1. Make sure that you have the permission to enter Russia; for most countries such permission is a student’s visa. Even if you got the invitation for a year the duration of your visa will be 3 months and it will be one-entry visa. This is a usual procedure. After your arrival you will get a visa prolongation. The new visa you will get will be for the whole period of your study not exceeding 1 year, and will allow you multi-entrance. If you need a visa to enter Russia you will need an invitation letter from the university. For most EU countries it will be an invitation from the university on the university form, but for other countries we will issue an official invitation by the state authorities. It usually takes about 1.5-2 months, so start well in advance. The International Office is in charge of the invitation, and you will be asked to send a scan of your passport (all pages with notes).
2. Russian currency is rubles. From the very beginning you will need some rubles. There is an exchange point at the airport, where you can change some money for the first time. Russian currency is ruble. You can check out official exchange rates on the site of Russia’s Central Bank http://www.cbr.ru.
3. Photos are required surprisingly often. Snap a bunch of cheap passport-sized photos there, or get several copies of your passport photo before you go. You'll need 'em.
4. Calls to Russia start with a country code – 7 and an area code – for Ekaterinburg is 343.
5. The flight schedule is always local time, but!!! The train schedule in Russia is always Moscow time. The difference between Moscow and Ekaterinburg is +2 hours.
6. Make sure that the university knows your arrival date and time. Always contact the International Office before you start planning your trip. There are public holidays in Russia when the university is closed. If you live in the dormitory it is better not to check in late or in weekends (read further). If there is no other way as to arrive on weekends you must contact the International Office in order to arrange your housing. If you did not do it, it is better to book a hotel or to stay in a hostel (read further).
7. Remember that taking a job is prohibited by the type of student’s visa. So if you plan to finance your stay through part-time job when you study in Russia it is not allowed by the law.
8. Before you come make sure that you know who your contact person is and that you know his/her mobile or other phone number in case of late arrival or other emergency.
9. The main language spoken in Russia is, of course, Russian. At the university you will find English-speaking people among students and professors, but in a shop or buying tickets in a bus the language will be Russian. So it is better to have a certain level of command of Russian or to arrange Russian speaking company in case you may need assistance.
9. Voltage Requirements. Similar to Europe: 220 V; Plug C. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use US appliances.
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