Novosibirsk State University is one of the top three Russian universities. The special qualities of the University are: exceptional student/ professor ratio, close links to the many research institutes of Akademgorodok and an active and constructive social life facilitated by many clubs, organizations and activities. In 1957, Kruschev selected Novosibirsk as the site for the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. This led to the construction of Akademgorodok (the Academic City).
Akademgorodok is unique in that it is located in the center of a majestic birch and pine forest and on the shore of the Ob Sea, a man-made reservoir on the great Siberian river Ob. The city's population currently stands at over 100,000.
Located within Akademgorodok is Novosibirsk State University (NSU), 35 research institutes, an agricultural academy, medical academy, apartment houses and cottages, and a variety of community amenities including stores, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and cafes, cinemas, clubs and libraries. The House of Scientists (Dom Uchonykh), a social center of Akademgorodok, hosts a library containing 100,000 volumes - Russian classics, modern literature and also many American, British, French, German, Polish books and magazines. The House of Scientists also includes a picture gallery, lecture halls and a fine concert hall. The performances given by musical celebrities and theatrical stars in this hall are second to none.
Recreation and athletic facilities include gyms, sportsgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools, ice rinks and skiing centers.
The traditional hospitality of Siberians is well matched by the weather which is a welcome surprise to many visitors. Winters are cold but sunny; summers are short but warm and pleasant. The lifestyle of local people is relaxed. Among favorite pastimes in the summer is gardening at dachas. Many (especially in academic circles) enjoy tourism, mountain climbing, sports and yachting. Living far from international crossroads such as Moscow or St. Petersburg, Siberians are happy to meet people of different cultures and share their experiences with each other.
Considered the business center of Siberia, Novosibirsk is home to the largest Siberian banks, as well as the Siberian Stock and Commodity Exchanges.Aside from business, Novosibirsk has a rich cultural life. Six theatres, a philharmonic orchestra and a musical conservatory are located in the city. The Novosibirsk Opera House (photo left), an architectural marvel in itself, houses two permanent ballet and opera companies known throughout the world.The intellectual community is equally rich and is fostered by more than 16 institutions of higher education.The largest cities in Siberia are Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk and Omsk. Of these, Novosibirsk is the biggest and considered the "capital of Siberia ." Founded in 1893, Novosibirsk's population currently stands at 1.6 million.