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Lomonosov Moscow State University Center for International Education


Center for International Education (former Pre-University department) is an important part of Lomonosov Moscow State University. It was established in early 1950s to ensure the educational and professional success of foreign students who had chosen to get higher education in this country. CIE MSU is the oldest Pre-University department for foreign students in Russia, more than 45,000 learners from over 130 counties being its graduates.

Students from France and Japan, UK and Mexico, Guadeloupe and Australia, China and USA and many other places come to study here. It’s a really multicultural and very friendly community. Some of them seek to enter Moscow University or other institutions of higher learning in Russian Federation; some pursue studying the Russian language and getting acquainted with Russian literature.

Our students’ age varies from 17 to 70. They are students-to-be and post-graduate students, children of diplomats and descendants of Russian emigrants (here it is possible to meet a Golitsyn or Obolensky), businessmen and housewives, employees of Swiss banks and resort hotels of Antalia, choreographers and experts on oil and gas. They differ in lots of things, but they have something in common — their love for the Russian language.

At the end of 1940s youth from Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Mongolia arrived to study at Lomonosov Moscow State University. They were placed to the same groups as Russian students. But additional learning of the Russian language was required. A new branch of applied linguistics — Russian as a foreign language — gradually developped. When in 1954 students from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam arrived, regular Courses of the Russian language for foreign youth were established. Major subjects were also taught to provide University connection.

Time passed on. More and more students from greater number of countries were coming to study here. the Courses transformed to a special Pre-University Faculty. Soon the audience of foreign students extended: there appeared refresher courses for teachers of Russian from Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa who would come through the Unions/Societies of Friendship. Methodology of teaching Russian as a foreign language advanced, pedagogical experience was accumulating. Teachers of the Faculty worked out programs, textbooks and manuals which got authorization by Ministry of Education of USSR. These were used by many Pre-University Departments in this country, as well as by foreign students of the Russian language abroad.

In 1991 the Pre-University Faculty was transformed into Center for International Education of Lomonosov Moscow State University (CIE MSU).

In 1997 in CIE MSU Testing Center of Russian as a Foreign Language opened. This was preceded by serious scientific and organizational work: up-to-date test papers were developed, correlating to the system of levels of the Russian language which was brought to accordance with the Common European Network of References.

Having passed a long way of evolution and having accumulated significant research potential and pedagogical experience, Center for International Education of Lomonosov Moscow State University gained a strong position and recognition in the international world of education.

  • Year established
  • Registered students

Academic specialism

CIE MSU Departments:

  • Russian Language Department (elementary through advanced stage of learning)
  • Russian Language Department (upper-advanced stage of learning and traineeship)
  • Department of Humanities
  • Department of Science

Testing Center of the Russian Language


  • Laboratory of New Teaching Methods
  • Laboratory of Information Technologies
  • Laboratory of Technical Aids


  • Academics & Student Affairs Department
  • Admissions & Registration Department
  • Research & Methodology Department
  • Buildings & Facilities Department

Russian Language Programmes

  • are available at 6 levels (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment);
  • the minimum period of study is 4 weeks;
  • full-time tuition (26 academic hours per week — 5 days a week) as well as part-time tuition (18 academic hours per week — 3 days a week) are available during the academic year (September–July) and during the summer courses (June–August).

Elective Courses

A number of electives are offered:

  • “Russia today”;
  • “Russian world”;
  • elective courses on Russian history;
  • elective courses Russian literature.

There are also summer elective courses:

  • “The World of Russian Cinema”;
  • “The World of Russian Culture”;
  • “Pronunciation Practice and Russian poetry”.

Pre-university Training

Prepares students to enter university degree programmes (undergraduate or graduate) in Russian Federation:

  • includes training in: General Russian; Russian for academic purposes; Major subjects;
  • 5 days per week (24–26 hours/week) of classes and workshops;
  • standard programme (9-month = 2 semesters) as well as prolonged programme (12-month = 3 semesters) available;
  • academic year starts in September.

Distance Learning

We offer an engaging online course of the Russian language and culture “Russia on air” (based on popular Russian TV programs). The course targets at intermediate and advanced students.

Language Testing

  • at 6 levels
  • all language skills — listening, reading, writing and speaking;
  • for all those who intend to study or work in the Russian Federation (or where Russian is the language of communication).

Teacher Training in the Field of Russian as a Foreign Language

Is offered in the form of

  • refresher courses (brief and standard);
  • traineeship;
  • professional retraining.

Free consultation

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Lomonosov Moscow State University Center for International Education

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CIE is located about a one-half hour trolley ride from the main campus of MSU, located to the northwest, and in proximity to a subway station (Profsoiuznaia) on a direct line to the center of Moscow.