Russia is one of the leading study abroad destinations, with the potential to attract international students in big numbers. It sits proudly at number 6 among the top study abroad destinations in 2020. The country boasts of a large number of Higher Education Institutions and academic programmes across diverse streams for students from across the globe. Prospective students aspiring to fulfil the Russian dream will want to access more information about the destination. We have some facts that can help.


Russia offers a unique mix of culture, history, and traditions, making it one of the best destinations for international students. It is also renowned for having one of the best educational systems, specifically in the fields of medicine and engineering. The literacy rate in the country is a whopping 99.6 %, which is higher than most Western European countries. The top universities here include:

The average tuition fees between 1,700 – 6,000 EUR per academic year, while only a few programmes cost more than 10,000 EUR per year. It makes Russia far more affordable as compared to the other study abroad destinations. It is a preferred destination for foreign students as the Russian government offers scholarships to subsidise education.

Apart from providing financial support, the government has also eased work-right restrictions on international students. They do not require additional permits to get work outside their programme or university. Graduates can also obtain permanent residency on meeting some requirements.


The Russian HEIs have been taking initiatives to stand apart with their study abroad potential. They are offering degrees taught in English and English language programs. It is easy for students to blend because HEIs have low student-teacher ratios ranging from 8:1 to 11:1. The government has provided 15,000 scholarships to international students, which even cover monthly maintenance allowances. The optimal cost of education is another standout point offered by the HEIs. Further, they provide dormitory accommodations at nominal prices.


The number of international enrolments in Russia in 2019/2020 was 297,995, while the Russian Academic Excellence Project aspired to take the figure up to 700,000 a year by 2025. Although the leap sounds too big, it is still realistic considering the benefits the programme has for study abroad aspirants. The Russian government does not envision international students as revenue-generating prospects, rather it will spend billions on training them and offers them lucrative job opportunities to encourage them to stay in the country.


International students in Russia are permitted to work at their university or its organisations during their free time. They can even expect assistance from universities’ International Offices for finding employment opportunities. If it is the case, they need not even get a permit from the government, while it is needed in other cases. Only students enrolled for full-time programmes at state-accredited universities are issued a permit. Once you get a job, you can cover a significant part of your living costs here.

Students who wish to stay back after graduating from a Russian university have the option to secure a work visa or Russian citizenship through a simple procedure. But they have to meet certain criteria for applying. For work visa applicants, requirements include:

  • An income over R167,000 ($2130) per month
  • Getting a position in a quota of foreign workers with a company
  • Being accepted in a role on the non-quota list

For citizenship, the requirements include:

  • Completion of a government-accredited education programme at a state-owned university
  • One year of working experience in Russia before applying for citizenship

The applicant has to submit the employment record book or an employer-verified copy along with other required documents. You can easily find ample job opportunities in sectors such as health, education, retail tourism, manufacturing, mining, and construction. The tech sector is witnessing a boom in the country. You can expect a minimum wage of R12,130 (US$155) a month, while the average wage is R52,000 ($664).

Russia makes a dream destination for international students looking for relatively affordable study abroad options. While education is less expensive here, there isn’t a compromise with quality. Students have access to the choicest programmes across several prestigious universities. Job prospects are good and visa processes aren’t as complicated as in other countries. You must definitely consider it as an option.  

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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