Frequently Asked Questions
What services does SIMATEX UNITED render to foreign students?
SIMATEX UNITED gives international students all information about Russian Higher Educational System, and offers consulting support right after their first contact with reference to the higher education in Russia till the end of the educational period of 6-7 years. Besides that, SIMATEX UNITED offers the foreign students, who wish to study at the Higher Educational Establishments of Russia, the following services:
- Information about different Higher Educational Establishments of Russia.
- Processing the students documents with the chosen University for the chosen specialty.
- Processing the admission letter and the visa support letter from the University.
- Assistance in issuance of health and life insurance.
- Meeting students on their arrival at the International airport and accompanying them to the University and the hostel.
- Assistance in their hostel accommodation.
- Assistance with the registration, and documentation at the University.
- Assistance in opening the bank account and in sending facsimile and electronic messages.
- Consultation and help in all the regards during the education with the University, teachers and fellow students.
- Transferring the students from one University to another and processing all related documentation.
- Communication with parents and informing them about the academic records and behavior of their children throughout the whole period of study.
- Assistance and guidance students during the whole period of study.
What is invitation for education?
The invitation for education is the official document, which is processed by the department of passport-visa service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. It confirms that the student is admitted to a particular University. It specifies your passport details and the full name of the University. This invitation support letter is required by the Russian Embassy to stamp the visa in your passport. Generally, it takes about 45 days to process the invitation at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The invitation is valid for 90 days from the date of its issuance and you need to apply to the Russian Embassy for a visa during the validity of the issued invitation.
What is the weather like in Russia? What clothes should I bring?
The weather in Moscow varies greatly according to season. The winters are long and cold (with lots of snow and average temperatures around -10 degrees Celsius), and the summers are hot with occasional thunderstorms. As for what types of clothes to bring, it depends on what time of year it is, but remember two crucial points about life in these cities: 1) You will be walking a lot; feet and public transportation are the main modes of transportation in large Russian cities, so your shoes will take a beating and will get quite dirty, i.e. light-coloured shoes are not recommended 2) The same goes for clothes. Russians do wear bright things (shoes included), but dirt naturally stands out more on brighter clothes than it does on darker ones. So, you can see why a tendency toward wearing darker clothes can be seen on the streets of Russian cities. No one wants to be washing their clothes every day.
How expensive is life in Russia?
We estimate it costs a minimum of $250-$350/month to cover living costs in Russia. Day to day living costs in other cities are slightly lower than in Moscow, although provided you avoid ex-pat hang-outs in Moscow, the cost of living here is still a lot lower than in the West. The prices below should only be considered a rough guide (take the upper limits for Moscow. Eating, Drinking and Dining: Your weekly grocery bill is likely to be around $40-80 per person (all prices are in USD). You can buy a fairly decent three-course meal out for about $20 per person. If you eat out at lunchtime during the week, you can get a three-course business lunch for around $5. A 0.5 l glass of beer costs on average $2.
Evening Entertainment: A ticket to an English-language cinema costs $10, but you can see films in Russian for $5 or less. Theatre, opera and ballet tickets can cost as little as $3 but expect to pay $10 - $20 for decent seats. Entrance to museums and art galleries can cost anything from 50 cents to $10, depending on the place and what discounts you can get. Cover charges for nightclubs, if there is one, usually average at about $5 - $10.
Transport: A monthly metro pass costs between 250 roubles ($8) and 300 roubles ($10). Bus, tram and trolleybus tickets cost 10 - 50 cents (for one journey, irrespective of length). Trips and Excursions: Day trips to Golden Ring towns can be arranged independently for $10-$20. Train travel in Russia is extremely good value (a 3rd class ticket from Moscow-St Petersburg costs about $12). Outside Moscow and St Petersburg it is usually possible to arrange accommodation for $20-$30 per night, although that may mean Soviet-style hotels where service and decor leave a lot to be desired.
Clothes: It is worth buying winter items (hat, scarf, big coat, fur-lined boots) here, as they are better value than in the West and are more suited to the Russian climate. However, other clothes tend to be poorer quality for higher prices, so we recommend you do your clothes shopping before you arrive.
If you want to make long-distance telephone calls you should use new line matrix or beeline that offer very good rates: a $10 reload card lasts almost 100 minute when calling Malaysia and Europe from Russia.
How is it best to bring money to Russia?
Although many prices are listed in US Dollars or Euros (including on this website), the only currency accepted in Russia is the Russian Rouble. The Rouble cannot currently be purchased outside Russia, so we recommend bringing cash cards/credit cards to withdraw money from ATMs (which are common in major cities). As back up, it is advisable to bring cash US Dollars (in good condition, with no creases or tears), which can be exchanged at exchange points all over the city, many of which are open 24 hours a day. Travelers’ cheque tend to be less convenient as few banks exchange them.
How should the student pay the educational fees and any other charges to the University?
The direction of the payment, course fees and bank details will be specified and mentioned in the bank letter issued by SIMATEX UNITED SDN.BHD. Generally the fees are to be remitted by the student well in advance prior to leaving for the University. Incase the fees are not received by the University within 3 days of the students arriving in Russia, the University would be unable to register the student with the local immigration department and he would be issued an exit visa to return back home. A process will take around 10-14 days. Till that time the student will have to stay in one of the hotels.
Will a student be provided with medical insurance?
SIMATEX UNITED provide insurance card to all our student. It covers all cost and medical help for every student. All students who join any university in the RUSSIAN FEDERATION are required to apply for medical insurance from a local based insurance company. This is to cover them for any medical assistance that they may require in the future. Medical insurance will have to be taken as soon as the student is officially registered with the University.
What are the procedures for arriving in Russia?
Students for Moscow generally arrive at one of Moscow's two international airports, Sheremetevo 2 or Domodedovo. The latter is preferable as it was completely renovated in 2002, and is now an extremely modern and efficient airport comparable with any in Western Europe. Sheremetevo is older and can be worse in terms of passport control and baggage delays. After getting off the plane (generally directly into the airport building) you should follow the signs to passport control. Before you go through, make sure you have filled in both sections of a migration card (often handed out on the plane, otherwise available on desks in the passport control area). Hand in this card together with your passport and visa, have the migration card stamped (and one copy returned to you), and go through to baggage collection and customs. Find the appropriate baggage conveyor belt for your flight, and avoid the trolley caddies who will charge a fortune for pushing your luggage 50 metres.
Who will receive the students when they land in Moscow for the first time?
Representatives of SIMATEX UNITED will be at the airport to receive the students. They will be there to make sure the students have a smooth transition from the Airport to the Hostel. The representatives are also responsible to help the students in their initial registration with the University.
What is the type of accommodation that is given by the Universities?
Accommodation provided are hostels that are maintained and controlled by the respective University. The location of these hostels will depend on the University and may not necessarily be close to the place of study. Good public transport network enable students to commute to and fro from the hostel. The University provides standard hostel accommodation. Normally, 2-3 students share a room depending on the size and at the discretion of the University. All the rooms are newly decorated, comfortable. The rooms generally come with cupboards, beds linen, writing table etc. Every floor has enough bathrooms and toilets for the usage of the students. There also exists common kitchen with burners for the students to cook their food.
Is the hostel far away from the University in Moscow?
All our hostels are situated in South-West area of Moscow. All hostels are in 5–15 min walking from metro stations.
What kind of rooms in the hostel?
There 3 types of rooms: room for 3 people, room for 2 people, and single room.
Is it safe to live in a hostel?
There are private security companies who protect the hostel in every hostel. Also there are commandants a person who looks after the student and keep disciple.
Would a student have to give any entrance examination prior to joining the university in Russia?
The student only requires his/her standard marks of Higher Secondary School certificate/A-levels/Recognized Foundation of Science qualification for admission to the university. Upon arrival the student is required to sit for an entrance exam for the subject Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Russian.
Is it necessary to study the Russian language, even if the student is in the English Medium Faculty?
For medical studies, the first three years consist of pre-clinical training and is more lectures orientated. The pre-clinical subjects are taught completely in the English language. However Russian language classes are part of the curriculum from the 1st till 4th year. This is necessary because from the fourth year onward the students would start their clinical subjects, this would require them to attend the clinics and hospitals as part of their training. The student would have to interact with the local Russian patients hence the importance of the local language. It is also an added advantage for the student to interact with the locals without having difficulties. The Russian language preparatory faculty is a specially design faculty, to prepare the students to undertake the main course in the Russian language. The faculty covers specific subjects in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics along with the Russian language.
Are there any diseases which do not allow to their carrier to come for studies in Russia?
Yes, there are. The list of infectious diseases posing a threat for others, which is the cause of the refusal of issue or annulment of the permission for a part-time residence for foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Russian Federation is adopted by the Government of the Russian Federation Regulation # 188 dated 02.04.2003. The list includes: a disease induced by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), leprosy (the Hansen's disease), tuberculosis, infections with a predominantly sexual mode of transmission (syphilis, chlamydial lymphogranuloma (venereum), chancroid). Thus, the foreign citizens, whose examination determines the mentioned above diseases, are deported out of Russia to their native country for a medical treatment.
Is it safe to live in Russia?
Is it safe to live in New York or London? Moscow and St Petersburg are neither safer nor more dangerous than any other large cities, although there is admittedly a higher than average risk of icicles falling off high buildings and hitting you on the head during the spring thaw. Recent events have obviously made terrorism a concern, but sadly, no city in the world is immune from that threat these days. Smaller cities may be considered slightly quieter, and thus safer, but the following advice applies to any of them.
You should be careful when going out late at night, and try not to draw attention to yourself, i.e. don't talk loudly in English or flash money/valuables around. If you go out for the evening, stay in a group, and plan it so that you accompany each other home right up to the front door. Women are strongly recommended not to walk home alone after 11pm, and they should be prepared to put up with occasional verbal harassment late at night, as Russian males who have had too much to drink might well shout things at girls on the street. It's irritating and impolite, but if you ignore them they almost always stop bothering you. Guys should also be careful when out late at night in large English-speaking groups, as nationalism is on the rise in Russia as a whole. People of dark skin tones will be more at risk of abuse than others, and may be discriminated against by the police (i.e. stopped more often for ID checks). Smaller streets can be badly lit, so try and keep to the main streets if possible when it's dark. Avoid carrying with you more cash than you need - pick-pocketing is a problem in the metro, particularly in Petersburg. None of this advice is intended to scare you, and in any case, most of it applies anywhere in the world. With luck, your stay here should pass off without you being hassled in any way, but you should know the risks in order to avoid them.
Where can I see the prices?
Our prices for the education are equal with the prices of the institute you are going to apply. You may learn about prices on the web-pages of the institutes and academies you want to apply to. Also there is a fee, that Simatex will take for different services. To find out more, plese contact us via E-mail or Phone see detailes here.
What documents do I need?
Generally the Applicant should submit to Simatex the following documents:
- Copy of national passport
- Application form
- Notarized copy of higher secondary/higher education certificate with a mark sheet (+ a notarized translation of both into Russian)
- Medical certificates (See Step 5)
- 10 passport-size photos
Application deadline: September 1st (for the 1st year) or October 20th (for the Preparatory Faculty).