Russia Visits: Experience & Suggestions





Bulbul James (H.C. Pandey Gold Medalist)

Centre of Russian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Course: M.A. in Russian Studies

University: Moscow State Pedagogical University

Duration: About two years

At Present: Pursuing Ph.D from Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, Russia



On Scholarship:

I went on a scholarship through RCSC and I am extremely thankful to everyone there, as they played a vital role in helping me apply for further studies. The necessary documents for applying were certificates and also I had to present a work plan, depending on which the university is decided.


The round trip to Moscow costs roughly about 600-700$. Minimum expenses in Moscow can come to about 250$ per month (as also mentioned by the guidelines provided by RCSC). But being on a scholarship helps a lot as you do not have to worry about tution and hostel fees. Although in the beginning the expenses might be higher as students need to buy things like utensils (tea kettle and water filter, mobile sim with plan, etc). But these things are one time buy and if you like you can share with roommates. For saving money students can take up part time jobs like tuitions. If that does not work out still managing expenses isn’t tough if we abide to a simple living and not be very extravagant in purchasing stuff!

Meals & Markets:

There are canteens "столовая" in universities and libraries where you can have tasty and simple Russian food at nominal rates. We should try adapting to the food items available in abundance like there are variety of cheese butter yogurts breads pasta pre-packaged soups vegetables like cabbage carrots beets and assortment of frozen vegetables even fruits like kiwi (which are way too expensive in India are quite cheap), bananas apples oranges which are tasty and not heavy on pocket. Besides this basic food items are not expensive and these days there are supermarkets like Ашан, Атак all over Moscow where you can buy clothes as well as all the other necessities at minimal prices. 

What to carry from India:

Since these days rice atta daals are readily available in Moscow so I will not advise students to bring these along, they will add to extra weight, but for initial days you can bring easy to make noodles and food items, which can be made quickly, namkeens and those food items which you just cannot do without for example spices and masalas (as per individual's taste buds!). One thing to be taken into account is that Russia has two pin plug points system. Therefore for all electronic appliances like mobile and laptops one must remember to carry two pin chargers. Medicines should always be carried from home, there are instances when brands which are readily available in India are not even heard there. I would also like to advise that we should have enough photocopies of our certificates and passports as sometimes you need to present those in universities and other places. 

Places to visit:

The first thing I noticed in Moscow was that it is an extremely beautiful city. And right after settling down, I bought a travel guide for places in and around Moscow. Students should never miss any opportunity to visit new places and readily go on excursions with Russian teachers. There are a lot of interesting places where you can soak in the beauty and culture of Russia. In Moscow one must visit Храм Христа Спасителя, Новый и Старый Арбат, Кремль, МГУ: then there are abundance of museums, parks and churches. Once we went on an excursion on the Moscow river and it was a wonderful experience as we got to see the actual beauty of Moscow along the river banks. I would like to add here that I always follow the advice of my professor Ranjana mam who told me that whenever you are feeling low,visit Old Arbat, and she was absolutely right as that place cheers up the saddest of souls. The best thing about Moscow is that you can get hold of your bag and camera and just walk through the city, capture and enjoy the beautiful sights the city offers.


It’s comparatively a safe place, there are rare incidents of crime against foreign students but like every metropolitan city there are some good and bad points. For example, one must be cautious and alert about belongings while travelling in metro especially during busy hours. Avoid going to unknown places at late hours.


I would like to sum up by saying that for every person adjusting to a new place is tough, but that is everywhere. All we have to do is be positive, enjoy and learn from the experiences. Many of my friends who stayed in Russia and now have gone back to their homelands; tell me that they miss their Moscow days. That’s the charm of the city. How hard it may seem to live there, but still it etches inside us some beautiful memories and times.


Nitish Akhauri

Centre of Russian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


University:Tula State Pedagogical University, Russia

Duration: About one year (2012-2013)

At Present: Pursuing Ph.D from CRS, JNU



Coming soon...


Dhiraj Dhingra

University of Delhi Delhi, India

Course: Level 3

University: Pushkin Institute of Russian Language

Duration: About one year (2010-2011)

At Present: Pursuing Ph.D from Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, Russia


When I arrived here, I was very happy and excited, because I know that soon a new journey of life is going to start. At that time I knew Russian a bit. On the way to Institute it was very difficult for me to communicate with the driver but somehow I managed. When I reached Institute I said to myself that-"look Dhiraj this is the only thing you wanted when you started learning Russian language and today you achieved your goal, don't let yourself down and de-motivated" and then when I entered in to the Institute. I showed my documents to the Administration and asked with whom I'll be sharing my room she said that with your Indian friends, but that time I requested her that to accommodate me with the Russians/foreigners. It's natural if would be living with our natives, we would be talking in Hindi/English, but I wanted to practice more Russian. However I was not given my first wish. Gradually as the time passes I started speaking in Russian with my room mates. Apart that I started spending time in kitchen to prepare food and its going well for me because there many other people of our floor cook together and converse only in Russian. Practice of live language in kitchen is one of the best way of learning spoken Russian as well as learning to cook news dishes of various kitchens as well. used to watch Russian channels very often in the common TV room. People in institute are very cooperated and friendly.


I suggest to the students who will come here in future that please try not to speak with each other in native language and try to spend their time in kitchen and watch Russian channels because it will help a lot. And try your best to get an accommodation with any Foreigner student. And spend your time by exploring Moscow as there are many beautiful places in Moscow and you will meet many Russians as they love Indians a lot. I experienced this that's why I am suggesting you. If you will be nice to them they will be your friends and can invite you also to their home for tea.

              Wall: Comments & Suggestions on Russia Visit


Noemi polmi     


Pushkin Institute of Russian Language

Course: MA 1st year
Moscow, Russia          

Duration: 2009-2010



When I arrived here, I din't have any friend, it was very hard for me to communicate & get on well together with other people. But after some time gradually I managed to gather many good friends and things come to me easily. In institute I faced many problems. The subject which I got was not of my choice & it was very difficult for me to study those subjects. It was also complicated for me but now i can say that things have changed, because I took them in positive way as I assumed as if I am back in school life The biggest problem I faced here is that here in University we don't have any Russian people except teachers with whom we can communicate and if we find any Russian, they din't seem to be interested in us because they think that we are from other country and we are not fluent. They don't have patience to hear if you are not fluent in speaking, but exceptions are always there. It sounds very funny that we are in Russia and learning Russian Language but we don't have any Russian friends to communicate so for that reason I haven't improved a lot yet, but hopefully I will in future.


The best solution should be to find a job here so that you can communicate with Russians, because this is the only thing which force us to communicate in Russian and we need to communicate by.

              Wall: Comments & Suggestions on Russia Visit


Rashmi Rajput       
Institute of Russian Language (RCSC), Delhi, India

University: Pushkin Institute of Russian Language

Course: Level 4 Moscow, Russia          

Duration: About one year (2010-2011)

At Present:



We all miss India very much. We came to Moscow on 5th Oct 2010. The flight was with a stop over in Turkey. We reached at the Institute around 10 pm. Girish Sir & Elena Mam made sure that we were accompanied by a reliable driver & confirmed we reached at the hostel. I was given a room with two other Vietnami girls. They were very sweet & offered food. Next day we went to meet the Tatyana, who after talking to us told us to go to Inter 3 or 4, whichever was suitable. I am in inter 4.We are taught grammar, development, reading phonetics. All the teachers are very good. Classes are 4 times in a week. Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday are holidays. Classes start at 9.30 & finish at 2.50. Apart from Indians, Tunisian, Turkish, Italian, Korean & Chinese students study with us.


I would like to offer the students who will come here in future:-
1. Buy SIM card of Beeline, Its very difficult to be in touch with relatives & friends without it. For every call you receive Rs.100 @1 minute is deducted & SMS Rs. 25 of Indian SIM card.
2. Bring some Eatables for starting as its not easy to get used to Russian food immediately.
3. Bring or buy electric kettle for water. Its very costly & heavy to buy water. Small cooker if possible.
4. Kitchen is common with Electric plate stoves for cooking.
5. Keep a metro map card.
6. Bring small Souvenirs, which reflect India (apart from tea)
7. Make friends. Participate in concerts, attend excursions.
8. Change money with Zber Bank. Other people might cheat you.
9. Greet security staff time to time.
10. Remember the date when linen is changed.
11. Always keep your passport & student card with you 
12. Bring a universal adapter which works in Europe. Only two way plug work here.

1. Astha Gupta       
University of Delhi, India

University: Pushkin Institute of Russian Language

Course: Level 3 Moscow, Russia          

Duration: About 7months (2010)

At Present: Russian language expert at public sector



It would be a great opportunity for me going to Russia(Moscow) on was 1st time I was away from my  family..initially it was very difficult to adjust in the new country with new people as it was very cold and no one was there to help you out...questions like  where to go? what to do? whom to talk? arises very frequently..but soon I was helped by the in-charge at the PUSHKIN INSTITUTE and the other class mates,they helped me alot and finally I was able to adjust...later I became so comfortable that I didn't want to come back to India again..Russia is a lovely country,the only thing which we can do I to remember yourself and must enjoy...


1.We must carry warm clothes which will help to protect from snow and as well as some summer clothes to wear inside the living areas.
2.Shoes and slippers.
3.Food raw or cooked (prathas and achar) for initial 4-5 days.
4.Carry your passport and other important documents along with the CITY MAP and METRO MAP always with you whenever you go out.
5.Buy BEELINE or MEGAPHONE simcard to call India(they are the most cheaper one's)/
6.Buy all daily products from AWAH,it is the cheapest store.
7.You can even buy Indian products at the Indian shop near the Pushkin institute.
8.You can hire TAXI(1200-1500rubles) or take EXPRESS TRAIN(250rubles) from the airport to the pushkin institute(About 1hr25min from airport).
9.For traveling you can always go for METRO,as it is much cheaper than TAXI.
10.Must take utensils and spices for cooking and some raw food(ladoo,mathi's,namkeen's) especially for VEGETARIANS.
11.Take along some small INDIAN GIFTS or SOUVENIR for gifting to friends.
12.Take LAPTOP for communication purpose you can buy INTERNET from the institute 4th floor..and you can buy food products from a shop at 2nd floor in institute.
13.Make more friends and communicate with maximum number of people to improve your language skills.
14.Must exchange your E-MAIL I.D with your friends to be in touch always.
15.In Moscow must visit places like ARBAT,FAMOUS GALLERIES, MOSCOW RIVER,ETC.
16.In Russia must visit ST. PETERS BURG AND SUZDAL to know Russia and even you can go for the small trip which are organized by the Institute.