Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of area. Along with its large size, geographical location, culture, and history, it is also popular for the quality of education it caters to students. According to a survey, Russia comes third after Australia and Canada on the list of countries with the most international students. More than 160 ethnic groups of international students are currently studying in universities across Russia. Due to the massive popularity of Russian educational universities and institutions, thousands of international students apply for higher education every year. If you are planning to study abroad, Russia is your optimal solution. However, you should know the cost of living in Russia before choosing a Russian university for higher studies.
So, to assist international students in creating a budget for studying, we will touch upon all aspects that affect the cost of living in Russia for Indian students. Airport lounge access is the biggest fantasy for every student travelling internationally and Niyo Travel Card gives you access to it.
A Brief Summary of Cost of Living in Russia per Month
Before understanding the average expenditures of international students in Russia, you should know the conversion rates.
Currently, 1 Ruble = 1.13 INR
So, the studying cost for Indian students will vary compared to that for students from other nations. According to reports, on an average, an international student in Russia spends almost 18,500 to 25,000 Rubles per month. It is a moderate amount and may vary based on the lifestyle of the student. Several factors are responsible for the variation in the cost of living in Russia for international students. Here is an overview of the aspects that are necessary while creating a budget plan for studying in Russia.
|Accommodation||15,000 – 20,000 RUB per month|
|Food and Groceries||8,000 – 20,000 RUB per month|
|Transportation Costs||280 – 300 RUB per month|
|Household Bills||5,000 – 8,000 RUB per month|
|Miscellaneous Expenditures||4,000 – 5,000 RUB per month|
These are a few essential aspects to consider for studying and living comfortably in Russia. Let’s deepdive to understand the budget and expenditures for each factor.
Accommodation is one of the prime elements that a person should consider while shifting to a foreign location. Russia caters to different student accommodation facilities based on their requirements, budget, etc. Apart from rented private properties, the universities in Russia also provide student accommodation facilities. Living in a university or college hostel is cheaper than staying in rented properties. It is the main reason most international students try to accommodate themselves in university hostels. Here is a rough estimate of the monthly expenditure on accommodation by international students in Russia.
|Accommodation Type||Average Monthly Cost|
|University Dormitory||500 – 5,000 RUB per month|
|Rented Apartments in Moscow and St. Petersburg||20,000 – 35,000 RUB per month|
|Rented Apartments in Novosibirsk||15,000 – 45,000 RUB per month|
The table shows a rough estimate of the accommodation costs in Russia. Living costs are higher in rented apartments than the university dormitories. So, if you are planning for higher studies in Russia, staying in university dormitories should be your priority as it will help you to maintain your budget.
Food and Groceries
The second most important aspect after accommodation is food and groceries. While developing a budget plan for living in Russia, you must consider the prices of food and groceries. The costs for food and grocery vary across regions in Russia. The average expenditure for food and groceries in the provinces of Russia ranges from 8,000 RUB to 20,000 RUB. Here is a quick look at the costs of food items in Russia.
|Food Items||Cost in Rubles|
|Milk||65 RUB per litre|
|Eggs||85 RUB per dozen|
|Apples||94 RUB per kg|
|Potatoes||32 RUB per kg|
|Bread||30 RUB per loaf|
|Tomatoes||126 RUB per kg|
|Lunch||350 RUB (in Downtown or business areas)|
The prices in the table clearly show the daily expenditures or costs of food items. If you have made up your mind, you should start planning to stay in Russia within your budget. Cooking meals at homes or dormitories is always preferable. It could assist you in saving a lot of money.
Transportation-related costs for travelling or roaming within and outside the city form an important part of the monthly budget. . The transportation costs vary from city to city. The expenditures related to vehicles are higher in Moscow, and St. Petersburg compared to other towns and cities in Russia. The public transport services in Russia are good and can assist you a lot in travelling to different areas. The cities in Russia are well connected by transport services, and most international students prefer public buses for travelling to other locations across the city. Take a look at the charges or expenses related to various modes of transportation.
|Transportation Modes||Average Cost|
|Train Journey (Monthly Pass)||1970-2000 RUB per month|
|Train Journey (Single Trip)||57 RUB per trip|
|Train Journey Monthly Pass (Student Concession)|
400-500 RUB per month
Trains are the primary mode of transport in the cities and towns of Russia. The prices mentioned in the table can assist you in getting an estimate of the monthly expenditures on transportation. According to a survey, an average international student in Russia spends around 400-500 RUB on transportation.
Entertainment is one of the essential parts of a student’s life. Participating in leisure activities allows the students to rejuvenate their minds from immense study loads. Russia caters to great leisure activities for the students and locals living in the country. Some popular leisure activities in Russia include sporting activities, watching movies, theatre, etc. Here is a rough estimate of the expenditures on leisure activities by international students in Russia.
|Entertainment Activities||Cost in Rubles|
|Theatre Tickets||500 – 2,500 RUB|
|Movie Tickets||150 – 500 RUB|
|Museum Tickets||100 – 1,000 RUB|
|Gym or Fitness Centres||1,500 – 5,000 RUB|
|Swimming Pool Passes||300 – 500 RUB|
The miscellaneous expenses cover a student’s expenditure on various commodities in their daily lives. These expenses include utility bills, medical expenses, trips, books, stationery items, mobile, and internet charges, etc. All these living expenses in Russia for international students heavily add to the monthly budget.
|Miscellaneous Commodities||Average Monthly Cost|
|Mobile and Internet Bills||300 – 500 RUB per month|
|Clothing||500 – 1,500 RUB per month|
|Medical Insurance||5000 – 7000 RUB per month|
Books and Stationery
|200 – 500 RUB per month|
These are the average expenditures by international students in Russia. However, the living expenses in Russia for international students solely depend on the student’s lifestyle, living habits, requirements, etc. So, various expenditures vary from person to person.
Ways to Maintain Budget as a Student in Russia
Maintaining a budget-friendly lifestyle in Russia is challenging as the prices of various services and commodities are higher in several regions of Russia. So, if you plan to study as an international student in Russia, you must prepare a budget and spend accordingly. Also, there are some practical ways by which you can optimize your budget and expenditures in Russia.
- A popular way of optimizing your budget while living in Russia is by applying for scholarships. The Russian government offers ample opportunities and scholarships to international students. So, if you want to maintain and optimize your budget, scholarships are an ideal option.
- Look for part-time jobs in Russia. Most international students work part-time in shops, restaurants, malls, cafes, libraries, etc., to earn a decent amount of money along with pursuing their studies.
- Student discounts are offered to local and international students in various sectors like transport, food, accommodation, etc. So, if you want to maintain a budget and lead an optimal life, you should opt for student discounts.
- Look for cheap alternatives in all domains like transport, meals, etc. Opting for more affordable options like public buses, public transportation, and meals prepared at home can assist you in saving a lot.
These are some popular ways if you want to maintain a life within budget in Russia.
What is the average cost of living in Russia for Indian students?
The average cost of living in Russia ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 RUB.
Which are the best universities in Russia?
Some of the best universities in Russia include Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, HSE University, etc.
Is Russia a good location for higher studies?
Russia is on the list of top countries for students to pursue higher studies. If you are planning to pursue higher studies abroad, Russia is ideal for you.
How to optimize the accommodation costs as a student in Russia?
To stay comfortably and within budget in Russia, you should opt for a hostel or dormitories.