Siberia is an amazing and inimitable territory, a “forest continent” on the Earth. Siberia is immense, it occupies almost a third part of Russia’s territory. It is famous for “Siberian colds.” Everyone has heard a lot about them! Siberia is gorgeous, it boasts its ancient mountains, full-flowing thousand-kilometer rivers, vast forest areas, and, needless to say, Lake Baikal, a unique natural monument on a global scale, the largest freshwater lake on the Earth. It is here, near Baikal, that Irkutsk was founded in 1661. It is the capital of the Irkutsk Region, the fifth largest city in Siberia.
Today the city with a population of 600,000 is a large cultural center that regularly holds numerous cultural and film festivals, boasts 13 museums, the philharmonic with an organ hall, 8 theaters, more than 10 movie theaters.
Irkutsk is a university city. It has 16 universities including the national research university (a total of 29 Russian universities have this status). Other cities in the Irkutsk Region also have universities.
In recent years, the number of international students choosing the Irkutsk Region as a study destination has been increasing rapidly. Irkutsk alone has over 7,000 students from 40 countries. Most of them are citizens of China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and South Korea.