Cost of Living

Cost of living in Russia

Food, transport and leisure…

Though most students live on a tight budget, there are ways of making your money go further. You can use your student card for discounts and on-campus restaurants are good value. You can also cook your own food; most student accommodations have some form of kitchen facility open to residents.

In most restaurants and bars, a beer will cost you 0.5 $ USD), a glass of wine perhaps a little more. Dinner starts at around 10 $ USD drinks not included. Eating out at lunchtime is cheaper; expect to pay somewhere around 5-10$ USD for a meal including a soft drink, salad and tea/coffee. An average monthly budget is set out below to give you some idea of the cost of living in Russia.

Food…

Russia is basically a developed agricultural country. It has diverse cooking traditions. Different types of food can be bought from shops, supermarkets and agricultural markets. There are lots of Cafeterias, restaurants and fast food restaurants offering different cuisine.

Accommodation…

Start from 60$ USD per month (Meals not included), accommodation fees are paid based on yearly fees paid once.

Local travel and transport facility:

The international airports of Moscow are the air gates of the country. You will have to avail a taxi, bus or any shuttle service to reach Moscow. You can also order our pick up service.

Russia has a very well developed transportation system. You will have no problem to travel to any part of the country. You can move all over the country by bus or train.

Note: The fare for a distance of 500 km will be about US$12-24.

You can buy advance train tickets at the railway station or from the city counters. On the day of travel a ticket can be availed only from the station.

For air travel within the country you can purchase tickets from the local counters.
Note: Flight cost for a distance of 500 km will be about US$220.

For local transport you will get buses, trolleybuses, trams and taxis. You will have to buy tickets from the conductor or at kiosks at stops.

Note: The fare will be about US$0.15 for bus and trams. The fare for taxis is $US 4 + US$0.40 per 1 km.

In Moscow you can avail the underground transit system. You will have to buy tickets at the entrance. The ticket costs US$0.25 (without time and destination limits!).

During summer you may enjoy water transport, which will be quite comfortable: on the Dnieper river or by the Black sea.

Telephone/internet…

Rostelecom, which sponsors the Guide, provides an excellent telephone communications both in Russia and all over the world.

Most of the universities of Russia provide Internet access for their students. There are also a lot of cyber-cafes all over the country.

You can also opt for fast mail services, offered UPS, DHL, Federal Express, TNT and other companies.

However, Internet price range would start form 25$ USD per month for good connection speed.

Electricity…

The standard electrical voltage throughout Russia is 220 volts.

Some outlets operate on 127 volts, but these are very rare. If you are bringing electrical appliances along with you, then you will need a converter and a European plug adapter. You should be aware that there are frequent power fluctuations, and other irregularities in the electrical supply. Therefore it will be better if you carry a surge protector (stabilizer).

Insurance, medical care and hygiene…

Most of the Universities provide free medical service for their students at specialized hospitals. Students may also prefer to be treated at state or private hospitals, where medical services are to be paid.

Clothing, hobby/leisure, other: 50-100$ USD per month

Remember however, that prices can vary considerably depending on where you live. Moscow and St. Petersburg, for example, is more expensive than smaller/medium towns.
Financials and Expenses

The Russian Currency is Rubles (ruble) and kopeks (kopeiki). 100 kopeks make 1 ruble

The money currently in circulation

Coins…

1 Kopek
5 Kopeks
10 Kopeks
50 Kopeks
1 Rouble
2 Roubles
5 Roubles
10 Roubles (these are very rare now, so you wont see many)

Banknotes…

5 Roubles (again, these are very rare, as have mostly been replaced by coins)
10 Roubles
50 Roubles
100 Roubles
500 Roubles
1000 Roubles (this is a new note)

Where did the word Rouble come from? Well, it stems from the Middle Ages. When trading, customers would pay with pieces of valuable material (i.e., silver, gold) chopped from a larger bit. In Russian “rubit” means “to chop” and so these pieces were named ruble or rubles. Obviously, later the pieces of material were replaced by coins, but the name remained. When traders decided they wanted to ask fraction prices (so an example, less than 2 roubles but more than 1 rouble) the need for Kopeks came about.

Cash is used much more often than credit cards, therefore we recommend you have some cash (around $150-$200) when you first arrive in Russia, just enough to cover your initial expenses (food, accommodation), and the rest should be in travellers cheques or credit card. Changing money is not a problem in Russia, almost everywhere has a bank or currency exchange office, this applies to some of the smaller towns too. If the town or city has more than 1000 people, then legal money exchange is possible, the exchange rates do not vary much wherever you exchange.

If you wish to bring your family, child or your spouse, please contact us for assistance.

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