country on earth is packed with opportunities for academics interested in a wide variety of subjects, with plenty of cultural points of interest to fill out the experience.

Cultural Highlights

Perhaps surprisingly, Russia has over 160 ethnic groups speaking more than 100 languages. These unique groups have contributed to Russia’s incredibly diverse culture. Russian literature is some of the most developed in the world, boasting such famous names as Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anton Chekhov. Leo Tolstoy also joins the ranks of Russia’s creative minds as one of the world’s most famous writers. Russia has also produced some of the foremost composers of classical music and ballet – there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the musical works of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, and the Bolshoi Ballet still performs many classical and contemporary works, some of which were performed by such famed Russian dancers as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Popular Fields of Study

Russia is an attractive and intriguing destination for students with a wide variety of interests. Moscow and St. Petersburg are generally the hubs for students because they are historically rich and contain the country’s top institutions of higher education. Russian language studies are popular – unlike many other popular languages, there is only one destination for language immersion! Literature is another Russia study abroad popular field of study, thanks to the wealth of famous authors and works to come out of Russia. History and politics are other popular fields, and students can study influential figures like Lenin and Stalin and the roll of the Communist Party in domestic and international affairs.

Why Study Abroad in Russia?

Russia has many unique advantages as a study abroad destination. Here are ten reasons why you should consider studying abroad in Russia.

1. Russian Language

For students interested in studying Russian, especially those at home institutions without course offerings in the language, there is only one destination for Russian immersion and language.

2. Strong Universities

Russia has a number of strong institutions of higher education, though many are located in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University are two of the most well known.

3. Moscow

The capital of Russia and the largest metropolitan area in Europe, Moscow is the cultural center of Russia. From the grandeur of its architecture to its numerous museums and galleries, Moscow is truly unlike any other European city.

4. Red Square

Perhaps one of the most recognizable destinations around the world, this famous square has major political and social importance.

5. Russian Ballet

Even if you are not normally a ballet fan, it is worth it to take in a performance of a classical or contemporary piece from one of Russia’s two world-famous companies, the Bolshoi and the Kirov.

6. St. Petersburg

Russia’s second largest city (and the former capital), St. Petersburg is home to more of Russia’s major universities and plays a large roll in Russia’s international political and business affairs.

7. Tretyakov Gallery

Rivaling many of Europe’s top museums, the Tretyakov is home to works by Chagall, Kandinsky, and many other famous 20th century artists.

8. The Kermlin

Located adjacent to Red Square, the Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This world-famous political landmark is a compound of cathedrals, government buildings and palaces with major historical and political significance.

9. The Hermitage Museum

Home to over 2.7 million exhibits, the Hermitage Museums is considered one of the great museums of the world. Like the Tretyakov Gallery, the Hermitage Museum rivals many of the best European museums.

10. Friendly People

By and large, the people you meet in Russia will be friendly and laid back. Take advantage and practice your Russian skills. During your Russia study abroad time you are likely to meet many people who may become lifelong friends.

Russia Study Abroad Statistics

Russia Country Ranking: 25

(based on total outbound U.S. students)
  • % of U.S. students: 0.7%
  • Total US Students 2006/07: 1,716
  • Total US Students 2007/08: 1,857
  • Yearly 2006/07 Trend: +8.2%
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