International relations of Sumy State University have been developing during its existence and became more systematic since 1991, when the Department for Work with Foreign Citizens was opened on the basis of the Preparatory Department for Foreign Citizens. The first foreign students that came to study at Sumy State University were citizens from Palestine, Syria and Jordan.

In April 2009, the Faculty for work with foreign citizens was reorganized into the Department of International Education.

Today about 1,700 foreign students study at Sumy State University. At the present time, international students from more than 52 countries study at Sumy State University, in particular from Europe (UK, Norway, Romania, Poland), South America (Ecuador, Brazil), Asia (Turkey, Afghanistan, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, China, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Bangladesh, Israel), Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, DR Congo, Egypt, Zambia, Cameroon, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia), the CIS (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).

In July 2009, SumDU Medical Institute entered the list of the higher education institutions of the World Health Organization Database (Avicenna Directories).

Nowadays SumDU includes 6 institutes and 3 faculties. Teaching in English is conducted in 47 educational programs.

International students take an active part in academic competitions, are engaged into scientific work, make reports at the scientific and practical conferences of the University and other higher education establishments of Ukraine, publish their works in scientific journals. Foreign citizens, if desired, can continue their studies in post-graduate programmes (doctorate programme).

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