St. Petersburg or Moscow: Which Student City in Russia Is Better for You?

St. Petersburg or Moscow: Which Student City in Russia Is Better for You?

St. Petersburg or Moscow: Which Student City in Russia Is Better for You?

Every student city in Russia offers a unique take on student life and culture. They also vary in terms of culture, living costs, and working opportunities.

Two of the top two major student cities in Russia are Moscow and St. Petersburg. Moscow is Russia’s capital and more of the economic gear that propels the country skyward. Meanwhile, St. Petersburg is the cultural capital of the country which bears the heart of history.

Want to learn more about their major differences to make the right choice? Here’s a guide on how you can find which student city is right for you.

Worldwide Rankings

In the 2022 QS Best Student Cities list, Moscow takes a higher spot at 25th place. It also has eight universities that landed on the QS World University Rankings of 2022.

St. Petersburg takes a much more modest spot at 72nd place. Unlike Moscow, it only has four universities in the current World University Rankings. 

Cost of Living

St. Petersburg takes the lead in terms of affordability. In the same best student cities list, it bagged the 14th spot as the most affordable city in the world.

Monthly living costs are also affordable in St. Petersburg with students only needing around $546 a month. Rent can start for as low as $350 and as high as $1,069 per month.

Moscow is fairly affordable but still quite more expensive than St. Petersburg. It’s on the 31st spot in the world in terms of affordability.

Each month, you’ll need around $608 to cover your living expenses. For your accommodation, you can expect to spend somewhere between $521 and $1,929 per month.

As per annual tuition, St. Petersburg has an average of $4,400. Meanwhile, Moscow has an average of $6,000, which is a bit more expensive than St. Petersburg but is still lower than other comparable student cities.

Culture, Lifestyle, and Diversity

Founded by Peter the Great as the “window to Europe,” St. Petersburg is a cultural icon in Russia. Though take note that the architecture may remind you more of Amsterdam, the atmosphere is still distinctly Russian.

Moscow has more Soviet architecture with skyscrapers and cars everywhere. The mindset is also a lot more similar to Asians when it comes to group psychology and spirit.

Both cities enjoy a diverse and large population. You’ll see foreign nationalities around both metropolises, so hopefully, discrimination isn’t as prevalent.

Public Transportation

One of the major differences between the two cities is the signs at the metro. In St. Petersburg, you’ll find metro signs written in both Cyrillic and English. In Moscow, you’ll only find them in Cyrillic.

The Moscow metro is naturally more modern and more sophisticated being in the capital city. But the metro in St. Petersburg is still marvelous too. It’s the deepest subway on the planet and is as efficient as other networks in the world.

Did this article help you find the right student city for you? Before you make your final choice, check out our other articles here at MSM Unify to discover more student cities around the world.


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St. Petersburg or Moscow: Which Student City in Russia Is Better for You? | MSM Unify
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