FAQ

Popular questions

Applying to Russian university

  1. What criteria should I take into account while choosing university?
  2. When do I need to apply to a Russian university?
  3. I want to enroll at the university in Russia. Where do I start?
  4. Are there any age limit for applicants to Russian universities?
  5. When does the application process for the Russian government scholarship begin?
  6. Can I visit Russia on a tourist visa to sit examinations?
  7. Do I need to have my CIS university diploma validatedto be accepted into postgraduate programmes in Russia?
  8. How are scholarships (quotas) allocated to countries?
  9. Russian Government Scholarship: how to get it, how to check if you have been admitted, when to expect an invitation?

Study in Russia

  1. When does academic year start in Russian universities?
  2. Is is true that international students can study for free at Russian universities?
  3. How can I study in Russia if I don’t know Russian?
  4. What do preparatory departments for international students teach?
  5. What’s the average cost of studying at a Russian university? Can I pay in installments?

Living in Russia

  1. Do I really need to purchase health insurance for the duration of my studies in Russia?
  2. Do Russian universities provide their students with dormitory places?
  3. What is the best currency to bring to Russia?
  4. Can foreigners study and work in Russia at the same time?
  5. Can I purchase health insurance in my own country?
  6. How much money does an average student spend in Russia? How much do I need to bring with me?

 1. What criteria should I take into account while choosing university?

Firstly, you should check the university page and review all the information, then read the testimonials of international students, learn what places this university takes in international rankings. Connect the representatives of the international department of this university. In addition, you can come for a month in summer school and see everything by yourself. Use our search service to find the short programme.

2. 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 Education and Science of Russia. 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 2014-2015 academic year, applications were accepted and examinations sat from 19 June to 24 July.

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

Visit our website – we have prepared detailed guidelines for you – “Five Steps to Studying in Russia”. You can also find out how to get a Russian Government Scholarship and study for free. For more information about scholarships, please contact a representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in your country. Find a suitable programme and contact the International department of the university you are planning to go to. Contact information for international students you can find at the page of each university.

 4. Are there any age limit for applicants to Russian universities?

Russian laws do not limit the age of university applicants. However, applicants need to have a completed high school or vocational school education.

 5. When does the application process for the Russian government scholarship begin?

The application deadlines for Russian government scholarships are announced annually between December and January. Visit the websites of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia or Rossotrudnichestvo for details. Different deadlines are set for different regions and countries, taking into account their specific education systems. For instance, in the 2014-2015 academic year, applicants from the CIS countries, the Baltic states, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia were expected to apply by 1 March, applicants from Europe, North and South America – by 1 April, and applicants from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia – by 1 May.

 6. Can I visit Russia on a tourist visa to sit examinations?

In theory, you could use a tourist visa to apply to a university (in this case, you would need to have an invitation from the accepting party – either a hotel or a friend who invited you to stay. Universities issue invitations for student visas only). However, for any further legal stay in Russia, you still need to obtain a student visa. For this, you need to go back to your country and submit a student visa application there. To avoid wasting time and money, you are advised to apply for a student visa from the very outset: it is issued for three months, to be further extended within Russia (at the Russian Federal Migration Service office). Applicants from countries with visa requirements to enter Russia should take into account that the process of obtaining an invitation and an entry visa in average takes about 2 months. To learn more, please visit the Getting to Russia section on How to Apply for a Student Visa.

 7. Do I need to have my CIS university diploma validatedto be accepted into postgraduate programmes in Russia?

Our experts have written detailed instructions “How to legalise an education certificates and diplomas in your country”. Please remember that the preparation of documents is a serious and important procedure; your enrollment in a Russian school greatly depends on it. For detailed information please contact representatives of the Russian university where you are planning to study. (The contact information of each university is published on its official website). Employees of international student relations departments will inform you whether or not you need to undergo a diploma recognition procedure and how exactly you can do it.

 8. How are scholarships (quotas) allocated to countries?

The number of state-funded spots available to a country is driven by intergovernmental agreements. The stronger the collaboration between countries, the more students will be able to study at Russian universities free of charge. For instance, in 2016/17 academic year Vietnam, China and Tajikistan have 855, 830 and 342 spots, respectively, according to Rossotrudnichestvo statistics. Contact your local office of Rossotrudnichestvo or the Russian Embassy to check this year’s allocation to your country.

 9. Russian Government Scholarship: how to get it, how to check if you have been admitted, when to expect an invitation?

Please contact your local office of Rossotrudnichestvo (if there is none, please turn to the Russian Embassy) for all matters concerning scholarships, documents required etc. For general questions, you can call +7 (499) 321-54-99 or email rossotr@rs.gov.ru. In addition, electronic forms can be submitted through the Rossotrunichestvo website. You can check if you have been admitted at russia-edu.ru, +7 (495) 134-28-70 or by using the feedback form in the bottom right-hand corner. You will find more information on how to apply for Russian Government scholarships here.

 

Study in Russia

 

 1. When does academic year start in Russian universities?

Academic year lasts from 1t of September to 30th of June. 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).

 2. Is is true that international students can study for free at Russian universities?

There are several options for foreigners to study for free in Russia. You can participate in an academic competition or apply for a Russian government scholarship. Certain categories of international students may even get their tuition funded by the Russian government. To learn more, please see A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying and the Study Funded by the Russian Federation section.

 3. How can I study in Russia if I don’t know Russian?

Leading Russian universities normally offer Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes in English. To learn more, see the Study in English section. You can choose to study Russian at the university’s international student pre-school or Russian language courses. If you enrol with Russian government funding, you will also be able to study Russian free of charge. To learn more, see the Life in Russia section on Learning Russian.

 4. What do preparatory departments for international students teach?

Leading Russian universities normally have preparatory departments where international students study for one year. In addition to the Russian language, students study other subjects, depending on the chosen programme, e.g. Maths, Chemistry, or Biology. For English-speaking students, the first lessons are conducted in English. To learn more, see the Preparatory Department section.

 5. What’s the average cost of studying at a Russian university? Can I pay in installments?

Russian universities are praised for their best price-to-value ratio. Tuition costs vary from 1000 to 6000 US dollars per year and depend on the city and chosen university. Most Russian universities offer the option of paying for tuition by terms. To learn more about tuition costs, you need to visit each university’s website.

 

Living in Russia

 

 1. Do I really need to purchase health insurance for the duration of my studies in Russia?

You are strongly advised not to save money at the expense of your health. If you do not purchase health insurance, you will find yourself paying for any healthcare (from a doctor’s appointment to treatments) and the cost of medical services in Russia is far from low. Also, many Russian universities require that their students obtain health insurance as stipulated in the respective university charter. For example, they may refuse you a dormitory place if you do not have health insurance. To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Healthcare.

 2. 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 150 to 5,000 roubles, depending on the city and chosen university. To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Accommodation.

 3. 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. To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Prices.

 3. Can foreigners study and work in Russia at the same time?

International students can work at the university (or at its organizations) on their free time. In this case you don’t need to take the relevant permit from the Federal Migration Service (FMS). In other cases a permit is required. Permits are issued only to students on full-time courses at state-accredited universities. Students can work only according to the profession specified in the permit, and in the region (city) where their university is located. Read more about work for international students in Russia.

 4. Can I purchase health insurance in my own 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. For help in arranging health insurance, contact your university’s international office. To learn more, please visit the Life in Russia section on Healthcare.

 5. 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 300 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. To learn more, please visit the Life conditions.

 

Why Russian Resource

 

1. RUSSIAN RESOURCES IS THE PIONEER
Russian Resources is the pioneer in Malaysia for promoting quality tertiary education in Russia. Today we are the most established and reliable organization in this field, founded by Mr. Teoh Seng Lee, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation. We have consistently provided a full range of student services since 1997. To date, we have successfully placed more than 2,500 students at various universities in Russia for tertiary and professional studies.

2. RESPONSIBLE AND ETHICAL
Our students’ welfare and success are our priority. We will only accept students who meet the academic qualifications criteria as prescribed by both the Russian government and your government. Firstly, to ensure that our students are academically able to successfully gain knowledge and formal qualifications. Secondly, that your formal qualifications will be the key to many job opportunities. Furthermore, we closely monitor any changes from Malaysian and Russian Ministries of Education to communicate new entry requirements to our students promptly.

3. COMPETITIVE PRICING, NO HIDDEN CHARGES
Russian Resources’ mission statement is “To provide access to world-class tertiary education at affordable prices”. Our primary goal is to provide students with an affordable quality education. We endeavor to keep costs as low as possible, and avoid surprising students with ‘hidden charges’. Furthermore, students are assured of continued assistance and support from us throughout their studies, at no further charge.


4. FULL SERVICE FROM START TO FINISH

Our comprehensive services include, full assistance in application and registration to Russian universities, visa processing, and travel arrangements for all our first time students. Our Russian speaking staff will accompany first time students to Russia, and ensure that they receive proper accommodation as well as familiarize them with their new surrounding. We will also handle all fee payments to the universities, and provide information to parents about their children’s academic progress where available. For new students, we are conducting Russian language classes to help them better cope with living in Russia.

5. WELL TRAINED, KNOWLEDGEABLE AND EXPERIENCED STAFFOur staff have been helping our students from commencement of their applications to completion of their education in Russia. Our staff members are experienced and knowledgeable about all the application processes and information about studying in Russia. When you come to Russian Resources, we become partners in your education journey. Our staff take great pride in this education partnership with you and will endeavor to work with you and your parents to make your stay in Russia as fruitful and memorable as possible.

6. LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA
Russian Resources’ relationship has spanned decades, beginning from when our Director’s father was engaged in business with the Soviet Union since 1967. Our relationship with Russia and its peoples is second to none.

Accommodation in Russia
From dormitories to student hostels, the university you choose to go to will provide you with basic student accommodation in a congenial environment. Students are housed in comfortable double/triple occupancy rooms that are supplied with necessary furniture and bed linen.
Student housing will provide you an exciting opportunity to learn more about Russian culture and also from other international students like yourself.
Russian higher education does not only develop your academic potential but also your social perspective and other talents. Outside the classroom, you will be able to enjoy a wide selection of extra-curricular activities that may include drama productions, horse riding, pilot lessons and sports.
Also, most universities are located in communities that have many social and recreational activities, and facilities that are available for you to explore. These may include opera houses, ballets, plays, museums and public libraries.

 

General Inquiries

Why should I study in Russia?

The standard of higher education in Russia is considered to be one of the most advanced and sophisticated in the world. Russian degrees have received global recognition and have topped World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) rankings.

What are the costs like when compared to other Western countries?

Compared to Western countries, the cost of your higher education in Russia is less than half. For Malaysian students, a Russian university degree will cost around RM 250,000 to RM 300,000 for the whole course (including flights, accommodation and estimated cost of living) compared to between RM500,000 and RM 1,000,000 in other countries. You can find out more here.

Are the Russian medical institutions you represent recognised in Malaysia?

Yes, we currently represent two medical institutions (Nizhny Novgorod State Medical University and Volgograd State Medical University) that are recognised by the Malaysian government.

How do I choose a university or an institute?

Russia offers many undergraduate and post-graduate courses in a variety of fields including medicine, arts, music, architecture, aerospace engineering and IT. Choose the one best suited to your needs. At Russian Resources Sdn Bhd, we have a comprehensive list of Russian universities for you to refer to. Please have a look at our partner universities, and the courses on offer.

How do I apply to a Russian university? What are the admissions requirements?

The requirements for entry into a Russian university vary depending on the type of degree and university that you are applying to. You can have a look at our entry requirements page, or contact us for more details.

What if the classes are conducted in Russian? I don’t even speak Russian!

If the medium of instruction for your intended course is Russian, you will receive an academic year-long

Preparatory language course conducted in Russian before you begin your actual university studies. This course teaches you Russian in more detail and also covers the prerequisite subjects that you need to know to begin your university studies.

What if the classes are conducted in English? Do I need to be proficient in Russian?

Students admitted into the English medium will undertake the courses in English simultaneously with the systematic study of the Russian language. It gives an opportunity for students to overcome the language barrier at the beginning and to learn Russian at a less intensive pace.

In some medical courses, the disciplines in the senior years (4th – 6th year) including the clinical studies at local hospitals and clinics will be conducted in Russian. Students are therefore required to be proficient in the Russian language so that they are able to gain the most out of their higher education in Russia. In short, proficiency in Russian is a MUST if you choose to enrol in Russian Higher Education.

What are the intake periods?

Please have a look at our intakes page for more details, as they may vary from year to year. You can contact us for further details on available courses and application deadlines.

 

Visas

Do I need a visa to enter Russia as a student? How do I apply for the visa?

Yes, international students require a visa to enter Russia for their education. The visa application must be submitted together with your Application for Admission to Higher Education in Russia. For new application, your passport must be valid for at least 18 months from your departure date. Upon acceptance to the university or institution, the university (your host) will issue you an official letter of invitation. We will submit this letter together with your visa application to the local Russian embassy or consulate for processing.

When will I receive my visa?

Visa approvals take approximately 8-10 weeks. Students are encouraged to submit their applications and payments early to allow sufficient time for approvals.

Visas are generally scheduled to arrive 1-2 weeks before departure to Russia. However, late applicants may not receive their visas in time. Urgent approvals for visas will incur additional cost.

What type of Visa will I have? How long will it be valid?

As a student, you will enter Russia on a student visa that is sponsored by the University or Institution that will be hosting you. Student visas are valid for the duration of the course that you are pursuing in Russia. Students with student visas are NOT allowed to seek employment in Russia.

What if I want to go home or travel out of Russia during my studies?

When you know your travel dates out of the country, you MUST apply with the Russian University for what is termed as an “Exit-Re-Entry” visa, which allows you to leave and return again without giving up your student visa. You will need to submit additional photos, and to pay a fee. You should also apply for this at least 3 weeks before your planned travel dates, and you will need to specify the “travel window (exit and return dates)” during which this “Exit-Re-Entry” visa should be valid.

Do not lose this “Exit-Re-Entry” visa, as entry to Russia is not permitted without this document. Re application / replacement can only be processed by the University concerned. This may take between 4 to 6 weeks. All students are strongly advised to staple this visa slip to their passport as this is not done by the authorities.

What does it mean to “register” my visa?

The visa you receive initially is only your permission to enter Russia. Once you arrive, you have 72 hours during which to register the visa. In the case of a student visa, this registration process is done by the university. They will register it for the period for which you have enrolled in your course.

Important: You must register your visa within 72 hours of your arrival in Russia otherwise you will be liable to a hefty fine.

 

International & Domestic Travel

Will I be accompanied on my trip to enrol at University for the first time?

First time students going to Russia are encouraged to travel with us in a group with other students. Students will be accompanied and met at the Airport and brought to the University to register and to check in to student housing.

Where can I get more information about flight arrangements and departure before I go to Russia for the first time?

A few weeks before departure, a briefing session will be conducted to brief students and parents with regards to travel arrangements and departure dates. Parents and students are strongly encouraged to attend and to participate in the Q&A session following the briefing. This is the best time to seek answers to questions that you may have prior the students’ departure to Russia.

What are some the travel requirements for international flights that I should be aware of?

Students should have bags that can be securely fastened, locked and labelled. International airlines allow passengers to check two bags per person, with a MAXIMUM weight of 30 kilograms. In addition, a small, less than 6 kg, carry-on bag is allowed, including a laptop. Please note domestic Malaysian airlines impose lower baggage limitations.

Students are strongly encouraged to keep to the maximum weight allowed to avoid check-in delays and additional costs of excess baggage.

Should I purchase an open-ended return ticket or a fixed return ticket?

Often students who are staying for a year are not sure about their return date. From experience, students are advised to purchase a fixed ticket with a tentative return date. If you need to change your return date, it is often changeable for a small fee, but this should be confirmed with the ticketing agent at the time of purchase.

What about travel within Russia? What are some of the requirements on domestic airlines and trains?

Domestic flights in Russia are quite strict and permit only a MAXIMUM of 20 kilograms per person in total for both their carry-on and check-in baggage. As for trains, there are typically four passengers per compartment, and it is not necessary that passengers of the same sex share the same compartment – so you should be prepared! There are also sleeping cars with two passengers per compartment but the cost is very much higher. Each passenger is limited to 35 kilograms without extra payment. An overnight trip from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod takes about eight hours (450 miles).

I have heard about “Registration” when I visit another city. What does this mean?

Registration is a process that affects all travellers in Russia including Russian citizens. Visitors to any city for more than 72 hours (count business days only) are technically required to register. This function is performed by hotels at check-in; in the case where a visitor is staying at a private residence, the registration must be done by the visitor at the local police station.

While this is not regularly enforced, it can come up during your travel. If you take a weekend trip somewhere, this is generally not a problem. But, you can be stopped at anytime by the local police and asked to prove you that you are here less than 72 hours if you do not have local registration. Therefore to avoid any issues with the police, you are strongly advised to abide by this regulation.

Can my parents or family visit me while I study in Russia?

Of course, they can! However, the Russian university or institute you are currently studying at and the Russian government is not responsible for the travel expenses or arranging accommodation for your family. Students must apply to the University for an Invitation letter for your family. With this letter, your family then can apply for a visa for entry into Russia at the local Russian Embassy or Consulate. Please allow between 4-8 weeks for the visa application process.

Tuition Fees & Expenses

How much money should I bring when I leave for Russia for the first time?

Students are advised to bring about USD 1000-1500 (new notes) when they leave for Russia for the first time. This will be needed for initial expenditures for clothes, medical insurance, and other items that you may need to begin your stay in Russia.

When would I need to pay my tuition fees? How and where should I pay it?

Students who are enrolled for the preparatory course, pre-University course, and the first academic year must pay their tuition fees to us before leaving for the University in Russia. For subsequent years, tuition fees must be paid prior to beginning of the next academic year at the University or to RRSB. Students may choose to pay, in cash, directly to the University in Russia. But, to avoid carrying large sums of money to Russia, students are advised to pay their fees through us (via bank-draft), and we will then transmit the fees to the University.

Returning students are strongly advised to pay RRSB immediately upon their return.

Will fees increase after I am enrolled at the University?

Tuition fees may be reviewed and increased from year to year. But for students who are already enrolled, the increase in tuition fees will not affect them. The university or institution will stipulate the yearly tuition fees at the time of the student’s enrolment. These fees are then fixed for the duration of the whole course.

Hostel fees are subjected to increment as stipulated by the University.

What about daily living expenses? How much would I need each month?

Living in Russia is quite affordable although the cost of living differ from city to city; the most expensive being in Moscow. For living expenses, students are recommended to set aside about US$ 200-300 per month for personal needs in Moscow. Other cities may require less expenditure; for example in Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod US$ 200-250 will be sufficient.

As Russian institutions have a statutory obligation to provide students with hostel rooms the accommodation costs are included in the tuition fees. Rooms are shared with one or two other students.

Any changes in terms of hostel improvements or transfer to bigger rooms can sometimes be marginally imposed by the University and students will need to comply accordingly.

What is the best way for my parents to send me money for my living expenses?

Students can withdraw money through ATM machines in Russia if they have a savings account in Malaysia which has a Global ATM card that is on the CIRRUS, MAESTRO or PLUS network. Money deposited in the saving account in Malaysia will be available for withdrawal in Russia the next working day. Depending on the ATM machine, US dollars or Russian roubles can be withdrawn.

There will be a transaction fee associated with each withdrawal; you are advised to check this with your bank.

Are credit cards readily accepted? Should I carry some cash?

Although credit cards are readily accepted in Moscow, it is best to limit their use. In the smaller cities, however, very few businesses accept them. It is best to bring cash in denominations of USD $20-50.

With frequent changes in exchange, it is best not to cash more than your need. Also, please ensure that you have clean, crisp dollar bills not older than 2002, because each one is checked. Torn, disfigured or crumpled notes may not be accepted for exchange in Russia.

Health & Personal Safety

Is Russia really as unsafe as the media says?

Moscow is a very big city, and thus carries with it some of the dangers of similar large cities in the world. Most problems arise as a result of alcohol, in or around places where there is considerable drinking. This can easily and should be avoided. Common sense is the best thing to carry with you. Do not travel alone especially in the late evenings and night, and to avoid quiet streets. Other cities are smaller, quieter and safer but still, it is no substitute for plain common sense.

Students are also advised not to carry too much cash or valuables with them.

I have heard stories about “skinheads”. Are they true?

These “skinheads” do exist, and they apparently have no other purpose in their lives other than to target individuals that they perceive as foreigners. Skinheads are not unique to Russia as they are also found in other European cities. Although they are a concern, especially in Moscow, incidents involving them are rare.

Do I need medical insurance while studying in Russia?

Yes, medical insurance is required upon registration at the University. It is not included in the tuition fees, but it is provided at a nominal sum to be paid directly to your university.

Students sponsored by the Russian Government will be given medical insurance in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation.

Do I need any vaccinations? What are the medical tests that I will have to take to support my application?

No, you do not need any vaccinations. But, students will have to undergo a general medical examination and a standard blood screen that includes a mandatory test for HIV in Malaysia as part of the application requirement.

Additionally as of year 2005, all new and returning students must undergo HIV test in Russia at a nominal fee. As long as you return, you need to repeat this HIV test.

Student Life

Where will I live?

The university you choose to go to will provide comfortable basic student accommodation with common kitchen facilities. The cost is included in the yearly tuition fee that is paid to the University. Student housing will provide you an exciting opportunity to learn more about Russian culture and students cultures from other countries.

For those who prefer to live out of university, private apartments are available, but students will have to rent them on their own. The applicable hostel fees will be refunded. However this refund is limited on a yearly basis and no transfer will be made until expiry of the yearly contract.

This is my first extended stay in another country. What can I expect?

Life in Russia is very different from home. Things that are taken for granted as routine at home may be very time consuming and frustrating in Russia. Also, life in student housing can be very challenging. Besides taking care of yourself, you will have to adapt and live with students from all over the world whose cultures are very different from yours. It is very important that you learn to adapt and handle each situation with maturity and poise.

Where will I eat?

Students can dine at low-priced cafeterias which are located in the University or institution. Alternatively, there are cafes, restaurants and fast-foods chains (McDonalds, Pizza Hut etc) in the cities where you can dine. Student housing usually provides shared kitchen facilities for those who prefer to cook their meals. There are many supermarkets and stores where you can purchase your food if you choose to cook. Shared cooking among the international students is also a popular activity.

What is student life like in Russia?

It is not all hard work when studying in Russia. Learning is not just confined to the classroom. There is a wide range of cultural activities to check out. Universities can arrange trips which provide an insight into the culture, history and geography of Russia. There are also museums and galleries to explore.

Students enjoy a wide selection of extracurricular activities that may include drama productions, horse riding, pilot lessons and sports. There are also concerts, parties, and camping trips that are organised by the student unions.

With most universities located in communities, many social and recreational activities and facilities are available to students; these include opera houses, ballets, and plays. There are also numerous yearly traditional and cultural events to look forward to.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Winters are extremely cold and damp; temperatures can fall as low as -30 deg C. Interiors are usually well heated, so it is preferable to dress in layers. Winter clothing is cheaper and is easily available in Russia, so you should plan to buy most of your winter clothes there.

Summers are warm and humid, and temperatures can rise to the mid-30 deg C. So, pack some light clothing for warm weather especially those that you can throw on a sweater over if the weather gets colder.

What about foodstuffs and toiletries? Should I bring them with me?

You may be better off taking a few extra dollars with you as you can buy practically every kind of food and toiletry in Russia. It is recommended, however, that you bring something just for the first few days.

They say that the climate in Russia is horribly cold. Can I stand it?

In winter, from December to February, temperatures can be as low as – 30° C. You should have “warm” clothes for this season. Thousands of students from Africa and Asia are studying in Russia and feel comfortable in winter. Be prepared that in summer it can be rather hot – up to over 30° C in July!

Are student housing in or near the campus? If not, how do I travel to classes?

For some institutions, the hostel is walking distance to the campus, but for others, some travelling is required. The normal mode of transportation for students is by bus and subway (underground trains). Russia has an efficient and extensive public transportation system. Buses and underground trains are reasonably priced and easily accessible.

If you need to take a taxi, take only official cabs, as opposed to a “private or gypsy taxi” with a self-employed driver. Negotiate fare in advance as meters are rarely used. Never enter a taxi with another person, who is not known to you, already in it.

Can I use the Internet or a hand phone while in Russia?

Yes, you can. If you have a notebook or hand phone you can take it with you. If not, you can buy them in Russia. Prices for these products and many other items may be lower there than in Malaysia. There are also numerous cyber-cafés in the cities where you can e-mail or chat online with your friends and family.

May I practice my religion in Russia?

Yes, you can. Russia is home to over 100 nationalities and ethnic groups, as well as different religions. The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest religious group while Islam is the second most practiced religion.

What about appliances? What is the electricity requirement in Russia?

Russia operates on 220 volts 50Hz. It is NOT recommended that you bring appliances with you. They can be purchased there later if you need them. Otherwise, DO bring along a universal adapter.