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Five Common Myths about Studying in Russia

© Pixabay

Whether inspired by the World Cup or simply wanting to study in a new and exciting place, students are looking to Russia to further their education. But little is known about what it’s actually like to study at a Russian university. Unless you know someone who has studied abroad in Russia or have a Russian friend, it might be hard to find information. Let’s take a look at five common myths about studying in Russia. As you read on, you will find that these myths are not only untrue, but in fact touch upon the very reasons you should consider applying to a Russian university!

Myth #1- Education in Russia will be expensive

Studying in Russia might actually work out to be cheaper than in your home country.

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Tuition fees are very reasonable. Even a prestigious school like HSE University costs as little as $3200 to $7800 per year, with full-tuition and partial-tuition scholarships available for international students.

And living expenses are extremely low. A university dormitory room can usually be secured for a small, nominal fee, while a room in a Moscow apartment will be around €175/month. Studio apartments often cost no more than $300-450/month (though this depends on the part of town, of course).

With cheap student transport passes available, it is not unusual for student’s total living expenses not to exceed $500 per month.

Myth #2 - The Russian language will be a struggle

You know more Russian than you think!

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE

Okay, you might not be ready to have a conversation when you step off the plane, but you’ll recognize plenty of borrowed words from English and French as well as words that are similar to other Slavic languages.

Russian is the eighth most spoken language in the world, and the prominence of Russian business and culture is increasing all the time. Learning to speak Russian in Russia will allow you to pick it up quickly and to speak it authentically—the way real Russians speak it.

Some universities offer a wide range of Russian language courses for international students. For instance, HSE University provides Russian as a Foreign Language and Preparatory Year programmes. There is also a wide range of HSE master’s programmes taught entirely in English, thereby allowing you to study in a familiar language while you develop your Russian skills outside of class.

Myth #3 - Russian universities have complicated admission procedures

In fact, applying to a Russian university is not so different from applying to one in Europe or the States.

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Year after year, admissions offices streamline the enrollment process to make it as smooth as possible for international applicants. Students can apply and provide all the necessary documents online.

And you can expect to be supported through the process by local administrative staff. HSE University employees are happy to answer your queries in English and are capable of providing all the information and support that you might need.

In addition, university staff will supply you with your visa invitation and walk you through the state regulations for your stay in Russia.

Myth #4 - Your degree won’t be recognized

Russia’s education system is based on the Bologna principles, and you can expect to get an internationally-recognized bachelor's or master’s degree, postgraduate certificate, or equivalent.

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE

Russia’s status in the international education community has been cemented through partnerships and shared programs with the world’s leading schools. Accreditation and teaching standards meet international requirements, with 95 Russian universities ranking in the QS EECA University Rankings 2018 and 24 in the QS World University Rankings.

One of Russia’s top schools, HSE University, has more than 20 double-degree programmes with foreign universities, making for an excellent opportunity to receive a European degree at Russian prices. The European Diploma Supplement is given to all HSE graduates in addition to the degree certificate.

Myth #5 – Russia is a rural country with a rough climate

In addition to its two world renowned metropolises, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia has many modern and fast-growing urban areas.

© iStock

Moscow (population 17 million) and Saint Petersburg (5.3 million) provide you with a good quality of life and affordable prices at the same time. Life in these cities is very safe and comfortable with all the services you would expect from major European cities.

Both cities are noted for their wide varieties of traditional and cutting-edge entertainment, vibrant nightlife, and international cuisine. Student discounts for theaters and exhibitions and open lectures and conferences make enjoying the city life possible on your budget.

If you study in Russia, you can enjoy historic sites, urban lifestyle, and Russian culture all while studying at a high quality university in a rapidly changing country where opportunities await you.


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