Top USU priorities include realization of joint educational programs in cooperation with a number of higher educational institutions from the USA and Germany, including Wesleyan College (Macon, Georgia), Shenandoah University (Winchester, Virginia), East Tennessee University (Johnson City, Tennessee) www.etsu.edu, Osnabrueck University (Germany), Duisburg-Essen University (Germany). Over the last three years the exchanges have provided study abroad opportunities to about 50 students from Russian-American and Russian-German faculties.
Since 2001, USU has arranged summer cultural-academic programs for students, faculty and administrators from foreign partner institutions. The time in Ulyanovsk, which provides visiting students with insights into various aspects of life in Russia, is typically counted toward their degree. All in all, USU has conducted 10 programs for 165 foreign guests.
In 1999, USU became a cofounder of Italian-Russian Institute of Research and Education, which provided many students and faculty members with a chance to participate in international summer schools hosted each year by a different member institution.
Since 2007, USU has successfully implemented faculty exchange programs with Jiangnan and Heilongjian universities in China. The former has for several years hosted a USU choreography teacher, while the latter annually sends to USU a post-graduate philology student to serve as a guest teacher for the Chinese language course, which is offered free of charge to USU linguistics majors, thanks to continuing support of Chinese Ministry of Education.
In April 2012, USU signed an agreement for a joint Russian-Indian International MBA Program with JARO Institute of Technology, Management and Research (Mumbai). JARO Education is a company which provides services in the field of education, including professional and vocational training and development in India and across the world via web-based and classroom-based instruction. The agreement's purpose is to provide a framework for academic exchange and joint MBA training of working professionals in India and other Asian countries, including OAE, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South-African Republic, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, Vietnam, Thailand, Bahrain, Cambodia, Burma and the Philippines.
In September 2015, USU signed an agreement with the New Era Educational Consultants with the purpose of recruiting Indian citizens for studies at USU in Bachelor's, Master's and Specialist's programs.
Among recent developments is participation in Oxford Russia Fund programs, which annually provides scholarships for USU humanities majors.
USU has for ten years successfully collaborated with Wesleayn College in Macon, Georgia, building a network of academic, business, cultural, medical and philanthropic relationships, which continue to benefit the communities of Ulyanovsk and Macon, sister cities since 2005.
The sister city agreement between Macon and Ulyanovsk became the culmination of more than five years of negotiations spearheaded by Wesleyan College and USU.
Since 2005, USU student and teacher performers have annually received an invitation from the Board of Directors of the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon to represent Russia at this major event, which takes place every spring and celebrates peace, beauty and international friendship. Although the festival traditionally does not extend an invitation more than once, USU performers have showcased their talents at three Cherry Blossom celebrations.
Another collaborative project involves assistance to children’s homes and special needs schools in Ulyanovsk region and Georgia. Since 2005, the partner institutions have brought together Russian and American child care providers to share positive experience and focus on common issues of concern. The funds raised both in the USA and Russia over this period have helped meet the most urgent needs of hundreds of less fortunate children.
The most recent initiative undertaken by USU and Wesleyan College is intended to help establish contacts between Russian and American medical professionals involved in cancer control. Being one of Russia’s leaders in providing palliative care, Ulyanovsk has several specialized institutions working in this field, including a regional hospice and a regional cancer hospital, which are at the moment developing joint projects with the largest non-profit cancer battling organization, the American Cancer Society.
For over 10 years USU has enjoyed a strong relationship with the German-Russian Friendship Society in Krefeld, a sister-city of Ulyanovsk. The German partners have offered generous financial, material and technical assistance and helped arrange internships for USU students with major German companies.
The university continues to provide translation assistance to city administrations of Ulyanovsk and Krefeld, which exchange regular visits as part of their close collaboration.
USU theater majors have for a few years enjoyed the opportunity to visit the sister city to perform and attend master-classes at the invitation of Krefeld city council.
Thanks to German-Russian Friendship Society in Krefeld and German Embassy in Russia, USU got a chance to invite a representative of DAAD, German academic exchanges council, who will stay on the campus for two academic years and oversee preparation for DHS, German as a foreign language exam.
One of the most significant international activities that USU has been engaged in for over a decade is the regional “Hospice and Palliative care” program supported by “Health Prom”. USU’s commitment to raising healthcare standards has contributed greatly to making Ulyanovsk region one of the major palliative care providers in Russia.
USU faculty members engaged in medical research are active participants of the anti tobacco campaign conducted by European Respiratory Society. Another research project in medicine is carried out jointly with the neurology hospital of Heine University (Dusseldorf) and the neurology institute of Russian Academy of Sciences.
A number of research projects in the field of mathematics and IT are being successfully implemented in cooperation with Jyvaskyla University (Finland) and Texas Technical University (USA). Additionally, USU is discussing with the latter the possibility of arranging annual internship and traineeship opportunities for its students and faculty on the Texas Tech campus.
USU research center in sociology “Region” has since 1993 worked in close partnership with the University of Birmingham, implementing among other things regular post-graduate student exchanges. Besides Great Britain, “Region” staff enjoy traineeship opportunities with partner institutions in Germany, Italy, Belgium. Currently, the researchers are exploring such issues as youth cultures, lifestyles, gender and multiculturalism as part of projects supported by European Commission and a variety of international foundations.
Over the last three years USU has signed cooperative agreements with the University of Palermo (Italy), Hochschule Niederrhein (Germany), Masaryk University (Chech Republic), Hunan Normal University (China People’s Republic), Utemisov West-Kazakhstan State University (Republic of Kazakhstan), East Tennessee University (USA), La Grange College (USA), Freiberg Technical University Bergacademie (Germany), Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Southwest Oil University of China (Chengdu, pr. Sichuan), Sichuan University (Chengdu, pr. Sichuan), Hunan Pedagogical University (city of Changsha, pr. Hunan), Anhui University (Hefei, pr. Anhui), Anhui University of Medicine (Hefei, pr. Anhui), the University of Dzhangnan (Wuxi, pr. Jiangsu), Heilongjiang University (Harbin, pr. Heilongjiang), Handan University (Handan, pr. Hebei), Zhengzhou University (Zhengzhou, pr. Henan), Tongji University (Shanghai).
The first international students were enrolled in USU undergraduate study programs in 1991, residency training programs – in 1999, post-graduate programs – in 2004. At the moment USU has about 200 international students from 30 countries of the world.
Since 2000, USU has hosted an affiliate of the National Russian Language Test Center, which administers Russian language tests and issues official certificates to foreign citizens.