The Silver Necklace of Russia

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to Russian University

How to register on your website and why do you need it?

After registering in the Personal  Account on the Alfaplusgo.com website, you will get the opportunity to send an application for training directly to the best state universities in Russia. But first, we advise you to decide on the direction of study, and the university, where there are educational programs in your chosen direction. To do this, use our search service. By the way, programs can be added to Favorites, so that later it is convenient to compare. The next step is to register in your account. To do this, follow the link and enter your email address, a confirmation email will be sent to it. If this does not happen after five to seven minutes - check the Spam folder, if the letter is not there - write to the editors of the Alfaplusgo.com website. After confirming registration, you will need to fill out a questionnaire, then choose from the list the direction of study and university, one or more, where your application will go. In the "Additional Information" section, you can give a link to a specific program that interests you. University representatives will answer you within 5 days. Try it now.

I want to enroll at the university in Russia. Where do I start?

The website alfaplusgo.com has all the necessary information for foreign applicants who want to study in Russia. We have compiled detailed instructions "5 steps for admission to a Russian university".Study it carefully, and you will learn how to choose a university and study program, what documents will be required for admission, how the selection process is going on, how to get an invitation and apply for a study visa. In addition, go to the sections of universities, see what places they occupy in the ratings, what they offer to foreign applicants. A convenient works on our website search service - use it to find a suitable educational program, then register in your personal account and send an application directly to the university of interest to you, you will receive an answer within ten days.

How to choose a university? What criteria should you focus on?

To get started, go to the university’s page and carefully study the information about it, specify in which part of Russia the university is located, read the reviews of foreign students, see what places the university takes in international rankings. You can also find out which universities from other countries the university cooperates with, what internships and double diploma programs it offers. Read how the life of foreign students works, in what hostels they live.

Visit our search service and choose the training program that suits you the most. Then register in the Personal Account of the applicant and send an application to the selected institution directly, which offers this program. Representatives of the international department will answer you within 5 business days.

When do I need to apply to a Russian university?

For every academic year, dates for submitting applications and sitting entrance examinations are determined by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. Based on these deadlines, universities set their own dates, which are then published on their websites. Therefore, you need to check the application and examination dates on your chosen university’s website or with their international offices. In the 2020/2021 academic year, applications were accepted and examinations sat from 20 June to 26 July. Please refer to the website of the university you have chosen or contact its International Office representatives for accurate information on application and examination dates. Sign into our website to write to the university directly without delay. Applicants from countries with a visa regime of entry when submitting documents must take into account that it takes about 2 months to process an invitation and obtain an educational visa. More details will be found in the section "Russian Student Visa".


Are there any age limits for applicants to Russian universities?

Russian legislation sets no age limits for prospective students entering higher education. To meet basic requirements for Russian university enrolment, they need to have completed general or vocational secondary education and provide documented proof thereof. The documents must meet certain standards to be accepted. See the section on requirements for education certificates issued in foreign states. Document requirements depend on the university and the programme you plan to enrol in. Contact university representatives for detailed information. Write to the supervisor of the programme you’re interested in or sign into the website to send your application directly to the university.

When do applications to Russian universities open?

Applications open in late June. Universities websites announce application dates in the “Admission requirements” section on 1 October every year. The application time frame for foreign nationals is often longer; they start applying to some universities as early as February because the procedure takes much time. Prospective students are recommended to get in touch with the university, fill out the questionnaire and send in their initial application as early as possible. Initial application can be completed on the university website or on alfaplusgo.com. Create your personal account and write to the university directly. You will receive a reply within ten days. You can find out the deadlines for sending documents and learn about the programmes offered by the university, tuition fees, discounts, requirements for applicants etc. Note that the sooner you get in touch with the chosen university and receive the necessary information, the more time you have to prepare documents, get your student visa and read up for the examinations.

When do applications to Russian universities open?
Following is the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official reply to the question: a foreign citizen can be denied entry to Russia if they misstate the purpose of their trip in the visa application. You cannot apply for a tourist visa if entering a university is the declared purpose of your visit. However, you can come to Russia as a tourist and combine sightseeing with applying to university or taking examinations. Please keep in mind that if you’re admitted to university, you will need a student visa to legalise your stay in the country. In that case, you will have to return to your home country to reapply for a Russian visa. To avoid waste of time and money you might want to apply for a student visa from the beginning: it is valid for three months and you can have it extended in Russia by the Interior Ministry’s Migration Department. Refer your questions to the Russian consulate or Embassy in your country first to learn the visa procedure. Find out more in “Visa” and "Russian Migration Law" sections.
What documents do you need to collect for admission to Russian universities?

Document requirements may vary depending on university and programs, so be sure to check this information with your chosen university. As a rule, for admission to Russian university foreign citizens need to collect five documents. The first document is a questionnaire, which is on the website of any university; it needs to be filled. The second document is a copy of the passport with which you will enter Russia. The third document confirms the level of education. For example, if you are preparing to enter a master's program, then you need a document confirming the completion of a bachelor's degree. You will also need a medical certificate of the absence of diseases and contraindications for training, and a certificate of the absence of HIV infection. More about the requirements for the package of documents:


When submitting an initial application


Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

Copy of education certificate
List of subjects and grades

Copy of ID

A completed application form

Photos
(on demand)


When submitting documents to the university:


Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

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Как поступить в российский университет? Пошаговая инструкция для иностранцев. Шаг 3.

Application for admission to study indicating the chosen specialty and form of study

Identity document of the applicant and his citizenship (original and notarized translation into Russian).

Education document

indicating the subjects studied and the grades received (original and notarized translation into Russian)

Medical certificate of the established form

on the absence of contraindications for studying in Russia with a note on the results of an HIV test (or a medical certificate).

Photos

established sample



At the first stage, as a rule, it is sufficient to provide certified and translated copies of an identity card and documents on existing education. At the second stage (upon arrival in Russia), you need to bring the original documents and additional certificates to the university admissions office.


Study in Russia

When does academic year start in Russian universities?
Basic programme classes in Russia start on 1 September and end on 30 June. In certain cases, universities can make an exception for international students and accept their late applications (for example, if a student is still waiting to get the previous degree or a visa). There are two semesters: the first one is from 1t of September to 25th of January, the second one is from 9th of February to 30th of June. At the end of each semester students are passing exams. After this they have holidays: 2 weeks in winter (from 25th of January to 9th of February), 2 months in summer (from 1t of July to 30th of August). Preparatory Department classes usually start in October and end in June; they can offer a more flexible schedule of training and courses of different lengths. Some begin in winter or in spring, and some are available anytime. More information on training programmes offered by Russian universities to international students you will find here.  
How can I study in Russia if I don't know Russian?
Yes, this is an advantage of study in Russia. Leading Russian universities normally offer Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programmes in English. You can choose to study Russian at the university's international student pre-school or Russian language courses
Find the appropriate course with our search tool by selecting English as the language of instruction. To learn more, see the Study in English section. In addition, you can learn Russian at the Preparatory Department for foreigners or at Russian language courses at the university. If you enrol with Russian government funding, you will also be able to study Russian free of charge during the year. Over this time, students gain sufficient Russian proficiency to begin basic programme training. To learn more, see the Life in Russia section on Learning Russian.  

What is studied at the preparatory faculty for foreigners?
Leading Russian universities have preparatory faculties for international students. Typically, training lasts one year, but there are also shorter and longer programs. In addition to the Russian language, students master some general education disciplines, depending on their future specialty. For example, mathematics, chemistry, biology. For English-speaking students, classes in general subjects are initially taught in English. The cost of training at the preparatory department ranges from 1000 to 3800 dollars, depending on the university and the duration of the course. After completing the training course, you can apply to any Russian university for a Russian-language educational program. More information can be found here.
How to renew a student visa?
To extend a Russian study visa, a foreign student must seek help from the staff of the university where he is studying. As a rule, universities have special departments that deal with visa and migration issues. Documents for extension must be submitted there no later than 45 days (in some universities, 20-30 days) before the expiration of the visa. Among them must be the original and a copy of the passport, migration card, registration, receipt of payment of state duty, photo. You may also need a copy of the study agreement (if the student is studying on a paid basis) or directions from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (if the student is studying on a state scholarship), an extract from the order, a completed application form. This is an approximate list, it must be clarified. The department employees check the set of documents and transfer it to the territorial division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for migration issues.
Do I need to take entrance exams for the main program after finishing the preparatory department?
As for admission to study on a contract basis, then each university has its own rules. At the end of the software, on a paid basis, the student takes exams in the Russian language and specialty and receives a certificate, which indicates the subjects he studied, hours / credits and grades.
If you are applying to the same university for an undergraduate program, then these exams can be counted as entrance exams. If you decide to study at another university, then, most likely, you will have to take exams again. For example, to enroll in a bachelor's program in the direction of "mathematics", you need to pass the Russian language, mathematics and computer science / physics; on the direction "chemistry" - Russian, mathematics and chemistry, on the direction "linguistics" - Russian, foreign language, history / social studies.
The set of subjects depends on the university. It should be borne in mind that this is only general information and the requirements of universities are different. Therefore, before making a decision, it is better to clarify how the enrollment goes after graduation.
This can be done through the Applicant's Personal Account on our website - register and send a letter to the university that interests you; you will receive a response within 5 business days.
Can a foreign student graduate from the preparatory department at one Russian university and then study the main program at another?
If you plan to study for a fee, then after completing the preparation course you can enter any Russian university. You can find a list of preparatory programs and their costs here. If you have passed a strict competitive selection and received a scholarship, then it will not be so easy to change the university. The allocation of quotas is based on the needs of your country in specialists of certain profiles. Therefore, before arriving in Russia, you will be given a referral to where you have the necessary programs: to the university where the training will take place, and to the university to study the main program.

The issues of transferring foreign students studying within the quota from one Russian university to another, as well as changing their specialty, including after the preparatory faculty, are within the competence of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. An Interdepartmental Commission has been created there to resolve such issues. Therefore, if you want to transfer to another university, we recommend that you contact the Department of State Policy in Higher Education of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (address: Bryusov per., 21, tel .: +7 (495) 629-76-22, email: D05@mon.gov.ru).
I am studying at a university in my country. Can I transfer to a Russian university?
It is impossible to transfer from any foreign university to a Russian university according to the law "On Education" of the Russian Federation. Foreigners must enter the first year of a Russian university. Upon enrollment, an international student can provide an academic certificate stating that he has completed a certain number of courses at his national university. A special commission will consider it and decide on the transfer of a foreign student to a course corresponding to the document that he presented.

However, you can enter the next educational level after receiving a diploma from your university. For example, if you graduated from a bachelor's degree, you can apply to a master's program at a Russian university.
How much does it cost to study at Russian universities on average? Is it possible to pay by installments?
Education in Russian universities is an optimal combination of price and quality. The cost varies from 1 to 10 thousand dollars per year (depending on the city, program, university). In any case, the cost of education in Russian universities is lower than in Europe or the United States. In most Russian universities, tuition fees are available by semester. If you are interested in the cost of training in a certain direction, use our search service. In the description of each program you will find the price. More information about the cost of education in Russia here.

Living in Russia

Do I really need to purchase health insurance for the duration of my studies in Russia?
The Russian law, in effect since 2016, requires foreigners to take out health insurance immediately upon arrival in the country. When taking out private health insurance please note that the minimal price for foreign citizens increased to 100,000 roubles (1,740 US dollars) from 1 May 2016. Students can take out insurance on their own or with the assistance of the university’s International Office staff. Importantly, even the international students studying at government-funded places in Russia should pay their own money for private medical insurance. In 2017 Russian insurance companies offered Moscow students VHI policies for 4400-12000 rubles ($ 60-200) per year.
Do Russian universities provide their students with dormitory places?
Russian universities may provide their full-time students with dormitory places, if available. For this, students enter into rental contracts, with monthly rates varying from 500 to 5,000 roubles ($8 to $80), depending on the city and chosen university.  All dormitories have kitchens where students can cook their everyday meals, laundry facilities, essential furniture in students’ rooms and wi fi or Ethernet. Dormitory accommodation rates are much lower than hotel or private apartment rent. Visit the university page and click on the “dormitories” tab to find out more.
What is the best currency to bring to Russia?
You need to have some cash to hand for day-to-day expenses. Ideally, you should buy Russian roubles in your own country. Also, you may buy roubles when you arrive in Russia, at airport currency exchanges or banks. For large sums, such as tuition or accommodation fees, use wire transfer or a bank card. You can pay your tuition fees by transferring money from a bank account in your country directly to the university. Foreign citizens may also open accounts or get a debit card from a Russian bank. If you receive a scholarship, you need a debit card issued by a Russian bank. Many international students in Russia use two cards, one issued by their home bank and another by a Russian bank. Russia has a good banking infrastructure and you are unlikely to have any issues with card payments or cash withdrawals.
Can foreigners study and work in Russia at the same time?Can foreigners study and work in Russia at the same time?
Yes, international students can work at the university or in organizations related to it during their free time. Sometimes the international departments of universities help students find employment - as a rule, this is contract work. In this case, you do not need to obtain permission from the Main Directorate for Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. In other cases, permission is required, it is issued only to full-time students of universities that have state accreditation. Foreigners can work only in the profession specified in the permit and in the region (city) where their university is located. However, do not expect that a part-time job will fully cover all your living expenses (on average, this is $ 300-400 per month). Studying at Russian universities is quite intensive, in addition, there are also tasks for independent preparation, so students do not have much free time. It is better to enlist the support of your family or to save some money in advance to pay for expenses, so as not to be distracted from your studies.
Can I buy health insurance in my country?
Foreign companies usually offer tourist healthcare policies which do not cover regular treatment in Russian hospitals. To be able to obtain qualified and prompt medical treatment throughout your studies in Russia, you need to enter into a voluntary health insurance policy with a Russian insurer. It covers basic medical services; this policy is accepted at outpatient/inpatient hospitals; you can choose the medical centre located close to your place of study. Obligatory health insurance exempts you from paying for standard medical services upon the presentation of your policy or passport. For help in arranging health insurance, contact your university's international office.
Can I become a Russian citizen after graduating from a Russian university?
A foreign national graduating from a Russian university can obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure if several conditions are met: they should complete government-accredited basic education programmes at a state-owned university in the Russian territory. Also, they must have one year of working experience in their profession in Russia before applying for Russian citizenship. The applicant submits their employment record book or its copy verified by the employer according to the established procedure and other required documents.
Can I stay in Russia and work after graduation?
Unfortunately, this is not easy to do. While studying at a Russian university, a foreign student is in the country on a study visa, it is issued for the period of study. After graduation, you cannot stay in Russia and get a job without applying for a work visa or obtaining a work permit. All information about what documents are needed to legally stay in Russia after graduation is available on the website of the Main Directorate for Migration Issues of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.
How much money does an average student spend in Russia? How much do I need to bring with me?
On average, a Russian student spends 150 to 400 US dollars a month. However, you need to have around 300 or 400 dollars for miscellaneous expenses, such as health insurance, household equipment (kitchenware, bed linen, and cleaning items), and certain study materials. It’s an approximate sum that depends on your habits and needs. Your expenses can actually be larger or smaller. In general, Russian university students have many incentives which help them cut the costs of transportation, entertainment etc. A majority of universities have their own sport centres where students can pursue sports free of charge or for a small fee.
I want to study in Russia. Can you send me an invitation?
One of the tasks of the site (Alfaplusgo.com) is to prepare and send student invitations to universities that have been selected from the search engine. Foreign applicants can obtain an invitation to obtain a visa to study in Russia only after filling out the application. It is sent by the university to the customer's control panel, and this document is prepared for them by the General Administration of Immigration Affairs of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. But in the beginning, you must pass all the enrollment stages in the university: choose the specialization program and educational program, send the application and prepare the documents correctly. Only after that, you will receive a copy of the invitation via email in PDF format with barcode. Which should be printed and attached to the set of documents that you will present to the Federal Republic of Russia or the visa center (depending on the country) to apply for a student visa.