Low Tuition: How to Study in Russia With Tuition Fees Ranging From $2000 to $6000 Per Year

When the issue of where to study abroad is being raised, as an international students seeking quality education,Russia is actually a perfect destination for not only are you exposed to modern learning facilities and a safe learning environment, but you also have the opportunity to receive state funding throughout your stay. The Russian government is one of the few in the world that offers international students an opportunity to have a tuition-free education as with the citizens regardless of your home country.

Every year, schools in Russia accept international students from all over the world; with a wide range of options in disciplines. And this could be a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, PhD, and even professional training.


1. Academic excellence

It is quite obvious that Russian schools are capable of imparting in–depth knowledge of the natural sciences and several other courses; seeing that they have produced several recognized world expert mathematicians and scientists, and Nobel prize winners. Nevertheless, studying in Russia is not only for aspiring Mathematicians and Physicists. Whether you are opting for Medicine or Drama, you are sure to get a quality education.

2. Affordable education

As has been earlier stated, the Russian government awards several thousands dollars worth  of scholarship to international students every year. However opportunities are also given to international students to compete for free tuition outside the quota, as par Russian citizens.


But, if you choose to fund yourself independently, you would still obtain affordable education. Self-funded study in Russia is cheaper than in the UK and USA, considering that leading universities in Russia are equivalent to prestigious universities in these countries. The cost of studying for a full-time Bachelor’s degree in Russia costs about 63,000 roubles (1,100 USD) – 344, 000 roubles (6,100USD) per annum, depending on the university.

The same goes for the living cost, although living expenses tend to be higher in Moscow and Saint Petersburg than in other places.

3. Opportunity to learn Russian

 If you have been looking for an opportunity to learn a new language, this could be it. While you study in English, you have the opportunity to learn Russian in the evenings or during holiday breaks at little or no cost. For international students who got in through the state scholarship, learning Russia does not incur any additional cost.

4. Dual Diploma(ss)

Several universities in Russia implement joint programmes with foreign universities. Such that the students who participate in these programmes are issued dual diplomas when they graduate. This simply means that when you study in Russia you can receive two diplomas at the same time – one from the Russian university and the other from the participating European university.


There are several Russian universities that are ranked high on the university world ranking. Top on this list are;

  • Moscow State University: The university was founded in 1755, and is located at the metropolis of Moscow. It ranks 1st in the country, and 87th in the world. MSU admits students into various programmes at the undergraduate and post graduate levels, and their selection policy is based on an entrance examination.
  • St. Petersburg State University: This university presently ranks 93 on the world ranking. It has an urban setting in the city of Saint Petersburg, and equally offers a wide range of programmes.To pursue any of their pre- Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, associate, and post graduate degrees, you have to pass an entrance examination.
  • Novosibirsk State Technical University: This university is ranked as 250th in the world, and is located in Novosibirsk. The university offers numerous courses both at  undergraduate and post graduate levels, exchange programmes and distant learning opportunities. Also, studying in Novosibirsk is considerably cheap.

Others are:

  • Lomonosov Moscow State University (116, ARWU)
  • Bauman Moscow State Technical University (352, ARWU)
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (397, ARWU)
  • National Research Nuclear University
  • Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (451,QS)
  • National Research Tomsk State University
  • Kazan (Volga region) Federal University (601, QS)
  • Ural Federal University (603, QS)

Also, in addition to the general ranking, some of these Russian universities are even higher on the list in specific subject rankings.


There are three study options for international students who wish to study in Russia. This could be the self-funded option, the quota option, and the tuition-free option.


This option requires the student to individually fund their study expenses or have sponsors. This option is open to students from any part of the world; and they are eligible to apply to any university in Russia.

For this option, every necessary information should be obtained from the school’s admission board.

Russian government scholarship (quota)

Every year the Russian government allocates about 15,000 scholarship quotas to foreign students and Russian citizens living abroad.Find out if scholarship quotas have been allocated to your country from the Offices of the Federal Agency for the CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation, in the Russian Embassy in your country.

Students under this option can only be enrolled in state universities.

Tuition-free option

This option allows certain categories of foreign students to obtain tuition-free education on equal terms with the Russian citizens. However, to obtain government funding, you are required to pass some entrance examination and tests.

Visit the school’s website to find out if you fall under these categories.


  • First, prepare and submit the necessary documents to the university you wish to apply to, or to the Russian embassy in your country if you interested in the scholarship. The required documents are;
  • A completed admission form
  • Education certificates and transcripts
  • Identification and citizenship
  • Medical certificate
  • Passport photograph

These documents should be translated and properly notarized.

  • Take entrance examination and await selection.
  • Get invitation.
  • Apply for visa. For nationals of countries who do not need visa to enter Russia, simply present your passport instead.

School year in Russia

School year in Russia starts in September, and ends in June. Admission process for any academic year may begin as early as march.


Living in Russia is not very expensive, especially for a student. With the student ID, you can get discount in transportation, food, health insurance and several other expenses. However, you should know that the living cost may be more in Moscow and St. Petersburg than in other places.

Below is a breakdown of a typical student’s monthly expense.

Accommodation 5,000 roubles (87 USD)
Food 10,000 roubles(175 USD)
Internet and phone 380roubles (7 USD)
Transport 800roubles (13 USD)
Entertainment 4000 roubles (70 USD)
Total 20,180 roubles (352 USD)
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