The cost of living in Moscow as a student depends on personal lifestyle and the activities a student engages in. However, the average amount of basic expenses varies between 25,000 and 35,000 RUB per month.
20000 RUB per month
At the HSE cafeteria, a hot meal with a drink will cost you around 350–400 RUB. You can get a set menu for just 180 RUB. Moscow has a huge variety of restaurants and cafes to suit every taste. Normally, it is possible to have a good dinner for about 800–1,200 RUB per person. However, fast food restaurants are much cheaper: KFC costs approximately 400 RUB per meal; Vkusno I tochka (formerly McDonalds) costs approximately 300 RUB for a combo meal; and canteen-type dining facilities or ‘business lunches’ in restaurants cost 300–500 per meal.
The cost of buying food and beverages and cooking at home is approximately 3,000–4,000 RUB a week, given that the prices for fruits and vegetables differ from season to season.
715 RUB per month with a student transport card and 2,540 RUB per month without one.
Student Social Card fees for the Moscow Metro and Moscow Central Circle are 470 RUB per month, while ground transport costs 300 RUB per month. Note that the Social Card gives you a 50% discount for suburban trains as well.
Information about transport fares is available here.
500-800 RUB per month
Mobile services cost 500–1,000 RUB per month depending on the package.
500-1000 RUB per month (or free)
There is free Wi-Fi in every HSE University building.
To access it, use the following login and password:
HSE dormitories also offer free internet, cable connections, and Wi-Fi. To access them, use the login and password listed on the information boards in the dormitories or contact the dormitory administrator.
Visa Registration, Visa Extension
1600 RUB (once per stay)
You require a student visa to enter Russia if you are not a citizen of the following countries: Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan or Russia.
Student entrance visas are initially valid for 90 days. You must apply for a visa extension in person through the Student Service Centre 90–45 days prior to the expiration date of your current visa. Visa extension costs 1,600 RUB.
Medical examination, fingerprinting and photographs
Foreign students and employees arriving in Russia must undergo a medical examination, fingerprinting and biometric photographing.
A medical examination is required once a year (regardless of how many times you enter the Russian Federation). These procedures are obligatory and cost around 5,900 RUB.
Visit the Visa and Registration Centre website to learn more about the procedure.
around 5,000 RUB a month or more
Tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre start at 3,500 RUB. Tickets to other theatres cost between 500 and 3,000 RUB. A movie ticket costs about 400 RUB. Ticket prices for Moscow's museums and exhibition halls start at 200 RUB. Do not forget to take your student ID with you, since many places offer student discounts!
Going to a club might cost between 1,000– 4,000 RUB per night. Of course, prices vary depending on entry fees and pricelists. The average cost of a pint of beer in a bar is 300–400 RUB.
The International Student Network (ISN) offers many different activities and trips to various destinations. Ticket prices can reach 700 RUB for weekly activities and 3,000 for major trips.
Subscribe to the HSE International Student Support Telegram channel to keep updated about exciting events for foreigners.
Accommodation in an HSE Student Dormitory
1000-2000 RUB per month (for student dormitory)
around 35000-45000 RUB / month for a studio apartment in Moscow
If you prefer to live in a separate room outside of a dormitory, the prices for renting a room are influenced by the market and such factors as proximity to metro stations, location, etc. The typical cost to rent a single room in an apartment is around 25,000 RUB per month, excluding utilities.
IMPORTANT: Starting from 2021, only full-scholarship students are eligible to have a room in HSE dormitories. Students who do not receive standard dormitory accommodation can arrange accommodation via the Student Housing Office.
Clothing and other purchases
around 4000 RUB a month (could be more or less depending on lifestyle)
Winter clothes and shoes vary in price too: from 4,000 to 20,000 RUB depending on your personal style and brand preferences. A good winter coat may cost about 10,000-15,000 RUB. Mid-level shops like Sportmaster usually have a good selection of casual-style clothing suitable for the Russian climate.
If you love cooking, then you’ll need all the right equipment for your dormitory kitchen: pots cost around 800 RUB, pans cost upwards of 1,000 RUB, and plates are 100 RUB or more. An electric kettle will cost around 2,000 RUB. Additionally, a good option for cooking in the dormitories is a rice cooker or an electric pan, which might cost from 2,500 to 5,000 RUB.
Books typically cost 400 to 1,000 RUB. Bookshops usually have a section with books in languages other than Russian. You can also try to find the book you want in your dormitory chat—many students will be happy to lend you a book or two.
The HSE Library also has various printed and electronic materials. Learn more about HSE Library services here.
Learning the language
Private Russian lessons with a native tutor will cost around 1,500 RUB per hour. However, you can improve your language skills by yourselves—just communicate with your Russian friends on a daily basis and don’t be afraid of making mistakes!
You can also take Russian classes at HSE University in the Russian Language Centre. For example, you can learn Russian through drama or mass media.
Private rented accommodation costs are likely to be the main expense and will vary considerably depending on the district and the type, size and standard of accommodation. The city centre is generally more expensive in all respects including apartments. Flats are usually leased fully furnished.
Average monthly rent for a furnished apartment is as follows:
|Type of apartment
|Price per month
One will normally have to pay a deposit of one month’s rent which will be refunded at the end of the tenancy.
Utilities (water, electricity, gas, heating, etc.)
Payment for utilities may be included in the rental price, by agreement with the landlord. If you pay separately, the average cost of utilities per month is 5000 RUB–10,000 RUB.
Almost all rental apartments have Internet accesses and Wi-Fi. The average fee for an internet service is 500 RUB–700 RUB per month.
More information here.
In addition to local stores there are a few supermarket chains in Moscow, from low- and mid-budget Pyaterochka (Пятерочка), Perekrestok (Перекресток), Magnolia (Магнолия), Billa (Билла) and the international chain Auchan to upscale Azbuka Vkusa (Азбука вкуса) and Globus Gourmet specialising in high-quality food and alcohol. Depending on the type of products, the price discrepancy may be considerable, however these supermarkets chains have many locations so one can almost always find an affordable option.
Here is a price list of some of the most frequently used foodstuff:
|Price in RUB
|Beef (1 kg)
|Pork (1 kg)
|Chicken (1 kg)
|Salmon (1 kg)
|Potatoes (1 kg)
|Tomatoes (1 kg)
|Water (1,5 liter bottle)
|500 gr of local cheese
|Apples (1 kg)
|Oranges (1 kg)
|Rice (1 kg)
|Pasta (0.5 kg)
There are also several online supermarkets that sell a wide range of products with varying terms of delivery and prices. Most supermarkets offer delivery options. Some of the most popular include Utkonos, Lavkalavka (organic food), SFerm (From Farms), Perekrestok, OZON, Yandex.Market and many others.
Food prices in Moscow are quite moderate, particularly for domestic products, whereas imported brands and organic produce are more expensive.
More information here.
Transport in Moscow can be considered quite reasonable as there is no zoning and no time limits for a trip.
As of August 2022, the price for tickets in Moscow Metro (also valid for ground transport):
|single fare ticket (valid 5 days)
|30-day ticket (unlimited rides)
|60 trips (valid 45 days from the purchase date)
|2,360/2,800 (+suburban zone) RUB
Prices for overground transport:
|single fare ticket
Note that the minimum number of days for a travel pass is 30, but you can also purchase a travel pass for 90 or 365 days.
There are both registered and unlicensed taxis in Moscow. The average tariff for registered taxis is 500 RUB - 1000 RUB. The prices of unlicensed taxis may vary greatly, so it is highly recommended to avoid using their services. There are several taxi aggregator services, which you can use, for instance Uber, Yandex.Taxi, Gettaxi. You can download the necessary app for your smartphone in AppStore or Google Play.
There are currently 5 car-sharing operators in Moscow. Typically, you have to be over 21 and have at least 2.5 years of driver's experience. The rates vary from 8 to 10 roubles / per minute (depending on a car). More information available on Moscow transport website (in Russian).
Clothing and footwear
Nowadays Moscow offers shops to suit every budget and taste. Several shopping malls like Mega, Evropeyskiy, Metropolis, Atrium contain such popular mass market international brands as Benetton, Colin`s, Gant, GAP, and JNS.
The average price in these shops:
- a pair of jeans—2,000–5,000 RUB
- a shirt—1500–4,000 RUB
- a jumper—1500–4,000 RUB
- a jacket—3,000–9,000 RUB
- a pair of shoes—2,500–8,000 RUB
As well as these, luxury and premium shops and boutiques as D&G and Armani also have a presence in the Moscow retail market. They can be found in central locations and prestigious shopping centres (TSUM, Petrovsky Passage). However the price in their Moscow stores may be higher than that in most European countries. Thus a pair of Armani jeans in Moscow TSUM is ~20,000 RUB, and a leather handbag is 170,000 RUB.
Leisure activities and entertainment
More information here.
Moscow is the major cultural centre of Russia and offers a wide choice of places and events to attend.
|Ticket price in RUB
Café and Restaurants
More information here.
The average cost of a business lunch in a café or a combomeal in a fast food restaurant costs about 300 to 500 RUB.
The average total bill in a mid-range restaurant for one person is 1500 RUB–2,500 RUB.
Owning a car in Russia is no longer considered a privilege. Unfortunately, because of constant traffic jams it is often more convenient to use the Metro. However, driving a car still has its benefits. Here is a typical list of car related expenses (as of 2021):
- Average car insurance Kasko+Osago (per year)—65,000+5000 RUB
- Planned maintenance—20,000–25,000 RUB
- Vehicle inspection—720 RUB
- Parking fees (per hour)—200-450 RUB (depending on a Moscow district)
- Petrol 92 (per 1 litre) —47–49 RUB, 95 (per 1 litre)—51–57RUB
- Taxes and duties—1000–18,000 RUB (depending on car power) and 2,850 RUB (applies to any car)
Russian citizens mostly send their children to state nurseries and kindergartens which charge fees of 3200-4000 RUB per month. Private day-care centres, including those offering English speaking staff, are more expensive. The average monthly fee for a private kindergarten is 35,000–70,000 RUB.
Russian state comprehensive schools provide free of charge, high quality education, although the curriculum is different from the Western model. Also the language of instruction there is Russian.
Besides state schools, Moscow nowadays has a wide selection of private international schools offering British and American style education with a worldwide reputation for quality. The cost of education in other top international schools in Moscow such as the International School of Moscow, Anglo-American School of Moscow and the British International School depends on the grade level, the time of enrolment, and whether or not a child requires any additional support programmes. The exact fees charged by these schools can be found out after filling out an online application form on the relevant websites.
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