Moscow is an easy choice in choosing a study abroad location for those students interested in politics or economics. Russia's undisputed political and economic capital. Entities headquarted within Moscow control nearly 25% of Russia's GDP. The Kremlin sits at the top of Russia's strongly vertical federal structure and makes the country's foreign policy decisions.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) is for advanced Russian speakers who want access to Russia's premier school for international relations, international law, and international economics as a visiting scholar. The visiting scholar program puts you alongside some of the best and brightest of Russia's future leaders while studying in Russian. The university is actually run as an extension of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and thus is seen as incubator for future diplomats, international businessmen, and other well-connected individuals. It is a place not only to gain educational experience, but also valuable professional contacts.
Location MGIMO is located about a 20-minute walk (or 6 minute bus ride) from the metro stop "Prospekt Vernadskogo," at the far south of the Red Line, about 7.5 miles southwest of the city center. The fastest way to get to the city center is on the underground metro. It's a 20-minute metro ride. See our google map for more details.
Campus/Student Life A shared interest in international politics and relations, networking, and serious academics gives MGIMO a real sense of community. There is a constant stream of campus events, which you can find out about by checking the bulletin boards around campus, including inside the dorms.
Dorm Details The dorms are located right on campus. You will have a roommate. The rooms are in good condition and outfitted with bathrooms, mini kitchenettes, desks, beds, wardrobes, and a television. Internet is available (but may not be always reliable, see our guide for alternatives). The dorms have lockdown hours (curfews).
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 MGIMO Most of our Russia-based staff is located in Moscow, meaning that students in the capital are the best supported of all locations. Several excursions are organized throughout the semester. While free for most students, these are not free for visiting scholars, who are welcome to join the group on an at-cost basis. Upon enroling with SRAS, students receive a detailed guide with specific information on where to find the facilities and food outlined below and much more. All arriving MGIMO students on SRAS programs are given a practical tour covering MGIMO, how to use Moscow's public transportation, and where to find the nearby mall. Our Moscow Coordinator is always available by cell phone (also free with most of our programs) to answer any questions, discuss any concerns, or help in the event of emergency.
University Facilities Laundry facilities are available. MGIMO has a few study areas and a library, as well as computer labs with Internet access. There is a very nice health facility on campus, complete with gym, a work-out room, sauna, and pool. There are tennis courts and a running track with a soccer field next to the sports complex. There is a Cultural Centre on campus that hosts numerous interesting events and performances by amateur theatre groups, song and dance companies and other creative assemblies of various genres.
Campus/Near-Campus Food There is a small cafe on the sixth floor of the dormitory that serves mostly Russian food, often of questionable quality, at fairly high prices. The two large canteens inside the main building, however, come highly recommended. One serves good-quality Russian food at reasonable prices and the other caters to foreign tastes with pizza, chicken wings, etc. Fairly pricey, but a good taste of home. There are also several kiosks and small cafes located throughout the university (look especially for ones designated as “professors’” for the best quality and prices) as well as next to the metro. There is also an IL Patio and Planeta Sushi, two Russian chains specializing in Italian and Japanesse food, on campus, located between the dorms and the main building.
Nearby Attractions In addition to the many on-campus events and clubs, there are commercial diversions a short bus ride away, near the metro station (including a movie theatre and more food and shopping options). From the metro, you are about 20-minutes from the center of the city, where there is always something to do. See our city guide for more information.
Summary: Pros and Cons Pros: dorms are on campus, you will never have “nothing to do” because you couldn’t possibly do everything here is to do in Moscow even in a full year, the dorms are fairly new and most university facilities are kept in good shape, availability of study areas, attending the most prestigious IR institution in Russia.