1. WHY STUDY IN RUSSIA?
Russia has a long and honourable tradition in education. The Russian qualifications are recognized and respected throughout the world. Besides the breathtaking scenic beauty, dense historic past and cultural richness, Russia consists some of the oldest universities in the world.
Russia is subsidized by the state and thus provides good value for money by offering internationally recognized degrees at affordable costs. Especially due to achievement in high level studies including efficiency in engineering and in scientific research, the country is now recognized as a popular destination for many students around the world.
2. STUDENT VISA PROCESS
Process to obtain Russian Student Visa for international students
Russia requires visas for nearly all visitors. Anyone seriously considering a long stay in Russia should read the Russian visa information so as to understand the different types of visas, who is eligible for them, and what restrictions may exist. Student visa is issued only for students, who come to Russia for study programs or enrolling on a course to a Russian university/school. This is the best kind of visa in terms of flexibility, but you can only get it if you applied to a Russian university, school or an institution and will study there.
Studying in a university
If you are thinking about doing an exchange with one of the Russian universities (also known as visiting scholars" or "stazhirovka" in Russian), you will need to submit your data to the university and the "foreign department" of the university will take care of all the formalities. They will submit all your data to the immigration officials and have your student invitation ready in about 2 to 6 weeks (may take longer at MGU - Moscow State University). After that, the "foreign department" of the university where you will be studying will either send you the invitation by post, by fax, or send the invitation by telex directly to the consulate where you will apply for your visa and you'll just need to know the telex number when you apply. Usually, the student visa doesn't have a limited validity, it is extended all the time, depending on how long you study.
Studying in a language school
If your language school is attached to some Russian educational body you will get a student visa and the process will be about the same as the one described for universities above. However, if it is a private school, they will most likely make a normal tourist (up to 1 month), or so-called "business" (which is a name for a long-term visas) invitation, which you will need to submit to a Russian consulate to get a Russian visa. When you apply to the consulate for a student visa, you'll need to pay a normal fee, which will be about the same as for a tourist visa ($50-$150, depending on processing time).
Russian Visa Registration
Once you arrive to Russia, you will need to register your visa within the first 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after your arrival. It is very important to get the registration done right. It is always the obligation of your inviting party (university, language school, business organization) to arrange your visa registration, because if they don't do it, you will have to pay fines and may be deported from Russia, and they may lose their education license. So, check beforehand that the place where you're going to study can provide your visa registration without a problem. It is very easy for universities to get your visa registered: you will just need to bring them your passport with Russian visa and migration cards (that you get at the border) and the university's "foreign department" will submit your documents to OVIR (immigration officials) to register your visa. It will take about 1 week and you will have a registration stamp on your visa. Normally, the registration can be done for the period of your visa, however, if it is not, it will be relatively easy to prolong it if you're still studying in the university. Just don't forget to submit your documents again when the time comes
3. ADMISSION IN RUSSIA
Instructions about the method to get admission in Russian Universities To get admitted in educational institutions in Russia, students must have completed secondary level education. There is a compulsory pre-academic year for those who do not know Russian or/and for those with weak pre-university training. They must successfully pass the entrance exams. Foreign applicants entering universities should not be older than 28 (35 for doctoral studies, Aspirantura).
Student visa and financial guarantees.
Pre-academic year to study. Russian.
Apply to individual institution for entry to all higher education institutions and to all academic and pre-academic program. Apply to national body for entry to higher education institutions.
Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation
Tel: +7(095) 9545-127
Fax: +7(095) 2375-400
Application closing dates
For non-university level (technical/vocational type) studies: 15 Jul
For university level studies: 1 Apr
For advanced/doctoral studies: 1 Apr
Recognition of studies & qualifications
Studies pursued in home country: Higher education institutions that are accredited by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation may issue State Diplomas which are recognized within the country. Non-accredited educational institutions issue their own non-state diplomas which are not officially recognized. Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials): Division of International Education and Cooperation of the Ministry of Education Head: Nikolay Zverev
Tel: +7(095) 9545-469
Fax: +7(095) 9545-353
Scholarships and Financial aid available for International Students in Russia
Most forms of federal, state and private financial aid or loans may be applied to study in Russia. If you plan to use your financial aid award to pay University fees, you should apply early to meet aid application deadlines. Rule of eligibility are determined by federal, state and local authorities. It is the student's responsibility to pay any difference between aid received and the total cost of the program
Sources of financial aid are:
- Federal awards such as NESP, Gilman; Pell (federal) grants; SEOG (federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants)
- Federal loans such as PLUS; Federal Perkins loans; Federal subsidized Stafford loans; Federal unsubsidized Stafford loans.
- State aid (varies from state to state)
- Merit awards/scholarships from your institution
- Merit awards/scholarships from community-based organizations
- GI educational benefits
- ROTC scholarships
- Rehabilitation educational assistance
LIVING COST IN RUSSIA
Living Cost for International Students in Russia
Students live in the residence hall the first three days after arrival to get accustomed to the program, then they have two housing options:
Housed in the comfortable residence hall for foreign students at most of the Universities, students live in 2-room suites (two students per room, four students per suite) with kitchenette (stove and refrigerator), toilet and bathtub/shower in each suite. The residence hall has LAN connections in all rooms so students are advised to bring a laptop computer with them. The initial set-up fee is $10, with a $5 per month user fee and 4cts per gigabyte of traffic ($7-$10 per month depending on the numbers of hours of use). Students will also be able to use their laptops for writing papers and entertainment (Music, DVD and digital photography). Students must keep their laptops locked up when not in use.
Students who choose to live in a Russian home receive breakfast with the host. Living with a Russian family gives students a tremendous opportunity to improve their Russian language skills and to experience a significant amount of Russian culture and cuisine. Students must request to live in a homestay at the time of application. Most homestays are mostly located 20-25 minutes by public transportation or 30 minutes walk from the Universities.
Students receive a monetary allowance to purchase meals in cafés or the University cafeteria, or they can cook their own meals in their dorm kitchenette. Homestay students can use the funds to pay the family directly for lunch or dinner. This arrangement is easier for students, as they do not have to budget cash for meals each week.
6. LIST OF UNIVERSITIES IN RUSSIA
Russian Universities and Colleges with link to their respective websites