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Study In Russia: The Best Guide For International Students

Study In Russia: The Best Guide For International Students

This article is a guide to walk you through your journey to study in Russia.

As one of the largest country in the world, there are so many prestigious universities in Russia where an international student can decide to study from. Russia’s education system is said to produce up to 98% literacy rate, surpassing that of most Western European countries. Russia’s top universities are situated in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg being the most well-known. The top universities in Russia have extremely competitive entry requirements, and hold special entry exams each year. Studying in Russia is a popular choice for international students with a wide variety of interests, be they literature, art, history, or Russian language studies. International students in Russia will receive a high quality education in a culturally diverse environment.

Study In Russia: The Best Guide For International Students
Study In Russia: The Best Guide For International Students


A degree earned from a Russian university is recognised across Europe

  • Russian universities offer a Bachelor’s degree program, a specialist diploma (practical education) in a particular field. If you graduate with a specialist degree, you are automatically qualified for a Doctorate degree program.
  • You will need a student visa, except your country as a free entry travel agreement with Russia
  • You will be required to prove your proficiency in English for English taught programs. Majority of the programs in Russian universities are taught in Russian. International students who are not fluent in Russian will have to take a one year Russian language program. This is very common among most universities
  • If your country does not have an existing agreement with Russia, it is mandatory that your qualifications obtained outside Russia is legalised
  • You should be aware of the cost of studying in your university of choice as well as the cost of living in the area it is situated
  • If you are applying to study in Russia, your passport and transcript must be translated to Russian and notarised. You will be required to submit the original copy of the translation
  • Every university has a specialised test for international students
  • It is essential that you get a medical examination certificate
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg is some of the most expensive cities, so make plans to live on a budget if you are oppoutuned to study there.
  • There is usually a hostel provided by Russian universities and it is affordable. There are also other kinds of accommodation asides the school hostels. You can choose to stay with host families or your private space.
  • You can work while you study in Russia with your student visa
  • You will need to acquire health insurance
  • Your student ID card entitles you to many benefits
  • You can apply for a work visa after the period of studying, but it is required to secure an offer of employment before you begin the application.


  • Russia is multicultural. It has over a hundred and sixty ethnic groups in a serene environment, students who are drawn to a culturally rich environment will enjoy Studying in Russia
  • Russia has a reputation in Arts, painting, classical music, literature, ballet, dance. Art is rooted in Russia’s history. The world’s renowned writers are from Russia. A student who is interested in Art will be inspired by these achievements
  • Russia is one of the best counties for higher education with its top universities in Moscow and St Petersburg
  • Eligible students have the opportunity of a full time tuition fee waiver by the Russian government
  • You have an opportunity to learn a new language, Russian
  • You can enjoy several benefits accrued to students. Eg a reduced transportation cost, discount on cinemas, theatre, and museum tickets.
  • There are so many places to explore including historical centres. The fresh water lake, Mountains of Altai, Krasnoyarsk pillars, Kremlin in Kazan, architecture if Kaliningrad, and so many others 
  • Russia is particular about sports. Studying in Russia will avail you the opportunity to attend world class sporting events
  • You can get a job and work while you study
  • The cost of studying in Russia compared to other European countries is relatively cheap.


Application for admission into Russian universities can be done online, but first

  • choose a university of your choice to study in Russia.
  • You select a course offered in your preferred university
  • Apply and submit all required documentation
  • When your application is approved you will receive a letter of acceptance from the University
  • You then obtain your invitation letter from the University. The invitation letter will only be given to you if you have fulfilled all conditions
  • All the documents you will be using during your application should be legible

When you receive the invitation letter, you can apply for a visa in the Russian embassy in your home country. It is essential to inform the representatives of your arrival into the country.

When you arrive, ensure you complete your registration at the university and submit all original document/certificate including;

  • An academic transcript
  • A medical certificate by an official public health centre
  • HIV/ AIV test result from an official public health centre
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your passport
  • Recent passport photographs


Russia provides the best learning environment for her students. There are no musty, dull classrooms.  Depending on your field of study, campuses are friendly and classrooms are well-equipped to suit the course. Science, engineering, technology, and medical students will find their curricula to be very gratifying. It also has a great culture you would be curious to know about. To make this easy, many students select homestays as a cost-effective way to learn about Russian culture quickly. Others lease their own homes and apartments. No matter what you decide, your monthly expenses will be far less than they would be in a western country.

Russia has a literacy rate of 99.7 percent. In this regard, it really outperforms several Western nations. The Russian educational system is the ideal setting for receiving top-notch post-secondary education! Throughout this vast country, approximately 900 colleges and universities can be found. Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University are the top best universities in Russia, despite the fact that many of them have high rankings. If they schools on your list, be ready for challenging entrance examinations and particular prerequisites!

More than 300,000 international students selected Russia as their study abroad country in the previous academic year alone. International students   account for around 8% of all enrolled students. Engineering, medicine, and business are the most often studied fields. Russia’s academic year is divided into two semesters. The first semester begins on the 1st of September and ends in January while the second semester begins in February and ends in June. In Russia it is mandatory for all students at the secondary school level to write the uniform state exam organised by the Russian federation. This examination determines admission into tertiary institutions, admission is based on the scores of a student.

The kinds of higher education institution in Russia are;

  • National universities
  • Federal universities
  • National research universities
  • Academic institutions
  • Institutes 

Russian universities offer;

  1. Bachelor’s degree program
  2. Masters degree program
  3. Specialist degree program
  4. Doctorate degree program
  • The Bachelor’s degree program is a 4-year degree program at the Undergraduate level. It is available in all subject areas in Russian universities except Dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and Medicine. A student at the Undergraduate level at the end of his final year will be required to write a final thesis and defend the report. After the Bachelor’s degree program you can proceed to obtain a Master’s degree. The program is a 2-year program. It involves extensive research and practical education.
  • A student at the graduate level will also write a thesis and defend it at the end of the program.
  • A specialist diploma is for a longer period of 5-6 years. It began in Russia before the introduction of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
  • The specialist degree is obtained for technical and noble professions. Medicine, veterinary medicine, Teacher training program, pharmacy and dentistry. 


Another thing to think about is the cost of living, which varies greatly depending on where you live. For instance, Moscow will be far more expensive to live in than Vladivostok. The price range for university housing ranges from $7 per month to $780 per month. You can only get this in Russia, trust me!
The Russian government invests a significant amount of money to produce graduates from top universities. As a result, the university curriculum places a strong emphasis on technology and research. Research projects, personal projects, and internships are strongly supported.

Compared to Western Europe or North America, the cost of undergraduate and graduate studies in Russia can be substantially lower. Most courses cost between $1,880 and $13,540 annually. Therefore, if you have your heart set on attending a university in Moscow, Russia, you may probably afford it. Scholarships are widely available, even though Russian colleges and universities are not free. Through government quotas, over 18,000 students received free education last year.

These are the top best five universities in Russia.


It is a public university founded in 1755, Moscow, Russia. It is a prestigious university and the best in Russia. The university does not offer an English taught Bachelor’s program. International students who apply to Moscow state university will be required to learn the Russian language before commencing the program. Moscow state university offers Bachelor’s degree in;

  • Business administration
  • Bioengineering
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Applied mathematics and computer science
  • Foreign language
  • Fine arts and performing arts
  • Economics
  • Geology
  • Fundamental and applied chemistry
  • Physics

A public research university established in 1724 st. Petersburg, Russia. It is the oldest university in Russia. St. Petersburg State University offers English language taught programs. The university is popularly known for producing highly recognised alumni’s such as,  Vladimir Putin (President of Russia)  and Dalia Grybauskaite (president of Lithuania). The university has top notch research facilities. Students in the university have a great opportunity to receive annual research grants and a Russian presidential grant. The students partake in sporting activities in Russia and international events.


HSE is a public university founded in 1992 Moscow, Russia. It is ranked as one of the best universities in Russia. Hse offers English language taught programs in sons subject areas. An international applicant who is applying for a program taught in the English language will be required to take IELTS or TOEFL depending on the degree. HSE is known for excellence in Economics and social sciences.

HSE offers;

    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Social science
    • Biotechnology
    • Engineering
    • Computer science
    • Dance
    • Painting
    • Public art
    • Photography
    • Sculpture
    • Installation art
    • Architecture
    • Music
    • Creative writing, etc.

MIPT was founded in 1946 in Moscow, Russia. The main campus is at Dolgoprudny in Moscow. Moscow Institute of Science and Technology is a prestigious university in Russia, and it has a reputation in Natural and applied science. The university offers; Undergraduate studies, Pre university program, Post graduate degree, PHD, Online courses. Some courses are taught in English, and most in Russian

A few of the courses offered  in the university are;

    • Aerodynamics
    • Advanced combinations
    • Application of low temperature plasmas for flow Control
    • Algorithm and programming technique 
    • Applied computational models and software package
    • Applied economics
    • Applied mathematics
    • Computer science
    • Engineering, etc.

The university was founded in 1958, Novosibirsk, Russia. Masters degree programs in Novosibirsk are taught in English. It is one of the best universities in Russia to study medicine. NSU has experts in their various fields as professors. It has renowned research facilities and is situated in a research hub. As of 2022, Novosibirsk State University is placed 246th in the QS World University Rankings, 503rd by US News & World Report, and 801rd by Times Higher Education in their respective global rankings.


The Russian Government awards scholarships to eligible international students. The scholarship covers tuition all through the program, allowance for maintenance, and accommodation expenses. Information about the scholarship can be gotten through a representative office, a representative at the  embassy of your country, or at the Russian embassy.

To apply for the scholarship:

  • Research on how the applicants are selected
  • Get information on the scholarship.
  • The scholarships offered by the Russian Government are limited to the extent of the ties your country has with Russia. 
  • Register for the scholarship and fill all required information
  • You go for the interviews and participate in the necessary tests or exams if your application is approved
  • Then you will receive information, if you are selected on the list of candidates. It is essential to
    • Submit a medical certificate and other documentation required
    • Submit all documents in it original translation to Russian
  • If your application is successful, you receive a confirmation of enrolment

There are partially funded and fully funded scholarships in Russia for international students:

  • Federal Government scholarship awards 
  • Russian Government scholarship- open doors Olympiad
  • Moscow Institute of physics and Technology Russia Government scholarship
  • Skoltech Russia Masters and PhD Financial aid for international students
  • Fully funded Russian Government scholarship
  • 15000 Russian scholarships for international students
Study In Russia: The Best Guide For International Students
Study In Russia: The Best Guide For International Students


International students will need to get a student visa before they can study in Russia, while students from the commonwealth independent states do not require a visa. When applying for a student visa, you must have obtained a letter of acceptance confirming your enrolment to the university in Russia. The student visa is for a 3-month period subject to an extension. The application for an extension of your visa must be made at least 30 days before the expiration of your current visa 

The requirements for a Russian student visa are;

  • Evidence of financial capacity to finance your studies 
  • Confirmation of enrolment from the University
  • Participate in a visa interview
  • Submit all required documents. Eg valid  passport, recent passport photograph
  • A medical certificate
  • A proof that you have completed the application

The processing takes weeks. Although the process can be faster for an additional payment. You can apply for an extension of your visa if you want to continue studying in Russia. The application must begin before the expiration of your existing visa.  Asides the above requirements it is essential you also submit the following documents;

  • A certification of the reason of your extension
  • A referral from the ministry of education
  • A proof of payment of the application fee


Yes, international students are permitted to work during their leisure time at the institution or one of its organisations. The international offices of universities may assist students in getting jobs, such as, contract jobs. You need not to obtain the necessary authorisation from the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Russian Interior Ministry in this situation. In other situations however, a permit is necessary. Only those taking full-time courses at state-accredited universities are eligible for permits. Students may only work in the region (city) where their university is located and in accordance with the profession mentioned in their permit. However, you shouldn’t assume that part-time work would be enough to pay for all of your living expenses, which often run between $300 and $400 a month. Students in Russian universities study very hard, and there is a lot of homework to complete. It’s essential to have family assistance or to set aside a specific amount of money to cover expenses.


International students are opportune to work in Russia after studying but with a post study work visa. You can apply for;

  • Standard work visa
  • High Qualified specialist (HQS) work visa

So also, international students are allowed to apply for a permanent residence permit, provided the student graduates with honours.

You can also apply for a temporary residence permit valid for 3 years but it is essential to re-validate the permit annually. 

When applying for a residence permit the following is required:

  • Application form
  • Recent Passport photograph
  • Your passport
  • Evidence of income
  • A medical certificate

Application for a permanent residence permit will require you to show your current resident permit.


Russia is such an amazing study country. It  contributes funding for research projects, allowing students to complete their own work and gain experience in a real-world setting. Additionally, the study programs are seen as being more student-friendly than those in other nations, which benefits the reputation. One has a great chance for the future with a graduate degree in Russia, and with a little more drive, one can work anywhere in the globe. Additionally, aside the opportunity to get a  top notch education, studying in Russia also offers a wide variety of leisure activities and vacation chances. It is really worthwhile to learn about this nation and studying there is a great opportunity to do so.

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