Study in Russia: 5 Basic Steps For Applying to a Russian University

Russia places a very high value on education, with over half of its populaces holding a university degree. This is partly because the Russians have rich, centuries-old educational traditions. The universities in Russia provide both national and international students with comfortable studying and living conditions.

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Russian universities are regularly placed in the top international rankings. They train a wide variety of specialists, both in engineering and the humanities. The educational system in Russia is more affordable than in the USA or UK. Also, international students have the opportunity to study for free at the disbursement of the Government budget. Russia accepts international students from across every nations of the world, you can also apply to stand a chance of studying in the world’s largest country.

1. Choose Programme and University

Prospective students who wish to study in Russia are presented with a huge range of diverse options to choose from including mathematics and natural sciences to drama. There are approximately 766 universities across 82 regions of Russia from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, which are all ready to welcome international students. You can study to obtain a Bachelor’s, Specialist or Master’s Degree, a doctorate, professional training or career advancement.

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Russian universities prepare students to join almost any profession currently in demand on the global market. Prospective students should select the programme that best suit their intended career.

2. Learn about Financing & Scholarships

Local and international students can study at Russian universities at the expense of the Russian government or on a private basis.

There are three options in which you can enroll for study funded by the Russian Federation:

  • Candidates may become a winner of one of the Academic Competitions in Russia or abroad.
  • Candidates must pass the Unified State Examination or entrance exams.
  • Candidates must pass competitive selection for a government scholarship (quota).

For self-funded students who have their own funds for study, they can opt for an educational institution and communicate with its representatives. Send an initial application by email to any Russian university of your choice, and to support it with the proper documents.

3. Prepare your Document Package

How to submit your documents

There are two steps you must take to prepare your document package:

  • Initial Application specifying the desired area of study and your level of education
  • Official submission of documents to the university after you arrive in Russia.

Initial Application

Ensure that all documents are translated into Russian and duly certified at a consular department of an embassy. Also, you can obtain the complete list of documents and the method for certification in universities.

Official Submission of Documents at the University

Follow the steps listed below:

  • Application for admission indicating choice subject and form of study
  • Document ratifying your identity and citizenship (original and certified translation into Russian).
  • An education certificate indicating subjects studied and grades (original and notarized translation into Russian).
  • Statement on standard medical form stating no contraindications for studying in Russia, with HIV test results or medical certificate.
  • Photographs in specified form.It is usually necessary to provide certified and translated copies of an identification card and education certificates at the initial stage. You are expected to bring originals of the documents and additional certificates to the university selection committee after your arrival in Russia.

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You can contact international offices of universities if you are enrolling independently to get more information about the documents required at each stage.

Also, you can contact a Russian embassy in your country if you are participating in competitive selection for a government scholarship.

You can get a valid medical certificate in your home country which must be valid in Russia, translated and certified to meet the requirements of your university. Certificates provided during application for a student visa are appropriate in most cases. You may also get the certificate upon arrival in the Russian Federation (Form 086).

4. Undergo Competitive Selection

Types of Competitive Selection

Entrance Exams and Introductory Unified State Examination (EGE): Normally, when enrolling at a Russian university, applicants submit the results of the Unified State Examination (EGE) or pass admission tests. The EGE is the exam taken by high school Russian graduates. The results are acknowledged for enrolment at Russian universities. The EGE can also be taken by international applicants for enrolment to a Russian university. All needed information are on the exam’s official website. The universities also conduct written or oral admissions tests on the discipline conforming to the chosen subject. Enrolment decisions are centered on their results and some universities conduct separate admissions exams strictly for international students.

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Academic Competitions: Russia organizes dozens of academic competitions at various levels every year. Winners and other participants who perform well are automatically enrolled in Russian universities without examinations. Foreigners who wish to study in Russian universities can equally participate in international, Russian competitions, and in those specially organized for them by various groups of universities.

How to take part in Academic Competitions

Tests: Most Russian universities conduct tests individually or jointly to choose talented international applicants based on the results. Representatives of universities send tests assignments to their colleagues abroad. The applicants with the best test results is enrolled into choice Russian university.

5. You must get an Invitation and Apply for Student Visa

International students who come from countries with a visa-free system with Russia can gain access into the country by presenting their passport. Applicants who are from other countries must present a student visa and a document proving their identity.

To apply for a student visa, an invitation must be needed. Invitations to Russia are allotted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.

Applicants who got chosen based on competitive selection (quotas) can get their invitation at the instruction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. However, other applicants who got their admission into the university through a standard procedure, the invitation will be sent by the university. Applicants will require an original invitation to submit the visa application.