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Regular version of the site

Dear student!

Congratulations on your admission to HSE University — St Petersburg!
We are happy to welcome you here, and we hope that you will enjoy your stay in the beautiful city of Saint Petersburg!

This Handbook is intended to help you adapt to a new environment and cope with day-to-day activities. It contains answers to some essential questions that might arise during the first days of your stay.

We wish you success and many wonderful discoveries!

HSE University — St Petersburg is part of a large and diverse HSE family, embracing Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Perm.


  • Founded in 1993
  • HSE mascot – a crow
  • Rector – Yaroslav Kuzminov
  • HSE St. Petersburg founded in 1998

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The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world with a total area of more than 17 million square kilometers. The population is 144 million people, 81% are Russians. Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism are Russia’s traditional religions and a part of the historical heritage.

Russia is a presidential republic. The federal government consists of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative power belongs to the Federal Assembly which consists of two houses: the Federation Council (upper house) and the State Duma (lower house). The executive power belongs to the government which is headed by the Prime Minister. The judicial branch is represented by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and regional courts.

The Russian Federation comprises 85 administrative divisions called “subjects”. These subjects have equal representation in the Federation Council — two delegates each. However, the subjects differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy. The federal subjects are: 46 oblasts, 22 republics, 9 krais, 4 autonomous districts, 1 autonomous oblast and 3 federal cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol).

The national symbols of Russia are tricolor flag consisting of three equal horizontal fields: white on the top, blue in the middle and red on the bottom, the coat of arms which depicts double-headed eagle, and the state anthem.

Official currency is Russian ruble (RUB, ₽).


St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great on the 27th of May in 1703. The city was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1712–1728, 1732–1918).

Facts and Figures:

  • over 5 million inhabitants
  • over 2.3 international and 2.8 national tourists per year
  • over 380,000 students
  • over 23,000 international students
  • the second largest economic, academic and scientific centre in Russia
  • famous for white nights and drawbridges
  • holds the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), a leading international economic and business forum
  • historic centre is the UNESCO world heritage site
  • more than 200 museums
  • over 70 theatres
  • around 800 bridges
  • home city for outstanding painters Vrubel, Malevich, talented composers such as Tchaikovsky, world famous writers and poets Pushkin, Gogol, Akhmatova, Brodsky and many others.