Foreign students in Russia live in university dormitories, rented apartments, or host families. It is important to find the best option – comfortable housing within your means. Before making a choice, weigh the pros and cons. After all, how and where you will live and rest, how you will study largely depends.
The most economical type of housing. Many Russian universities provide dormitories for their nonresident and foreign students. As a rule, these are buildings located not far from the university, with rooms for 2-4 residents. The furnishings usually include desks, chairs, wardrobes, bookshelves, beds, and cabinets. Dormitories often have a shared kitchen, gyms, lounges, canteens, laundries, lockers, bicycle rooms, and security service. The rental price is determined by universities. It ranges from 5 to 50 euros per month (depending on the university, city), which is much cheaper than a rented apartment. You can pay monthly, by semester, or pay the amount for the entire academic year. Some universities offer discounts for long-term prepayment.
In hostels, students must adhere to certain rules. The obvious ones are not to spoil the furniture, to keep the rooms clean, not to make noise (not to turn on loud music, TV), not to smoke in living rooms and common areas, not to drink alcohol, to warn the commandant about leaving. A detailed memo on the rules of the hostel is issued upon check-in.
According to the law, the following can count on living in a hostel: full-time students enrolled in basic educational programs (during the entire period of study);
correspondence students enrolled in basic educational programs (during intermediate and final attestations).
To find out if the university has hostels and whether you can count on them, you need to contact the representatives of your university at the stage of submitting a preliminary application for training or on the university website.
Find out all the necessary information in advance:
- where is the hostel;
- types of rooms (double, single), availability of amenities;
- cost and payment options.
Only after making sure that everything suits you, send an application for settling.
Remember, only representatives of the university where you are studying can be accommodated in a hostel based on an employment contract. Dorm room firms or middlemen are scammers.
If your university does not have dormitories or for some reason, they do not suit you, then you need to look for a rented apartment or room. It will cost more, but you will be able to choose the location, the level of comfort, and even the neighbors (if you rent an apartment with classmates or live with a host family).
The most expensive apartments are in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The smaller the city and the further from the capital, the cheaper the rent. For example, you can rent a one-room apartment in Moscow for 30-35,000 rubles (428-500 dollars), a room for 15-20,000 rubles (214-286 dollars), depending on the location and amenities (prices are for 2020). In Novosibirsk, it will cost half the price.
Some universities help their international students find housing, including selecting host families. Therefore, first of all, check with the university representatives if they provide such services. This guarantees you a quick and safe selection of housing. During the search, you can settle in a hostel.
If the university is not engaged in the selection of housing, ask them to recommend real estate agencies or look for an apartment yourself on the websites cian.ru, irr.ru, avito.ru, etc.
Keep in mind that in addition to the rent for the apartment (or room), you will most likely need to make a deposit (up to 100% of the rent) and pay the realtor’s commission (50-100% of the rent).