Adaptation Issues of Foreign Students in Russia

Polikhina N.A.

Deputy Director, State Autonomous Sociological Research Center, Moscow, Russia.

Trostyanskaya I.B.

Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Director of the Directorate of Research and Analysis, State Autonomous Sociological Research Center, Moscow, Russia.

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009565-4
ID of the Article: 8383

For citation:

Polikhina N.A., Trostyanskaya I.B. Adaptation Issues of Foreign Students in Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 11. P. 149-156


The paper presents results of the sociological study “Prospects and problems of teaching foreign citizens in Russian institutions of higher education”, devoted, in particular, to adaptation problems of foreign citizens to both the learning process at Russian universities and life in Russia. Attention is paid to the importance for many countries of a focused policy to increase the export of higher education, also within the implementation of academic excellence initiatives. The main projects and programs that have been implemented in recent years in the Russian Federation aiming to attract foreign citizens to study at Russian universities are discussed. The adaptation of foreign citizens studying at Russian universities is considered within the scope of the level of proficiency in Russian, adaptation to the educational process at the university, satisfaction with living conditions, and financial opportunities. Results of the study indicate effectiveness of the measures to adapt foreign students. This is evidenced by the rather effective interaction of universities at the stage of attracting and admitting foreign citizens, high satisfaction with studying at a Russian university, favorable living conditions, and also the desire of a significant part of foreign students to find work in the Russian Federation in the future. At the same time, main problems for the social group under discussion remain difficulties with finding a job (part-time job) while studying, in a significant number of cases, low proficiency in English by university staff, as well as periodic manifestations of everyday nationalism.

higher education; university; public policy; export of education; adaptation of foreign students; academic excellence initiatives; Project 5–100


Arefyev A.L., Sheregi F.E. (2015) Educating Foreign Citizens in Higher Education Institutions of the Russian Federation. Statistics Database. Vol. 12. Moscow: Tsentr sotsiologicheskikh issledovaniy. (In Russ.).

Korneva О.Yu., Plotnikova I.V. (2015) Student Academic Mobility: Social Issues. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 6: 111–115. (In Russ.)

Masich V. (2015) Science and Education as the Instruments of “Soft Power”. Vestnik RGGU. Seriya: Politologiya. Istoriya. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya. Zarubezhnoe regionovedenie. Vostokovedenie [RSUH/RGGU Bulletin. Series: Political Science. History. International Relations. Area Studies. Oriental Studies]. No. 1: 117–125. (In Russ.)

Mukha V.N., Mozhaeva E.Yu., Lysenko A.I. (2018) Peculiarities of Foreign Students Primary Adaptation in Russian Universities (on Example of KUBSTU). Istoricheskaya i socialno-obrazovatelnaya mysl' [Historical and Social-Educational Idea]. Vol. 10. No. 2-2: 120–126. DOI: 10.17748/2075-9908-2018- 10-2/2-120-126. (In Russ.)

Petrov V.N., Rakachev V.N., Rakacheva Ya.V., Vashchenko A.V. (2009) Foreign Students Adaptation Issues. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 2: 117–121. (In Russ.)

Pimonova S.A., Fomina E.M. (2018) Growing Attractiveness of Russian Universities for International Students. Universitetskoe upravlenie: praktika i analiz [University Management: Practice and Analysis]. Vol. 22. No. 4: 97–109. DOI: 10.15826/umpa.2018.04.043. (In Russ.)

Verevkin O.L., Dmitriev N.M. (2015) Foreign Students in Russian Universities: Expenses or Profitability? Sotsiologiya obrazovaniya [Sociology of Education]. No. 10: 32–42 (In Russ.)

Content No 11, 2020