Guide to Russian Etiquette for International Students | MSM Unify

Guide to Russian Etiquette for International Students

Guide to Russian Etiquette for International Students
To study and live in your chosen country in the best way possible, you have to learn that there are traits that you should do and avoid doing. This lessens your odds of offending someone and boosts your chances of getting more friends. Understanding the local norms and traditions will help you maximize your time in Russia.

Russians have a deep sense of cultural heritage and you will easily notice them when you get to know the country firsthand.

To help you, below are some tips on Russian etiquette that will guide you in your stay. 


In Russia, it is normal for you to experience handshaking in a firm, almost bone-crushing way. Russians are also good at keeping eye contact with the person they’re talking to.

Women usually kiss each other three times on the cheek upon meeting. First on the left cheek, and then on the right, and lastly on the left again. For males, they hug while patting each other on the back.

Looking away while talking to them is considered rude. When being introduced to a local, do not assume familiarity.

Russian family

You will notice that in Russia, families are often small. To them, family is very important. Women also work for their families. They normally live in small types of housing but consist of more than one family generation. Russian families are very welcoming and accommodating; they will make you feel at home.

Body language

Russians easily notice small gestures that may appear offensive. Do not fake your feelings toward them. Smile when you feel like it and express your happiness upon meeting someone.

Additionally, it is rude when you sit with the bottom of your feet. You also don’t want to get a bad impression by whistling indoors. This act is superstitiously believed to show one’s poor financial performance.

In posture, laziness can be seen when you slouch and stand with your hands in your pockets. Do not use one finger when pointing but do point with your whole hand. Russians also don’t like seeing public displays of affection.


If you are invited to a Russian home, you must arrive on time and bring at least a small gift. Flowers are a good idea for men. Locals love entertaining their guests. They put more food on the table than the ones that can be eaten to show that they are abundant in foods.

On formal occasions, Russians use all three of their names when calling each other. Friends may refer to one another by their first names and patronymic. For family members and close friends, they refer to each other only by their first names.

Russia is a wonderful study destination popular for international students. To maximize the Russian experience, make sure to learn the most about the country. Check our other articles here at MSM Unify for more.


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