For every academic year, dates for submitting applications and sitting entrance examinations are determined by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. Based on these deadlines, universities set their own dates, which are then published on their websites. Therefore, you need to check the application and examination dates on your chosen university’s website or with their international offices. In the 2014-2015 academic year, applications were accepted and examinations sat from 19 June to 24 July.
I want to enroll at the university in Russia. Where do I start?
Are there any age limits for applicants to Russian universities?
Russian laws do not limit the age of university applicants. However, applicants need to have a completed high school or vocational school education.
When does the application process for the Russian government scholarship begin?
The application deadlines for Russian government scholarships are announced annually between December and January. Visit the websites of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia or Rossotrudnichestvo for details.
Different deadlines are set for different regions and countries, taking into account their specific education systems. For instance, in the 2014-2015 academic year, applicants from the CIS countries, the Baltic states, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia were expected to apply by 1 March, applicants from Europe, North and South America – by 1 April, and applicants from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia – by 1 May.
Can I visit Russia on a tourist visa to sit examinations?
In theory, you could use a tourist visa to apply to a university (in this case, you would need to have an invitation from the accepting party – either a hotel or a friend who invited you to stay. Universities issue invitations for student visas only).
However, for any further legal stay in Russia, you still need to obtain a student visa. For this, you need to go back to your country and submit a student visa application there.
To avoid wasting time and money, you are advised to apply for a student visa from the very outset: it is issued for three months, to be further extended within Russia (at the Russian Federal Migration Service office). Applicants from countries with visa requirements to enter Russia should take into account that the process of obtaining an invitation and an entry visa in average takes about 2 months.
Do I need to have my CIS university diploma validated to be accepted into postgraduate programmes in Russia?
Our experts have written detailed instructions “How to legalise an education certificates and diplomas in your country”. Please remember that the preparation of documents is a serious and important procedure; your enrollment in a Russian school greatly depends on it. For detailed information please contact representatives of the Russian university where you are planning to study. (The contact information of each university is published on its official website). Employees of international student relations departments will inform you whether or not you need to undergo a diploma recognition procedure and how exactly you can do it.
Is it difficult to get a scholarship from the Russian government?
Government scholarships are awarded to the most talented students on the basis of their academic merit. The commission looks at your secondary school marks if you apply for a Bachelor’s programme, or at your academic excellence during undergraduate studies if you apply for a Master’s programme.
All the above mentioned will help you to outscore other applicants. If you don’t succeed in getting a scholarship, don’t worry! Consider the option of fee-based education. Costs of education in Russia are much lower than in Europe and in the USA. You can use our search engine to find the right programme for you. See programme descriptions for information about fees and contacts.
How are scholarships (quotas) allocated to countries?
The number of state-funded spots available to a country is driven by intergovernmental agreements. The stronger the collaboration between countries, the more students will be able to study at Russian universities free of charge. For instance, in 2016/17 academic year Vietnam, China and Tajikistan have 855, 830 and 342 spots, respectively, according to Rossotrudnichestvo statistics. Contact your local office of Rossotrudnichestvo or the Russian Embassy to check this year’s allocation to your country.
Russian Government scholarship: how to get it, how to check if you have been admitted, when to expect an invitation?
Please contact your local office of Rossotrudnichestvo (if there is none, please turn to the Russian Embassy) for all matters concerning scholarships, documents required etc. For general questions, you can call +7 (499) 321-54-99 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, electronic forms can be submitted through the Rossotrunichestvo website. You can check if you have been admitted at russia-edu.ru, +7 (495) 134-28-70 or by using the feedback form in the bottom right-hand corner. You will find more information on how to apply for Russian Government scholarships here.
Study in Russia
When does academic year start in Russian universities?
Academic year lasts from 1t of September to 30th of June. There are two semesters: the first one is from 1t of September to 25th of January, the second one is from 9th of February to 30th of June. At the end of each semester students are passing exams. After this they have holidays: 2 weeks in winter (from 25th of January to 9th of February), 2 months in summer (from 1t of July to 30th of August).
Is it true that international students can study for free at Russian universities?
There are several options for foreigners to study for free in Russia. You can participate in an academic competition or apply for a Russian government scholarship. Certain categories of international students may even get their tuition funded by the Russian government.
To learn more, please see A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying and the Study Funded by the Russian Federation section.
How can I study in Russia if I don't know Russian?
Leading Russian universities normally offer Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes in English. To learn more, see the Study in English section.
You can choose to study Russian at the university's international student pre-school or Russian language courses. If you enrol with Russian government funding, you will also be able to study Russian free of charge.
To learn more, see the Life in Russia section on Learning Russian.
What do preparatory departments for international students teach?
Leading Russian universities normally have preparatory departments where international students study for one year. In addition to the Russian language, students study other subjects, depending on the chosen programme, e.g. Maths, Chemistry, or Biology. For English-speaking students, the first lessons are conducted in English.
What's the average cost of studying at a Russian university? Can I pay for my tuition in instalments?
Russian universities are praised for their best price-to-value ratio. Tuition costs vary from 1000 to 6000 US dollars per year and depend on the city and chosen university. Most Russian universities offer the option of paying for tuition by terms.
To learn more about tuition costs, you need to visit each university's website.
Living in Russia
Do I really need to purchase health insurance for the duration of my studies in Russia?
You are strongly advised not to save money at the expense of your health. If you do not purchase health insurance, you will find yourself paying for any healthcare (from a doctor's appointment to treatments) and the cost of medical services in Russia is far from low.
Also, many Russian universities require that their students obtain health insurance as stipulated in the respective university charter. For example, they may refuse you a dormitory place if you do not have health insurance.
To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Healthcare.
Do Russian universities provide their students with dormitory places?
Russian universities may provide their full-time students with dormitory places, if available. For this, students enter into rental contracts, with monthly rates varying from 150 to 5,000 roubles, depending on the city and chosen university.
To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Accommodation.
What is the best currency to bring to Russia?
You need to have some cash to hand for day-to-day expenses. Ideally, you should buy Russian roubles in your own country. Also, you may buy roubles when you arrive in Russia, at airport currency exchanges or banks.
For large sums, such as tuition or accommodation fees, use wire transfer or a bank card. You can pay your tuition fees by transferring money from a bank account in your country directly to the university.
Foreign citizens may also open accounts or get a debit card from a Russian bank. If you receive a scholarship, you need a debit card issued by a Russian bank.
Many international students in Russia use two cards, one issued by their home bank and another by a Russian bank. Russia has a good banking infrastructure and you are unlikely to have any issues with card payments or cash withdrawals.
To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Prices.
Can foreigners study and work in Russia at the same time?
International students can work at the university (or at its organizations) on their free time. In this case you don’t need to take the relevant permit from the Federal Migration Service (FMS). In other cases a permit is required. Permits are issued only to students on full-time courses at state-accredited universities. Students can work only according to the profession specified in the permit, and in the region (city) where their university is located. Read more about work for international students in Russia.
Can I purchase health insurance in my own country?
Foreign companies usually offer tourist healthcare policies which do not cover regular treatment in Russian hospitals. To be able to obtain qualified and prompt medical treatment throughout your studies in Russia, you need to enter into a voluntary health insurance policy with a Russian insurer. For help in arranging health insurance, contact your university's international office.
To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Healthcare.
How much money does an average student spend in Russia? How much do I need to bring with me?
On average, a Russian student spends 300 to 400 US dollars a month. However, you need to have around 300 or 400 dollars for miscellaneous expenses, such as health insurance, household equipment (kitchenware, bed linen, and cleaning items), and certain study materials.