The Kazan School of Oriental Studies is one of the oldest schools of Oriental Studies in Russia. The study of Oriental languages was written down in the Charter of Kazan Imperial University in 1804. The official foundation year of the Kazan School of Oriental Studies was 1807, and its founder was Professor Christian Martin Joachim von Frahn (1782 - 1851).

Such renowned scholars as A. Kazem-Bek (1802 - 1870), F. Erdman (1773 - 1863), I. Berezin (1818 - 1896), I. Gotvald (1813 - 1897), O.M. Kovalevsky (1800 - 1878) and N. Katanov (1898-1914) made their scientific and educational contributions to the establishment and continuous development of Oriental studies in Kazan University in the XIX century.

In the XX century the glorious traditions of Kazan Oriental School were continued by professors M. Makhmutov (1926-2008), M. Nugmanov (1912-1976), and Tumasheva (1926-2006). In 2000 the Institute of Oriental Studies of Kazan State University was established and Professor G. Zainullin became its first director. Such eminent orientalists as A. Halidov and M. Usmanov worked at the Institute.

Institute of Oriental Studies and International Relations was set up in 2011 as the successor to the pre-existing structures of the University of Kazan dealing with Oriental Studies and International Relations.

 Institute of Oriental Studies and International Relations of the Kazan Federal University is the «successor» of the glorious academic traditions of the world-famous Kazan School of Oriental Studies.

Being focused on the latest trends and demands of modern society the Institute of Oriental Studies and International Relations has become a result of expertise and knowledge of leading international and Russian scientific and educational institutions of major areas of oriental studies and international relations.

While setting its priorities the Institute understands that the «geopolitical component of the university is connected both to the study of the culture and history of the Eastern countries, contribution to state interests in the East through international activities of the country as well as supporting the cultural of tolerance ...» (from the Development Program of Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University).

In light of this, the priority activities and development strategies of the Institute of Oriental Studies and International Relations at KFU are Oriental Studies, Regional and International Relations and Intercultural Communication. Respectively, the current structure of the Institute consists of three departments: Department of Oriental Philology, Department of Foreign Area Studies, Department of International Relations, nine chairs and eleven centers.

The staff of the Institute consists of 71 people among which 2/3 are Full Professors and PhDs. The number of students is about 750.