Study in Russia
Russia is the largest country in the world, home to some highly prestigious universities. From athletes like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova, to composers like Tchaikovsky, or Shostakovich, and great authors like Tolstoi, Nabokov, or Dostoyevsky (…and all other “-evsky”s, and “-ov”s and “-ova”s), Russia gave us of the most influential people in history. Moscow and Saint Petersburg are Russia’s largest cities and two world-famous student hubs.
Why study in Russia?
1. Russian universities 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.
2. 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 cost 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.
3. There are thousands of scholarships available
During the past years, Russia invested a lot to attract international talents. So far, over 300,000 students choose to move to Russia and get an undergraduate or (post) graduate degree there.
Available scholarships and state-funded spots allow 15,000 students not to worry about tuition fees or living costs.
The investment part we've mentioned above 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.
4. Enjoy modern facilities and campuses
Universities also pride themselves with cutting-edge technologies, laboratories, and research centres — facilities that are there to help students achieve their academic goals.
Which universities and colleges to attend in Russia?
There are approximately 850 universities in Russia, and among the best ones are:
- Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU)
- National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE)
- Lomonosov Moscow State University
- Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)
- Ural Federal University
What is it like to study in Russia?
Most people who studied there praised the welcoming environment, and how teachers were easily approachable and willing to help. 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).
Russia is famous for covering all fields and offering Master’s, Bachelors and PhD degrees in all disciplines.
Here are some of the most popular Bachelors in Russia:
- Bachelors in Economics in Russia
- Bachelors in Computer Science in Russia
- Bachelors in International Business in Russia
If you're looking for Masters, there are plenty to choose from:
How to apply
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.
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:
- PTE Academic
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.
* In the current situation, there is a lot of uncertainty about the economic, safety situation and right to free speech in Russia. International students should inform themselves carefully and be in touch with their consular services for advice. Here’s a link to Studyportals’ statement on the war in Ukraine.
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
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;
Universities, colleges and schools in Russia
- RUDN University (4 PhDs)
- Novosibirsk State University (1 PhD)
- Samara University (1 PhD)