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International students and famous alumni of MGIMO

Today more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students, trainees and Ph. D. candidates from 64 countries, including South Korea, Japan, China, Turkey, Jordan, Germany, France, USA, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Israel study at the MGIMO-University. More than 300 nationals of former USSR countries constitute a relatively new body of international students.

There are presidents, prime ministers, ministers of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Slovakia, Ukraine and other countries among the MGIMO-University alumni.

The Azerbaijani Club was created as a result of the Azerbaijani students’ initiative that was supported by the MGIMO administration. Our tasks are informing of students about the most important events, providing information about Azerbaijan and help to Azerbaijani students in the solving of their problems. The most famous Azerbaijani MGIMO alumnus is the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in Azerbaijan.

The Armenian Community was founded in November of 2003 as a result of the initiative by a group of Armenian students who wanted to represent Armenian state and culture in MGIMO with dignity. Today the Armenian Community is one of the most developed MGIMO national societies that cooperates with the Armenian Embassy to the Russian Federation and serves as the dialogue platform for Armenian students in Moscow. The most famous Armenian MGIMO alumni are the Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduard Nalbandyan and a historian Sergo Mikoyan. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in Armenia.

The Belarusian Society was created in April of 2008 as a result of the initiative by George Plaschinsky, Olga Voronovich and Oleg Shakirov. Our organization has initiated MGIMO Film Festival devoted to the Second World War, has organized an exhibition of Artur Klinov’s photos, has invited a folk band «Testamentum Terrae» and a piper Dzianis Sukhi for the performance at the MGIMO Nationalities Concert. The most famous Belarusian MGIMO alumni are the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Martynov and the director of Belarusian Hi-Tech Park Valery Tsepkalo.

The Bulgarian Society was founded in 2008 thanks to Valentina Bozhichkova’s efforts. On holidays we often meet together and organize picnics or go the Bulgarian Embassy to take a meal at the Bulgarian restaurant, listen to the national music and dance. Our students are clever and responsible. The most famous Bulgarian MGIMO alumni are former president Petar Mladenov, prime ministers Andrey Lukanov and Jan Videnov, ministers of Foreign Affairs Luben Gotsev and Boyko Dimitrov and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in Bulgaria.

The Vietnamese Club was founded by Nguen Tyi Dyk in 2005 and was reorganized by Anna Gabdieva and Ngyen Viet Lin’ in 2010. We organize Vietnamese Culture Days, celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, Vietnamese Cuisine Days, fairs of Vietnamese souvenirs and photo exhibitions about Vietnam. We hope that people will know more about Vietnam thanks to our activity!

In autumn of 2009 Greek students decided to found the Greek Community. Our main aim is to develop intercultural dialogue and represent Greece in MGIMO and Russia. Our the most important contribution to the achievement of these goals is the participation in the fund raising for the building of a memorial to the Greeks suffered repressions in Magadan. We also take active participation in such ISA events as the International Gourmet Day and the University Football Cup among international students.

The Georgian Club was founded in 2004 by Irakliy Mezurnishvili. Since that time the Club members have organized dozens of different events (conferences, round tables, charity actions). The main principle of all our events is their urgency. We also seek to introduce Georgian history, culture and traditions to our dear friends. The most famous Georgian MGIMO alumni are the Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze, X5 Retail Group Managing Director Yuri Kobaladze and journalist Melor Sturua.

The Korean Club was founded in MGIMO in 1991 and it helps Korean students to live, study and relax at the MGIMO-University. We do our best for the sake of our nationals and the development of our alma mater. We also regularly take participation in the ISA events: the International Gourmet Day, the Nationalities Concert and the students’ Olympic Games.

The Chinese Society emerged thanks to Liu Tzsin Khen in 2006 for the sake of Chinese students and Russian orientalists. We took active participation in the organization of I MGIMO Olympic Games among international students devoted to the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in China.

The Club of Kazakhstan Students created in 1999 is the biggest MGIMO national society that unites more than 100 students. Each spring and autumn we traditionally go to the picnic, and in March we organize the celebration of Nauryz together with students from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tatarstan. We communicate perfectly with other Kazakh students in Moscow; we play football and chess together and make competitions in the national Kazakh type of wrestling. It draws us closer together and makes our life eventful — we live practically as a big family. The most famous Kazakh MGIMO alumni are Kasym-Zhomart Tokaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs, politician Gani Kasymov and the National Bank’s chairman Grigori Marchenko.

The Russian Ethnic Cultures Club was founded in 2008 and now consists of the Buryat, Kalmyk, Tatar, Ossetian, Chuvash and Udmurt clubs. The Club participates on a constant basis in all the ISA events such as the International Gourmet Day and the Nationalities Concert and also organizes its own ones: the festival «Multiethnic Russia», scientific and cultural events.

The Kyrgyz Club was founded in May of 2006 in order to unite students from different countries. Every year we participate in the celebration of Nooruz and introduce Kyrgyz culture, traditions and national peculiarities to MGIMO students. In September the Club members meet with new Kyrgyz students, help them to obtain a place in the hostel and provide all necessary information. We cooperate with Zhash-Tolkun and Ar-Namys organizations and the Friendship Foundation.

The Latvian Society emerged during the MGIMO European Societies Summit in November of 2008. We regularly participate in the ISA events and organize our own ones: for example, the celebration of the Latvian Independence Day. Our students play basketball well in their own team! The most famous Kazakh MGIMO alumni are Igor Nazarov, member of the Council of AS «Latvijas Gāze» and Peters Krishyanis, former Minister of Transport and co-chairman of the Russian-Latvian intergovernmental commission.

The Friends Club of France was founded in 2008 spring by Michel Besson, Michel Forge and George Khaliullin. We seek to unite all French students that study in MGIMO and cooperate with the French lyceum named after Alexander Dumas at the French Embassy in Moscow. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in France.

20 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union German students decided to restore the German organization in the MGIMO-University. Therefore, the German Students Society was founded in 2007 by Yuri Kofner who made a great contribution to the development of the International Students Association. Our organization united not only our nationals, but also all MGIMO students who are interested in the German culture, language, history and politics. Moreover, the biggest MGIMO Alumni Association in the world functions in Germany. The list of German MGIMO alumni is consisted of prominent diplomats and businessmen, including Michael Harms who chairs the Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber in Moscow.

The Polish Club started its work in 2008. We have organized round tables, film showings, meetings with interesting people, participated in the MGIMO European Societies Summit, in the work of the conference «Smolensk — Grodno — Minsk — Belostok» and in commemorative actions devoted to the Katyn tragedy. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in Poland. More than 300 MGIMO alumni work in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Piotr Switalski (Permanent Representative of the Polish Republic to the Council of Europe since 2005), Roman Kovalsky and Zenon Kukhchak.

The Serbian Society was founded by Dushica Dzhurich in 2008. We participate in sports competitions and cultural events organized in the University and seek to share our cordial feelings for beloved Serbia. We also cooperate actively with the Embassy of Serbia to Russia.

The Slovakian Club was founded in 2007 year. Our friends often visit us in Slovakia during summer or winter holidays and we organize excursions for them. We also take active participation in the MGIMO social life. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in Slovakia and the Czech Republic («The Prague Club»). The most famous Slovakian MGIMO alumni are two Ministers of Foreign Affairs: Miroslav Lajčák and Ján Kubiš.

The Afghan Students Union was created in 2009 by Sokhrab Gayrat and Farid Hoghiani in order to promote the Afghan state and culture. We organize concerts, participate in round tables, do sports together and represent our country at the ISA General Assemblies.

The Israeli Students Union (The Jewish Club) was founded in April of 2008 by David Peleg. The Jewish Club was acknowledged by the ISA as the most active MGIMO national society in 2009, 2010 and 2011 years. The list of the Club guests includes the Israeli Ambassadors Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary to the Russian Federation Anna Azari and Dorit Golender, the main rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar and president of the Institute of the Middle East Evgeny Satanovsky. We unite students from more than 11 countries and every year we celebrate Hanukkah, Purim, Pesach and other Jewish holidays.

The Moldavian Students Union cooperate actively with the Embassy of the Moldavian Republic to Russia. We are the initiators of the MGIMO CIS Week and we also organize Moldavian Culture Days and debates on topical issues. The most famous Moldavian MGIMO alumnus is Yuri Lianke, vice-prime minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Moldova.

The Mongolian Students Union has a long history as Mongolian nationals were the first foreign students who came to study in the MGIMO-University in 1946. Since then our nationals have continued to come there to obtain quality education. We seek to help our nationals and develop cooperation between Mongolian and Russian students. Mongolian students often play basketball and football together. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in Mongolia. The most famous Mongolian MGIMO alumni are Prime Minister Sükhbaataryn Batbold, Minister of Education Yondon Otgonbayar and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Dashdorj Zorigt.

The Tajik Society unites all Tajik students from all corners of Tajikistan who seek to participate in all social and cultural events organized in the University. We have a very strong sports team that is among the three greatest national students’ teams of our University according to the results of the II MGIMO students’ Olympic Games.

The Turkish Community was created by Melisa Murat and was opened on the 20th of December, 2010 in the presence of the Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary to the Russian Federation Aidyn Adnan Sezgin. The main aim of the Community is to develop Russian-Turkish cooperation, including on the students level. The Community’s activists have helped to organize the visit of the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the MGIMO-University. We seek to represent our native Turkish Republic with dignity.

The Uzbek Club was created by Mardon Anvarov in 2006. Its activity is aimed at the development of human ties and strengthening of friendly relations between Uzbekistan and other countries. The Club organizes with the ISA support different scientific, cultural and sports events. The most famous Uzbek MGIMO alumni are Alisher Usmanov, Russian billionaire and Ulugbek Khasanov, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan’ press secretary.

The Ukrainian Society was created in 2008 as a result of the initiative by Stanislav Groshov, Stanislav Shikalov and El’dar Nadirashvili. We unite Ukrainian nationals as well as those people who have Ukrainian origins or are simply interested in the language and rich culture of Ukraine. We are proud of the fact that we are a part of the ISA and have an opportunity to represent our country the best we can. The most famous Czech MGIMO alumnus is the Minister of Foreign Affairs Konstantin Grischenko.

The Croatian Club was created in 2010 as a result of the initiative by Marko Pukharich. The Croatian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Neboisha Kokharovich has attended the opening meeting of the MGIMO Croatian Club under the chairmanship of Ivan Zhak. We seek to meet every week in the university or in the café in order to discuss the latest events in politics and economy of our country as well as other news. We are ready to improve Russian-Croatian relations, because we believe that each person is an ambassador of its country in the world!

The Czech Club emerged thanks to the efforts of Eva Prokopova and Sharka Przibilova in 2008. There are currently not so many Czech students in the MGIMO-University, though dozens of Czech nationals have studied there in Soviet times. The Club gives us an opportunity to represent the interests of international students in the University. A ‘Czech paradise» in Moscow is the Czech House of the Czech Embassy to the Russian Federation that any Czech student and his friends can visit. The most famous Czech MGIMO alumni are Štefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy and Jan Kohout, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The MGIMO Alumni Association functions in the Czech Republic («The Prague Club»).

The Estonian Club’s inauguration was held on the 16th of November, 2010 in the presence of the Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary to the Russian Federation Simmu Tiik. The Estonian Club organizes film showings, meetings with famous people and also propagates Estonian culture and economy. The Club was founded by Georgi Mahmurov.

The Barents Euro-Arctic Community emerged at the end of 2010 thanks to the efforts of Maria Shaporeva who decided to unite students from the Barents region. Among the Club members you can find those who are interested in the history, culture and politics of Russia’s Northern regions and representatives of Finland, Norway, Sweden and other Northern countries.




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