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The Russian education system has undergone significant changes since adhering to the international standard in accordance with the Bologna process. These adjustments have contributed to a greater acceptance and recognition of Russian degrees abroad, as well as an increased influx of foreign applicants in the recent years. While Russian is still the most commonly used language, English has become an integral part of the education system, especially in the higher education sector.

Most of the government run institutions in Russia specialize in the areas of science and technology, which explains Russia’s dominance in the field. However, as the student pool gradually becomes more diverse over time, many private institutions of higher education have emerged to offer education in non-traditional fields such as economics, business and law.

The Cost of Studying in Russia

Tuition fees in Russia are inexpensive, not only in terms of the costs, but also in the quality of the education they provide. After all, 22 universities in the country are currently included in the World University Rankings. The Russian government is also open to funding those who desire to study in Russia, granting 15,000 scholarships in 2017 alone. While the fees vary depending on the program and school, the minimum tuition - which is determined by The Ministry of Education -  cannot be less than the amount allotted by the state for education per student.

Learning the Language

Undergraduate programs are majorly taught in Russian, so it is likely that you’ll need to learn the language if you choose to study in Russia. While this is understandably disconcerting, some Russian universities offer one-year preparatory programs whose sole purpose is to enable newcomers to fully integrate themselves into Russian society,

On the other hand, there is a larger quantity of programs taught in English in the higher education sector, due to the surge of international enrollees in recent years.

Entry Requirements and Student Visas

While entry requirements vary depending on the university and the program, all foreigners looking to study in Russia are required to undertake entrance exams, as these are an integral part in determining a candidate’s eligibility in the Russian education system. To obtain a student visa, one needs to first secure an official invitation letter from their chosen university or from the GUVM (Main Directorate for Migration Affairs) among other documents. You can learn more about student visas and other requirements in our Russian study guide.

Student Accommodations & Living Costs

The most common types of accommodation include living with host families (a great way to learn the Russian language and culture), student dormitories (which are usually organized by the universities) and privately rented apartments, which are often the most expensive and trickiest to obtain due to their high demand.

The transportation system in Russia also offers discounted rates and promos for students. As for healthcare, new arrivals are required to purchase the VHI (Voluntary Health Insurance) which will cover the basic medical services required by Russian law. A more detailed look on student lodging and healthcare is available on our study guide below.


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