The MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs

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Study in English at MGIMO!

Study in English at MGIMO!

The Dean of MGIMO’s English-language bachelor's program in International Relations Mikhail Troitskiy was interviewed by the MGIMO press service.

— Dr. Troitskiy, what programs in International Relations are currently available at BA level?

In 2020, we invite applicants to enrol in a four-year MGIMO undergraduate program “Governance and International Affairs” taught entirely in English. Launched in 2013, this program is based on the University’s Vernadsky Campus.  The program take place at MGIMO from start to finish and students study all subjects, take all exams and write all papers in English.

Our other program, which is implemented jointly with the University of Reading in the UK is called “Politics and International Relations”. Students study first at MGIMO (years 1 and 2), and then at Reading (years 3 and 4) and upon completion receive bachelor's degrees from both universities at once. During the first two years at MGIMO, students have a lot of face time with lecturers and receive an intensive training in languages, English and another foreign language of their choice. At the University of Reading, the emphasis is put on students developing their independence and doing extensive reading of academic literature for their classes. Materials are then discussed in the classroom and written works are prepared with the guidance of experienced lecturers. I think this is a very successful combination of two different traditions of higher education. This dual program was created two years ago, and since then it has gained in popularity in spite of the relatively high cost of studying at the University of Reading during years 3 and 4.

— Who were the MGIMO English-language undergraduate programs created for? Who can enrol?

We invite Russian citizens and foreigners studying in high school in English to apply for the program in "Governance and International Affairs" (four years of study at MGIMO in English). In order to successfully study in this program, students should have a C1 level of English (equivalent to a 6.0 result from the IELTS test). For example, graduates of IB or A-Level school programs have this level of English.

The dual degree program in “Politics and International Relations” is open to Russians and foreigners, regardless of the country where they completed their secondary education. Applicants who are Russian citizens are selected based on their results at the Unified State Examination in Russian, English and History. We particularly invite to enrol with us graduates of Russian secondary schools who scored at least 80 points in the exam in English, and at least 70 points in the exam in Russian. During the first years of this program, you will undergo intensive English language training, including in academic writing, which will allow you to continue your studies at the University of Reading in 3 and 4 years without any serious difficulties.

— How many students study at your programs and how many have already graduated from them? What countries do they come from?

About 200 students are currently studying at the MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs, a division of MGIMO University that implements English-language bachelor's programs in international relations. They came from more than 30 countries of the world. The leaders in the number of students we have are South Korea, France and Kazakhstan. There are students from Brazil and Sweden, the USA and China, Singapore and Namibia. Just over half of our students are Russians, many of whom graduated from high school in English in other countries.

Three cohorts of students, amounting to almost 50 graduates, have already completed our English-language undergraduate program.

— What do your students do after graduation?

Most graduates continue their studies at Master level at the best universities in Europe, Asia and North America - from the University of Tokyo to Sciences Po in Paris, from MGIMO to Edinburgh University. Others find prestigious jobs in the public and private sectors, in the foreign ministries of their own countries. Several graduates started their own businesses in IT and language training.

I invite you to read the wide selection of interviews of our graduates, which are constantly being updated. Graduates share their impressions of MGIMO, Moscow and Russia and assess how studying with us helped them in their future careers.

— Who teaches these programs? What experience you have in teaching in English?

About 50 subject teachers and 50 foreign language teachers work on our programs. MGIMO full-time lecturers represent about half of our teaching staff. They have decades of experience in conducting classes in English, and often have master's and doctoral degrees from leading universities in the world. We also have American and British teachers with advanced degrees from Oxford and London Universities. The remaining teachers are specifically invited by us from other Russian and foreign universities, business, governmental and non-profit organizations. They are well-known experts in their fields, having published academic articles in peer-reviewed journals or having achieved success in their career in international relations.

— How do you help students from Russia and foreign students adapt to life in Moscow? Do you provide them with accommodation?

Our dean’s office makes every effort to ensure that students adapt well to their new environment and are confortable during the entirety of their stay. Those students from abroad who require visas to study in Russia receive them without difficulty and go through a week-long program of adaptation and familiarization with MGIMO and life on campus. We are attentive to the needs of our students, helping them interact with the other departments of the University and with other organizations in Moscow. We have two English-language student clubs, uniting the most active students who want to continue their academic discussions after classes.

Our students are provided with accommodation if they need it. Foreigners who do not speak Russian when they arrive in Moscow live on campus on Vernadsky Avenue.

— Could your describe the curriculum?

The strength of our curriculum is interdisciplinarity. Students attend lessons on a wide array of subjects including history and philosophy, economics and political science, conflicts resolution and security, finance and energy policy, contemporary global issues and corporate governance, statistics and econometrics, game theory and data analysis, programming and the impact of new technologies on international relations.

We pay a lot of attention to the development of soft skills: the ability to communicate with people, to work in groups, to assume leadership functions, resolve conflicts and act as an entrepreneur.

A specific cluster of classes is designed to help students develop the skills to perform independent research work and write professional texts in English.

And, of course, in accordance with MGIMO’s best traditions, students learn two foreign languages. The first foreign language is brought up to level C1 (proficiency in oral speech and writing), and the second to B2.

Our curricula can be found on the website of the MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs.

— How can prospective students learn more about your programs and apply?

You can find all the necessary information about our programs, latest news and student life on our website at sgia.mgimo.ru in English and at mgimo.ru/study/faculty/sgia/ in Russian.

Admission to the MGIMO four-year English-medium undergraduate program in international relations ("Governance and International Affairs") is based on distance testing in World History and English. Documents can be sent as scans by e-mail and the originals provided at a later stage.

Russian applicants for the double degree program with the University of Reading (“Politics and International Relations”) are admitted based on their exam results in Russian, English (at least 70 and 80 points, respectively) and History.

We are always happy to answer your questions by e-mail at bac@inno.mgimo.ru. To find out more, subscribe to our Facebook page.