Living in Russia
Living in Russia is quite affordable and spending from 200 US$ to 400 US$ a month is enough for a comfortable life for an individual student. St. Petersburg and Moscow are well-known for being the most expensive cities to live in.
Finding student accommodation in Russia, however, requires keeping a few key particularities in mind. It is crucially important to find the best variant within your budget, because the wise choice of the place of stay has a direct impact on your academic achievements. The most popular accommodation options for international students are:
University Dormitory – is considered to be the most affordable option. University dormitories range from 30 US$ to 780 US$ per month and are often cheaper than private rentals with prices set by your institution. University dormitories always come with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The dorms are furnished, usually located on campus, and often near cafes and sports facilities. With many international students opting for dormitory accommodation, the option may give you more possibilities to socialise with other students.
Privately Rented Apartment – is more expensive, but there is a good likelihood that you will find the best location and the level of comfort that suits you. Many students recommend staying in a dorm for the first few months before moving into a private accommodation. RECAS representatives will help you with finding private accommodation, going through your university or a realtor is the best way to find secure and fast lodging!
Homestay – is a common accommodation option for international students who want to live with host families. It may cost slightly more than university dormitories. Homestays provide a great opportunity for you to be completely immersed in both the Russian language and culture.
Accommodation in cheap student hostels with private facilities (toilet and shower in the hallway) costs from 20 US$ to 30 US$ per night.
Eat, drink in the cafe: on purchases related to food, you will spend from 40US$ to 80US$ per week. The cafe serves a good three-course dinner for 20US$. If you dine in the cafe on weekdays, three meals cost about 15 US$.
Evening entertainment: A movie ticket costs 10 US$, if the film comes in English, but you can watch movies in Russian for 5 US$. Tickets to a theater, opera or ballet are 30 US$, but for the good places you have to pay 70 US$ and above. The entrance to museums and galleries is from 1 to 10 US$, depending on possible discounts. For the entrance to the clubs you need to pay from 5 US$ to 10 US$ as a club entrance fee.
Public transport: Metro tickets cost from 24 US$ to 36 US$ per month. Tickets for buses, trams and trolley buses cost between 0.5 US$ to 0.9 US$ per trip, regardless of the length of the route.
Excursions: From Moscow you can ride to the nearest city of the Golden Ring for one day. This trip will cost you 15 US$ or 20 US$. A train ticket, if you are going to travel within Russia, is inexpensive ( tickets from Moscow to St. Petersburg cost about 15 US$ to 20 US$).
Clothing: it is worth buying winter clothes (hats, scarves, coats, shoes) in Russia. It is cheaper than in the Western countries, and is more suitable for the Russian climate.
Here’s some overall averages for the cost of living in Russia in terms of some common student expenses: Meal 8 US$, Coffee 2 US$, Cinema Ticket 5 US$, Monthly rent 247 – 356 US$, Monthly Transport 27 US$.