Xi'an International Studies University is one of the first four foreign language colleges established in New China, and it is the only general college in Northwest China with complete major foreign languages. In 1951, with the approval of the Ministry of Education of the Central People's Government, the Russian Department of Lanzhou University College of Letters, the Russian Division of the Department of Foreign Languages of Northwest University, and the Department of Russian Studies merged to form the predecessor of Xi'an International Studies University—Northwest Russian College. In 1952, the Russian language class of the Party School of the Northwest Bureau of the Communist Party of China was merged into the Northwest Russian Language College and began to train foreign language talents at the undergraduate level for the country.
In 1958, it was renamed Xi'an International Studies University. It began to recruit graduate students in 1979 and was approved by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council in 1986 to become a master's degree authorization unit. In 2006, approved by the Ministry of Education, the school was renamed Xi'an International Studies University. In 2011, it was listed by the Shaanxi Provincial People's Government as a key high-level university during the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" period. In January 2013, it was approved by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council as a doctoral degree-granting unit and was granted the right to confer doctoral degrees in foreign language and literature. Approved as a post-doctoral research mobile station in 2014. After nearly 70 years of construction and development, the school has evolved from a single foreign language college to a multidisciplinary foreign language that highlights the characteristics of foreign language education and humanities and social sciences, with the humanities as the main body, and the coordinated development of social, management, and science. The transformation of universities is an important training base for foreign language talents in the western part of the country, and it plays an irreplaceable role in the field of foreign language education, teaching, and research in the northwest.