Addressing the issue of youth's personal and professional development, taking into account their value orientations and psychological characteristics of their activity, seems to be relevant to the modern world's challenges. Cultural dimensions are believed to be the very factors that can contribute to a better understanding of the interplay between personal and environmental aspects when analysing the problem of high quality human resource development. The paper presents a cross-cultural study on cultural values characterising socio-economic and cultural settings of two countries and university students' basic values and parameters of their personal potential in the context of their activity. 307 university students from Tomsk (Russia) and 295 university students from Karaganda (Kazakhstan) participated in the study. The research tools involved a number of questionnaires aimed at exploring cultural dimensions, subjective evaluation of realisation of basic values in the urban environment and parameters of personal potential as factors of one's psychological system of activity. The study results revealed a number of statistically significant differences among the study participants. First, there was a difference in some cultural values, namely individualism, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation. Second, university students from Kazakhstan higher evaluated their urban environment in the context of possibility to realise their basic values. Third, the study participants from Kazakhstan showed higher scores in such parameters of their psychological system of activity as purposefulness, satisfaction with life, need for autonomy as well as the achievement and affiliation scales. Russian university students had higher scores in reflection which is a significant factor of one's self-determination. The results obtained are discussed in the context of modern youth's personal and professional development in a specific socio-economic and cultural environment.