Russia is one of the most affordable destinations for studying abroad; this is one of the main factors that attract over 300,000 international students ever year. Other aspects that attract students are:
- the high level of education with degrees recognised worldwide
- the opportunity to travel around in a vast country that spreads over 2 continents
- the chance to learn or improve your Russian skills and explore the Russian culture and lifestyle
- the affordable living expenses
Now that we’ve mentioned expenses, you should have a clear idea about what kind of budget you need to live and study in Russia.
We’ve done our research and here’s what you need to know:
1. University tuition fees in Russia
Tuition fees at public universities
When compared to higher education institutions from the US or the UK, Russian universities are very affordable. International students usually pay:
- between 1,475–10,600 EUR/year for Bachelor’s degrees
- between 1,770–5,540 EUR/year for Master’s degrees
- between 1,475–7,600 EUR/year for Specialist’s degrees (degrees with a more practical focus, which are awarded after at least 5 years of study, e.g. Medical degrees)
- between 950–5,000 EUR/year for PhD degrees
Tuition fees at private universities
Private universities charge higher tuition fees. How much higher? It depends on what you want to study and how long it takes to graduate. You’ll find study programmes that cost up to — and sometimes over — 14,000 EUR per academic year.
Most affordable universities in Russia
- Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) – Masters start at 0 EUR/year
- Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI” – Masters start at 1,410 EUR/year
- Tomsk Polytechnic University – Bachelors start at 2,075 EUR/year
- Voronezh State University – Masters start at 2,370 EUR/year
These institutions should be enough to get started. But you can find other Russian universities with low tuition fees (under 3,000 EUR/year).
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities
- Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) – around 5,670 EUR/year; the university also offers tuition fee waivers for international students who meet their criteria
- HSE University – between 1,900–5,150 EUR/year
2. Student living costs in Russia
International students need around 300–600 EUR per month to cover their living costs. These include accommodation, groceries, transport, and social activities.
The national currency is the Russian rouble (RUB). At the time of writing this article, 89 roubles equal around 1 EUR.
3. Student accommodation costs
In Russia, the most popular types of accommodation are:
- Student dormitories: 5.60–56 EUR/month, by far the cheapest option. Some universities even offer a discount if you pay for the whole year in advance.
- Privately rented flats: 170–395 EUR/month plus the initial deposit and monthly utilities
4. Food costs in Russia
Food and groceries will cost around 120–150 EUR per month, but this largely depends on your lifestyle. These are some of the average prices for food products in Russia:
- 1 loaf of bread: 0.40 EUR
- 1 litre of milk: 0.70 EUR
- 12 eggs: 0.90 EUR
- 1 kg of apples: 1.10 EUR
- 1 kg of bananas: 0.75 EUR
- 1 meal at affordable restaurants: 5.60 EUR
Check out other living costs in Russia.
5. Transportation costs
- monthly transport pass (bus, tram, subway): 5 EUR with a student discount
- taxi: starting fee of 1.20 EUR; around 0.20 EUR per km
6. Extra costs in Russia
- monthly phone bill: 4–5 EUR
- entertainment (e.g. cinema, concerts, theatre): 40–60 EUR/month
- private medical insurance: in the form of voluntary health insurance (VHI) policy, costing between 55–145 EUR
7. University scholarships and grants
The Russian government offers state-funded places at public universities. In 2020, for example, they provided 15,000 places. These state-funded places or governmental scholarships cover:
- free tuition fees for the entire duration of the study programme
- dormitory accommodation (if places are available)
- a maintenance allowance of around 18.50 EUR/month for the entire duration of your studies
You can also check out other scholarships in Russia or apply for our Studyportals Scholarship: International Distinction Awards.