Find out more about Russia's top student cities...
Universities in Moscow
Regularly ranked as one of the world’s most expensive cities, and boasting more billionaires than any other city, Moscow is certainly not a cheap option to study in, but definitely an exciting one.
Sure, you can still visit the main tourist spots – the Kremlin, Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral – but as a resident, you’ll find there’s a whole lot more to explore. In fact, from English-style pubs and French bistros to clubs with live bands and bars built for dancing on, Moscow offers pretty much every kind of cuisine, club and cultural experience you could desire. (Yes, that does include an opera-themed restaurant where the staff dress as Puccini characters.)
Lomonosov Moscow State University is Russia’s largest and highest-ranked university, at 120 in the QS World University Rankings 2013/14. Other highly ranked universities in Moscow include Bauman Moscow State Technical University (ranked 334= in the world), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (386), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (441-450), Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (491-500) and the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (501-550).
Meanwhile Moscow itself appears at a very respectable 37th in the 2012 QS Best Student Cities.
Universities in St Petersburg
Though sometimes referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’ or ‘Paris of the East’, St Petersburg really deserves to be recognized as one of the world’s most attractive and fascinating cities in its own right.
Like Venice, it’s an island city, built on 42 islands connected by hundreds of bridges, in the mouth of the Neva River. For high culture, St Petersburg is unbeatable – opera, ballet, literary greats, the world’s largest art gallery and more than 500 stunning baroque palaces (if you don’t think baroque palaces are your thing, prepare to be convinced by the Winter Palace).
The list of universities in St Petersburg is headed by St Petersburg State University, one of oldest and most prestigious universities in Russia, ranked at 240= in the QS World University Rankings 2013/14. It offers a selection of English-taught courses and is a popular choice for international students looking to study in St Petersburg. Also featured in the QS rankings is Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University (451-460).
Universities in Tomsk
Never heard of Tomsk? You’re not alone. But if you fancy heading deeper into Russia, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist trail, you could do a lot worse than studying in Tomsk. A small city in the heart of Siberia, Tomsk has a long history of educational excellence, and has established itself as a leader in science and IT innovation.
Today there are six universities in Tomsk, including Tomsk State University and Tomsk Polytechnic University, both ranked in the world's top 600 in the QS World University Rankings 2013/14. An estimated 20% of the Tomsk population are students, and you can expect to hear a wide variety of languages being spoken.
There’s also lots to explore in Tomsk – beyond the labs and libraries lies a charming old town with vibrant arts and music scenes.