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In 2016 SPbU awarded degrees to international students from 48 countries
The overwhelming majority of international students came from PRC, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine followed by students from Australia, Argentina, Spain, Japan, Switzerland, and Singapore to name but a few.
All international students registered in the buddy-programme were advised and guided by mentors, who are the students from SPbU. The role of a mentor is to meet international students at the airport, help them in getting around the city and SPbU, and provide guidance in well-fare issues. All this aims to facilitate cross-cultural communication, increase their level of competency in English and other foreign languages, and make them feel more at ease in their new surroundings (Buddy-programme form).
International students at SPbU have the same rights as their Russian counterparts. They can become volunteers to arrange and hold university events: from minor holidays to degree-awarding ceremonies. Also, international students can be members of the scholarship committees and admissions committees on students transfer and re-admissions, represent the University at congresses, forums, conferences both in Russia and abroad. They are involved in Student Council and other student groups as well as they are actively engaged in International Student Club at SPbU.
From September 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016, 1,166 international students pursued additional educational programmes “Russian as a Foreign Language. General Course” and “Russian as a Foreign Language. Crash Course (1, 2 or 3 week-programmes). Russian language is notably popular with students from PRC, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and USA. Over 60 % students who have successfully completed an additional educational programme in “Russian Language as a Foreign Language” are pursuing their education to gain a Bachelor or Master degree at SPbU. Approximately 40 % students are sent by partner-universities under the collaboration agreements on education of international students in the Russian language as a foreign language.