Russia, the largest country in the world in terms of area is occupying 17,125,200square kilometres which is more than 1/8th part of the Earth living area. It is not only greater in the area but also secures a top ninth position for its population. You can also find it addressed as “Russian Federation" many times.
Moscow, the capital of Russia is listed among the largest cities and other popular cities of Russia are Novosibirsk, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, etc.
The neighbouring countries surrounding Russia are Finland, Poland, Estonia, Norway, China, Kazakhstan, North Korea and a few more. The Sea of Okhotsk connects it with Japan.
- The Russian economy is very strong in terms of nominal GDP for which it holds 12th largest position and 6th position for purchasing power parity.
- It holds the largest reserves for energy and minerals in the world.
- It is one of the leading countries in producing oil and natural gas in the world.
- Russia also one among the leading countries for nuclear weapons and possess the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
- Russia is a permanent member of United Nations Security Council, G20 (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the Council of Europe, the Organization for the security and Co-operation in Europe and the World Trade Organization.
- It is also a leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States and is an active global partner of ASEAN.
- Russia is the largest country of the worlds and holds the area of 17 million sq km which is double the are of the U.S.
- The capital of Russia is Moscow4-year and it is the largest city in this country.
- The currency of Russia is “Russian Ruble" which is equivalent to or slightly higher than the Indian currency.
- The population is around 144 million in Russia.
- They have an official residence for their president in Moscow which is having four palaces, four cathedrals and many other historic buildings.
- Russia is having the largest railway in the world which traverses the whole country from Moscow to Vladivostok.
- The international dialling code or ISD code for Russia is +7.
- The internet domain is .ru.
- The local residents need to pay 13% personal income tax whereas non-residents need to pay 30% tax. Nonresidents are citizen staying in Russia less than 183 days.
Admission Process in Russia
For admission in any Russian university, some basic steps need to be followed-
Selection of course-The very first and important step is to choose the suitable course for you. Russian universities have a wide range of subjects from science, mathematics to music and drama. Once you select the subject, you need to decide whether you want a 4 year Bachelor's degree or a 5-year specialist degree course.
Choose University-Now you need to select the best university offering you a subject. There are around 896 universities in Russia and many of them are top ranking universities in the world. You should consider the fee structure, eligibility criteria, etc before finalizing any university for admission.
Get details of scholarships and financing- Students have multiple options to manage the finance for their education in Russia. It can be done through government scholarships where the study will be funded by the Russian government but it is quota based. For this, one can enrol in State universities and collect all the information from the Russian Embassy of own country.
Another way is to enrol in Universities with state-funded places. For this, you can collect the information from the admissions offices of the selected university.
The last one option is self-funded where candidates need to bear their own education expenses.
Preparation of documents for application-Once you have selected the course, university and funding option, you are ready to proceed for admission. The very first thing is to prepare your documents. The initial application includes detail of your desired area of study, your current education, etc. You also need to enclose your copy of identity proof, photographs and the filled application form issued by the university. Please note that all the documents must be translated into Russian and should be notarized or certified.
The actual or original documents need to be submitted after arriving in the country.
Competitions-After submitting your initial application, you need to appear in competitive examination depending upon the option you have selected for your fee. For self-funded candidates, the passing entrance exam is mandatory. So, pass the entrance exam, then undergo the competitive selection process and if qualify all, then learn about the enrolment depending upon the result. You will receive the confirmation of enrolment and an invitation to process further formalities.
In the case of scholarships, both from state-funded terms or government funded schemes, candidates need to pass the unified state examinations, interviews, and other academic competitions.
The main exam which is accepted in all Russian universities for admissions is Unified State Examination.
Invitation and Visa-The last but very important step is to get an invitation letter from the university and then apply for student visa. The invitation to Russia is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the General Administration for Migration issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.
Candidates getting admission through Russian Scholarships, get a 6 digit number of their invitation which needs to be quote while submitting the Visa application. They can obtain this 6 digit code from Rossotrudnichestvo office.
On the other hand, the self-funded students can get their invitation from the university and they need to submit the original invitation at the time of Visa application.
Work permits for international students in Russia
Students working in Russia can get the work permit to get employed in part-time jobs. Students employed in the same universities need not get any permit and all other cases require a valid work permit.
The work permit can be issued only for students enrolled for full-time courses at state-accredited Russian Universities. Students can work or get profession as per the specification mentioned in the permit and only in the area where their university is located.
The validity of this permit is 1 year and need to be renewed or extended as per the duration of the course. If a candidate leaves the course in between, the permit gets cancelled. Students can change their job even before the end of the term of their current permit and but they need to inform the same to General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.
Documents required for work permit
- A duly filled applied form.
- Copy of passport enclosed with an application and original for verification.
- Migration card
- The application fee which is around 3500 roubles.
- A valid employment contract.
- A statement from the university from where you are enrolled for studies mentioning or confirming that you are pursuing a full-time course there.
- A medical or healthcare certificate confirming your HIV negative status, negative drug addiction status and approves that you do not have other infectious diseases.
If a student works without this permit may get the punishment of fine from 2000 to 5000 roubles and may also get an order for deportment from Russia.
Student Visa Application Process
Below are the main steps for Visa Application:-
- Preparation of documents-As mentioned, collect all the documents and keep them handy for Visa application. It is advised to keep all the documents in duplicate to have a back up of your application for reference.
- Online Application-Once the documents are ready, you can fill the Visa application “online". After filling the form, check it thoroughly and then get it printed. It is advised to check the rules of application and visa fee details from the Russian embassy in the home country before filling the application form.
- Preparation of application file-Once the application is printed, gather all the documents listed in the application form and keep them ready for the submission
- Visa photograph-Visa photograph is the very important thing and in most of the cases, Visa application requires 2 visa photographs with the application. Before submission, please check that your photographs matches all the specifications mentioned in the application and then sign the photographs on the reverse side.
- Submission of Visa Application-The Visa application should be submitted at your Russian Embassy for a single entry student visa. The application needs to be submitted in person enclosed with other required documents and visa application fee. Russian embassies are strict in that and usually, they do not accept the application from agents, representatives or authorized person. Please note that the visa application fee varies depending upon the country you belong to and it is non-refundable still if your application gets rejected due to ay reason.
Once submitted, you will receive a receipt of your visa application and the fee paid for your future correspondence.
- Visa collection-After application submission, you will get the date on which you can get in touch or communicate with the embassy regarding Visa. You can contact the embassy on that particular date to know the updates of your application whether you have been granted the visa or not.
Once that is approved, you need to collect your visa on the specified date. For this, it is mandatory to carry the receipt of your visa application which you received at the time of application submission.
So, now you have your valid passport and visa for Russia and you can enter Russia with any problems. But there are still some tasks need to be taken care off when you enter Russian airport. You need to get a migration card from the entry point in Russia. Migration card is a kind of form which you need to fill out and submit at passport control. After checking, they will keep the half form and will return the stamped half to you. This migration card is necessary at the time of exit Russia.
If you have lost or have damaged your migration card, it is very important to apply to the General Administration for Migration Issues of Interior Ministry of Russia within 3 days of the incident. Once you submit the required documents like passport, visa, student identity card, etc, they will issue the duplicate migration card free of cost.
Another important task is to register your student visa. It must be done within seven days of your entry into the country. The inviting party, that is your university or institute usually arranges for your student visa registration. This requires your passport, your Russian student visa, and your migration card. You will get the proof of your visa registration after registration and that you need to retain very carefully till the tenure of your stay in Russia.
Russian student visa extension
The above-mentioned process was all for 3 months duration but if your course is longer than that, you need to get it extended. This extension can be done only after your arrival in Russia. In such cases, your single entry visa will be converted into multiple entry visa on the basis of the duration of your course. Please note that after extension, you will get a new visa in your passport and your old visa will not be valid anymore.
Russia has many aspects affecting the lifestyle of their citizens. Russians are considered very tough both physically as well as emotionally. Literature, architecture, classical music, theatre, politics, etc are some important part of their lifestyle.
Russians are not very strictly religious, although most of them consider Christian as their religion. But they do not believe in regular visits to church.
Hobby and habits
Russians are considered as a good reader and the education and books are very reasonable in Russia. Many universities are even offering free education on limited seats.
They love theatre and music and most of the cities have good theatres with reasonable tickets.
Russia has a very rich cultural and historical heritage which is preserved by Russians even after a rapid advent of technology.
The family takes as a priority in Russia and people consider the relations very important part of their lives. Although the divorces are becoming very common nowadays, still girls are getting married at a very young age. Parents stay with the children and even love to take care of their grandchildren.
Hospitality is again a very important part of their lifestyle. They welcome their friends and relatives with the open heart and do not calculate their closeness with them.
It is advised that one should go through the Russian customs and beliefs before entering the country. They do not consider handshakes, accepting gifts or talking to someone beyond some limit is considered as a good omen. Cleanliness is a sign of respect for them and taking off your shoes while entering any house is a usual expectation there. They even keep an extra pair of slippers for visitors to be used after removing their shoes.
Regarding gifts, they expect a small gift or a flower bouquet if you are invited for a lunch or dinner. Please buy odd numbers of flowers as even number of flowers are offered at funerals. A short speech after the meal is a common thing in Russia and it usually leads to a toast to cheer you.
Russia is a cold country and drinks are an important part of their food. It is famous for vodka and kvas. Kvas is a sparkling drink which is made up of fermented rye bread. Russians are also fond of back tea with lemon.
For breakfast, pancakes, sandwiches, porridge, omelettes along with tea and coffee are common. The lunch always starts with a soup and then it has meat or fish, salad and the dessert at the last. Dinners are usually families get together with an almost similar menu as they have in lunch including soup as the starter, main course, and dessert at the end. They love to have fish in the meals and vegetables are mostly stored in pickled form to eat them during winters. Most of the families in Russia have country houses and they cultivate different vegetable there during summers.
Festivals and important days
Their new year is same as Indians and celebrates it on 31st Dec and 1st January every year. 7th January is celebrated as Orthodox Christmas; 23rd February is celebrated as Men's day which is actually the day of the defender of the motherland. On international women's day that is on 8th March men give gifts of sisters, mothers, wife, and other females in their life.
9th May is celebrated as Victory Day, which the second most important day in Russia. They celebrate in by conducting a military parade in Moscow and a walk in remembrance of the Russians who struggled and got dies in the Great Patriotic War. On 12th June, hey celebrate Russia Day, on 12th December, Constitution day and many more such days.
Cost of Living for Students
The cost of living is never a fixed number and it varies depending upon various factors like the lifestyle you have, the location to would like to stay, etc. The in general cost of living in Russia is considered cheaper than India but obviously, exceptions are there if we consider living in big cities like Moscow.
If we talk about accommodation, there are 2 main categories- apartments in the city and houses located outside the city. The price ranges from expensive to very expensive for well-maintained apartments and houses. In most of the reasonable options, you will get outdated elevators and ill-maintained buildings.
The stay outside the city is cheaper even after including the cost of local transport using public transport option which is again cheaper and faster.
Regarding the cost of other utilities, earlier it was included in the rent and the landlords were responsible for all such payments but from 2012, the rule has changed. Now the tenants have to pay for their communal and utility charges separately. Although the utility charges are not that much high in Russia and internet charges are very much cheaper.
Billing systems are very much similar to India and bills are generated on the monthly basis which can be paid in banks, ATMs, post offices, online and even at instant payment machines situated in public areas.
The transport in Russia is very convenient as they have an excellent public transport system which includes trolleybus, trams, buses, and mini-buses (marshrutka). In some big cities, they also have the metro system. The public transport is easier and reasonable, but you need to learn to read Cyrillic- a guide for public transport. There are different signs for different modes like ‘A' for buses, ‘T' for trolleybuses, etc. There is no need to buy the ticket in advance and you can get the same by paying cash to the conductor or even driver. Please note that you will be charged extra if you are travelling with big baggage.
Another important aspect of living is Grocery and Russia has lots of reasonable supermarkets offering good quality wine and food but the price varies depending upon the season and location. Especially during winters, vegetables are imported and are expensive. Russians used to preserve the vegetable in the form of pickles for their winters.
If we talk about the health care system in Russia, they have free, government-funded healthcare but that is really difficult to navigate. It is better and advised to get private health insurance if you are going to stay for a longer duration.
Documents for University Admissions in RussiaDocuments requirement for Student Visa application
- A valid signed passport with at least 2 blank pages.
- A duly filled printed copy of Russian Student Visa application form. It must be signed by you.
- The validity of the passport must be up to 6 months extended from the duration of the visa applying.
- Certificates of current qualification.
- Original letter of invitation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any other equivalent organization or university or academic institute you are going to study.
- Proof of tuition fee payment to the college or university you have enrolled.
- An original HIV test certificate with a negative result. This certificate should be older than 3 months.
- Display of your intention that you will leave Russia at the end of your accepted or permitted stay.
Once you are ready with all the above documents, you can initiate the process of Student Visa application.