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Tatarstan-Russia (TaMSA-Tatarstan) - Kazan

Anna Firsova
Elnara Garaeva
Elina Rashitova
NORE Tatarstan
On behalf of TaMSA-Tatarstan team we have the pleasure to welcome you to our beautiful city of Kazan! As a participant of a clinical and research exchange program you will be exposed to the Healthcare System and the system of Medical Education of the Russian Federation. We strive to provide you with the best possible educational experience enriched with cultural traditions of our region. We hope that you will enjoy your 4-week long clinical rotation here at Kazan State Medical University and return home with great memories and knowledge.

1.    General Information Kazan and the Republic of Tatarstan 


Tatarstan is a Federal Subject of the Russian Federation

Area: 67,837 (26,254.9 sq.mi). Territory extends 290 km from N to S & 460 km from W to E.

Capital: Kazan. Kazan is located 793 km away from Moscow

Location: At the center of Russia on the East European plain, at the junction of the Volga and Kama rivers and confluence of the major highways connecting E, W, N, S of Russia.

Relief: Flat, 9/10 of its territory is at height no more than 200 m above the sea level.

There are 43 districts and 14 cities in Tatarstan.

Established: May 27, 1920

Political status: Federative Republic

Federal district & Economic region: Volga Region

Population - 3,786,488 (as of the 2010 Census)

Official languages - Russian, Tatar

The Head of the Republic of Tatarstan is the President – Rustam Minnikhanov.

Natural resources: mineral raw material and considerable mineral stock (petroleum, natural bitumen, coal, firm nonmetallic minerals, fresh and mineral underground waters).

Economy: Republic of Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed states of Russia. 36% of the Russian manufacture of polyethylene, 44% of isoprene rubber, 33 % of tires and almost half (48 %) of Russian truck tires are produced by the Republic’s petrochemical enterprises. The leading branches of the mechanical engineering are the motor industry (KAMAZ), aircraft engineering and instrument making. Tatarstan is also one of the leaders on volume of agricultural production in Russia.


City Day: August 30

Capital of the Republic of Tatarstan

Area: 425.2 (164.2 sq.mi)

Location: in the northwest of Tatarstan in the place of junction of Volga and Kazanka rivers.

Distance from Moscow: 1h 10min by plane, 11 hours by train or 5 days by ship. Approximately 800 km (500 mi)

Time zone: Moscow time (GMT+03:00).

Population: 1,169 millions inhabitants (as of the 2012 Census)

Founded: 1005

Historical dates:    Mentioned in chronicle 1177

                                    Capital of Khanate since 1438

                                    Conquered by Russia 1552

                                    Capital of Tatarstan since 1920

Postal code: 420xxx

Dialing code: +7-843-………….

Kazan is included into the UNESCO World Heritage Cities list.


Health System in Russia

Information on the healthcare system in Russia, from seeking medical treatment to getting covered for health insurance…

Basic medical care, including emergency services, is provided free to every person in the country. The quality of public healthcare is lower than in most advanced countries and English-speaking doctors are not often available, but in the largest cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, there are plenty of private options.

Foreign nationals visiting Russia or staying temporarily in the country may only have access to public healthcare if there is a reciprocal agreement between the country of origin and Russia. This is mainly only the case for UK citizens, who are entitled to free, limited medical treatment in state hospitals as part of a reciprocal agreement between the two countries. In other cases, private travel insurance needs to be arranged before travelling.

Expats living in Russia with a residency permit are eligible for the same public healthcare as a Russian citizen. However, it is a legal requirement of residency in the country for foreign nationals to have a health insurance policy, and it is advisable to take out a comprehensive policy with a reputable company. It is common practice for expats to visit private clinics and hospitals for check-ups, routine healthcare and dental care, and only use public services in case of an emergency.

The following sections include information about both public and private health care, health insurance and locating a doctor or pharmacy.

The State System For the state healthcare fund employees and employers pay around 2 to 3 percent of wages to a social tax and then a small percentage of that money goes into the healthcare fund. Dependant family members are covered by the contributions paid by employed family members. The unemployed, old age pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit are also entitled to free health, with the state covering their contribution. Vulnerable groups are not exempt from fees payable directly to doctors, which again makes healthcare virtually impossible, for them. The self employed must pay their own contributions in full. Foreigners immigrating to Russia without jobs must produce proof of private health insurance in order to obtain their residence permit.

Private Healthcare The state fund covers a basic healthcare package; however citizens who can afford private insurance can ensure that they receive the best medical care available. Private medical services include treatment by specialists, hospitalisation, prescriptions, pregnancy and childbirth and rehabilitation.

Few can afford this option and those in dire need of good medical care may be forced to take out private insurance; for example a retired pensioner, is entitled to free health care in at least one institution. If the treatment given in that institution is not satisfactory, he must decide whether to spend five years of pension allowance on a single year of healthcare.


Kazan State Medical University — One of the most famous and most respected centers of medical education, science, and culture in the Russian Federation, the roots of which go deep into its glorious history. We are proud of the teaching staff and graduates of our University, who have made a significant contribution to global and domestic medicine. We strive to be worthy of our history, are confidently working in the present, and are optimistic about the future.


  • General Medicine
  • Pediatric
  • Dental
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Management and Graduate Nursing Education
  • Social Workers
  • Biomedical Physics
  • Biomedical Chemistry


Directly to Kazan

There are direct flights from Frankfurt-Main, Munich, Prague, Istanbul and Dubai to Kazan, but these routes are more expensive than traveling through Moscow.


is located around 15-20 kilometers from Kazan. But there are regular buses, which can take you from airport to the city.    

 Via Moscow

The trip from Moscow to Kazan can either be made by plane (from Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports) or by train (from Kazanskiy railway station in Moscow). The train trip lasts around 12 hours and is designed to let you sleep overnight and wake up in Kazan at 7 in the morning the next day. Train is very useful and usually a very comfortable way to travel across Russia.

The most convenient train is called “Tatarstan”. (Train tickets Moscow - Kazan - Moscow - $ 150). Flight prices from Moscow to Kazan normally start at 4000 RUR, while train tickets start at 800 RUR.

Individuals who plan to travel to Kazan through Moscow should note that, if their plane or train arrives to Moscow in the morning, it is possible to leave for Kazan on the same day. Otherwise, it will be necessary to stay in Moscow overnight.


is located downtown, near Kremlin and central stadium.

 Kazan is one of the main stations of the Transsiberian Railway, in a distance of 793 Km east of Moscow.

From Kazan you can travel to different cities of Russia, to Moscow and St.Peterburg for example.

To book your tickets in advance (recommended) you can visit or and browse for available times and price ranges.

Purchase Kazan Train Tickets On Your Own

  • Substitute the bold description (in brackets), with your train information. (See Kazan train schedules and itineraries below for further information).
  • Translate the information using Google Translator.
  • Print and give the translated version to the lady selling tickets at the Kazan train station "service center".


There are municipal tramways, trolleybuses and red buses (more used).

NB! The lines of Kazan bus transportation you can see on the,,, (It is on Russian, but not difficult to understand).

A single-line Kazan Metro, the north-southeast Central Line, opened on 27 August 2005. The Kazan Metro now has only seven stations, but it is to be extended.


There are great amount of different private taxi companies in Kazan. The easiest way to get a taxi is to call by one of this phone numbers:

1. Taxi-Tatarstan (843) 567-1-567;

2. Premium-taxi (843) 258-08-47;

3. Premier-taxi (843)246-58-38;

4. FM-taxi (843)555-52-52;

5. Trial-taxi (843) 2-775-775. 295-15-95;



The Social Program/Weekly schedule

events with determined dates



Orientation meeting in Kazan State Medical University.


This is our usual round-table with all foreign students, where you will have a chance to meet the Vice-rector on International Affairs and the TaMSA-Team, and you will receive our Welcome Package.


Welcome party.

It will probably be the first time we meet all together, so this will be a good opportunity to break the ice and begin a relationship that will last, for at least the whole month of July, but it is going to last longer for sure!


1. Mysteries of Kazan history

 We have organized a small tour around the famous sites in the city of Kazan.

We’ll visit Bauman Street, our Kremlin, we’ll finish our sightseeing with nice lunch in stylized Restaurant of National Food.


Small National Food and Drinking party

It will be nice day of international food and drinks also, so we will try all possible drinks from different countries. Also you will need to cook something national and present for everybody your food and drink. We will spend great time all together!


Raifa Monastery excursion

 Raifa Monastery (in the village of Raifa, 40 km from Kazan) is a saint place with its own legends and miracles. Every day lots of tourists come to the Raifa Monastery to pray to the wonder-working icon of Mother of God of Georgia. The Monastery also has a saint spring, which gives people health and spiritual power.

It is located within a forest reserve, so we will be able to breathe fresh air, to drink clean water from spring and to enjoy wonderful nature of our country.


Goluboe ozero (Blue lake)

Wonderful lake with clearest blue salty water with temperature 3-5 C during the whole year even in winter! Don’t forget your swimming suits and bring lunch with you.


Bolgar city excursion

On the bank of  Volga river, thirty miles below the mouth of Kama river is one of the great monuments of our cultural heritage - Bulgarian settlement - the capital of one of the earliest state associations in Eastern Europe. Bolgar was a political, economic and cultural center of the Volga-Kama Bulgaria nation. There was a rate of Khan, minted coins, developed crafts.


Bye-Bye party

It will be our last party; there you can tell about your experiences and impressions in Kazan.


Excursion to village “Tukay-Kirlay”

Village “Tukay-Kirlay” - birthplace of famous Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay



Events with non-fixed dates (usually on weekdays)


1. Museums

- Soviet Culture Museum

- Historical Museum of Kazan Federal University (paid activity, to be announced)

- Kazan Hermitage (paid activity, to be announced)

- Victory Park

- Anatomical Theater of the Human Anatomy Department of KSMU

- Skydiving (paid activity, to be announced)


2. Sport activities

- Football/Volleyball

- Bicycle trip around the city (paid activity, to be announced)

- Horse riding (paid activity, to be announced)


3. Music events

- Jazz-club “Crossroads of Jazz” (every Thursday-Sunday evening – 80 RUR for live music+beverages and food)

- Guinness pub with live rock-music


4. Other entertainment events

- Evening of Russian movies&cartoons (free activities, you are expected to bring beverages and snacks)

- Evening of Slavic History

- Karaoke-bar

- Bowling

- Aqua-park

- Ice skating in Rivera indoor ice arena


Main historic and touristic sites to visit

KAZAN KREMLIN: The ‘heart of Kazan’ is located on the hill over the Kazanka River and the chief historic citadel of the city. It was built on behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans. In the first half of the 16th century the Kazan Kremlin was a white-stone fortress, before that the massive oak walls had defended the outpost.

There is a whole range of architectural monuments on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin, among them are the Syuyumbike Tower, Governor’ Palace (current residence of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan), archeological remains of one of the most representative buildings of the complex of the khan's court that were turned into museums, khan's mosque and tombs of Kazan khans dating back to the 15th-16th centuries. The Kul Sharif Mosque and Annunication Cathedral stand side by side inside the Kazan Kremlin and represent a perfect example of a peaceful coexistance between two religious confessions.

Suyumbike Tower: The brightest architectural jewel standing out from the whole ensemble of Kremlin, seven storey’s and 58 meters high – the spiritual symbol and pride of Kazan. It takes its name from the last queen of Kazan, Suyumbika.

Legend about Suyumbike: They say, that Ivan The Terrible, found out about the fantastic beauty of the Suyumbike and made a formal proposal of marriage to her. But proud and beautiful tsarina refused him, so Ivan the Terrible decided to use the force – and with numerous troops he besieged the city. To save the city inhabitants Suyumbike agreed to marry him if he builds the highest tower in Kazan within 7 days. They set down to work. At the end of the 7th day the tower was ready. Suyumbike ascended the highest floor of the tower and threw herself on the ground. So she killed herself, not wishing to marry the odious tsar. The Tatar people named the tower in honour of its glorious daughter. Thus its only the legend, it is known for certain that Suyumbike was married Safa-Girey khan, and after his expulsion from Kazan new khan Shah-Ali took Suyumbike to the town of Kasimov where she slowly lived out her days.


Kul-Sharif mosque was built in the Kazan Kremlin in the 16th century. It was named after Qol


People of Kazan

The population of Tatarstan is one of the most multinational in Russia: the representatives of over 115 nationalities live here. Along with the Tatars who comprise 52.9 % from the population total number, and the Russians comprising 39.5 % of the population. Total population of Tatarstan comprises 3.8 million people. 1.2 million live in Kazan.

Religion & language: The traditional faiths are Sunnism Islam and Christianity.  State languages are Russian and Tatar.

National cuisine: The original Tatar national cuisine was developed in the course of centuries-long history. Tatar cuisine, which took in the culinary traditions of the Bulgars, Tatars, Russians, the influence of East and Europe, is rich with various dishes of daily and celebratory dinner. Long since Tatars were engaged in farming and animal breeding, and it contributed to the domination of flour, meat and milk dishes in food.

Soups and broths (shulpa) had a primary importance for Tatars. Meat, cereal dishes and potato appear in the traditional Tatar cuisine as seconds. Meat boiled in a broth, cut into small flat slices, sometimes slightly extinguished in oil with onion, carrot and pepper, is often served for seconds.

Tatars always gave a great importance to a batch, skillfully baked pies from sour, barmy, fresh, simple and fancy dough. The most traditional and simple pie is kystyby, it is a combination of fresh dough with a couscous and potato mash. Balish, made from fresh dough with mincemeat from slices of rich meat (mutton, beef, goose meat, duck meat) with potato is considered to be the most favorite and not less traditional. It can be made both big and small sizes. Echpochmak (triangle, shown above left), peremyach with mincemeat from hash meat with onions refer to the same category of food. The most known Tatar sweet is chak-chak (honey nuts). It serves with racy tea "po-kazanski".

Holidays: Holidays in Kazan coincide with the Russian calendar, except religious holidays and the Day of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Day of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan.
 New Year's holidays last 10 days – January, 1-10. 
 Defender of the Fatherland Day – February, 23.
 The International Women's Day – March, 8.
 Holiday of Spring and Labor –May, 1. 
 The Victory Day – May, 9.
 The Day of Russia – June, 12.
 The Day of the Republic of Tatarstan – August, 30.
 The National Unity Day – November, 4.
 The Anniversary of October Revolution, the Day of Accord and Reconciliation - November, 7.
 The Day of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan – November, 6.
 The Day of the Constitution of the Russian Federation – December, 12.
 All these mentioned holidays are non-working days. If holiday coincide with the non-working day, the non-working day is transferred on next to the holiday working day.
 Religious holidays:

Russian Orthodox Christmas – January, 7.
 “Kurban-bayram” – a Muslim holy day, the exact date of which is estimated according to the lunar calendar and annually is established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan not later than three months before it comes.
 Religious holidays are also non-working days.
 On the occasion of finishing of the spring-field works the national holiday “Sabantuy” (photo on right). The exact date of carrying out of this holiday is annually established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.


Weather and climate specifics

The climate of Kazan is moderate-continental with warm summer and frosty winter. The Kazan city landscapes are attractive all four seasons. Make sure that you take warm winter clothes if you are going to stay in Kazan between November and April. The swimming season starts in May or early June. In September you will enjoy a marvellous “golden autumn”.

Winter – Spring: The average temperature in January is -14°C (7°F). Frosts can reach -30°C (-22°F), but it happens very seldom. The winter lasts about five months and sets approximately in mid November. Usually spring lasts for two months. By the end of spring the temperature reaches +5-10°C.