Cost of Living in Russia

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cost of living in russia

Russia is the world’s largest country in terms of land area. In addition to its huge size, geographical location, culture, and history, it is well-known for the high level of education it provides to pupils. According to a survey, Russia ranks third on the list of countries with the most international students, trailing only Australia and Canada. Over 160 ethnic groups of international students are now studying in Russian universities. Every year, millions of international students enrol for higher education in Russia due to the great popularity of Russian educational institutes and institutions. If you want to study in another country, Russia is the best option. However, before enrolling in a Russian university for further education, you should be aware of the expense of living in Russia. To help international students come up with the perfect budget, we have prepared this article. Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of living in Russia. 


Why Study In Russia?

Generally, the cost of living in Russia is lower than in Western Europe, around RUB 45,482.7 per month (without rent). This makes the country a haven for international students seeking world-class education in its universities, known for being very affordable compared to other European countries. You can get a high-quality education for a fraction of the cost. In cases of public universities, tuition might even be free!

Russia has a long and respected tradition of higher education, especially in science and engineering fields. There are hundreds of universities in Russia offering programs in basically every subject you can imagine, from medicine and law to arts and humanities. Studying in Russia is a chance to explore a unique and fascinating culture, beautiful architecture, and lively art scene.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Saint Petersburg: A Guide

Cost of Living in Russia

The cost of living in Russia for a single student comes up to RUB 45,482.7 per month without rent. It includes essential expenses like food, entertainment, utilities and transportation. Here’s a general breakdown of the overall living cost for international students in the country:

ExpenseMonthly Cost
AccommodationRUB 14,122 – 37,660
FoodRUB 9,415
TransportationRUB 659
EntertainmentRUB 3,766
Utilities (basic)RUB 8,335.07

Let’s take a detailed look at all these expenses one by one:


Accommodation is one of the most important factors to consider while relocating to a foreign country. Russia offers several student housing options based on their needs, price, and so on. Apart from renting private residences, universities in Russia also provide student housing. Living in a university or college dormitory is less expensive than renting a home. It is the key reason why most overseas students try to stay in university dorms. Here is a general estimate of the monthly cost of living in Russia for international students. 

Type of Accommodation Average Monthly Rent
University Dormitory 500-5,000 RUB per month
Rented Apartments in Novosibirsk12,000-47,000 RUB per month
Rented Apartments in Moscow19,000-35,000 RUB per month

Foods and Groceries

Food and groceries are the second most significant consideration after housing. The average cost of meals and groceries in Russia’s provinces ranges from 8,000 RUB to 20,000 RUB. Here’s a quick rundown of food prices in Russia.

Milk65 RUB 
Apples94 RUB 
Bread 30 RUB 
Lunch350 RUB 
Eggs85 RUB
Potatoes32 RUB


Transportation charges for travelling or roaming within and outside of the city account for a significant portion of the monthly budget. The cost of living in Russia in terms of transport varies from city to city. Vehicle expenditures are higher in Moscow and St. Petersburg than in other towns and cities in Russia. The public transport in Russia is excellent and can greatly aid you in travelling to various locations. Cities in Russia are well connected by public transport, and most international students prefer to take public buses to get around the city. Examine the fees or expenses associated with various means of transportation. 

Transportation ModesCost
Train journey with a monthly pass2,500 RUB per month
One-side train journey 52 RUB per trip
Train journey with student pass600 RUB per month


One of the most important aspects of a student’s life is entertainment. Participating in leisure activities assists students to refresh their minds after a long day of studying. Russia offers several recreational opportunities for both students and locals. Sporting activities, watching films, going to the theatre, and other forms of entertainment are popular pastimes that should be considered in the cost of living in Russia. Here is a rough estimate of international students’ spending on leisure activities in Russia.

Activities Cost
Theatre tickets1,000 RUB
Gym membership2,000 RUB per month
Movie tickets500 RUB
Swimming pool tickets 500 RUB


This cost of living in Russia can cost around RUB 8,335.07 per month to international students. Given below are some other utilities and their monthly costs:

Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage)RUB 8,335.07
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ DataRUB 472.23
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)RUB 557.31

Also Read: Cost of living in Moscow: A Comprehensive Guide

Cost of Living in Russia: Average Tuition Fees

The fee structure of Russian universities for international students can vary due to several factors. Prestigious universities and programs in major cities will generally have higher tuition fees. Master’s degrees tend to be more expensive than Bachelor’s degrees, and postgraduate programs can vary greatly. Some specialized fields, like medicine or engineering, may have higher tuition fees than others

Here’s a general range of tuition fees you can expect for international students in Russia:

Program LevelTuition Fees
Bachelor’s₽220,000 – ₽240,000 per year
Master’s₽240,000 – ₽450,000 per year
Postgraduate Programs₽72,000 – ₽250,000 per year
Preparatory Programs₽120,000

Things to Consider Before Moving to Russia

Apart from figuring out the cost of living in Russia, here are some key things that international students should keep in mind before relocating to the country for studies:

  1. There are different types of visas for varying study lengths. Research the specific visa required for your program and ensure you meet all the documentation requirements to avoid delays or denials.
  2. The visa application process can be complex, so factor in time to gather documents and submit the application well in advance.
  3. While English might be offered in some courses, basic Russian will enhance your daily life and academic experience. Consider taking pre-departure language courses or enrolling in university programs upon arrival.
  4. Russia has a unique culture with traditions and social norms that may differ from your home country. Be open to learning and respectful of these differences to integrate smoothly.
  5. Be prepared for harsh winters with proper clothing and footwear, especially if studying in Siberia or northern regions.
  6. Research the healthcare system in Russia and consider purchasing health insurance that covers you for your study duration.
  7. Opening a local bank account can simplify managing your finances in Russia. Research banking options for international students.
  8. Register with your home country’s embassy in Russia to ensure access to consular assistance if needed.

Relevant Reads:

Phrases to Learn Before Studying Abroad in RussiaCost of Living in Kazan: A 2023 Guide
Study Abroad in Russia: Rise in number of Overseas Students at Ural Federal UniversityCost of Living in Tula: A 2024 Guide on Expected Expenses
Study Abroad: India and Russia Connect on EducationCost of Living in Novosibirsk: A 2023 Guide


Is it expensive to live in Russia?

Russia is not an expensive country to live in. The cost of living in Russia is 57% lower than that of the USA.

How much money do I need to live comfortably in Russia?

Depending on the location you choose, 50,000 RUB is more than enough to live comfortably in Russia. 

Is Russia more costly than India?

The cost of living in Russia is 45% more expensive than in India. 

This is everything you need to know about the cost of living in Russia. If you’re planning to pursue your study abroad education in Russia, make sure you contact the experts at Leverage Edu. 

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