Moving halfway across the world for a university education can feel be daunting, especially when it’s your first ever experience of living on your own without your family. The feeling could be the same with studying in Russia. To give you a more accurate picture of what studying in Russia is really like, this article would clear up some of the confusion for you…
Myth #1: You’ll go through many admission difficulties
People often believe that gaining admission into one of the universities in Russia, as an international student is difficult, but the truth is this: Applying to university in Russia is a lot easier than you might think, and you’ll find that lots of universities in big Russian cities are actually internationalized. St Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), for example, was home to about 6,000 international students in the 2016-17 academic year.
Myth #2: You have to speak Russian to survive in Russia
You must not speak English to survive in Russia. Thanks to a new generation of brilliant post graduate and undergraduate programs taught exclusively in English, many universities have been catering for international students for many years now. Of course, if you’re moving to Russia to learn the language, you can always do foundation program but if not, don’t sweat it.
In terms of your day to day life, whether you’re asking for directions or trying to make new friends, most Peterburgians and Muscovites should be able to speak English well enough. And if probably, in the most extraordinary of circumstances, you find someone who doesn’t know a single word of English, the Google Translate app on your smartphone could help.
Myth #3: You won’t really explore Russia
If you’re hoping to see more of Russia beyond the walls of your university campus, you can always get some travelling done on the weekends and holidays. There’ll be many opportunities to visit incredible places with groups of students.
Myth #4: You’ll find it hard to actually make any friends
In fact, even if you’re a semi-sociable introvert, there are a few things you can do to bridge the gap between you and other students, like registering for a class or joining a sport team. Also, student unions in Russia will try their best to make new international recruits feel welcome through ice breaker nights and on-campus events.
Myth #5: It’ll be more expensive
Tuition fees rank among the most affordable in the world, with undergraduate fees for international students ranging between US$2,100-2,400 a year and postgraduate fees of usually no more than US$3,000 a year. Other costs are quite low: a student living in Russia can get by on just US$500 a month, including food, accommodation, transportation, house bills and going out.