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Study in Russia

Although it would be easy to dismiss Russia’s accomplishments and just list a number of political leaders who shaped the world politics, the truth is that Russia has given us more than just the cute waltz of “Once upon a December” from Anastasia.

From athletes like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova, to composers like Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, or Shostakovich, to great authors like Nabokov, and Dostoyevsky (and all other “-evsky”s, and “-ov”s and “-ova”s), Russia gave us of the most influential people in history.

You have to assume that a country that gave us so many celebrities has its universities and teaching system in order, right?


Why study in Russia?

1. Studying and living in Russia is affordable

Compared to their Western counterparts, Russian universities are very affordable. Tuition fees range between 1,450 and 7,500 EUR per year, and only a few study programmes costs more than 10,000 EUR.

Living costs are also very low; most international students can handle all monthly expenses with a budget of 300–600 EUR.

2. Apply for one of the 15,000 available scholarships

The Russian authorities have been investing heavily in order to attract international talents. And it is working! Over 300,000 students choose to move to Russia and get an undergraduate or (post) graduate degree there.

The government offers around 15,000 scholarships or state-funded spots, which means the lucky winners don't have to pay tuition fees or worry about living costs.

3. Study at reputed universities, which are well-respected worldwide

Russian universities have a great reputation, both locally and internationally. They are present in global university rankings and stand out from the rest when it comes to disciplines like Physics, Engineering, Medicine, and Social Sciences (e.g. Psychology, Political Science).

4. Enjoy modern facilities and campuses

The investment part we've mentioned in the previous section isn't only limited to scholarships and grants. Russian dormitories and campuses are modern, with the same high level of comfort and utilities you'd expect from any other Western country.

Universities also pride themselves with cutting-edge technologies, laboratories, and research centres — facilities that are there to help students achieve their academic goals.

5. Learn Russian for free

Russian may not be the most in-demand language out there; but it's certainly an asset on your CV, especially if you want to work for an international company that struggles to find employees with advanced Russian skills.

The best part is that many universities organise one-year preparation courses for international students, and if you're one of the lucky ones who earn a scholarship, you don't have to pay anything!

What is it like to study in Russia?

Ignoring everything you know about Russian people, you should know that most students praised the welcoming environment, and how teachers are easily approachable and willing to help with any problems or issues.

Further down the list of “wrong preconceptions about Russia” is the idea that you will only meet surly Russian students. Nope! The selection process is very competitive, the environment dynamic, and the atmosphere multicultural.

Also, the universities encourage students to study on their own, giving them only guidelines and allowing them to go wild with the subjects. For this, they provide great facilities and amazing libraries.

What to study in Russia

Russia, being the behemoth country we know and love, is famous for covering all fields and offering Master’s degrees in all disciplines, ranging from Business Administration to Russian Studies (which sounds amazing, honestly).

Still, because we are helpful, we searched and made this list of the most popular degrees you can study in Russia. 

Here are some good Bachelors we recommend in Russia:

If you're looking for Masters, there are plenty to choose from:

Major cities in Russia

Russia is the biggest country in the world, and 77% of it is just a vast, open and frozen field (never change, Siberia). Also, there are around 15 secret cities, with unknown locations, and mere mentions in top-secret documents.

Considering all this, you can’t be too careful where you end up in Russia, so here are two safe and known cities, where students go to study an international degree. These are:

Which universities and colleges to attend in Russia

With so many options (merely 850 universities, give or take), you will need to sort through them thoroughly; and, let’s be honest, nobody has the time. However, if it makes your decision easier, you can check out universities like:

Practical Information

In Russia, the Ministry of Education and Science created a website that connects students with universities. You can find here contacts from the international department, descriptions for the programmes, and the curator’s phone number.

After you have settled on the university and programme, the documents you will need to present are:

  • Application for admission
  • Your ID
  • Previous education certificates
  • A medical certificate
  • Passport photographs

You should note that all documents should be presented with an official copy, translated to Russian.

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Russian university

Take Preparation Courses

These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in Russia, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

In order to follow a Master’s degree in English in Russia, you will have to submit, besides an English certificate, your previous diploma and a cover letter.

The English certificates accepted by Russian universities and organisations are the basic ones, like:

Some universities also accept GRE and GMAT certificates. Please refer to their webpage.

Still, be aware that some programmes may require you to submit your CV, a portfolio, references from teachers, and an interview in English, via phone or Skype.

Living in Russia

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Russia:

Tuition fees in Russia

Russian universities are very affordable, especially when compared to similar institutions from Western countries. International students usually pay:

  • 1,475–10,600 EUR/year for Bachelor's degrees
  • 1,770–5,540 EUR/year for Master's degrees
  • 1,475–7,600 EUR/year for Specialist's degrees (degrees awarded after at least 5 years of study, e.g. Medical degrees)

Students can also apply for scholarships to support their education in Russia.

Accommodation, food and other expenses

As we've established before, Russia is really affordable. Monthly living costs amount to 300–600 EUR.

Here's a breakdown of the average expenses:

  • accommodation (university dormitory): 5.60–56 EUR/month
  • accommodation (rent apartment): 170–395 EUR/month
  • food & groceries: 120–150 EUR
  • monthly transport pass: 5 EUR (discounted for students)
  • recreation and entertainment: 40–60 EUR

About Russia

The Russian Federation is situated in the eastern part of the Europe and the northern part of Asia. The capital city of the Russian Federation is Moscow. The population of the Russian Federation is 144 million with a density of 8.7 people per 1 sq. km.

Fun facts about Russia

Quick! When you think of Russia, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you said “vodka”, shame on you for being so culturally insensitive! Still, we can’t judge, because, on our research, we uncovered that:

  • There are over half a million alcohol-related deaths in Russia each year;
  • The word “vodka” comes from the Russian word “voda”, which means “water”;
  • During times of economic disparity or high inflation, teachers can be paid in vodka. Teachers only, though, so don’t go asking for a raise at your part-time student job.

Also, besides being huge fans of “water that burns”, you should know that Russians also possess some quirks that can only make you smile and shrug, saying to yourself “that’s Russia for you”. For instance:

  • The Imperial Russian Olympic Team arrived in London 12 days late for the games, in 1908, because they were not using the Gregorian calendar yet (not because of the vodka, as we first assumed);
  • Japan and Russia still haven't signed a peace treaty to end World War II, due to a territory dispute. So, yes, technically, Russia and Japan are still fighting World War II to this day;
  • In 1959, Russian Scientists domesticated Foxes just as if they were dogs. And the best part of this fact? It’s an ongoing project. Guys: foxes can fetch in Russia. This is huge!
  • In Megion, a region in West Siberia, the mayor banned excuses. And you have to assume he proclaimed it in the thickest accent ever, while twirling his moustache and laughing maniacally;
  • There is a day, Subbotnik, when citizens go out to sweep and tidy up the streets;
  • Also, in Russia, there’s a “Temple of all Religions”, where different peoples are welcomed, in order to pray peacefully together;
And, if that didn’t bring a smile to your lips, then you should also know that a museum in Russia hires cats to protect the artwork there against rodents. 

Universities, colleges and schools in Russia



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