Cost of Living in Russia for International Students

Student Living Cost in Russia

As the largest country in the world, Russia is one of the most popular study-abroad destinations for international students. According to the database company Statista, Russia hosts the third-highest number of international students in the world, after Canada and Australia. Russia is a country that is home to more than 160 different ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages and is an attractive destination for the students who wish to pursue their higher education in a culturally-rich environment. The wide variety in the areas of study offered by Russia, along with a great quality of higher education, makes the hectic process of admission to Russian universities, from application to the final enrollment, totally worth it.

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Before planning to study in Russia, it is necessary that students get a good knowledge of the cost of living in Russia. It helps students to plan their budgets. The Russian currency is called Russian Ruble, depicted as py6 or RUB.  1 RUB is equal to Rs. 0.96 (as of April 2021, meaning cost of living in Russia is lower as compared to India. Students must also keep in mind while selecting a city to study in Russia that the cost of living in Moscow and St. Petersberg is higher than that in the other regions of the country.  

Given below is the detailed information on the living cost in Russia. From the cost of accommodation in Russia to market prices and transportation cost in Russia, the page answers all queries regarding the same.

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Cost of Studying in Russia

The cost of studying / tuition fee in Russia depends upon the university and programme one prefers to pursue. The average cost of studying medicine in Russia can range from 3 lakhs to 55 lakhs. The cost of pursuing other degrees is mentioned in the table below. 

Type of Education

Cost (in RUB)

Cost (in INR)

MBBS / Medicine in Russia

2,75,815 - 50,56,613

2,64,992 - 48,58,205

Full-time Bachelor’s degree in Russia

1,21,000 - 7,70,000

1,16,252 - 7,39,787

Master’s degree in Russia

1,27,000 - 4,50,000

1,22,016 - 4,32,343

Doctoral degree in Russia

1,12,000 -  4,13,000

1,07,605 - 3,96,795

The universities in Russia offer several scholarships to international students which help in reducing the cost of studying and tuition fee in the country.

International students are only allowed to pursue higher education in Russia if and when they have a valid Health Insurance for the duration of their stay in the country. This is one more cost that international students need to consider. Having Health Insurance can help international students in cutting off the medical care expenses by a great margin as it can be expensive.

One more cost that students need to add up to their list of studying expenses in Russia is the cost of student visa for Russia. The Russian student visa remains valid for only three months and then students need to apply for a visa extension 

Cost of Studying MBBS in Russia

Given below is the list of medical universities in Russia and how much they charge an international student studying MBBS annually:

Name of Russian University

Annual Tuition & Hostel Fee (in INR)

Orel(Oryol ) State University

3,15,000

Bashkir State Medical University

3,85,000

Belgorod State University

3,85,000

Altai State Medical University

3,92,000

Volgograd State Medical University

4,55,000

Kazan State Medical University

4,41,000

Mari State Medical University

3,50,000

Orenburg State Medical University

3,85,000   

Perm State Medical University

3,85,000

St. Petersburg State Medical University, I P Pavlov

3,50,000

People's friendship University

7,70,000

Kazan Federal University

4,55,000

Accommodation Cost in Russia

For an international student, it is crucial to find the best option for lodging within their budget. The most common accommodation options for international students in Russia are rental apartments, university dormitory/hostels and a host family. It is important to consider all the pros and cons of an option to ensure that the decision is cost-effective and not heavy on a student’s pockets.

The accommodation fee of a university dormitory is decided by the university itself. So, it may vary for different universities. These dormitories are fully-furnished and a much cheaper option than renting apartments in Russian cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. These two cities offer the most expensive rental apartments whereas, in Novosibirsk, students can get the same options for a half price. Some universities also provide the option of finding a host family for the students. 

The average cost of accommodation in Russia can be seen in the table below.

Accommodation Type

Cost Range (in RUB)

Cost Range (in INR)

University Dormitory

500 - 5,000

480 - 4803.81

Rental Apartments in Moscow & St. Petersburg (1-2 BHK) / Month

20,000 - 35,000

19,215 - 33,627

Rental Apartments in Novosibirsk (1-3 BHK) / Month

15,402 - 43,125

14,797 - 41,432

Transportation Cost in Russia

In a vast country like Russia where the distances are enormous, the transportation is not very expensive. There are various forms of transportation available in Russia. From regular buses to private taxis to suburban trains, students can find all kinds of public transport in Russia. In some major cities of the country, express trains are operated from airport terminals. 

The average cost of a person per day in urban transport can be around 130 - 150 INR. However, transportation cost varies from city to city. The bigger the city, the higher the transportation cost. The same journey that costs 50 RUB (48 INR) in Moscow will cost 45 RUB (43.23 INR)  in St. Petersburg and 32 RUB (30 INR) in Yekaterinburg. Cities like Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Samara, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, etc offer lower transportation cost than Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

The following table represents the transportation cost in different cities of Russia.

Means of Transportation

Cost Range (in RUB)

Cost Range (in INR)

Moscow Airport - City by Suburban Trains

50 - 150

48.04 - 144.11

Moscow Airport - City by Fixed-route Taxi

70 - 150 

72.92 - 156.26

One Journey in Moscow Express Train

500

480.38

High-speed Train From Koltsovo Airport to Yekaterinburg

60

57.65

A journey by Bus or Tram

21 - 55

22.14 - 52.84

One-way High-speed Train (Sapsan) Trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg

1904.97

1830.22

One-way Dorm Train (the Red Arrow) Trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg

5079.92

4880.6

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Cost of Food in Russia

In order to make a budget to plan the monthly expenditure, one must know the cost of food and the daily expenditure of having three-time meals in Russia. The cost of restaurant meals in Russia varies from city to city. A cappuccino in a coffee shop can cost from 240 to 260 RUB. The monthly meal expenses in Russia can range from 8,000 to 20,000 RUB.

Here is the approximate cost of fruits, vegetables and restaurants meals in Russia.

Food

Cost (in RUB)

Cost (in INR)

1-Litre of Milk 

65

62.45

12 Eggs

84

80.7

1 kg of apples

94

90.31

1 kg of Potatoes

32

30.74

Bread for 2 People for 1 Day

30

28.82

1 kg (2 lb.) of Tomatoes

126

121.06

Basic Lunchtime Menu (including a drink) in a Business District

351

337.23

Medical Insurance Cost for International Students in Russia

In Russia, healthcare and medical insurance have a significant role to play throughout the stay of an international student. Students from outside the country need a health insurance policy to be treated at state hospitals, health centres or student clinics.

Immediately upon arrival in Russia, an international student is required to buy a voluntary health insurance (VHI) policy, which covers certain medical services  such as out-patient and in-patient care, hospitalisation and transportation, as required by the Russian law.

A VHI policy and its cost, range of services and term of validity will vary from one region to another. In 2020, insurance companies offered VHI policies to students in Moscow within the range of 4,000 and 12,000 RUB (INR 3,845-11,537, as of April 2021).

Cellular Communication, Internet Costs in Russia

To get a SIM card from phone stores in Russia, one must have a national passport and a migration card. The cost of a standard package of services ranges between 300 and 400 RUB (INR 288-384).

The Internet is usually offered free of charge in dormitories. However, if one chooses to rent an apartment, they will have to pay for internet separately, around 300 to 500 RUB (INR 288-480), depending on the plan, region, provider and rate.

Other Expenditure

Other expenditures like movies, clothes shopping, recreational activities also take up a decent amount of the budget. Hence, it is important to know the expenditure on these things in Russia. 

Items

Cost (in RUB)

Cost (in INR)

1 Pair of Jeans (big brands)

5,716 RUB

6200.33

1 Summer Dress in a High Street Store 

3,102

3364.84

A Pair of Leather Shoes

7,709

8362.20

Cold Medicine for 6 Days

385

417.62

1 Box of 32 Tampons

218

236.47

4 Rolls of Toilet Paper

70

75.93

2 Tickets to the Movies

655

710.50

Dinner for Two at an Italian Restaurant 

3,313

3593.72

2 Tickets to the Theatre

6,661

7225.40

City-wise Cost of Living in Russia

Given below are the most popular student cities in Russia and their overall average cost of living for an international student:

City

Education Per Year (INR)

Utilities Per Month (INR)

Transportation (INR)

Rent Per Month (INR)

Overall Costs Per Month (Excluding Rent) (INR)

Moscow

3,13,393

8,298

Local Transport (one-way ticket)- 48

Monthly Pass- 2,092

32,541 to 1,29,514

41,418

Saint Petersburg

4,88,002

7,587

Local Transport (one-way ticket)- 48

Monthly Pass- 2,892

23,552 to 72,778

38,207

Nizhny Novgorod

3,68,000

7,867

Local Transport (one-way ticket)- 29

Monthly Pass- 1,542

14,830 to 24,395

35,363

Kazan

3,85,000

6,076

Local Transport (one-way ticket)- 39

Monthly Pass- 1,735

16,116 to 37,308

31,174

Samara

3,22,000

6,689

Local Transport (one-way ticket)- 31

Monthly Pass- 1,735

13,843 to 44,247

34,254

Yekaterinburg

2,64,000

7,231

Local Transport (one-way ticket)- 27

Monthly Pass- 1,639

15,761 to 36,081

33,385

Overall Average Expenditure of an International Student in Russia

Here is an overview of how much an international student is likely to spend on accommodation, food, transportation, and other significant everyday expenses: 

Category of Expense

Cost Per Month (in INR)

University Dormitory

4,819

Food

9,638

Transport

390

Culture, Sports, Entertainment

3,855

Internet, Mobile Phone

771

Note: Costs mentioned on this page are based on the current exchange rate as of April 2021.

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