FAQs - How to organize your study-trip to Russia

  1. First of all, you would need to decide the city you wish to go to (Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Petrozavodsk or Riga in Latvia and Kiev in Ukraine). In some cases you can combine some of them and for example spend one semester in one school/university, another semester – in other school/university.


  1. Then you would need to choose a place of study and think of the dates. More information about Russian schools/universities can be found on our website. Some universities will have flexible dates whereas others – fixed. Private schools have flexible dates (only beginners have fixed dates). If you are unsure or have any questions, please write to us on [email protected]ncy.com. Once you make a decision, please get in touch with us again and we will send you an application form to fill in.  We can also help you to organise your accommodation.


  1. We will send out your documents 4-5 months before the start of the course. Once your application is processed, you will receive a Letter of Invitation, which you will need for your visa application.

Please check our web page about application guidance.

You should take a long-term university preparation programme, lasting either 1 or 1.5 years, where you will learn general Russian and specific Russian for your future degree. You will also prepare for a Russian language exam, which once passed, will permit you to take a degree in Russian in Russia.

As you might know, passport holders of most countries require a visa to study in Russia.

If you require a visa, you will need an original copy of your Letter of Invitation which is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Some schools/universities now issue electronic versions, and in this case, you do not need the original document.


Your chosen school/university will send it to you. Alternatively, if you are a student from the EU (except for UK) who plans to study in Russia for 3 months or less, a Confirmation Letter from the school/university you have applied to will be sufficient. You will then prepare your visa application form and other documents required by the Russian Embassy. The exact documents required depend on your nationality. With the Letter of Invitation, application form and required documents you can apply for your visa. As a rule, it takes about 10 working days for your visa application to be processed. We recommend that you apply for your visa well in advance of your trip.


For more information, please read the section of our website dedicated to Visas and Application Guidance.

If you need full assistance with your visa application, then we recommend using the Russian National Tourist Office which has offices in London and Edinburgh. EBC Consultancy clients will receive a discount on their services. For more information about this, please get in touch: [email protected]

Yes. We also represent schools in Latvia (Liden & Denz in Riga) and Ukraine (NovaMova in Kiev).

Yes, you will need to go in person. Once in visa centre you will have to provide your biometric data (fingerprints).

This depends on your country of origin and the duration you wish to stay in Russia.

If you are looking to spend in Russia less than 3 months, your visa will be a single-entry one.

If you are looking to spend more than 3 months and your Letter of Invitation is issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (not university itself), you will initially receive a single-entry visa which you will then extend during your first month in Russia. When you receive your extended visa, it will be a multi-entry one.

Yes, you will need to get a new visa and you will need to apply for it outside of Russia.

No. Your Russian student visa will be valid for up to 90 days. It will also be a single-entry visa and you will be unable to extend it. Should you wish to study for a longer period, you would need to leave Russia and re-apply for a new visa, which will also be valid for up to 90 days.

Private schools permit students to study on a tourist visa on a course up to 30 days in length (subject to citizenship). You cannot study on a tourist visa in state universities even if your course is 4 weeks or less.

Please check VFS Global website for further information on processing time in the country where you are applying.

No, Russia does not participate in Erasmus programme.

No, it is not. When completing the application form, you can indicate how long you have been studying Russian. Even if you are a complete beginner, you will be accepted onto a course since there are courses specifically designed for beginners.


On your first day, you will need to take a test to discern your level of Russian. If you planning to study in a private language school, the language test will be sent to you to take in advance. According to your result, you will be placed in a group of your level.

Please have your passport with your visa and any other necessary documents (e.g. travel insurance and flight itinerary) ready before approaching the border officer. Once you hand in your passport, the passport control officer will check your documents, fill in the migration card and stamp your visa. Then he will return your documents to you. In rare cases you will be asked to fill in the migration card yourself. Please do not lose your migration card as it is a very important document and you will need it for your registration at university/school. You will also need to return it back to the passport control officer when you leave Russia.


Please read this link for detailed information about what to expect at the border: https://www.pulkovoairport.ru/en/passengers/security/passport-control/.

Please refer to this link for an example of the migration card: https://www.pulkovoairport.ru/r/_content/14e39cf2c7891a60f6cd20dbd379df05/pulkovo-migration-card.pd

Yes, the university representatives can meet you at the airport or railway station. You can book a one-way transfer or return if required.


In order to arrange this, you must send us your arrival time, and flight/train number no fewer than 4 days prior to your arrival. For information about the fees, please get in touch with the EBC team.

We will send you all the necessary information regarding your first day prior to your trip.

Please bring your passport, your migration card (which is given to you by passport control upon arriving in Russian Federation) and passport photos. In some cases, you may also need photocopies of your passport as well as medical certificates. Before applying for your visa, please make a copy of all your medical certificates as they may not be returned to you by the visa centre.


If you decide to study in SPSU, please familiarise yourself with the following rules (including registration rules) concerning foreign citizens in the country: https://russian4foreigners.spbu.ru/en/node/1046

You should have a pen, notebook and dictionary.

No, you will receive your timetable upon completion of an entrance test on your first day. You will then be allocated to a group of an appropriate for you level.

You will be placed in a study group according to your level of Russian with students from all over the world. For example, every year students of 90 different nationalities study at St Petersburg State University. As a rule, there is a very good mix of nationalities in the summer courses as they are more popular.

All classes in SPSU are language-based. There are no themes-specific lessons.

Whether or not you have Saturday classes depends on which group you are placed in. In some cases, you may be able to switch groups if you are unhappy with your timetable.

Please avoid doing a 13-week course at SPSU. This is due to visa extension situation. You can do 12 weeks or 14 and more. This will make the process of visa extension much easier and straightforward.

In theory, you can extend your course with SPSU. However, you would need to inform the university and us at least 2 months prior to the initial end date. In this case you will have enough time to apply for visa extension without having to get a new Letter of Invitation and apply for visa again.

The study programme does not imply holidays throughout the year except bank holidays and Christmas break. You will need to let us and university your university in advance when and where you plan on going.

Students are not supposed to travel for a long period of time within Russia even if they are on holiday (e.g. Christmas break). In case of staying in another city for the period more than three days you would have to apply for registration by independently in a local department of the Migration Service/post office or the hotel you are staying and should address the authorities of the receiving organization for the purpose of obtaining a temporary registration. Once you are back, you are required to bring those registration documents to school/university’s office.

Upon finishing the course in Russian university/school, foreign citizens have to leave Russian Federation within 3 days after the end of the course.

EBC Consultancy does not usually help organize health and/or travel insurance, therefore you are advised to purchase your own prior to leaving for your study destination. Some Russian universities and schools offer medical insurance which can be purchased upon arrival, but please check with us first.

If you are going on your Year Abroad, in most cases you will get your medical/travel insurance from home university.

Yes, there is. You would need to pay an extra fee however. The best thing to do is to use your medical insurance and go to the clinic covered by the policy.

There are many different private medical clinics in all the above cities where you can find English-speaking doctors and staff. In St Petersburg, we recommend you go to Euromed which is located on Suvorovskiy pr., 60, St Petersburg, 191124.

There are several national holidays throughout the calendar year. Please visit the following website for more information: https://www.officeholidays.com/countries/russia/

-Host family

-Student residence

-Shared flat

-Apartment/Studio (organised through school/university)

-Private rent


-Other (hotel/hostel)

Depending on the school, there are different accommodation options available.

Please contact us for more information about accommodation, pricing and availability. You can also read our blog post about host family vs living in a flat.

There are two options concerning study-groups.

  1. If you have the same level of Russian, then you will likely be put in the same study-group.
  2. You can request to be in a closed group (no one else can join your group). However, we would need to know about this at the stage of submitting your application. Also, please note, the fees can be higher.

In regards to accommodation, if you are renting an apartment, it is possible to live with your friends. There are also certain host families that will accept more than one student but this depends on each case. If you require more information about a specific situation, please get in touch and we will get more information for you.

The dorms are located outside the city centre, but still in a close proximity to university and only a bus journey away.

The student accommodation has recently been refurbished, however there are strict rules and you are required to take certain medical tests if you want to live there: HIV, Syphilis and an X-ray. These can all be taken at the university hospital for RUB 600. You would also share your room with 1-2 other students.

The best site for booking train and flights is: www.tutu.ru. The Russian national railway website works well too: https://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en.

Here is a number of websites where you can check what is happening in your city.

– Time Out

– KudaGo

– Afisha

We would also recommend creating a profile on VK, the Russian version of Facebook, as it has all sorts of groups where you can find information on what to do in Moscow, St Petersburg and other cities.

Whatever city you have chosen to study in, there will be plenty of things to do. Some schools and universities arrange excursions for their students. Should you wish to book excursions independently, there are plenty of websites that offer interesting ones. You should allocate some of your budget for excursions, and keep in mind that some of them may be expensive.

Students who are going to Russia for less than a year usually do not open one. You can use cash and your card. Should you be using your card, there will be a small commission and not very good exchange rate. Therefore, you can check out Revolut card or Monzo card.

Russians usually use Pay As You Go service (you choose a provider, tariff and can top-up online, in shops or via ATM). Tariffs are very cheap as they are rarely more than £8-£10 p/month and include generous mobile data allowance. The largest mobile network providers are MTS, Beeline and Megafon.

Please note that you will need your passport when buying a sim card.

You can also enquire about sim cards and tariffs in «Связной» (similar to Carphone Warehouse in UK).

Yes, you will. It will say what course you did, the dates, where you took the course and any other relevant information.

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