Sleeping across two continents and using an incredible nine time zones (having cut down from 11 in 2010), Russia is the largest country in the world by far. In its amazing boundaries lie some of the planet’s most awe inspiring palaces, extensive plateaus, highest mountains, coldest cities, strongest spirits, best ballet companies, and largest collections of stacking dolls. Per culture, literature is one of the country’s most notable displays; renowned Russian authors such as Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Dostoyevsky and Nabokov are known and celebrated worldwide for creating some of the greatest literary works of the 19th and 20th centuries. On top of that, tuition fees across Russian universities are low and cheap for international students.
University Admission Requirements
Most of the courses at Russian universities are delivered in Russian language. So if you intend to study in Russia, it’s important that you master the language first, and provide sufficient proof of language proficiency as part of your application.
If you are not confident with your Russian language skills, some Russian universities typically offer one-year preparatory programs for international students, developed exclusively to help you to get up to the required standard as quickly as possible. For students with not so good knowledge of Russian, there’s also the option to take up a program delivered in the English language, which are offered at some Russian universities. Although some English-taught options do exist at undergraduate level, English-language master’s programs are much more common.
Based on the university and your academic background, Russian university requirements could include an entrance exam and/or an interview. If you did not know, the Russian academic year runs from September to June, split into two semesters.
Student Visas,Scholarships and Costs
Once you’ve been admitted to study in Russia, the university’s international department will do an application for a Russian student visa on your behalf. This would take between three and five weeks and costs roughly US$40. All visas are expected to be registered in seven business days once you arrive in Russia. This visa will enable you stay for three months only, so if you intend to study in Russia for more than 90 days you’ll be required to apply for an extension once you are in the country. For a longer stay you’ll also be asked to provide the results of a medical examination and HIV test.
A good number of state scholarships are available each year for international students each year and will cover tuition fees, accommodation and medical insurance costs. These payments are currently RUB 75,000 (~US$1,200) a month, but do not take care of travel or personal expenses, which you will need at least an extra $50 a month for.
Applicants without scholarships will require anywhere between US$6,000 and US$10,000 per year for fees and living expenses, depending on the course and location. Sadly,tuition fees have increased greatly across Russian universities, but are still low and cheap compared to universities in other countries– depending on your program of study, they are likely to be around US$3,900-7,700 a year.
Students are also eligible to obtain part-time work, with a valid work permit, either on-campus or elsewhere. Some students may be able to gain exemption from having to apply for a work permit, but this is not automatic.
You should also consider gaining health insurance before arriving in Russia, to ensure you’ll be able to access healthcare if necessary.
List of Affordable Universities
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Novosibirsk State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Tomsk State University
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology State University (MIPT)