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Regular version of the site

Starting Mobility

Now that you have been nominated to study at the HSE Graduate School of Business, find out what you need to do to get here. Your time at Moscow will offer an adventurous and enriching experience. We can't wait to meet you!

Visa Application Process

In most cases, studying in Russia requires a student visa. Check the Federal Agency for Tourism website for more information.

If you require a Russian visa, make sure to apply for it well in advanse.

1. Visa Invitation

Once you have filled out your online HSE profile and uploaded all the required documents, we submit your documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for an invitation letter. The visa invitation will have your personal details, purpose of your visit and the duration of your stay in Russia (initially for 90 days). The issuance of the invitation may take up to 45 days. Digital visa invitations are sent to students via email.

HSE University does not sponsor student visas and does not provide any visa support for family members or friends!

2. Visa Application

Apply for a student visa at a Russian General Consulate or a Russian Embassy (the list may be found here). Check the student visa requirements at the Russian consulate in your home country well in advance.

To apply for a visa, among other documents you will have to submit  a certificate proving the absence of HIV infection.

Don’t buy your plane ticket until you get your student visa!

3. Visa Regulations

Initially you will receive a single-entry visa valid for 90 days, which will allow you to enter the Russian Federation only once. Be prepared to stay in Russia without leaving for the first 3 months after your arrival, until you receive a multiple-entry visa. If you leave the country with a single-entry visa, you will not be allowed to re-enter Russia will have to receive a new single-entry visa.

4. Migration Regulations

Upon entering the Russian Federation, you must fill in a migration card. If applicable, visitors will be required to indicate their visa information on the migration card. Upon arriving at your destination in Russia, the migration card should be presented to the respective authorities to get you officially registered in Russia.

Your migration card should be presented at passport control when you leave. Always keep the original migration card with you.

You can find more information about Russian migration legislation here.

Housing and Accommodation

All exchange students are guaranteed a place at one of HSE University’s dormitories. Dormitories offer shared placement for 2 people in a room. Students are allocated to their accomodation by the dormitory administration. Usually, exchange students are placed in dormitories 5, 4, 1. 

To check in a dormitory, students must present a health certificate signed and stamped a physician in a home country.

Please remember that you must get registered at your place of residence in Moscow. If you stay in a university dormitory, our colleagues obtain this registration for you. If you live off campus, your landlord or owner of the apartment should register you. Make sure you enquire a landlord about whether he/she will register you beforehand. More information you may find here

Medical Insurance

Exchange students at HSE University are required to have a medical insurance when arriving for studies in Russia. The insurance should cover the whole period of your stay in the country. Your medical insurance must include tests, basic diagnostics, medical certificates, dental procedures, trauma assistance and repatriation. Please take care of your medical insurance before your arrival to Russia.

Alternatively, you can purchase a medical insurance at one of HSE University’s partner companies. For more information, check the Medical Aid & Insurance section.

Request a Buddy

Buddies are current HSE GSB students who volunteer to help incoming international students to settle into life in Moscow and feel more confident in their new cultural and social environment. You can meet you buddy upon your arrival or request their help at any time throughout your stay.

What buddies do:

  • meet you at the Aeroexpress Station in the center of Moscow (not at the airport!);
  • accompany you to your dormitory and help you with the check-in process;
  • provide you with general hands-on experience (visiting campus buildings, useful apps, emergency phone numbers, etc.);
  • help you deal with local documents and forms in Russian;
  • recommend events and places in the city.

What buddies do not do:

  • meet you during night hours (from 9 PM till 8 AM);
  • become your full-time personal assistant (respect their personal time and space!);
  • offer any financial or other material help.

You can request a buddy here.

Booking Your Tickets and Arrivingin Moscow

Make sure to book your tickets only after you receive your visa!

1. Airports

There are four airports around Moscow: Sheremetevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo, Zhukovskiy. All of them are equally connected to the City of Moscow via high-speed trains, buses and taxi services. Select yout flight by the time of arrival, not by an airport: daytime or early evening is always preferable.

At the border control you will receive a migration card. Make sure to keep it as it has to be presented when applying for a multiple-entry visa and when you leave the country.  

2. Get to the city

There are several ways how you can get to the city center from the airport. For instance, you can take an Aeroexpress train or a reliable taxi service (e.g., Yandex.Go, Uber Russia, Gett, etc. - apps are available on AppStore and Google Play).

Let your buddy know the time of your arrival and make sure he/she will meet you at an agreed spot.

Do not  take a taxi or any other services from unlicenced providers. Taxi drivers crowding at the airports tend to offer highly overpriced services if you do not speak Russian. A ride from an airport to the city center usually costs 1,000-2,000 RUB.

3. Check in a dormitory

HSE dormitories are open 24/7, you can check in any time. You will be asked for a  health certificate signed by a physician in your home country.

4. Registration

To make your stay in Russia legal, you must register within 3 days of your arrival.

At HSE dormitories, you submit your documents to a passport specialist, and he/she takes care of your registration:

  • copies of ALL PASSPORT PAGES (or ID card for CIS citizens) including blank, with two pages on one A4 sheet, printed on both sides;
  • a copy of your migration card.

At rented accommodation, the apartment owner must apply to a local territorial body of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for your registration

After you are registered, you will receive a registration slip. Always keep the original registration slip with you.

You will be provided with more information at the orientation session.

Estimated Living Costs

Costs will depend on your personal lifestyle and activities. 

  • Housing (on campus): approx. 2,000 RUB per month;
  • Housing (off campus): approx. 20,000-50,000 RUB per month;
  • Health insurance: approx. 4,000-8,000 RUB;
  • Food, personal expenses: approx. 10,000-20,000 RUB per month;
  • Public transportation: approx. 900 RUB per month;
  • Cell phone / internet connection: 800 RUB per month;
  • Gym pass: 1,000-5,000 RUB per month;
  • Taxi service: 250-1,000 RUB per trip;
  • Movie Ticket: 200-500 RUB per ticket;
  • Visa extension fee: 1,600 RUB.

Average basic expenses may vary between 15,000 and 50,000 RUB/month.

Pre-departure Checklist


  • passport with visa;
  • tickets;
  • health insurance;
  • health certificate for a dormotory signed and stamped by a physician;
  • digital copies of all documents

Essential contacts:

  • your buddy;
  • dormitory;
  • faculty staff (your coordinator);
  • embassy.

Mobile phone / laptop:

  • has enough battery power;
  • a charger;
  • make sure your home provider has a roaming agreement with a Russian mobile company so you can use your SIM card for your first few days here; you can only buy a local SIM card after you've registered at your place of residence in Moscow.


  • petty cash (3,000-5,000 RUB);
  • don’t keep large amount of cash on you!


  • check with Customs Control about policies for transporting medication.

Appropriate clothing:

  • winter coat;
  • warm hat and scarf;
  • warm socks and gloves;
  • waterproof winter boots with warm lining.

Orientation for Exchange Students

Orientation sessions take place twice a year, at the beginning of each of the semesters. In order to adjust to student life, it is important that you participate in the Orientation session as it will provide you with essential information on studying at HSE University and living in Moscow, as well as other useful tips to help you better enjoy your time in Russia.


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