Cost of Living in Russia for International Students

Cost of Living in Russia for International Students

Flying to Russia to pursue higher education? Apart from the annual tuition, you should also financially prepare for the cost of living in the country.

Most international students are advised to prepare $300 to $400 per month, which amounts to $3,000 to $4,000 every academic year.

Your monthly expenses are typically made up of basic necessities, plus entertainment and other related activities. In this article, we break down the cost of living in Russia to help you save sufficient funds during your stay.

Accommodation Costs

In Russia, you have two major lodging options:  university accommodation and private accommodation. The latter is naturally more expensive, and can get even more costly depending on the location, type, and facilities. 

For your monthly accommodation, costs range from $7 to $500. Read our article on student accommodations options in Russia to learn more.

Transportation Costs

There are various public transportations in Russia that can accommodate your preference. You can choose from buses, trolleybuses, trams, and the metro.

You can buy a journey card for the subway, which costs $28 for 60 trips. A single trip would cost you $1.

If you have a student discount card, you can take advantage of it for travel. For example, you can get a Moscow underground card for only $6.

Meal Expenses

Fast-food chains are one of the cheapest meal options for students. If you prefer a heartier meal, you can enjoy lunch in cafes or mid-range restaurants for only $11 to $28 per dish.

Depending on where you shop for your groceries, you’ll usually spend around $60 per month. This budget can get you basic items such as bread, meat, vegetables, fish, beverages, and condiments. 


Russia has many outlet stores of popular local and international brands. They’re typically in malls or located in shopping centers in major city spots.

Clothing expenses are relatively more expensive in Russia compared to European countries. However, you can expect to score a high-quality shirt for only $7 during sales. 

Jeans normally cost $21 per pair. If you wish to save more on clothing, you can use your student discount card.

Mobile and Internet Services 

Typically mobiles services such as texts, costs, and mobile internet would cost around $4 to $6. It’s best to inquire per store about the best deals for mobile service packages.

Remember that before buying a SIM card, you need a migration card and a national passport. You must also only buy SIM cards from authorized stores.

Leisure Activities

Russia offers endless leisure activities to international students, from sports to cultural tourist spots. Cinema tickets cost around $6 to $14 while a theater play would range from $11 to $36.

A monthly pass for fitness centers would cost you $24 to $64. But, you may not even spend a single cent on fitness if your accommodation has a free gym or sports facility. 

It’s essential to determine the cost of living in Russia to ensure that you have enough funds for your stay. Visit more of our stories here at MSM Unify to learn more about Russian life and education.


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