Studying in Moscow
The majority of foreign students in Moscow are on year abroad programmes from other universities and are enrolled on various Russian language courses or cultural, historical or political programmes.
There are also a number of Masters and PhD students in Moscow universities and there are a small number of programmes that are offered in English at institutions such as MGIMO .
The iconic Moscow State University has one of the largest intakes of foreign students and offers an interesting array of language-based programmes.
The Russian State University for the Humanities also offers a wide range of programmes for exchange and year abroad students. It also offers Masters and PhD programmes but you will need a good knowledge of Russian before you enrol.
Being a student in Moscow can be a fantastic experience. As a student of a Moscow university, your student card will get you free or discounted entry to most of the city’s museums and attractions, including cinemas and theatres. You can also get discounts in shops and cafes throughout the city.
Nightlife for students is now on the increase as well, with many bars and clubs offering week night entertainment with drinks deals and good tunes!
One thing to be wary of is student halls! They range from ultra-modern and comfortable to truly horrendous. Make sure you see where you will be staying in advance if possible. Most Russian halls have a curfew (usually between midnight and 6am) which is strictly enforced. If you back between these times you will usually not be allowed back in. Most rooms are also shared between at least two students.
If you truly do not mind staying in something resembling a Soviet prison and sharing a room, then a Russian hall of residence or ‘obshezhitie’ can be a great way to make new friends and practise your Russian.
Russian practice can also be had in a homestay. This can be a good alternative if you want your own space and a less crowded environment. You will usually be sharing with an elderly lady or ‘babushka’ as they are usually the ones with a room going spare.
A third option is renting an apartment. Many students opt to find an apartment with friends that they make in student halls or with other friends in the city. This is a more expensive option but has the obvious benefit of the place being ‘yours’ to do as you please!