Useful information

Useful information about Russia…

Practical Details:
Moving to a new country can be a confusing, even trying, experience. The impressions of a new culture, new friends and new ways of life will fill your first few weeks.

These weeks will also affect the way you feel about the rest of your stay. The following information aims at making settling-in as easy and comfortable as possible.

The first step is to prepare. Before leaving your home country, it may be a good idea to study some guidebooks and read up on Russia. You may also get ideas and tips from our international desk. Set out below are a few practical points you may find worthwhile considering prior to your departure. The more prepared you are the better your stay will be.

And remember; if you have any problems or questions while you are in Russia you can always contact us. We’re here to help you, and we even have staff available during regular business hours. Give us a call; let us know how you’re doing.

Banks
Banks are generally open from Monday to Friday, between 09.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. Many branches have extended opening hours at least once a week (until 6.00 p.m. in larger cities). Banks are closed at weekends. You will normally need a visa registration residence, to open a bank account in Russia.

Banks will to let you open an account even if you don’t have a Russian identity card. You will need to show a valid passport, with your visa registration.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Russia, much more so than the rest of Europe. Commonly accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard and American Express. Traveller’s checks can also be used.

Currency
The Russian Ruble, is denoted by the international currency symbol RUB. Bank notes are available in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000. All major bank and credit cards are widely accepted throughout Russia.

Students ID cards
An identity card, or a Student ID card, is a card on which the bearer’s photo and personal number are registered. Having an ID card will help in any contact you may have with Russian authorities. It will also make it easier for you to open a bank account. To obtain a Russian Student ID card you must be registered as a resident.

Detailed information about how to apply for a Russian Student ID card please contact us. The application fee is Free.

There are also national student cards, which give discounts on domestic travel by air, train and bus. More detailed information on discount offers will be sent along with these cards, which you will receive about one month after applying with us.

Local transportation
Public transport – buses, commuter trains, trams and the underground – is available almost everywhere in Russia and provides a convenient, fast way to get around. Passes are usually valid for unlimited travel on the local network such as the underground, local buses and commuter trains. A monthly pass for public transport costs 40-80$ USD in Moscow and often less in smaller cities.

Electricity
It is a standard European 220 volt in Russia.

Time zone
Russia has Central European Time (CET), GMT +3. Daylight saving time (GMT +2) applies from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October. Clock time is written according to the European system, e.g. 1 p.m. is written 13.00.

Opening hours
Shopping hours are generally between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Shops close between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. In larger towns, department stores remain open until 8-10 p.m. and some are also open on Sundays between 12 noon and 4 p.m. Shops generally close early on the day before a public holiday.

Holidays in Russia:
1 January – New year
January 7 – Christmas
March 8 – an International feminine day
1 May – an International day of the labour
9 May – a Day of the Victory
June 12 – Independence Day

Useful information of telephone numbers:
01 – A Fireman inspection
02 – Police
03 – Ambulance

Drugs
Illegal possession of controlled substances (drugs) in Russia is subject to prosecution by law. The penalties for drug possession vary. Any type of illegal drug use while in Russia may have serious consequences. You may have to pay fines or go to jail if you are caught with drugs or people who have drugs.

Alcohol
You must be 18 years old to drink alcohol legally in Russia. If you are under 18, and are found with alcohol, you may be arrested and subject to fines. In addition, if you purchase alcohol for persons under 18, you can be arrested and subject to fines. Drinking alcohol in public areas is also illegal in many places. You will be subject to fines if found guilty.
Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence

Do NOT drive a car if you have been drinking alcohol, and do not get into a car if the driver has been drinking. Not only is your safety in danger, but also laws are very strict. You might have to pay big penalty or go to jail if found guilty.

Local Law Enforcement
Like most countries, laws in Russia vary. It is important to become familiar with and obey the local laws in the town or city where you are living. During the busy season, the population in resort towns may grow from a few thousand to more than 100,000. In an effort to maintain order, the local police often strictly enforce minor laws. Local laws that govern alcohol consumption, noise levels, and group gatherings are strict. Your best source of information will be Study In Russia.

Smoking
Russians are likely to be much less tolerant of smoking than people in other countries. It is illegal to smoke in many public places, so look around you before you light up; No Smoking signs are usually posted in a clear, visible location. Smoking is restricted in office buildings, restaurants, and public transportation, among other closed places.

Telecommunications
Most international students in Russia choose to use mobile telephones with pay-as-you-go SIM cards from companies such as Beeline, Megafon, MTS, that can be easily topped up online or at newsstands. If you don’t want to buy a mobile phone in Russia it is often possible to use a phone from your home country with a Russian SIM card. Make sure that the phone is not locked to your previous operator in your home country. Another option is to subscribe to a mobile phone contract, but this is rare for students and usually requires a Russian permanent residence.

Emergencies and SOS calls
Edu-Russia has a 24-hour emergency support line for program participants. Emergencies include the following:

Medical emergency
If you’ve been the victim of a crime
Arrests
Urgent counseling

Call 02 for the Police or other emergency services. You’ll be asked questions, try to answer them as clearly and carefully as you can. Police and medical or fire crews will be sent to your location.

For more details contact us today!

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