Council of international fraternities

The Council unites international students from 26 nations who have clubs or associations within the council. It seeks to promote national cultural awareness, and the politics, science and business of different countries within MGIMO, strengthening friendship and cooperation between Russian and international students. They organize more than a hundred events during the academic year – including cultural events, meetings with prominent people, and debates on current political issues and international events.

History of the Association

The MGIMO International Students Association (ISA) unites national societies that operate in the MGIMO-University. The organization was founded on the 2nd of April, 2008 and since then has developed for the sake of international and Russian students of MGIMO in correspondence with the high mission and long-term aims of the University. Our organization realizes its objectives with the help of the Department for International Students and the vice-rector for international cooperation and public relations. The first chairman of the Association was Jury Kofner who contributed greatly to its creation. George Plaschinsky is the second chairman who achieved the overall recognition of the Association as one of the leading MGIMO young organizations.

National societies have existed in MGIMO even in Soviet times since 1946 when initially foreign students from Mongolia have come to the University. The former Council of Friendship was headed by many outstanding persons, including the current rector Anatoly Torkunov. Since 1991 the number of international students’ communities in MGIMO has fallen steadily until the restoration of the ISA. From 2008 to 2010 owing to the active work of the international students the number of MGIMO national societies united under the flag of the Association has doubled, reaching nowadays 29 organizations with students from different countries.

The ISA Charter was adopted on the 2nd of April, 2010 and signed by chairpersons of all MGIMO national societies on the 27th of April during an annual meeting of the ISA with the MGIMO rector. The official opening of the ISA website took place on the 23rd of June, 2010.


The ISA organizes a wide range of activities. Each semester the ISA Secretariat and national societies organize 50–70 different events, including meetings and sports competitions. Each year we organize great University-wide events, such as the Nationalities Concert (with participation of professional and amateur bands and folk musicians), the students’ Olympic Games of the MGIMO-University (since 2008), the International Gourmet Day of the MGIMO-University, the University Football Cup among international students (since 2004), the celebration of Eastern New Year (Novruz). We welcome various other students’ initiatives and support their realization as it was in case of the CIS Week, the International Business Week and the Christmas Celebration in the MGIMO-University.

National societies do their utmost to develop and cultivate new representation forms of their countries and cultures in the University. A lot of people are attracted by the festival «Multiethnic Russia» of the Russian Ethnic Cultures Club and traditional «Israeli Weeks» that are organized by the MGIMO Jewish Club. National and religious holidays are celebrated in MGIMO with our help as well as commemorative events, round tables, conferences, debates and outdoor events.

How we are organized

We act on the principles of openness, equality, voluntary participation, freedom and independence as well as solidarity and cooperation of the ISA members for the achievement of common goals. We are a democratic organization. Each society that represents its country has a right to vote on the ISA General Assembly. Each year any MGIMO student can be elected as the ISA chairman, one of its deputies or a head of one of the ISA departments that work under the auspices of the ISA Secretariat created for the help in realization of the chairman’s policy. The Department of mass media and PR (journalism) seeks to inform University students about all social and cultural events.

The ISA seeks to help students to solve their problems: we have a public chamber that any MGIMO student can address to and get an answer that he needs.

The ISA assists international and Russian students in their socialization in the University: it invites them to participate in the organization of different events and helps to realize interesting ideas and projects. National societies seek to help their nationals and promote their initiatives.

Wide social networks of students and alumni from different countries are created and supported by such societies that all have their unique culture of work and entertainment. The ISA functions for their development and preservation.

How to join us?

We have a lot of interesting tasks: ensuring of media coverage of international and Russian students’ activities, organization of events and meetings with outstanding persons, preparation of presentations, protection of public interests etc. Each student can find something to his taste.

Students who work for the ISA can improve their academic rating for account of social achievements. Those who have achieved great results in their social work have been awarded by the ISA and the MGIMO administration. Heads of national societies and the ISA departments acquire invaluable experience of social work at such respectable organization as the MGIMO-University which is a part of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order to create a new national society you need to find like-minded people and organize a founding meeting. As a rule, you need to invite to such meeting representatives of the embassy of your country, cultural centre (if there is such a centre in Moscow), MGIMO administration and guests from other universities. For example, the Croatian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Neboisha Kokharovich has attended the opening meeting of the MGIMO Croatian Club.


Council of international fraternities Alana Kochieva