Benefits of studying in Russia

One of the positive effects of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the need of the country's economy for highly qualified specialists. In this regard, a lot of attention is paid to the development of the education sector. At the moment, the Russian educational system fully complies with international standards as it is preparing bachelors, masters and doctors of sciences. The Russian educational system stimulates the innovation process through a combination of studying and research activities. This is why the leading Russian universities represent a number of advantages, having their own scientific schools with huge resources and teaching staff to help students in conducting the research in various fields.

Education in Russian universities is a vivid example of the optimal balance of affordable price and high quality. Higher education received in Russia is a good foundation for a future career. Throughout the world, the graduates from Russian universities that have a degree in medicine, information technology, natural and mathematical sciences, are highly valued.

Universities in Russia

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Preparations for studying in Russia

Teaching in Russia is done in the Russian language, so the actual studying is usually preceded by a one-year course of the preparatory faculty, which begins on October 1, lasts for 7-10 months, and does not include the winter holidays. There are also accelerated (intensive) courses of pre-university training that are held from February (duration — 6 months). Submission of documents for preparatory courses is carried out not later than 2 months before the start of training.

At the preparatory faculty students study the Russian language and prerequisite subjects, depending on the future direction of education (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Geography, History and Literature). After the end of training at the preparatory faculty and successful completion of the exam tests, the student receives a certificate of the preparatory faculty, which gives him an opportunity to be enrolled in most Russian universities without entrance examinations.

For admission to the preparatory faculty, you need to provide a scanned copy of passport and a certificate of education, translated into Russian or English. When applying, you have to ask the coordinator in the international department of the university if any places at the dorm are available.

If a student chooses a program in English, he does not need to be trained at the preparatory faculty; he goes directly to the first course. An application and a set of documents must be submitted in advance according to the terms stipulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

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Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Russia

For admission to the bachelor's degree program, you have to submit a document on the secondary (full) general education or secondary vocational education. For admission to the master's degree program, you need to provide a bachelor's degree diploma or a diploma of higher professional education.

Filing of an application for the basic educational programs is performed from March to July. Training begins on September 1. Winter vacation period is 2 weeks (in most universities it is the last week of January and first week of February). Summer holidays begin on July 1 and last until August 31 of each year.

Invitation from the Russian University

After the university's consideration and approval of the candidate, it will send an official invitation to him, stating the applicant's passport details and the full name of the university. In general, the preparation of an invitation takes 30 to 45 days. This invitation is valid for 90 days from the date of issue, and during this period it is necessary to apply to the Russian Embassy with a request for a visa.

Procurement of student Visa to Russia

The student must apply for a visa as soon as he receives an invitation. The visa processing can take 2-3 weeks, and the student must enter the territory of the Russian Federation not later than 30 days before the expiration of the entry visa. When a foreign student enters the country, the university helps him to register and apply for a multi-entry student visa. The turnaround time of this visa is 25 days, during which the entry visa must be valid. In connection to this, the application and documents for receiving a multiple-entry student visa must be submitted to the international department in advance, (28-30 days before the end of the primary visa).

List of documents for the entry visa:

  • Passport (valid for at least one and a half year);
  • Filled out application form;
  • Invitation letter from the university;
  • Certificate on the absence of the HIV infection (the document is valid for 3 months);
  • Degree documents;
  • Confirmation of tuition payment.
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Working while studying in Russia

Foreign students that study full-time in Russian state-accredited universities can carry out labor activities on the basis of a work permit. Permit processing can be done in the Migration Service within 10 working days, by providing an employment contract with the company.

Personal experience

Why did I chose Russian university?

I come from Odessa, the most charming city on the Black Sea. I spent long hours watching the sea and this might be the reason why I dreamt of traveling abroad. Anyway, since I was fifteen, I knew full surely that I would study abroad. My parents did not welcome my idea. On second thought and long discussions we reached a compromise: I would get my education abroad but in the Russian Federation territory. The point is that I have attended the Russian school and Russian is my native language though I am bilingual, indeed.

I decided to apply for the Moscow State University, one of the most trustworthy tertiary education institutions in the world. University credentials are highly demanded in Russia and beyond it. I have felt drawn to exact sciences since my childhood and I chose to get an economic specialization. I suppose this field is highly demanded everywhere. If necessary, the economist may easily retrain for an accountant which is also a demanded specialty in the market. One of the reasons why I chose Moscow State University is that the Ukrainian students may apply for budget-funded seats. Education abroad for free and the opportunity to get a studentship is challenging for most applicants.

Distinctive features of enrollment

With the benefit of my experience, I would like to give a piece of advice to applicants who thirst to study here: you’d better thoroughly learn the migration legislation of Russia in good time since it is regularly updated. Fortunately, a visa-free regime is set between Ukraine and Russia. The so-called rule of "90 days" applies to students, though. This rule specifies that a foreigner is eligible to stay in the territory of Russia for 90 days per half a year, not more. The penalty is levied for violation of this rule. To be eligible to stay here for more than 90 days per 6 months, students should send the completed application form and copies of the first two pages of the civil passport to the International Department of the University Faculty where they plan to study. This should be sent three months prior to the start of classes by fax, by mail or via e-mail. You will get a letter of invitation from the University in two and a half months. After that students may start with their student visa procedure, if necessary, whilst CIS state residents may proceed with execution of documents authorizing their right to temporarily stay in Russia. The University assists in getting this document upon signing of enrolment contract.

Admission documents

Prior to arriving in Russia, the applicants should have their higher education diplomas translated into Russian language and notarized. I submitted the documents mentioned below for enrollment:

  • application form to apply for the Moscow State University;
  • duly notarized translation of my Diploma;
  • proof on that my diploma is equivalently qualified as the similar elementary education certificate in Russia;
  • health examination certificate to prove that I have no contraindications to study at the Faculty of Economics;
  • health certificate issued by the University policlinics on HIV-negative status;
  • migration card and passport;
  • six photographs sized 3х4 cm.

As for me, all my documents to be notarized are certified by the Notary in the territory of the Russian Federation or at the Embassy (Consulate) of the Ukraine.

Entrance exams

I learned Russian language and I had credits in this discipline in my certificate. This is why I could avoid studying at pre-university courses. As a foreigner, I passed the verbal quiz in Russian language which I found too easy for me. Apart from Russian, I had to pass the writing test in Math and English language. I succeeded in my exams and managed to have a budget-funded seat. A piece of advice for applicants: upon discussion of results with my classmates I revealed that most applicants were asked the reason why they want to study at the Moscow State University. Never say that you planned to apply for several universities with Moscow State University in the list to make a further choice. Such a reply is deemed to be a non-significant but negative factor at enrollment. There is an old and conventional academic school at the University and so, the reply to this rather provocative question should be that you dreamed of this very university for long ago and never considered any others even in your dreams.

Student life and training

As a student, I got a room at the student hostel sharing a small but tidy and cozy place with my roommate. The residence offered all conditions for students to live and study in peace and good order. I really enjoyed my schooling in economics. Apart from the major discipline, I studied a lot more subjects including Political Economics and World Economics, such applied subjects as Labor and Human Resource Economics, Auditing, Mathematical methods of economics analyzing. The greater focus was paid to various aspects of economic planning for the sector of the national economy (nature management, social sector), as well as theory and practice of enterprise management. We were offered to discuss social and economic study cases, statistics, and economics of innovation business and tried to solve problems of different ranges of difficulty. We were taught to perform as crisis managers, if necessary. The technical aids offered by the University are known to be the best in Russia. We used computers of new generations and learned to apply state-of-the-art technologies in economics management. At any time we could use materials from one of the richest libraries of the University.

Life in Moscow and employment options

Moscow is quite an expensive city. Yet, students may cut their living costs by purchasing food at small local markets and remote molls. On top of it, students in Russia are entitled to work. As for me, I free-lanced as a translator for the translation agency for part-time in the evenings (I am good at English). My roommate found a job as a cleaner at the dentistry.

I am completing my last and final year of the Bachelor level. Then I will have two years of Master-level study. I enjoy studying and I plan to apply for my doctor’s degree upon completing the master's level programme. If I fail to qualify further for any reasons (postgraduate studies are paid at the Moscow State University), I will seek a job as an economist in Moscow. The University credentials come as the security to find a good and a well-paid job here.

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