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Tomsk History at a Glance

Tomsk is one of Siberia’s oldest cities. It was Russia’s frontier back in 1604, much like trading outposts of the Hudson Bay Company in the Canadian prairies. Before construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, it played a key role as a trading and transport hub. Its fortunes ebbed when the Trans-Siberian railway line sidestepped the city in the late 19th century, favoring rival city of Novosibirsk about fifty kilometers to the South. However, the establishment of Tomsk Technological Institute of Emperor Nicholas II (TPU) and other institutes boosted development of the city as an education and research center. In the USSR, the city was renamed and became one of the research centers in nuclear and military fields, petroleum industry, physics, and others. After the USSR dissolution, the city became more transparent for international collaboration in various areas. Nowadays Tomsk is the administrative center of the Tomsk region, a fast developing city with solid academic and research facility. There are six universities, about 50 R&D centers, research institutes, and think tanks. The city total population is about 550,000 and about 85,000 of them is students. The number of PhDs and doctors of sciences is the greatest throughout Russia.

Student city

Tomsk is a student city! It occupies the 74th position among the QS World Best Student Cities ranking. Every 6th person here is a student, the larger part of the city population either work at the universities and research centers, or at companies connected with the universities operation. Worth saying, that every year the number of international students is increasing, making the city intercultural and transparent. Various places, including nightclubs, pubs and bars, theatres, sports facilities, and others allow students to live their life to the fullest at day and at night. The Tomsk administration strives to improve the urban environment, creating more third places, youth spaces and enhancing the facilities in general. The city crime rate is one of the lowest in the country. The high education level of the city population and effective police work contributes to this. Tomsk is a city for active youth people, bold to move forward and create new.

Unity in diversity  

Tomsk is a bright city! Currently, the students from more than 100 countries study here. Walking down the main streets you can hear English, Chinese, Italian and other languages. The city and universities seek to cultivate an international culture and tolerance; there are various language and culture clubs, supervised by international students and teaching staff, international fairs and exhibition, and others. Many of them are conducted by TPU. Another important moment is religion. There are two mosques, a synagogue, Catholic and Orthodox temples, and others. People of different religions and culture live, work and study next to each other, it allows building mutual understanding and respect.



Tomsk is a cool city! Winters may be harsh. Tomsk barely escapes a subarctic classification with a January daily mean of -17 Celsius (1,4 Fahrenheit) and sometimes the temperature can drop lower. Please check out whether network before scheduling a campus visit in winter months. However, summer can be quite hot. The average temperature in summer is about +19°C (66,2 Fahrenheit), the highest recorded temperature was +37.7°C (99,86 Fahrenheit, July 2004). Be ready for cool winter, hot summer, and warm people!



Tomsk airport is a half-hour away from the downtown area by car and about twice as long by municipal transport – buses leave from a stop 200 meters away from the terminal every half-an-hour. Bus ticket is just 18 rubles, less than twenty-five cents at the current exchange rate. Non-stop flight from Moscow – about 3,500 kilometers away – is about four hours.

Official Portal of the city of Tomsk

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