The city of Niznhy Novgorod was founded in 1221 and is situated 400km north-east of Moscow. With a population of 1.5 million people, it is Russia’s third largest city. Unlike Moscow and St. Petersburg, with large numbers of Westerners, Nizhny Novgorod offers insights into life in Russia’s heartland. Located at the strategic confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers, Nizhny Novgorod, in previous centuries, was a commercial hub of Russia. Today it is the “test site” for democratic reform and free market initiatives.
Nizhny Novgorod is an important transportation center. It has railway and air connections with all significant cities of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.). Overnight trains to Moscow and St. Petersburg are very convenient. Within the city is a broad public transportation network. The main routes connect the center of the city (a triangle formed by Minin, Gorky and Svoboda Squares), with residential and industrial districts.
Visitors to Nizhny Novgorod are usually astonished at the abundance of snow and low temperatures that are so common during the winter season. Here the snow does not usually thaw until March, and only in April does spring really begin. May, August and September, are probably the best months to visit the city. Summer is hot and humid with occasional showers; the temperature rarely exceeds 86°F. Early fall is rather warm, while October is usually rainy and November gradually turns into winter.
Nizhny Novgorod is a peaceful and harmonious city with a multicultural community which makes it an ideal environment for students. The city practices freedom of religious beliefs that is protected by the Constitution.