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Applying to Russian University: How to Avoid Problems

Applying to Russian University: How to Avoid Problems

Useful advice to international prospective students: how to submit documents, pay for your study and get Russian visa.

If you decided to study in Russia, you have to prepare for rigorous competitive selection, meet the document requirements and make travel arrangements. You can cope with it unassisted. Just remember the simple rules which will help you avoid possible problems.

Submitting documents to university

After you have chosen the university and your future profession, contact university representatives for accurate information and send your application. Complete the application procedure using official websites such as studyinrussia.ru, an official platform of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education, just sign in and fill out a questionnaire; registration and application processing are free. Beware of dishonest middlemen when sending your enquiry from other websites. Their websites often look like official ones and lure applicants with promises of “guarantied admission,” “assistance in getting a grant, visa support” etc.


 When you apply on your own, keep in mind that

  • The copies of required documents should be uploaded to the university website or emailed to the address given by a university representative. Do not send the copies of documents from intermediary websites.
  • Keep the originals to yourself, do not deliver them to anyone by hand or mail.
  • Do not enter your personal data such email address, telephone number or credit card number on little known websites; it can compromise your privacy.

If you still plan to use middleman services, make sure the firm is trustworthy before transferring money for document processing or other services. Remember that the universities are not liable for middlemen’s actions.

Tuition fee

The university never demands the payment of tuition fee for the whole period of study. As a rule, it issues bills for one semester. Money transfers are made using the bank details available on the university website. If it has links to “make payment” a student is redirected to the payment page. Remember to keep the receipt: university staff occasionally check them.

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You are unlikely to have visa problems if you have been admitted to a Russian university. As soon as you have got an invitation from the university you have to submit your documents to the Russian Embassy in your country, Russian consulate or visa centre which will check them to issue permission to enter Russia. Representatives of the university at which you enrolled will provide detailed visa guidelines. Go to the Visa section for more information.

Health insurance

Every international student regardless of the mode of study they have chosen must have health insurance. Foreign companies usually offer travel health insurance which cannot fully cover the cost of treatment at Russian medical centres. We recommend you to pay attention to health insurance rules in Russia.

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Looking for lodgings

Russian universities offer foreign nationals dormitory accommodation; as a rule, all amenities are provided. If you do not want to share a room or if dormitory places are unavailable, you can rent an apartment. Begin with consulting representatives of the university where you plan to study. They might help you find lodgings. To compare rent prices, explore real estate websites such as cian.ru, irr.ru and avito.ru. Use an online translator if you do not know Russian.

Follow these rules when choosing an apartment in Russia:

  • Read the tenancy agreement carefully. If you do not speak Russian, ask the university’s international office or your Russian acquaintances to help you.
  • Do not make an advance payment before signing the tenancy agreement.
  • Make sure that the landlord is the apartment owner by checking the property document.

Transfer to the university

Many Russian universities offer international students free airport transfer. If you wish to use this service we advise you to get in touch with university representatives in advance and request accurate information. In some cases, you are requested to submit an application on the university website prior to your arrival. University volunteers sometimes meet international students at the airport to help them get to the university.

If you wish to leave the airport on your own, use public transport or take a taxi. Be careful when hiring a taxi, use only official taxi service. The best way to order a taxi is to use an on-demand car service application such as Uber, Gett or Yandex.Taxi (Russian: Яндекс.Такси); download it before coming to Russia. It will show you the fare estimate (500 to 1,500 rubles) depending on the city and the taxi company. Some airports have terminals to book a taxi online.

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Create an account and send your application to the university for free and without agent.