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Student Ideas To Immerse Yourself In Russian Culture

The best way to learn Russian is with immersion, this is true of the languages of different countries and is no different for Russian. If you want to study in Russia whether in a university, with a host family or as part of an exchange program. Russian is always easier to learn if you are in contact with the locals, especially if you are living in Russia and are surrounded by Cyrillic.

Russia is a country that fascinates as much as it intrigues. To realise your dream of foreign study, you must apply to the university, be accepted, get your student visa, find your living accommodation, book your flights, move to Russia and of course make sure that you have paid for your studies. If you do not have eligibility for internships or scholarships, then you need to convert your money to spend in the local currency rubles.

So the challenges that can be faced while in the University application stages, language learning stage and student visa application stages can take some time. But generally, it does not really put many people off as the benefits of studying in Russia are so high. Especially as Russia welcomes more and more foreign students each year.

Student Housing In Russia. Stay in the home of a local Russian family. Photo Source: Unsplash

The Benefits To A Russian Higher Education For International Students:

By Yann, published on 17/04/2019 Blog > Languages > Russian > The Best Ways To Learn The Russian Language While You Study
  1. The cost to study in Russia is one of the cheapest in the world at around £4,500 per year (research by FAIRFAX currency exchange)
  2. They have a diverse range of subjects on offer
  3. There are approximately 800 universities across the country from Moscow and Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok
  4. You can choose to study Russian, Do a Bachelor, doctorate, masters, specialized training or a professional training course in Russia.
  5. The cross-cultural experience of studying in Russia will be a very positive experience for you

Checklist To Studying In Russia!

  1. Find the university that offers your course, check the curriculum to be sure and select 2 or 3 university options that you would consider applying for.
  2. Apply to your chosen institution and get accepted. Applications are accepted from January to March in the year prior to your chosen study.
  3. Apply for your visa. You have to get a student visa, Student visas are given as single entry, but once you arrive in Russia, you will need to upgrade them.
  4. Take a pre-university assessment to check you are ready to study in Russia which is Russia speaking for the most part including classes.
  5. Take a Russian language course. Improve your language skills by taking a Russian language course. Either with a private tutor where you can select the curriculum, take a course at your university or use a language app. The options are endless but start before you arrive. It is essential to know a few key phrases before you fly to Russia and to know how to read the Russian alphabet. It does not matter if your language skills are not optimal, taking a general Russian course (phonetics, Cyrillic keyboard, memorization, intonation and Russian expressions) will be a real asset once at the airport.
  6. Apply for funding or set up your own private funding to pay your tuition. You can apply for scholarships, scholarship competitions or an internship. There are lots of ways to study for free in Russia if you are eligible.
  7. Find somewhere to live. The best options are university housing or homestay You can rent independently, but there are paperwork and registrations to do if you chose that option. Yes, all in Russian so take care to choose the option the suit your language level. Choosing independent housing is not supported by the university so you will have to do everything alone.
  8. Book your flight
  9. Get to know the country and the basics of living in Russia
  10. Make a list of what to do once you have arrived, things like registering and getting enrolled in a language program.

The visa dates are strict and should be noted Your visa is essential for all parts of life in Russia. Photo Source: Unsplash

Essential Tips Prior To Going To Study In Russia.

  1. Check Your Prospective Degree Vadility

If you take your entire degree in Russia, it may not have the same weight and the same degree program in the UK. You must understand this before studying, or maybe you will find that you have a masters degree that is equal to a bachelors degree upon your return home.

  1. Ask Questions To Get A Good Picture

To get a good idea about the life of a student in Russia you can meet people on Facebook, via your school’s exchange program and speak to alumni who have returned, you can even search for blogs of the international student and learn about their experience to prepare for the trip. Whatever you choose, ask questions when you can and soak up everything that you need to know.

The questions you could ask:

  • What are the costs like?
  • Should I take out a loan?
  • What is life like outside of the classroom?
  • What challenges did you face in the beginning?
  1. Check Your Budget

Make sure you have enough money to cover your entire study program

Rough expenses to cover your costs:

  • Russian School fees vary from 0 to 2,500 euros per year depending on the school and location.
  • Budget about 300 euros per month to live, excluding housing and registration fees.

You can apply for your visa at the Russian embassy. To apply for a visa you need to provide a list of documents. Photo Source: Unsplash

Studying In Russia: How to Choose Your University?

If you decide to study in Russia you will not be disappointed as it is very affordable, well renowned, offers a huge number of courses and… well, it is Russia.

To choose your university, here is a table of the best Russian universities to study in and an example of the course and disciplines:

There are courses to cover all interests such as

  • International relations and political science,
  • Linguistics and language courses,
  • Economy and marketing,
  • History and history of art,
  • Finance and International Trade,
  • Social sciences and humanities,
  • Engineering and aerospace,
  • Technological and technological sciences,
  • Computing
  • Russian Language courses

The Best Russian Universities

  • Lomonosov Moscow State University,
  • MGIMO, School of International Relations of Moscow,
  • The Polytechnic University of Tomsk,
  • The State University of Saint Petersburg,
  • Novosibirsk State University,
  • The Haute Ecole in Economics.

And The Worst Universities:

  • Novosibirsk State University at the 471st place,
  • The Institute of Physics and Technology of Moscow (MFTI) at 534th place.

How To Obtain A Russian Student Visa?

You will need to apply for a visa, and for this, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Your passport,
  • Identity photos of 3.5 x 4.5 cm,
  • Your letter of invitation (either issued by the Federal Immigration Service or by the university directly),
  • A certificate of insurance, including repatriation insurance up to 30,000 euros,
  • The visa application form, to be completed on visa.kmid.ru, on the website of the Ministry,
  • Identity photos of 3.5 x 4.5 cm,
  • A medical certificate and AIDS screening.

Tips for your visa:

  • You apply for your visa at the Russian embassy.
  • The multi-entry visa won’t be given to you until you get to Russia, you will, however, get a single entry visa
  • Your visa is essential for all parts of life in Russia
  • The visa dates are strict and should be noted so that you don’t miscalculate.

Student Housing In Russia: The Homestay Option

To arrange to stay in the home of a local Russian family, it would be best to go through your university approved list first. Of course, if you are going to live with a family, you want to be sure that they have been vetted and approved. You should also make sure that the family has some kind of references to show that they have experience as hosts and the kind of experience other students have had.

The worst thing would be to fly to Russia and find yourself living in a place that isn’t suitable for you. Things such as loud environments that disturb your studying or exams etc. may be a problem that could affect your studies. This is going to be the time of your life, but you should take some care of making your selection.

Of course, there are many options for student housing in Russia, not just homestays.

  • In an apartment for rent, or a studio,
  • In a host family,
  • In a university dormitory.

A benefit however of learning Russian with locals makes learning to speak easier and faster. Even more than with private teachers because you are surrounded by Russian every day not just in class a few times a week. For native Russian speakers, hosting a foreign student is a winning option! Before looking for your Russian host family, it will be necessary to determine the nature of your stay:

As well as your university there are specialized agencies that will help you to find a host family. If you are not using your university be careful as scams do exist.

Being fully immersed in the Russian Federation, as a student in a program or as an independent student will be a life-changing experience. Ready to try the adventure? Book the ticket and become multilingual!


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