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Lomonosov Moscow State University Institute of Russian Language and Culture

Mail117218, Russia, Moscow, Krzhizhanovskogo st. 24/35, build. 1.
TelephoneDepartment of Contracts: +7 499 124-84-88, +7 499 124-56-00 Preparatory courses: +7 499 124-16-64 Russian language programs: +7 499 124-81-88

The majority of foreign students at MSU study at the Institute of Russian Language and Culture (IRLC MSU). IRLC MSU was founded in 1954 and is considered to be Russia’s foremost preparatory faculty for foreign students. Since its formation over 60,000 foreign citizens from 130 countries have graduated from the institute.


University preparatory programmes

Teaching at MSU is conducted in Russian. The university preparatory programme was created, and is still running successfully, for foreign students who wish to study either as an undergraduate or a postgraduate at MSU but do not speak Russian. The comprehensive preparatory programme includes:

  • a practical Russian language course;
  • scientific Russian language courses for chosen specialities;
  • courses for subjects in the humanities and sciences.

Class sizes at the Institute are no more than 9 students in Russian language classes and no more than 16 in the specialist subject classes. Classes are held 5 days a week for 6-8 academic hours per day. The duration of the programme is 1 academic year (2 semesters) or 1.5 academic years (3 semesters). At the end of the academic year, there are exams in Russian and in specialist subjects. After passing their exams students receive a certificate of completion of the university preparatory programme. This gives them the opportunity to continue their studies at the main faculties of their chosen speciality at MSU.

Russian language programmes

The Institute offers Russian language programmes for foreign students of any age and any level of proficiency in Russian – from beginner to advanced. A large staff of teachers of Russian language and other humanities (literature, history, economics, politics) allows us to combine group lessons with a strong focus on each individual student. Russian language lessons take place almost all year round: both during the academic year (September-June) and over the summer holiday period (July-August) in the form of summer courses. The minimum programme length is 4 weeks during the academic year and 3 weeks during the summer period.

Upon arrival at the Institute, students take an entrance test to determine their level of proficiency in Russian. Students are then divided into groups based on their test results, length and objectives of their study. The size of each study group is usually 8-9 students.

The main objective of the programme is to form and develop the students’ practical Russian language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

The Institute offers students with a beginner level of Russian a complete educational programme (26 academic hours per week). The programme includes basic Russian language lessons as well as lessons on grammar, phonetics and conversational Russian.

Students with an intermediate or advanced level are offered a choice:

  1. a complete programme — 26 academic hours (5 days of study per week) including Russian language lessons (18 hours) and the students’ choice of specialist courses (8 hours).
  2. a short course — 18 academic hours of Russian language lessons (3 days of study per week). The focus of this course is on developing the students’ spoken language.

Students receive a certificate upon successful completion of the educational programme. Students also have the opportunity to be tested and receive a state-recognised certificate.

The Institute offers tailor-made programmes for its partners (universities, schools, language centres and other educational institutions).

Remote learning language programmes

The Institute has focused a lot of attention on remote learning. The multimedia course “Time to speak Russian”, created with the support of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, has become enormously popular. Using this free online course we have started to teach Russian to hundreds of people around the world. Our teachers have also benefited greatly from this programme.

The introductory remote learning Russian language course “Better, easier, faster” has been designed for those wishing to learn Russian at the Institute of Russian Language and Culture. The course successfully combines students’ independent studies with lessons carried out by IRLC teachers online.

Russian language teachers

  • Professional development and teacher training programmes, “Methods for teaching Russian as a foreign language” (http://rki.msu.ru) for Russians and foreign citizens. Training takes place onsite or remotely for 1-2 semesters. The remote learning programme’s flexible curriculum allows students to concentrate on subject areas that are more interesting and relevant to them. <
  • The Individual placement course on the practical methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language (from 1 to 10 months) is constructed to suit each individual’s timetable, which is especially convenient when working on a diploma or dissertation.
  • The professional development seminars “Russian state system of testing in Russian as a foreign language: academic development and operational training” and “Methods of conducting comprehensive examinations in Russian language, Russian history and basic Russian legislation” take place onsite and remotely throughout the year. Upon completion of the programme, participants receive an MSU certificate of professional development, allowing them to legally conduct testing (http://www.irlc.msu.ru).
  • Summer school for Russian language teachers. Every year in July, free educational seminars and workshops for teachers of Russian as a native, non-native and foreign language are provided as part of the “MSU – School” project.

Testing in Russian as a foreign language

Specialists at the Institute of Russian Language and Culture at Moscow State University make up the foundations of the Russian state system of testing (TORFL); a team of exam creators at MSU create and publish all regulatory materials for the first three levels of TORFL exams.

The Institute of Russian Language and Culture conducts certification testing of Russian as a foreign language (RFL) in accordance with state standards.The Institute conducts:

  • testing in all levels of RFL: A1-A2, B1-B2, C1-C2;
  • testing of Russian language for conferment of citizenship of the Russian Federation;
  • testing of Russian language, Russian history and basic Russian legislation for obtaining a residency permit, a temporary residency permit and a work permit/patent;
  • trial testing to determine the extent of preparation required for certification testing;
  • lessons preparing for certification examinations;
  • consultations for teachers on conducting testing and on methods of evaluating the results in all types of oral activities.

Excursions and cultural programme

Studying at the Institute cannot be complete without exploring the history, culture and national characteristics of Russia.

An obligatory part of many of the educational programmes are excursions in Moscow and its museums, as well as to other remarkable cities and places in Russian. Some of the most popular include various trips to St. Petersburg; an interactive excursion to the city of Tver, organised in conjunction with Tver State University; an educational excursion to the house-museum of the great Leo Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana; a trip to the magnificent centre of culture and ethnography “Ethnomir”; et al.

Just buy a ticket to Russia and write to us.

The Institute of Russian Language and Culture organises students’ study and stay in Russia. We issue invitations for student visas, provide assistance in finding accommodation in MSU dormitories, organise meetings at the airport, as well as helping to solve all sorts of other problems and issues that may arise during your stay in Moscow. Not surprisingly, Russia has become a second home to many of our students, and our teachers – their second family.