Everyday Expenses

​​1.  Meals, Catering and Food Expenses

According to official data, the basic foodstuffs (including bread, pasta, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, milk, and sugar) cost 4,209 rubles a month (~ USD 65 per month) in Russia.

The average cost of a lunch in a Moscow café/restaurant is 700-2,000 rubles (~ USD 11-31). A business lunch costs 230-440 rubles (~ USD 3.5-7). Fast food prices are a bit lower.

2.  Transportation Expenses

The cost of a subway/Moscow Central Circle/monorail/ground transport trip is 55 rubles (USD 0.85). If you use your Troika travel pass, it will cost 50 rubles (USD 0.77). If you buy such a pass, your subway/ monorail/ground transport trip will cost 38 rubles (USD 0.59), and a subway/ground transport trip will cost 59 rubles (USD 0.91) if you choose the 90 minutes tariff plan and change lines. 

If you use your student discounts when travelling by subway in Moscow, you will need to pay 395 rubles per month (USD 6.12 per month).

​3.  Mobile Communications and Internet Use 

SIM cards for mobile phones and tablets are sold in mobile shops. You should not buy SIM cards from street vendors. To purchase a card, you need to submit your passport (with your place of residence indicated) and a migration card. The shop assistants will help you find an optimal tariff for the calls, SMS, mobile Internet use, etc. The cost of a standard services package is 300-400 rubles (~ USD 4.5-6). When you buy a SIM card, this amount is transferred to your account, and in the future, you will have to add the sums you need every month in accordance with your billing plan.

Mobile Communications Costs 

There are three national mobile operators in Russia. They are MTS, Beeline and Megafon. The billing plans they offer are similar. The tariffs range from 500 to 800 rubles per month (USD 7.75-12.39 per month). Their billing plans include SMS and Internet use.  

Internet Use

Internet access via Wi-Fi is available in almost all student residence halls and rented apartments.  The average fee for the Internet use ranges from 350 to 500 rubles per month (USD 5.42-7.75 per month).

4.  Medical Services

Medical services are rendered by public and private hospitals and clinics in Russia. In order to get access to services of public hospitals and outpatient clinics, including student hospitals, you need to have a medical insurance policy. Services are rendered on a fee-payment basis in  ​privately owned clinics/hospitals. Your insurance policy does not cover the cost of their services. 

Please note that only first-aid and emergency medical services are available to foreigners for free in Russia.

First aid in case of a threat to life (incl. accidents, injuries, poisonings and similar conditions) is ensured by ambulance service personnel of public medical institutions. The medical professionals bring the patients to a stable condition. The cost of further treatment can only be covered by an insurance policy or the patient has to pay the fee in this case, if there is no policy available.   

Non-emergency medical services are rendered on a fee payment basis. In order to have access to them, an international student needs to purchase an insurance policy that will cover the cost of medical consulting services, tests, examinations, prescriptions, etc. You can purchase an insurance policy in Moscow. The price starts from 7,500 rubles per year (USD 114.90 per year).

Voluntary Medical Insurance Policy  

As a rule, international students come to Russia for quite a long period ranging from a few months to 4-5 years, so a regular tourist medical insurance policy that can be bought in their country is not an option. Firstly, it does not cover the costs of the services rendered by most Russian hospitals. Secondly, such a policy usually requires that the services be paid for by the patient whose expenses are then reimbursed by the insurance company upon arrival to his/her home country. This is inconvenient for the students who study abroad.

Upon arrival, you should purchase a voluntary medical insurance policy which covers the costs of a minimal list of medical services described in the Russian law (including outpatient and inpatient care, hospitalization, and medical transportation) and can be used for covering the costs of services rendered by clinics and hospitals located near your place of study or residence. If you have such a policy, you will not need to pay for treatment, you will have to submit your student ID (or passport) and your policy.

Every foreign national should purchase a medical insurance policy before coming to Russia. The minimal insurance coverage for a foreign national is 100,000 rubles (USD 1, 549). This is a rule that has been operational since 1 May 2016. You need to take this into account when purchasing a voluntary medical insurance policy. Please note that even international students whose tuition fees will be covered from the Russian budget funds under intergovernmental agreements will have to purchase a voluntary medical insurance policy using their money. For further information on the policy purchase, please go to our Visa Department located at: 49 Leningradsky Prospekt, room 514.

5.  Apparel Costs

There are many chain stores in Russia where goods of popular (both internationally recognized and Russian) brands are sold.  Apparel prices are generally higher in Russia than in the European countries. Yet, you can find good quality inexpensive items during the sales period. For example, a T-shirt might cost 300 rubles (USD 4.65) and a pair of jeans might cost 1,300 rubles (USD 20.14) during those periods.