Extracurricular activities in Omsk: What do international students do besides studying
The bustling metropolises of the European part of Russia are not the only cities that are ready to offer high-quality education to foreign students. Omsk is one of the Siberian cities where they can find perfect opportunities to receive university education. There those who want to engage with science can reach their potential at the Dostoevsky Omsk State University (OmSU). OmSU graduates have great prospects: this university ranks first among 264 universities in Russia in terms of employment assistance for recent graduates. Among the partners of the university there are such famous companies as Gazprom Neft, Unilever, CISCO, Microsoft, Sberbank and other organizations where alumni can work after graduation.
Nowadays, about 600 foreign students from the United States, Ecuador, Turkey, China, South Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, etc. study at OmSU. Students from all over the world, including Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, the United States, Iran, Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, South Korea, and Switzerland, also get higher education at this university online.
Margarita Lazarenko
Student of the Linguistics faculty of Omsk State University, Assistant of Director for International Marketing in Education Export Center
Moreover, the International Relations Office of the university pays great attention to the extracurricular activities of foreign students and often arranges events that introduce them to Russian culture and society. For example, at the end of last year, they organized the project "Bringing Cultures Together. Omsk is My Home" which received funding from the Ministry of Youth, Physical Culture, and Sports of the Omsk Region. The project included a photo contest, a sightseeing tour to the historical park "Russia – My History", a "Keys to the City" quest and an online forum "Bringing Cultures Together. Omsk is My Home".

One of the project team members and a student from USA Ricardo Ortiz shares his impression of the event: "It was interesting for me to know about people's cultures and the reason that brought them to Omsk from different parts of the world." Ricardo is very positive about the activities within the project: "I enjoyed going to the history museum and the presentations. I learned a lot about Russian history and other cultures." Besides, Ortiz mentioned the necessity of involving international students in extracurricular activities: "As an international student living abroad, I believe that it is very important for students to get involved in activities and get involved with the community. It is a way to network and meet locals. It builds social interaction and it is a good way to find your way around town and familiarize yourself with places."

This year the staff of the International Relations Office conducted a virtual tour of the center of Omsk, as well as a free cooking dumplings workshop for those who are interested in Russian culture. Participants from Japan, Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, Guatemala, India, Spain, and Luxembourg joined the live broadcast.
Author: Margarita Lazarenko, Student of the Linguistics faculty of Omsk State University, Assistant of Director for International Marketing in Education Export Center.