Study in Russia

Detailed Guide About Studying and Living in Russia

Russia, the world’s largest country, obviously defies a “brief description,” as it covers 11 time zones, all climate zones except tropical, with land that stretches almost halfway around the planet.

Languages: Russian, numerous minority dialects

Location: Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

Climate: Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; sub arctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Population: 143,420,300

The Russian educational system may be arranged into three major groups: secondary education, higher education and postgraduate education.

Secondary school

Secondary education in Russia takes either ten (skipping the 4th form) or eleven years to complete, depending on the school. After graduation from the 9th grade, which is compulsory for all Russian citizens, a pupil obtains a Certificate of Incomplete Secondary Education. After that a pupil has to choose one of the following ways to complete his secondary education: to continue education for two more years at the secondary school or to pursue an associate degree at a Community College. The latter variant usually takes three to four years to complete but provides a pupil with educational qualification that is sufficient for most blue-collar jobs.


After obtaining a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education a student can enter a University or a Community College. At a Community College students with complete secondary education can obtain an Associate Degree in one or two years. A student can choose a program of higher education with duration of four to six years. There are three different degrees that are conferred by Russian universities: Bachelor’s Degree (4 years), Specialist’s Degree (5–6 years), and Master’s Degree (6 years). Bachelors and Master’s degrees were introduced relatively recently; they did not exist during the Soviet period. Even now they are not offered by many six-year institutions.

Post-graduate levels

After obtaining a Specialist’s or Master’s Degree, a student may enter a university or a scientific institute to pursue postgraduate education. The first level of postgraduate education is aspirantura (аспирантура) that usually results in the Kandidat Nauk degree (кандидат наук, Candidate of Sciences). The seeker should pass three exams (in his/her special field, in a foreign language of his/her choice, and in history and philosophy of science), publish at least three scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, write a dissertation and defend it. This degree is roughly equivalent to the Ph.D. in the United States.

After graduation a student may continue postgraduate education. Few (2 to 4) years of study in doctorantura (докторантура) with obtaining important scientific results, publishing them and writing new thesis would result in the Doctor Nauk degree (доктор наук, Doctor of Sciences), but the typical way is working in a university or scientific institute with parallel preparation of a thesis. The average time between obtaining Kandidat and Doctor Degrees is roughly 10 years, and most of new Doctors are 40 and more years old. Only 1 of 4 Candidates reaches this grade.

For Under Graduate Medical Students Only (MBBS).

As per the amendment to the Indian Medical Act, 1956, any Indian student who wishes to join any medical college anywhere in the world has to obtain an eligibility certificate prior to joining the medical college and upon the successful completion of the course appear for a screening examination conducted by the National Board of Examinations, New Delhi prior to registering their degree with the Medical Council of India. While the responsibility of obtaining the certificate is that of the student, we could guide the students about the same.

The broad requirement of the Medical Council of India for the issuance of the certificate is obtaining 50% in your Physics / Chemistry / Biology in your 12th standard for the General Candidates and 40% incase of the reserved category. Further and more elaborate details could be obtained from the official web site of the Medical Council of India.

For Undergraduates (Bachelor courses in MBBS )

  1. He / She should not be more than 27 years old as on 1st of September of the year of application.
  2. He / She should have obtained aggregate 50% marks in the Physics / Chemistry / Biology in the 12th standard for medicine. As per the requirement of the Medical Council of India, for medical course, all reserved category students having aggregate 40% marks could also apply.
  3. He / she should obtain an eligibility certificate from the Medical Council of India.

Students Visa Requirements

  1. Duly filled & signed visa application form.
  2. 3×4 size photographs
  3. Valid Passport (passport is to be valid at least for 1.5 year since visa starts)
  4. We request two full pages free of any stamps, messages etc. to attach our visa
  5. Original official invitation from Russian receiving organization / university, school or college
  6. HIV Test

Documents To be submitted well in advance, before proceeding to Russia

  1. Copies of 10th mark sheet translated in Russian & attested by the Russian Cultural Center.
  2. Copies of 12th mark sheet translated in Russian & attested by the Russian Cultural Center.
  3. Medical Fitness certificate translated in Russian & attested by the Russian Cultural Center.
  4. HIV Free certificate translated in Russian & attested by the Russian Cultural Center.
  5. Copy of the fee remittance letter from your bankers.
  6. Copy of the MCI eligibility certificate as and when the same is received.

Can Yuranus help the students with the bank Loans?

Yuranus could guide the student with regards to the bank loans available and also guide the students about the loan formalities. Yuranus could also support the student with all the documents that he / she would require from the University. However, the student would have to fulfill the eligibility regarding the issuance of the bank loan and the responsibility of securing the loan would remain with the student.

Are their any scholarships or grants given to foreign students?

The education in Russia is highly subsidized by the Government of the Russian Federation. Therefore there are no separate scholarships or grants available from individual universities. However, bank loans are now available from all nationalized, co-operative and the private sector banks. These loans are available at very low interest and are generally repaid in easy installments, one year after the completion of the educational period.

How does one apply for a passport?

For obtaining a passport, you need to apply to your local passport office in an application form available at the passport office. It would however, be an easier process for the student to apply through a travel agent since he is well aware of the process. The process normally takes around 6 to 8 weeks for the issuance of the passport after the date application and the passport is sent directly to your address. However, it is known that the issuance of the passport make take a longer time, which may result in a delay in proceeding to Russia or even the cancellation of your admission. Therefore, you should take all precautions and plan accordingly. There is also a facility to have your passport issued on a “Tatakal” basis on the submission of your letter of admission.

Can a student study the Russian language in India instead of taking the preparatory faculty in Russia?

The Russian language preparatory faculty is a specially designed faculty, to prepare the students to undertake the main course in the Russian language. The faculty covers specific subjects in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths along with the Russian language. The Language courses in India are designed more for businessmen for conversational purpose.

Will it be necessary to study the Russian language, even if the student has joined the English medium course?

For the medical studies, the first three years consist of pre-clinical training and is more lectures oriented. The pre clinical subjects are taught completely in the English language. However, there are Russian language classes as a part of the curriculum from the first year itself. This is necessary since from the fourth year the students would start his clinical subjects, which would require him / her to attend the clinics and hospitals as part of his training and would have to interact with the local Russian patients and hence would require knowing the local language. Also the knowledge of the local language is an added asset for the student to interact with the local population.

Would the student have to give any entrance examination prior to joining the university in Russia?

Unlike the other countries, there are no pre-qualifying examinations like CET, TOEFL, etc for admission to the Universities in Russia. The admissions are based on the 12th standard marks for the Graduate courses and as per the equivalency of the Indian graduate degree with the Russian degrees for the post graduate courses. All admissions are strictly on a first come first served basis.

Are the medical degrees from Russian Universities recognized?

As per the amendment to the Indian Medical Act, 1956, any Indian student intending to study medicine in any medical college anywhere in the world for a graduate medical course has to obtain an eligibility certificate from the Medical Council of India, New Delhi before joining the medical college abroad. After the successful completion of the course, the student is expected to appear or a screening test conducted by the National Board of Examination as required by the Medical Council of India prior to the registration with the Medical Council of India. The academic requirement for the eligibility certificate as defined by the Medical Council of India for the general is an aggregate 50% marks in the Physics / Chemistry and Biology and 40% incase of the reserved category. More details could be obtained from the Medical Council of India either from their office in New Delhi or from their official website. The responsibility of obtaining the eligibility certificate as required by the Medical Council of India rests with the student.

Post Graduate courses from no where in the world are registered with the Medical Council of India or the Dental Council of India. This would mean that you would be unable to neither work as a specialist in a government hospital nor teach the specialization learnt. You would however, have your own private practice or work in a private hospital. Since you would be doing your specialization from a University, which is listed by the WHO in its “Directory of world medical schools”, you would be eligible to appear for screening examinations to many screening examinations like PLAB etc. Many of our students who have completed their post graduation have given their PLAB and are now successfully working in hospitals in the United Kingdom.

What would be the advantage to applying to a Russian higher educational Institute through Yuranus?

Yuranus promotes the Russian higher education system under the auspices of the Cultural Department of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Mumbai. Therefore, the parent is assured of a high quality and a professional organization having credibility rather than a fly-by-night operator trying to offer the same services, may be at a discounted cost. The number of students who have already been enrolled through Yuranus and successfully studying in Russia serves as a proof of the professional services offered by Yuranus.

What would be the services offered by Yuranus and have to be paid for?

Yuranus specifically details the services that are offered by Yuranus, which are directly linked to the basic admission process of the student. These are detailed in the schedule of the processing fee payable to the Yuranus. Any of the services which are not included in the schedule of the services provided have to be paid for by the student.

How would the student need to pay the educational fees and any other charges to the University?

The direction of the payment of the fee is specified and mentioned in the letter of admission, which is issued by the University and / or by the International Students Department of the University. Generally the fees need to be remitted by the student to the International Students Department of the University prior to leaving for the University. The remittances of the fees have to be done effected well in advance so as to receive a confirmation from the University, before applying for the visa. In some cases, the student would require to carry with him the fees in the form of cash to be paid to the University or the International Students Department of the University. Incase the fees have to be paid in cash, it is advisable to carry a certain amount more than the quoted fees since the same has to be paid at the exchange conversion rate, as applicable on that date and specified by the Central bank of Russia. Incase the fees are not received by the University within 3 days of the student arriving in Russia, the University would be unable to register the student with the local immigration department and he would be issued an exit visa to return back to India, a process which takes around 10-14 days. Till such time, the student would need to stay in one of the hotels, which would cost him around US$ 50-150 per day.

Will the University refund the fees incase the student is unable to complete the course incase of home sickness, expulsion, sickness etc?

You would need to appreciate that the University makes all arrangements to receive the student once the student is admitted to the University. This would include the study material, hostel arrangements etc. Therefore, once the student reports to the University and joins the same, the University regrets its inability to refund any part of the educational fees and other expenses paid by the student. Incase a student comes back to India for health reason; an application could be made to the University to hold the fees in credit so that the student could join in the coming semester. However, this discretion is entirely that of the University and Yuranus regrets that it would be unable to influence the same.

Can a student open a bank account?

Yes, a student could open a bank account in his name to keep his surplus money safe. He could also use this account to have his family remit any additional money as required. The account is opened only after the registration of the student’s passport with the local immigration office, which takes around 10 days or so.

Where can I obtain foreign exchange for my studies in Russia and do I need to obtain permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the same?

We could organize to have your foreign exchange issued as well as have your fees remitted through RBI authorized foreign exchange dealers.

Does the student have to be present personally for an interview at the Russian Embassy / Consulate for the issuance of the visa?

As part of the services offered by Yuranus the passport of the student would be submitted by Yuranus to the visa section of the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation in India and the student is not expected to appear for a personal interview. In rare cases at the discretion of the visa Officer, a student may be asked to be present at a pre – defined date and time for an interview. In normal cases, the visa is issued and stamped by the visa office one week after the same is submitted. However, in a rare case of an emergency of leaving for Russia would require the visa to be stamped on an urgent basis, which would entail an additional official payment at the Russian Embassy / Consulate. This additional payment would be to the account of the student.

Is medical treatment available in the Universities?

All students who join any university are required to take a medical insurance from a Russian Insurance Company to cover them for any medical assistance that they may require. This insurance would have to be taken at the time of joining the University.

How do I make my travel arrangements?

For the first year, it is very important for the student to strictly make all his travel arrangements as per the instructions of Yuranus. This is to ensure that all the students reach the University in a group as per the instructions of the International Students Department of the University. It is also to be noted and for your instruction that the immigration office in Russia needs to be informed well in advance about the arrival of the student, failure to do so may result in deportation. Therefore, kindly seek assistance from Yuranus for your travel arrangements and book your tickets only from Yuranus approved travel agents to ensure that there are no miscommunications with regards to the travel dates.

What would I need to carry with me along to Russia?

Once you have decided to study in Russia and have been accepted into a course, you must ensure that you have all the documents and money before leaving. You are requested to consult the check list as well as the suggested items list to ensure that you do not leave anything behind. Incase you do leave behind something, which was required to be taken, the same could be sent by your parent to you by courier at your cost.

It is known that Russia is a very cold country, how are the students protected from the cold?

Even though Russia is a cold country, severe winters would last for 2 – 3 months in a year. All the establishments like homes, hostels, classrooms, shops etc as well as the public transports are centrally heated. Incase of the establishments the heating is regulated by the local municipal departments and are not university dependent. Therefore, the heating and the hot water in the bathrooms are started by the Municipal departments and not the University. Students are also advised to buy reasonably priced water and room heaters should they find the heating arrangements to be inadequate. Every student should also take care of wearing warm clothes like fur coats, caps, gloves etc when they go out doors. At others times the weather is Russia is not as cold as it is made out to be with temperatures between +20 degrees.

Who would receive the students once they land at Moscow airport?

The representatives of the concerned University would be at the airport to receive the incoming students. He would be at the exit of the airport well in advance with a placard having the name of the University. He would then guide the student to the transport which would take the student to his / her University hostel where the student would unload his luggage to the room allotted by the University. The representative would then take the student to the University for the further documentation and signing of the contract. This arrangement is available only for the first year of education and with a prior arrangement. A minimum group of three students are required to travel together for an arrangement to be made for receiving students. Students traveling individually or in groups less than 3 would need to make an additional payment of US$ 100 per student.

What do you mean by a signing of a contract with the University?

As is the procedure with all the Universities in Russia, all foreigners need to sign two contracts every year. One contract would specify educational responsibility on the part of the University and the contracted fees, which would remain stable and the second contract would be regarding the stay in the hostel. These contracts are general in nature and a statutory requirement in Russia.

Can a student earn while he studies?

A student enters into the Russian Federation on an invitation, which is issued by the University, which is an educational institution. This invitation and the subsequent visa issued is a “Student visa”. Therefore the student is not legally allowed to take on any employment nor could do a business activity. Any violation may result in expulsion from the University and subsequent deportation from the country. Yuranus on its part advises students to concentrate on education, the main reason of going to Russia and refrain from any money making activities.

What is the type of accommodation that is given by the Universities in Russia?

Accommodation in Russia is provided by the Universities in hostels that are maintained and controlled by the respective universities. These hostels are run by the Universities or their International Students Department. The location of these hostels would depend from University to University and may not necessarily be close to the place of study. However, it would be important to note that Russia offers a very good public transport network for the student to commute to the place of study from the hostel. The Universities provide standard hostel accommodation and would depend on University to University. Normally, 2-3 students stay in a room depending on the size and the discretion of the University. All the rooms are comfortable and are generally provided with cupboards, beds linen, writing table etc. Every floor has enough bathrooms and toilets for the usage of the students. There also exists common Kitchen with burners for the students to cook their food. Certain hostels provide a common telephone on the ground floor for the usage of the students. It should be noted that all decisions of the hostel with regards to the facilities and allotment of rooms are that of the University and Yuranus regrets its inability to influence the University with regards to their decision. Students are requested to contact the Hostel matron or the International Students Department of the University with regards to all the matters concerning hostels. Yuranus would not entertain any request with regards to the hostels.

Does the University and the Hostel have mess facilities?

All the main buildings of the Universities have a cafeteria where the students could eat reasonably priced meals. Typically the meals would be the Russian cuisine. Certain hostels would also have the cafeterias also. This would vary from hostel from hostel.

Are my personal belongings at the hostel insured?

No, your personal belongs including cash, mobile phones etc are not insured and the safe keeping of the same are your own personal responsibility. In an event of any theft, the same should be immediately brought to the notice of the Hostel commandant and the International Students Department of the University.

Can I stay in a different room than what is allotted to me? Can I officially request for a change of my room?

You are not allowed to unofficially stay in any other room other than that allotted by the hostel authorities. This could result in disciplinary action. You could however request for a change of room after the admission process is complete and all the international students have arrived at the hostel. The decision of the allotment of the room would be that of the hostel and would be final and binding on the student. Yuranus regrets any interference on their part with regards to the allotment of the hostel room.

What would be the type of food generally found in Russia?

Contemporary Russian cooking offers a mouth – watering variety drawing on an array of European culinary traditions.

Russian cuisine has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Chinese, Indian, Italian and French cuisine is now popular in Russia. However, considering that these cuisines are quite new, you may find these restaurants and cafes only in the bigger cities. Many of the Universities and hostels have a cafeteria, which provide students with inexpensive meals. Typically, these meals would be Russian. A Russian meal would normally consist of a salad, bread soup and a main hot dish with garnishing like rice, potatoes, vegetables etc, tea and coffee in that order. Certain cafeterias also now experiment with Indian, Moroccan, Arabic, Syrian type of cuisine. While the main diet of a Russian would be meat, vegetarian students are also known to supplement the vegetarian dishes with their own cooking. A student could also cook his own meals in the common kitchen, which are available on each floor of the hostel. All fresh vegetables, fruits and spices are readily available in Russia.

Would I face a "culture shock" or feel "home sick" when I arrive in Russia?

Coming to study in Russia will be one of the exciting experiences in your life.
Arriving in a different country can be disorienting experience at first. Do not be surprised if after the excitement of arriving, you later find Russia strange or you miss home. You won’t be alone; others will be feeling the same way. Don’t worry; these feelings will quickly pass and you will soon be caught up in the heady bustle of student life.

Before arriving in Russia, there are steps that you can take to lessen any initial feelings f shock you might have. Do your homework before you arrive; the more you know about Russia and the city or region that you would be living in, the better prepared you would be. It would also be important, if you try to form friends and groups before you leave for Russia. This lessens the feelings of loneliness once you arrive in Russia.

It would be important to understand that the feeling of homesickness is a natural phenomenon. It happens to all!! The basic characteristics of home sickness would be to find everything in Russia or the city that you have arrived badly. This would range from the hostel, to your friends, the city, weather, roads etc. However, with the passing of time, this feeling reduces and after a particular period the feeling of homesickness is NIL. It is at this moment of time, that one needs to understand this feeling and employ ones mind towards other activities to reduce pain. Given below is a brief description of what could be termed as a culture shock and homesickness, to acquaint you with the same.

Stage 1: Everything is new and beautiful

Many of the students would be traveling abroad for the first time, and the new things experienced could be a source of delight. Even the most routine task of shopping would be delightful, coupled with a sense of freedom and responsibility. This euphoria will probably at some point change to disillusion and frustration. You would start finding things different from what it was back home.

Stage 2: Culture Shock and Homesickness.

Culture shock may happen gradually and may not happen as soon as you arrive. Things would start irritating you – the food, hostel, University, weather, roads, traveling etc. You would start comparing India with Russia in an unfavorable way. Things that you thought charming at first now start becoming annoying. A student anywhere in the world, not necessarily in Russia experiences this feeling.

You may feel some of the following symptoms as a culture shock or homesickness

  • I can’t have a normal conversation with anyone.
  • I sleep too less
  • I get angry more often for things, which I would normally not bother.
  • I regret the decision to leave home and come to Russia.
  • I regret the decision to study abroad.
  • I wish I was home and I need to talk to my family often.
  • I am afraid to do new things or go to new places.
  • I have stomachaches and headaches, which I normally do not have.
  • I feel I do not fit in this place and I doubt my ability to succeed.

How do I survive the "Culture Shock" and cope with "Home Sickness"?

Should you go home or spend time with people from your own country?
No – Turn Culture shock and homesickness into a positive experience. Realize that you are not alone. Many people, including those with you, have experienced or are experiencing what you are feeling. Your room mates are the first people with who you can share your feelings and who would help you feel better.

  • Find people like your room mates or persons compatible to talk to.
  • Make your room pleasant and surround yourself with familiar photos, music, mementos or things from your home. This reduces the feeling of loneliness.
  • Do not be afraid to cry to express your feelings. It would make you feel lighter and better.
  • Tell your friends that you are sad. Their support would warm you.

People who follow this advice cope well with Culture shock and homesickness. When you survive culture shock and homesickness, you will find that you have gained new ways of understanding your self.

How do I contact my parents or friends down in India?

Russia may seem a long way from home, but, thanks to its excellent communication services, you will find it easy to keep in touch with your family and friends. With the growing number and variety of telephone and other communication services, you will have no trouble staying in close contact with your family and friends.

Telephone services

Public telephones can be coin operated or card operated. Prepaid cards are available in Russia and you can buy them from newsagents, post offices and supermarkets. You could also use the international telephone services at the post offices in the city. Mobile phones are widely used in Russia and can be particularly convenient for the students. Students are advised to carry with them a reasonably priced GSM mobile phone along with them to Russia and use a pre-paid card for commuting. The mobile phone also can be used by the student to receive incoming calls from parents and also for sending sms’s back home.

Local calls from the landline phones are free, while international calls are discounted over the weekend. You also can get prepaid phone cards to make international calls. Compare cards carefully as the rates may differ. In some cases, making your international call using these prepaid cards would be cheaper than using the main phone service provider.


Internet usage is increasingly widespread in Russia.
If you have your own computer, you can sign up directly with one of Russia’s internet service provider. Sign up with one of the web-based e-mail services like Hotmail, yahoo etc and then check your email using online computer terminals at an internet café. Please note that some hostels do not provide internet services or telephone services in each room. It would be a wise idea to check the availability of the service with the hostel commandant or the International Students Department of the University.

Who does the student contact in Russia if he / she have any queries or problems at the University / hostel?

You need to understand that you have been admitted to a professional course in Russia. You are now staying away from your parents and are expected to be a responsible person. Do not expect at every or for that matter any step to be spoon fed. As a responsible student you are expected to do your best to contact the relevant authorities at the University / hostel to solve your problem. Every University has an International Students Department where the student could address their problem directly, since they are the responsible department for your stay at the University. Your parents in India would be unable to help you out. The general working hours of the International Students Department are from 11am to 6pm; Monday to Friday. You would also note and appreciate that Yuranus would not be able to liaison on your behalf with the University for the day to day matters.

Does a student need to come back to India during his vacations?

A student need not come back to India every year during his vacation. He could both stay back in Russia and explore the beautiful country. He should however inform the University accordingly.

Does the Yuranus refund the processing fee paid, should a student opt out of the admission process after applying to a higher educational institution in Russia?

The students and their parents should appreciate that all information and the counseling is done by Yuranus free of charge. There are expenses which are borne by Yuranus not only to get the information of higher education in Russia to you, but also in terms of processing your application, forwarding the same to the University and liasioning with the University on your behalf. All the terms and conditions for the application are clearly stated in this brochure and also in all our communications wherever applicable. Therefore, once you apply to any university it is clearly implied and taken into granted that the student and the parents have verified and are satisfied with all the information gathered from Yuranus and have applied for education in Russia based on this verification and satisfaction. It is also implied and understood that the parents or the guardians have made all arrangements to have sufficient arrangements to finance the education. Therefore, Yuranus regrets its inability to consider any refund for any reason, personal or otherwise whatsoever.