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Posted by
on 3 Sep 2013
Hello, I finally decided to go to Saint Petersburg, Russia to study. I already issued the student visa. It was pretty easy to issue the Russian student visa. Can't be more excited. I will arrive the 20th of October. I have bought the tickets today! What about interest rates in Russia? What is the interest rate per month? I would arrive next month with 4000-4700 euros. And later I would be receiving 1200 EUR per month to live. I know it is quite a good amount to be a student, but I wanna work to have extra money and not depend on my parents. I wanna be more independent. I am 19 years old. I am not a kid anymore. Do Russians trust their currency? The currency exchange rate is always around 30 RUB per USD, which is not bad and has been stable during last year. I wonder if it would be better to save my money in EUR and exchange them in RUB or save my money in RUB. I will be living in Russia and I must pay everything in RUB. I will first learn Russian language in the university (even though the university offers English courses, it is mandatory to learn Russian because you are living there). But it is okay, I want to study Languages. Russia has great relations with my country of origin and that would boost my work opportunities once I come back after finishing my studies here. The economy of Russia is growing pretty fast. I would like to find a job in Saint Petersburg and the university told me students were allowed to work in Russia and I would need a work permit. But I think it would take, at least, six months to be fluent in Russian. Maybe four. Can I find work opportunities speaking English, Spanish and German? I am already fluent speaking those three. I want to work to make some extra money. I am only 19, but I wanna start working to gain work experience while being very young. But I wonder if it is mandatory to speak Russian to work in the country, even in language schools. I have considered to find a job in a Spanish speaking school, which is my Native Language and I have given Spanish lessons before. Besides, what is really happening towards LGBT people in Russia? Some people have said there will be an Holocaust against gay people in Russia. I found those news to be somewhat exaggerated. I was in Saint Petersburg last year and I found them to be somewhat accepting towards gay people, as long as they are not so open in public. I was raised in a Catholic family in Latin America and I am used to it. I think Russia looks so homophobic only in comparison to some European countries, especially being that close to Finland and Norway, which are by far more tolerant towards LGBT people. What I am really afraid of is... RUSSIAN WINTER. But I think it would not be that bad. If not, there were not more than 150,000,000 living in that country. I was in Russia last year during summer and autumn. Autumn was pleasant, but very windy. I have already lived in Saint Petersburg as a tourist (1 month and half), but not as a student. The circumstances are different now, by far. As a student, I will be living there for a longer period and have to go deeper into the local culture to understand it. As a tourist, you do not really need to do that. Finally, I appreciate you have taken your time to read this to give me any tips you consider important during my stay in Russia. Thank you in advance. Saludos desde Latinoamérica.
Catherine on 3 Sep 2013
Hi Vicente - wow, that certainly is a long list of questions and comments you have about Russia. It would be impossible to try and answer every one of them, but I would say the best thing would be to read our Expat Guide to Russia - where you should find the answers to some of your concerns about living in Russia.

Good luck with your move! I hope it is an amazing experience!
Vicente Josera… on 3 Sep 2013
I couldn't find any information about the student life and the requeriments to work as a student in Russia.
Catherine on 4 Sep 2013
Hi Vicente, if you're living in Russia on a student visa, you are not eligible to work in the country as you'll need a work permit to work. However, there have been occations where students have been able to find part time work while studying. It's best to contact your nearest Russian embassy directly for details on this and whether you would qualify for any exemptions here.

The best place to find information about student life in Russia would most likely be through the institution that you will be studying through. They  most likely have brochures focusing on this. The university may also have an international office that deals specifically with foreign students and assists them with all their needs with regards to accommodation, finding part time jobs or general student life.

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