Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It borders Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. The geography of Mongolia is varied, with the Gobi Desert to the south and with cold and mountainous regions to the north and west. Citigroup analysts determined Mongolia to be one of Global Growth Generators countries which are countries with the most promising growth prospects for 2010–2050.
Mongolia, the 19th largest country in the world, shares a border with Russia to the north and the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia along its east, south, and west borders. Ulaanbaatar (also Ulan Bator), the nation’s capital city, is where 45% of the nation’s 2,892,876 residents (2013 census) lives.
Life in Mongolia
It’s cold in Mongolia. Really cold! Mongolia’s mountains in the north give way to high-altitude desert that spans the southern half. Ulaanbaatar, where most international students attend school, sits at the foothills where the Gobi Desert meets the mountains and claims title for the coldest national capital in the world; its average annual temperature is just 0°C / 32°F. Winters are very long and very cold; frostbite is a very common occurrence. Summers are short and can get quite warm in some locations. Either season, it’s almost always sunny in Mongolia, where there is an average of 257 days of cloud-free skies.
Mongolia claims another international distinction - most sparsely populated of the world’s independent nations, with only 4.79 people per square mile. Roughly 95% of the population is ethnic Mongolian and about 30% live a nomadic lifestyle that’s changed little in centuries. The breeding of livestock is the income base for 305 of all Mongolian households. About 40% of the nation’s population (2,892,876) lives in Ulaanbaatar, where the population of 2008 was 1,340,000.
Mongolia is a nation of young people, with 59% of the people younger than age 30. About 27% of the population is younger than 14.
Analysts for CitiGroup list Mongolia as a Global Growth Generator, meaning it shows “most promising” growth prospects for the period from 2010 to 2050. It’s major industry - mining - generates 80% of its exports. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997. There are 27.7 physicians and 75.7 hospital beds per every 10,000 inhabitants.
Helpful Information about Mongolia
- People drive on the right-hand side of the road but there are few roads in Mongolia. Most roads are gravel or little more than cross-country tracks.
- The Trans-Mongolia Railway is the main transportation link between Mongolia and neighboring countries.
- The Chinggis Khaan International Airport is in Ulaanbaatar.
- Ulaanbaatar has the second highest concentration of fine particle air pollution in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
- Russian is the predominant language, with English the second most common.
- Mongolians are highly literate, boasting a literacy rate of 98%.
Study in Mongolia
Higher Education in Mongolia
Mongolia boasts 178 college and university campuses in 2003, only 48 of which were public. Mongolian public schools are reputably better than its private schools, attracting 98,031 public students enrolled in higher education programs versus only 31,197 in private enrollment.
Mongolia’s long, rich history and cultural diversity provide an ideal environment to study international relations as they’ve evolved over time. The nation’s natural resources provide an excellent backdrop for engineering studies specializing in minerals, coal, and petroleum while local geography brings unique experiences to students of geology.
Over the course of time, Mongolia has been ruled by invaders from many lands, including China and Russia, each one introducing a new language. This multilingual history is evident today in the many languages spoken, a situation students of language will find rewarding.
Tibetan Buddhism is a way of life for 53% of all Mongolians over the age of 15, making this an ideal location for in-depth study of the religion and other Asian philosophies.
The National University of Mongolia (NUM) and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) lead the way to higher education in Mongolia. Both schools have main campuses in Ulaanbaatar with branches in other parts of the country.
One third of Mongolia’s college graduates graduated from NUM, the older of the two main universities, founded in 1942. In 2006, approximately 12,000 students were enrolled, including 2,000 graduate students. Since 1995, NUM has offered 80 degree programs at the bachelor, master, and doctorate levels, with most courses taught in the Mongolian language. Students enjoy cooperative study agreements between NUM and 129 academic / research facilities around the world.
The remaining two thirds of Mongolia’s graduates attended MUST, founded in 1959. This school enjoys cooperative study agreements with 100 research and academic centers throughout the world. MUST ranked #7 in 2002 for the list of Asia’s top universities for science and technology. The school offers 3,500 courses in 134 degree programs at the bachelor and master levels. Each of the school’s two semesters per year consist of 16 weeks of teaching followed by 1.5 weeks of examination.
Mongolia’s graduates excel in jobs in the mining, coal, and petroleum industries as well as the nation’s burgeoning high technology movement. It’s location between two of the world’s superpowers make international studies a highly desirable career path, too.
To enroll as an international student in Mongolia, all documentation must be processed three months before school starts. Required documentation includes an application, a medical form complete with results of an HIV/AIDS test, passport allowing three years of study, a diploma, and three photos.