The article analyses short-term student mobility. In the context of internationalisation of higher education and the development of the global market of educational services universities develop and implement short-term programmes of student mobility in order to recruit international students. These programmes are less restricted than full time programmes, which allows them to meet the needs and expectations of students. International experience gained as a result gives them the opportunity to choose their path in postgraduate education in institutions abroad. A questionnaire survey of the Chinese students participating in the short-term student mobility programmes (n=31) is reported. In addition, a number of interviews with the staffwhose work is connected with teaching overseas students (n=5) was conducted in 2019. The findings of this research may demonstrate that Chinese students intend to become familiar with an additional set of common cultural competences. In other words, their interest in Russia, its history, culture, traditions and customs is becoming a strong motivation in choosing a university and a short-term educational programme. It could be the case that low language proficiency, bureaucracy, (namely, difficulties in acquiring the necessary paperwork and being accommodated in a hall of residence) become hurdles on the way to completing such a programme successfully. While developing programmes, host universities should be guided by common cultural competences in order to promote further development of short-term student mobility.