Irkutsk offers a fuller language and cultural immersion than many other locations, and yet still offers a thriving intellectual cultural scene, surrounded by outdoor ecological adventure. Irkutsk has a small-town close-knit feel, and yet still seems at times cosmopolitan. Students attending programs at the Irkutsk State University (IGU) are diverse in their interests: intensive Russian studies, ecology, and Siberian history are just some of the programs to experience in this well-rounded city!
IGU was formed in 2016 as part of Russia's efforts to consolidate its higher education systems. It was formerly known as Eurasian Linguistic Institute (EALI) and Irkutsk State Linguistic Universtiy (ISLU).
Location IGU is located in the city center.
Campus/Student Life IGU has a close-knit community feel, particularly in the international students department.
Dorm Details The dorms are located 15 minutes from the main campus by bus. Kitchens are shared with the floor. Expect to have a roommate. Rooms contain 2 desks and two beds. Linens and towels are provided. The dorms do have lockdown hours (curfews). Foreigners are segregated from the Russians at dorm.
Home Stay For a more immersive experience (and additional cost), our more adventurous students often elect to stay in a Russian home. It's not for everyone, but it is an experience! Limited availability.
SRAS Support at IGU Iraida Yatsyk, Coordinator of the International Office at IGU, is a member of the SRAS Team, and is available to answer any questions about the academic program and housing. SRAS coordinators are always available by cell phone to answer any questions, discuss any concerns, or help in the event of emergency. All arriving students on SRAS programs are given a practical tour covering IGU, how to use Irkutsk's public transportation, and where to find food and other necessities. Upon enrolling with SRAS, students receive a detailed guide with specific information on where to find the facilities, food, laundry facilities, etc.
University Facilities There are no laundry facilities in the dorms. Students usually hand wash their clothes rather than commute to a laundromat - some washbasins are provided. There is a computer lab in the main campus building for Internet access (with limited hours and a 30 minute time limit per session). Internet options can be found in our Guide to Electronics in Russia and our Irkutsk City Guide.
Campus/Near-Campus Food The university restaurant and cafeteria is open on weekdays, serving snacks and meals at reasonable prices. There are also kiosks on every floor of the university for snacks in-between classes – very cheap and pretty tasty. Other food options are not far away.
Nearby Attractions Most programs include excursions (see the individual program pages for details). While Irkutsk has several museums and churches, most of the adventures to be had are outdoors, especially around Lake Baikal. Students frequently bus there to hike around the lake – or on it when frozen in winter – and to buy smoked Omul fish from the locals. See our student guide for more details.
Summary: Pros and Cons Pros: cultural immersion, Lake Baikal, computer lab on campus, close-knit university community, dorms can be set up for Internet.
Cons: dorms are off-campus and English-speaking international students are housed on the same floor within the dorms, lack of laundry facilities.