The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is raging across the globe. National governments are employing Lockdowns and strict security measures. At the same time, states are evacuating their citizens residing in foreign countries.
A large part of citizens that remains in foreign countries is students studying under student exchange and cooperative programmes. Russia is no different. Furthermore, many foreign students there is citizens of European countries (France, Italy, Belgium and others). Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), Moscow State University (MGU) are well-known strongholds of the foreign student community in Russia.
When the crisis in Europe became especially acute, foreign universities that sent own students to Russia demanded their students to return to their home countries. This demand was supported by foreign diplomatic missions that also ‘strongly advised’ students to leave Russia. However, according to sources in the student community, these demands found no support among the foreign student community. Citizens of EU member states were not hurrying up to leave the safety and security of Russia to the hotspot of the COVID-19 crisis. Using the opportunity to prolong their visas (the process for foreigners remaining in Russia was eased because of the COVID-19 situation), they opted to remain in Russia en mass.
Many of students united to rent houses near Moscow, where they continue working on their research papers, while another part in the best traditions of post-apocalyptic movies left Moscow towards the less-populated parts of the country, like Siberia.
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