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International unions and associations of foreign students in Russia

Studying in foreign country is always connected with certain complications and psychological adaptation of a foreigner may take rather long time – beginning from one year up to several years. And even when the quest has already learnt the language to perfection, get accustomed and even loved the before unknown country he/she may still face any complications, connected with the process of education, way of life, medical care, legal and social nuances.
Just for the purpose to save the student from the other countries from the problems of such kind as far back as in 1996 in Russia there was established public, not political, not commercial “Foreign Students Association” (FSA), which joined the citizens of other countries, studying in Russia. During the years of its existence, the Association has considerable extended – today it includes with no fewer than 90 thousand foreign students from 162 countries of the world. In addition to the head office in Moscow, it has 20 branch offices in various regions of the Russian Federation.
The FSA provides potent support for foreign student in solving of tasks, connected with any complication in the process of studying, difficulties, health deterioration, legal and juridical problems. Thus, each student may count on comprehensive help in case of any unforeseen circumstances within the period of his/her stay in Russia.
The Association also fulfills many other functions, for example:
• it organizes cultural and sport events for foreign student: national arts festivals, sport competitions, friendly competitive sports matches, art exhibitions, concerts of students’ amateur art and many others;
• it informs through mass media Russian and world community about the process of studying in Russian institutes of higher education and about the life of foreign students in Russia;
• it attracts new students for studying in Russian institutes of higher education;
• it closely cooperates with other public ethnic and national organizations, with embassies and consulates of foreign states, with associations of Russian institutes of higher education graduates;
• it conducts social surveys among foreign students in order to determine what complications they may face during their studying and living, what they like and what they do not like, what they wish to optimize in the process of studying and what they wish to improve in their legal state in Russia, etc.
There are other public organizations in Russia, which join foreign citizens living in Russia. They include, for example, International coordinating council of educational institutions graduates, which also provides legal and social support for students and graduates, as well as coordinates the work of students’ associations (such as, for example, expatriates' communities). It provides the graduates with real help in obtaining additional probation periods in Russia or in prolongation of studying at post-graduate courses.
In addition, one should tell about expatriates' communities and international clubs as public organizations, each of which joins the students of one nationality. For example, today in Moscow such associations merged into Students expatriates' communities union (joining 20 institutes of higher education), which has its own Presidium at Department for Interregional Cooperation, National Policy and Relations with religious organizations of Moscow. In cooperation with the executive power authorities of Moscow, the Presidium actively works in the sphere of culture and enlightenment, fulfills social and humanitarian programs, participates in sport projects, etc. the last projects include organization of dance festival “Dance, Moscow”, donor action “The same deep water as you”, internet-sites contest “Community against xenophobia” and many others.
At present, there also are other resources for various nationalities, cultures and religions young people convergence in Russia. They include, for example, various internet projects, the brightest of which, probably, is “Ethnology” that has joined thousands of Russian and foreign students, tending to cognize the world in its ethnic and cultural diversification. The group organizes scientific conferences, informal meetings, conducts cultural events, sport meetings, and organizes communication between Diasporas representatives and students’ expatriates' communities.