The world’s largest country, Russia, is a transcontinental country located in both eastern Europe and northern Asia. It is also known as the Russian Federation. Moreover, its capital is Moscow. In 2021, approximately 143,185,000 individuals were residing in Russia. As for the country’s official language, it is none other than Russian. When it comes to religion, the majority of the population are members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

It is not surprising to know that there are countless remarkable tourist destinations in the biggest country in the world. With that, some of the best places to visit in Russia include Lake Baikal, Moika Palace, Altay Mountains, Sochi, and Olkhon Island. Of course, those who visit should not miss out on the mouthwatering dishes that the country has to offer such as blini or Russian pancakes, pelmeni, beef stroganoff, okroshka, and shashlik.

In Russia, there are lots of higher education institutions that are perfect for international students. Universities in the country offer a wide range of courses and programs, so there is a study option for each and every student. In 2020, an estimated 315,000 foreign students were pursuing their tertiary studies in Russia.

Below, we talk about some of Russia’s best cities to be in if you’re an international student planning to study in this country.

Top Cities to Study in Russia for International Students

1. Moscow

Russia’s capital, Moscow, is the most populated city in the country. It has a rich historical background and it has been the capital of the said nation since the 13th century. As of 2022, around 12,641,000 people live in the awe-inspiring city. For people who are planning on taking a trip to Moscow soon, some of the top tourist attractions are the Kremlin, Bolshoi Theater, the Red Square, the Museum of Cosmonautics, and the Tretyakov Gallery.

For future international students, there are a lot of colleges and universities to choose from in the city. This is what makes Moscow one of the best cities in Russia for international students. A few of these institutions include Moscow State University, RUDN University, First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and HSE University.

In line with that, prospective medical students should definitely consider First Moscow State Medical University, which is also known as Sechenovskiy Universitet, as it is the country’s premier educational institution for medicine. Other than this, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations is a great choice for those who are looking to take up a program concentrating in business, economics, governance, international relations, politics, and the like. Lastly, it is considered a prestigious Russian university.

2. Saint Petersburg

The second-largest city in Russia is Saint Petersburg. It has a population of 5,536,000. Additionally, it is famed for its cultural landmarks such as the Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and Peterhof. Throughout history, the city has also been called Petrograd or Leningrad. It is also nicknamed the “Cradle of Three Revolutions.”

As a top city in Russia for international students, Saint Petersburg is home to several higher education institutions such as Saint Petersburg State University, Pavlov First State Medical University of St. Petersburg, The Saint Petersburg University of Economics, The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, and ITMO University.

Students who are about to take up a program in Information Technology, Optical Design, or Engineering should check out ITMO University as it is one of Russia’s centers of learning especially in the aforementioned fields. On the other hand, the Pavlov First State Medical University of St. Petersburg is a solid option for those who are considering a medical-focused program.

3. Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is a city situated in the western part of Russia. It used to be known as Gorky. Currently, the city has approximately 1,253,000 residents. There are many tourist spots spread out across Nizhny Novgorod including Limpopo Zoo, The Nizhegorodsky State Art Museum, The Chkalov Staircase, The National Centre of Contemporary Art, and The Rukavishnikov Estate Museum.

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Minin University, Nizhny Novgorod State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatoire, and Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University are some of the prominent institutions for higher education in the city. To aspiring musicians who are thinking of studying in Russia, the Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatoire is your best bet. In line with this, some of the said center of excellence’s noteworthy alumni include baritone Yuan Guangquan, composer Igor Efremov, and music educator Yakov Zargaryan.

4. Yekaterinburg

Located east of Russia’s Ural mountains is a city named Yekaterinburg. The population of the area is around 1,521,000. It has often been tagged as an excellent city for business and in addition to this, it is included in UNESCO’s list of the world’s 12 ideal cities. With this, tourists in the city should not forget to visit Yekaterinburgskiy Zoopark, Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, Ganina Yama, and many more.

In Yekaterinburg, the most well-known universities include Ural State Medical University, Ural State Mining University, Ural Federal University, Ural State University, and the Ural State University of Economics.

5. Krasnodar

Krasnodar can be found in the southern region of Russia. It is recognized as one of the country’s economic hubs. Presently, the city is home to around 989,000 individuals. Krasnodar is one of the best cities for international students in Russia with eminent universities such as Kuban State Medical University, Kuban State University, Kuban State University of Technology, Kuban State Agrarian University, and the Krasnodar State University of Culture and the Arts.

Adding to this, the Kuban State Agrarian University is a distinguished Russian center of learning focusing on the field of agriculture. On the flip side, the Kuban State Technological University is also a respected one in the country as it is one of southern Russia’s oldest tertiary education institutions.


We hope that you found this article on the best cities in Russia for international students informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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