Everything you should know before arrival: free time and culture, accommodations and prices in Russia
Russian national currency is Russian ruble (RUR). Approximate exchange rates for the beginning of 2017 are:
- 1 USD – 59,67 rubles
- 1 EUR – 63,73 rubles
- 1 GBP – 73,61 rubles
All payments in Russia are accepted only in rubles. You can exchange currency in any bank, but note that international credit cards are accepted anywhere. To receive a money transfer you can use your credit card or Western Union.
Here are some main expenses: studying, accommodation, health insurance, food and transport.
For 2016 the living wage in Russia is 9 776 rubles (approximately $170), it is the minimum you spend for food and pocket money. But keep in mind that prices in Moscow and St. Petersburg are much higher than in non-metropolitan areas, where your expenses will be lower.
It should be noted that students often have discounts up to 50% in museums, cafes, sport and fitness clubs, shops. Travel by public transport for students is also cheaper.
Universities in Russia offer accommodation to all foreign students with full-time education. Students studying with distance education are offered accommodation for examination period. Cost of accommodation is 300 – 4 000 rubles (approximately $5-$70) per month; the price depends on comfort level in a specific university residence hall. Fees can be paid monthly, every term or once a year according to specific university internal regulations.
If you do not want to live in a university residence hall, you can rent a room or an apartment, which will cost you about 10 000 RUR (approximately $170) for a room in a shared apartment and 25 000 – 30 000 rubles (approximately $415-$600) for apartment in big cities. It will be much cheaper in non-metropolitan areas.
If you choose accommodation in a residence hall on campus, you’ll live near the university. If you’ll live far from University you should buy student travel card for using public transport.
Considering student discount your expenses to travel by metro in Moscow will be 380 rubles per month and to travel by surface transport – 250 rubles per month. Total sum is only 600 rubles (approximately $11). Have in mind that in other cities cost of travel will be even lower.
You can have only emergency medical services free of charge. For any other medical assistance you should have a health insurance policy. Travel insurance is not applicable in the case you are studying in Russia, besides travel insurance conditions suppose that medical assistance should be prepaid by the patient and only after returning home insurance company will pay back for medical assistance.
To have medical care during studying in Russia you should get a health insurance policy, and it is better to do it in advance to exclude any risks after arriving to Russia.
In Russian Universities student life is very active and interesting – you can participate in conferences, exhibitions and science or educational seminars.
You can also take part in sport activities, in each university there are basketball, football, volleyball and other teams.
Cultural live is also reach: there are creativity competitions, beauty contests and KVN (clubs of funny and inventive people which are humor contest clubs run by university students).
The decision of moving to another country is a real and serious step and it needs thorough preparation. You’ll need to adapt to different types of conditions in a new life: another culture, psychology of local citizens, different climate and sure you’ll have to study the new language. In this section we collect the most important information, which will help you to get ready for this step.