SOME FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
How do you feel when you travel somewhere? Are you excited, joyful, nervous? Do you feel butterflies in your tummy? Visiting another country is so monumental that it’s perfectly normal to feel a few butterflies in your tummy before your trip. So, how can you make sure you get the greatest value for money? Before you make up your mind to come to study in Russia, it would be useful to be aware of some facts you might not have known about one of the world’s most intriguing countries.
Foreigners have many stereotypes about Russian life. The stereotypical understanding of Russia is that it is a faraway, snowy country, where one must wear a fur coat and valenki (felt boots), people do nothing but drink vodka and play balalaikas, while bears are leaving their forest homes to go walking down village streets. However, the reality of Russian life is very far from this idyllic myth: balalaikas, bears, and felt boots have more or less become symbols of Russia rather than attributes of everyday life.
Nevertheless, Russia attracts tourists and international students from all over the world!
Have you ever heard that Russia (or officially, the Russian Federation) is known for being the largest country on Earth and is a country about 1.8 times the size of the US? It occupies a vast area in Europe and borders the North Pacific Ocean. It covers over 10,672,000 sq. miles (17,075,200 sq.km), followed by Canada, China and the USA, and with a population of almost 150 million people. It’s bordered by Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, and North Korea.
Although it is commonly believed that Russia is the coldest country in the world, most of the area of Russia is located in the temperate belt. Russia has all the climatic zones except tropical: tundra, forest-tundra, forests, forests-steppes and semi-deserts. The climate is mostly continental. Most of the country has a so-called harsh continental climate characterised by a big difference between summer and winter temperatures (it gets indeed very cold in Siberia during winter, but it is also very hot in the summer). Average January temperatures are from 0 to -5 degrees in the western Russia, but sometimes -40 degrees in other parts. The average July temperatures are from 1 to 25 degrees.
So, the evidence shows, you should explore Russia and enjoy the unprecedented beauty of it!
Have you ever heard that there are over 120,000 rivers with a length of 10 km or greater each in Russia and Europe’s biggest river, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea? Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world’s deepest lake (1,600 metres) is Lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can see the stones on the bottom.
In general, Russia is a safe country for international students, because Russia’s society is multiethnic. The largest ethnic groups include Russians (81.5%), Tatars (3.8%), Ukrainians (3%), Chuvash (1.2%), Bashkir (0.9%), Belarusians (0.8%), Moldavians (0.7%), etc. Over 80 % of the population name Russian – the official language of the country – as their native. Other languages are used in ethnic minority regions. The largest cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. Administratively, the Russian Federation is divided into 21 republics, 6 krays (federal territories), 2 federal cities, 49 regions, 1 autonomous region and 10 autonomous areas.
Trying Russian traditional cuisine is one of the best ways to get to know Russia. It’s also one of the most heartwarming, satisfying things you can do. Russia has plenty of delicious traditional dishes to tickle your taste buds. People are often surprised at the variety and flavours of Russian dishes, which were influenced by the country’s connection to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Russian cuisine is a reflection of the geographical features of this enormous country, its Christian beliefs and interesting customs. These are the dishes you can’t leave this country without trying. For example, blini (Russian pancakes), pelmeni, beef stroganoff, syrniki, kasha (porridge), shchi (cabbage soup), okroshka, pirozhki (little baked or fried puff pastries are packed full of potatoes, meat, cabbage, or cheese), shashlik, etc.
As you understand by now, you should challenge yourself to get a joyful experience of studying in Russia.
Russia is waiting for you to discover it and study here!