The number of international students at the oldest university of Russia is traditionally high. Citizens of more than 45 countries come to study at St Petersburg University. This includes students from: Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Syrian Arab Republic, Costa Rica and many other countries. As in previous years, among the people who strive to be students of the University are primarily the citizens of China, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
According to the data for the spring semester of 2019, 15% of the total number of St Petersburg University students are foreign citizens. International students are no different from Russian students in the range of opportunities that the University offers them. Along with Russian students, they work in student councils and scientific communities of the University. International students take part in the University creative and sports teams: they sing in one of the oldest amateur choirs in Russia; they attend drama and vocal studios of the University; and play football and rugby.
One can get an education at St Petersburg University thanks to student mobility programmes. In the autumn semester of 2019, almost 550 people came to the University to study under academic mobility programmes. Volunteers of the ESN St Petersburg University association and the Club of Foreign Students of the University help them adapt to life in St Petersburg. The volunteers arrange evenings of Russian cinema and city tours for international students. They are sure to be introduced to the history of St Petersburg University. This year, thanks to a campus quest, international students got to know about: the Silver Age writers associated with the University; the work of Dmitri Mendeleev; as well as the legend behind Tonya the Hippo, a sculpture in the courtyard of the Faculty of Philology.
All students, including international ones, help organise the largest events in the city, which are both all-Russian and international. This year, international students of the University were volunteers at: the St Petersburg International Economic Forum; the St Petersburg International Labour Forum; the ‘Arctic: the Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum; and other high-profile events in the city and the University.