Libmonster ID: CN-1243
Author(s) of the publication: V. V. GLEBOV

V. V. GLEBOV, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Peoples ' Friendship University of Russia

foreign student Keywords:education, cross-cultural relationsadaptation processesmegapolis

According to the Chinese Ministry of Education, about 340 thousand students study abroad (data for 2011,1). Including about 15 thousand receive education in the Russian Federation - compared to other countries where young Chinese study, this figure looks very modest.

advantages and disadvantages

After radical changes in Russian society in the 1990s, the quality of education declined, which also affected its international prestige. For young people from Asian and African countries, the attractiveness of getting an education in Russia is also decreasing due to personal security issues. Another barrier is the difficult Russian language to learn. Therefore, the desire of Chinese boys and girls to study in Russia is relatively small, and Russia ranks 11th in the world in terms of the number of students from China.

However, China also has an ever-growing demand for studying at Russian universities. It is primarily due to the rapidly developing bilateral economic cooperation, which creates the need for well - trained personnel with technical, economic and legal knowledge and - in addition to them-proficiency in the Russian language.

Another important factor that attracts foreigners: studying in Russia is much cheaper for Chinese students, for example, than in the West. The cost of training is about 30 - 50 thousand rubles. RMB (approximately $5-10 thousand) per year, which is available to a significant number of Chinese families 2In addition, when entering a Russian university, a Chinese applicant does not need to pass an exam in the Russian language - it is enough to present a certificate of graduation from a secondary school or higher educational institution in China, after which you can start studying in Russia at the preparatory language faculty.

However, despite the positive factors in the development of Russian-Chinese socio-economic and educational relations, many socio-cultural and psychological characteristics of young Chinese people who come to study here cause difficulties in communicating between the two cultures.

To identify the level of development of interethnic relations, ethno-cultural ties, and the degree of adaptation processes in the Russian higher education system in relation to Chinese students, we conducted a scientific study among those Chinese who study in the metropolitan metropolis.


We conducted the study during 2009-2010 on the basis of a sample of Chinese students in Moscow. 230 Chinese students (116 boys and 114 girls, aged 17.7 to 32 years)were interviewed from two universities of the capital: Peoples ' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) and Moskov-

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Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov (MSU). We developed a questionnaire that was translated into Chinese and included the following socio-economic questions: motivation of Chinese students; relations between Chinese students and the authorities; place of residence in China; duration of stay in Moscow; characteristics of the educational process and living conditions in Moscow (financial status, housing conditions, the nature of formal and informal contacts); intentions for further employment.

Studies have shown that the main motivation of Chinese youth for higher education in Russia is the optimal combination of the price of tuition and the level of teaching. Another favorable factor applies if relatives of future students live and work in our country. There were variants of answers that indicated the need to study Russian in order to continue studying, satisfy scientific interest, for a specific study or for work.

Most of the study sample (96.9%) of Chinese students in Moscow were young people under the age of 30. By age distribution, the picture was as follows: 31.6% of Chinese students were under the age of 21, 60.1% were young people aged 21 to 25, 5.2% were respondents aged 26 to 30, and 3.1% of respondents were already over 30 at the time of the study. Sample by tender ratio: almost equal proportions are represented by boys (50.4%) and girls (49.6%). Sample by ethnic composition: the majority (88.2%) were Han Chinese, representing the majority of the Chinese population. The remaining share (11.8%) is represented by national minorities.

Analysis of the survey showed a fairly broad geographical affiliation of Chinese students: They came from many administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China. The largest number of migrants - about 28.2% - before arriving in Moscow lived in Shandong Province, located on the east coast of China in the lower reaches of the Yellow River. It is one of the most socially and economically developed provinces of the People's Republic of China. This is followed by representatives of Beijing (21.3%) and Shanghai (18.2%). These two most important cities in China, located in the east of the country, are not only socio-economic, but also scientific centers, where the education system is much better developed than in any other administrative-territorial unit. This is followed by representatives of the provinces of Hebei (10.7%) and Shanxi (9.4%), located in the north-east of the country. Chinese applicants, undergraduates and postgraduates also came from the central provinces of China, such as Sichuan (5.1%), Shaanxi (4.1%), Henan (3.0%).

What is the process of training Chinese students in Moscow, and how is the adaptation of Chinese youth to a different ethnic environment and a new social reality in Russia?


The main factor determining the learning process of a Chinese student is the level of mastery of the Russian language. For those who come to study, a certain plan is drawn up in accordance with their needs and taking into account the level of their knowledge of the Russian language. According to this plan, the student should study in the first months of their stay in Russia. This is how the distribution of Chinese students in faculties for foreign students in Moscow takes place. As a rule, Russian language training lasts one to two years, classes are held five days a week, 6 to 8 academic hours a day. At the end of the academic year, the Chinese applicant passes the exam and gets the right to study at the main faculties of universities. Training begins in early September, and after nine months of classes, the Chinese applicant must speak Russian well enough to be able to cope with the subjects offered to them in the first year of their chosen university on a par with Russian-speaking students.

This is a training format based on-

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which is used by all applicants coming to Russia. However, often the realities of life make their own adjustments. So, from the survey, we found out that more than 97.3% of Chinese studying in Moscow come to the Russian capital directly from the PRC, where they would have to complete initial language training. However, China does not have a sufficiently developed system of teaching Russian, which many respondents complained about. Most visitors start learning Russian in Russia from scratch. When Chinese students come to our country with poor or no language training, they will not learn enough Russian in the future, which hinders their adaptation to the environment of students. It is no coincidence that employees of diplomatic, cultural and commercial organizations working in our country express the wish that young people who want to study in Russia should first learn the Russian language adequately in their homeland.3

So, one of the most difficult moments in the educational process of Chinese students is the level of knowledge of the Russian language. In China, the formulation of such an educational process is clearly not always and not everywhere up to par. You can cite examples from our survey, when due to poor knowledge of the Russian language, many Chinese students, facing various cultural, everyday and educational difficulties at every step, fall into despair and think about quitting their studies and returning home. Such sentiments can be found in the majority (83.3%) of Chinese students studying in Moscow.

Chinese students ' knowledge of Russian is truly alarming. Thus, the survey results show that the majority of students (62.4%) can only explain themselves in Russian. Only a few people know Russian well or can read it fluently (7% and 5%, respectively). It is not surprising that only 27.4% of respondents told us that they have mastered the curriculum well in the higher education system. The main reason for the lack of assimilation of knowledge, which is cited by many Chinese students surveyed, is language difficulties.


According to the survey, the attitude of Russian students to their Chinese colleagues was characterized mainly as "neutral" (54.3%), "friendly" (31.6%), with a small number of ratings "not quite friendly" (14.1%). There was no obvious hostility during the survey.

Chinese students are mostly tolerant of others and do not suffer from xenophobia. They also consider the attitude of the Russian authorities to be quite acceptable to them, which appear before them mainly in the person of the administration of their university - which, in their opinion, is quite loyal to Chinese students.

Financially, Chinese students live in different ways, but in general - quite modestly. 74 out of 230 Chinese students surveyed (32.3%) are forced to periodically refuse to buy enough food and medical treatment, the need for which is caused by changes in natural and climatic conditions, as well as a change in the environment. At the same time, 110 Chinese students surveyed (47.7%) have the opportunity not to limit themselves to this and even go home for the Spring Festival.

The specifics of the Chinese educational diaspora in Russia, and in particular in Moscow (unlike, for example, Chinese students in the United States), is that the Chinese do not seek to integrate into the society of the Moscow metropolis, into Russian society. And this creates a permanent, rather dense cultural and linguistic barrier between the Chinese and Russians. According to the survey, there are large quantitative disparities in study groups: 39.8% of Chinese students study in groups consisting only of their compatriots, 50.8% - in mixed groups consisting of Russian students, Chinese students, and other foreigners in different quantitative ratios. The remaining 9.4% are in groups with a predominance of Russian students.

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The majority of Chinese students (69.4%) live in student dormitories, which, obviously, should help establish contacts and friendly ties. However, only a few people live in the same room as Russians. According to our survey, only 9.2% of Chinese students spend their leisure time together with Russian friends.

Chinese students have a twofold attitude to studying. 62.7% study very hard, continuing the traditions laid down by their grandfathers-students who studied in the Soviet Union in the 50s of the last century. In order to complete the task in time, many of them may refuse to eat, may sit for a long time over textbooks and devote all their free time from lectures to studying educational materials.


However, changes in the socio-economic reality of China may have left their mark on the psychology and thinking of young Chinese people. This applies to those of them who came to Russia for the purpose of earning money. Thus, a third of students (32.1%) practically do not pay enough attention to education and combine their studies with work-from casual part-time work to regular full-time employment as translators, guides, salesmen, etc. Part-time work is common among undergraduates and postgraduates, who own a significant part of job search ads in Chinese newspapers Moscow.

In this regard, it should be noted that the reduction of requirements for foreigners - in the form of low tuition fees compared to Western countries and the absence of Russian language exams for applicants to Russian universities-has both positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, it increases the number of Chinese students, which contributes to the development of socio-economic, cultural and educational ties between the countries. On the other hand, it purposefully leads to the recruitment of students with a low initial educational level, which is confirmed by the statement of a responsible employee from the Chinese higher education system who oversees studies abroad in the Beijing Wanbao newspaper:"...Studying in Russia is a choice of graduates with weak grades in the certificate and children from families with low earnings"4. The Consul General of the People's Republic of China in St. Petersburg states that there are very few Chinese students who have successfully mastered both the Russian language and professional knowledge in the Russian education system.5


Data on the knowledge and ideas about Russia obtained by Chinese students are interesting: 35.2% of respondents said that Russia is an attractive country for them; 42.1% of Chinese students believe that they came to study in Russia for a reason and plan to link their fate with it in the future. While studying in Russia, 63.9% of respondents changed their opinion about it for the better, and only 11.7% were disappointed in it.

Understanding the future benefits initiates the commitment of Chinese government, commercial, cultural and educational organizations to expand multi-level ties. This is certainly reflected in the views of Chinese students regarding the prospects of working in Russia, stimulating their need to create economic and socio-cultural ties aimed at the future.

In line with this need, China is increasingly interested in using the services of Russian universities more widely, and on the other hand, in increasing the volume of teaching Chinese to Russian citizens both on Russian and Chinese territory. In this regard, the Chinese government is ready to increase the number of Chinese citizens studying in Russia to 35-40 thousand people within 4-5 years6.

Thus, our research shows the difficulties experienced by the Chinese student diaspora in the metropolitan area. To improve the situation in the Russian educational system, it is important to create more favorable conditions for Chinese applicants to study Russian both in China and in our country. First of all, Russian universities should take care of the quality of teaching the Russian language, which are extremely interested in the quantitative and qualitative recruitment of Chinese students.

This will significantly improve the interethnic and intercultural communication between the Chinese and Russian student populations and will allow for a more organic integration of the Chinese educational youth community into the Russian society.

1 Chinese people are increasingly choosing to study abroad - http://www.epoch

2 Mosike daxue zhongguo liu xuesheng dy ku yu le (The Joys and Sorrows of Chinese students at Moscow State University) - http://commerce., 04.09.2006.

3 Beijing wanbao. 01.02.2008.

4 Ibid.

5 Business China. Vol. X-XI. Moscow, Plenipotentiary. Spravochnik Publ., 2006.

6 Ibid.


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V. V. GLEBOV, CHINESE STUDENT IN THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL: SOCIOEDUCATIONAL ADAPTATION // Beijing: China (ELIBRARY.ORG.CN). Updated: 10.01.2024. URL: (date of access: 22.07.2024).

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