|GOING TO STUDY IN RUSSIA
Q. What is the duration of the undergraduate medical course in Russia? What is the degree
A. The duration of the undergraduate medical course in Russia is 6 years (English Medium),
or 7 years (Russian Medium). The Degree awarded is MD (Physician). Unlike the MBBS,
which is a Bachelor Degree (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery), the Degree of MD
(Physician) is a Master Degree in general medicine (Doctor of Medicine, Physician). Just as
in the USA, UK, Australia and other Western Countries, the first medical degree awarded in
Russia too is the Master Degree. It is not a post graduate degree and is not to be confused
with the Post Graduate Degree of MD / MS awarded in India and a few other countries.
Q. Is the Russian undergraduate medical degree recognized in India?
A. Yes. The Degree awarded by those medical universities in Russia which are approved
under the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, are recognized in India.
According to the Regulations framed by the Medical Council of India (MCI), an Indian citizen
desirous of joining an undergraduate medical course in any foreign country shall first obtain
an eligibility certificate from the MCI before joining the course. After successful completion of
the course, the student shall have to qualify a screening test conducted by the National
Board of Examinations in order to get registration from the MCI.
Q. What are the criteria to be satisfied to get the Eligibility Certificate from the MCI?
A. The student has to satisfy the following conditions in order to qualify for the Eligibility
a) The candidate should be not less than 17 years of age on or before 31st December of the
year of admission to the course.
b) The candidate should have passed the 2nd PUC / 12th Std / HSC exam with the subjects
of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English individually and have obtained a minimum of
50% marks in the aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Biology (40% for SC/ST and OBC).
The application form for the Eligibility Certificate can be downloaded from the website of MCI,
or can be collected from the Firm. The firmguide the student in filling up the form, but the
responsibility of satisfying the criteria of the MCI and obtaining the certificate from them rests
with the student.
Q. How often is the Screening Test conducted? What are the subjects included in the Test?
A. The Screening Test is conducted twice every year by the National Board of Examinations.
There are three papers of multiple choice questions in Preclinical, Para-Clinical and Clinical
Medicine and its allied subjects including Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The language of the
test is English. The test for each paper will be of three hours duration. The minimum pass
marks in each paper separately are 50%., which is applicable to all categories of candidates
without exception. A candidate should pass all three papers in the same attempt. There are
no restrictions on the number of attempts to appear in the test.
Q. What are the advantages of choosing a Russian medical university for study?
A. There are many advantages in choosing to study in Russia such as:
* There is no entrance exam like the CET etc. Admissions are made on first come first
* Russian universities do not charge any capitation fees, nor do they take any donation.
The annual tuition fees and the total cost of study in Russia is very reasonable and much
less in comparison to a private medical college in India.
*The medium of instruction is English.
* International students are taught in batches of 8 to 12 in a class.
*Russian medical universities are well established and many are listed among the top
medical universities in the world.
* The teaching faculty is all highly qualified.
* All Universities are equipped with the most modern diagnostic and teaching aids.
Q. Is it necessary to learn the Russian language even for the English Medium course?
A. Yes. The Russian language is taught as part of the curriculum in order to prepare the
student to be able to converse with the local patients and hospital staff as they do not speak
English. Moreover, knowledge of the local language is always an asset for communication
with shopkeepers and others or while taking the local transport.
Q. What is the duration of the postgraduate medical course in Russia? What is the degree
A. Post Graduate higher education in Russia is of 3 basic types:
a) Short term specialization: This is a 1 year duration certificate course.
b) Ordinatura: This is a 2 to 5 years duration Post Graduate Residency course. It is a full time
education and leads to acquiring of deep theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The 2
year course can be considered to be equivalent to the Indian post graduate degree courses
MD and MS, while the 5 year course can be considered to be equivalent to the Indian super
specialty degree courses DM and MCh.
c) Aspirantura: The Aspirantura prepares the student for a research or an academic career.
There are two levels of Aspirantura: The first level is the degree of 'Kandidat Nauk1, or
Candidate of Sciences, requiring 3 years of study, roughly equivalent to the PhD of other
countries. The second and highest level is the degree of 'Doctor Nauk', or Doctor of
Sciences, for which the duration is not fixed. It follows the Kandidat Nauk and is awarded
after preparation and a public defence of a dissertation. It does not always have an
equivalent in other countries. The average time between obtaining Kandidat and Doctor
degrees is roughly 10 years.
For MBBS & BDS graduates from India, the duration of the PG education in Russia was З1/2
years, comprising a 6 month accelerated Russian Language course and a 1 year
equivalency programme followed by the regular 2 year PG course. However, the Russian
Government has recently relaxed the requirement of the equivalency programme & permitted
universities to award the PG Degree after 21/2 years of study including the Russian
Language course. Some universities have already implemented this decision while the
others are in the process of doing so.
Register, and Indian Government jobs and the Teaching profession in India will also open
up for the students who have acquired PG qualifications from Russia.
Q. How are the Fees to be paid to the university? Are the fees liable to change during the
duration of the course?
A. The payment of Tuition Fees for the first year of study shall be made prior to the student's
departure for Russia, in accordance with the instructions issued by the university. Such
instructions may require the fees to be either wire transferred directly to the university, or paid
in Indian Rupees in India to Firm, which will do the further needful. For subsequent years, the
fees may be paid in India in Indian Rupees to the Firm through which the student is admitted
to the university, or directly at the university cash counter within 7 days of the commencement
of classes. The fees are payable to the university in Rubles at the rate of exchange ruling on
the date of payment, as fixed by the Central Bank of Russia , or in some cases as set by the
university itself. Russian universities do not accept fees in any currency other than the local
currency namely Roubles. The Dollar / Euro rates quoted are normally for the information
and guidance of the student only. It is generally understood that the tuition fees as
mentioned in the Admission Letter do not change for the duration of the course, except in
some extraordinary circumstances. Utilities such as gas, cold & hot water, heating and
power to the hostels are supplied and maintained by the local municipal administration. In
case there is some change in the tariff of these supplies to the hostel, the hostel fees could
be subject to some marginal changes.
Q. Can a student get a scholarship / assistantship, or take up part time work to earn some
money for education expenses?
A. Education in Russia is highly subsidized by the Government and hence no scholarships
or assistantships are available to International students. According to the Federal Law
governing foreign students in the Russian Federation, students can work only during their
free time i.e. after classes or during their holidays. Their employer must be licensed to hire
foreign citizens. The student is liable for expulsion from the university should he / she have
poor attendance or poor academic achievement. Jobs for International students are
generally low paid & may be only a way to earn some pocket money rather than to cover any
part of the tuition fees. It is strongly recommended that the students do not take up any work
at least during the first 2 to 3 years, since they do not speak Russian fluently enough. It is
important however for the student to remember that the main aim in coming to Russia is to
acquire an additional educational qualification, & it is therefore advisable to concentrate on
studies rather than take up any part time assignments.
Q. Is the Russian Postgraduate Medical Degree recognized in India or elsewhere in the
Universities in Russia awarding postgraduate degrees are listed in the 'World Directory of
Medical Schools' published by the World Health Organisation. This means that their degrees
are recognized worldwide. Students from these universities can write screening exams like
the USMLE of USA, PLAB of UK, AMC of Australia etc, and on passing, are eligible to work in
the respective countries. Some countries in the Gulf, Maldives and a few others directly
recognize the Russian degrees & students can take up appointments in these countries
without writing any screening exams. The MCI does not have a system in place presently for
recognition of a Postgraduate degree from any country in the world. The student can however
legally suffix the foreign PG qualification to his / her name, engage in private practice or work
in any private hospital in India as per the PG qualification, but will not be able to work in a
government hospital or in an academic position. The good news however is that there is a
move by the Government of India to recognize PG degrees from foreign universities. Once
this becomes a reality, the additional qualification will be noted in the Indian Medical
Register, and Indian Government jobs and the teaching profession in India will also open up
for the students who have acquired PG qualification from
Q. Are the students provided hostel accommodation? What facilities do the hostels provide?
Are they situated within the campus?
A. Students are accommodated in International hostels managed by the university. The
rooms can accommodate 2 to 3 students each depending on its size. Each student will get a
table, a chair, a bed and a cupboard. Bed linen, pillow and blankets are provided by the
university and are changed once a week. The hostels are centrally heated in winters. Every
floor of the hostel has adequate toilets and bath with running hot & cold water. Each floor will
have a kitchen with burners / hot plates, cutting tables, washing sinks etc where students
can cook their own meal. The hostels employ cleaning staff to maintain the areas of public
use such as corridors, halls, kitchens, toilets etc, while maintaining the cleanliness and
tidiness of the room is the student's own responsibility.
Hostels in some universities are located within the campus, while in some others, such as
in Moscow, they are 50 to 60 km away. However, public transport in Russia is excellent and
the student will experience no difficulty in commuting between the hostel and the university. It
may be wise for the student not to expect living conditions similar to the USA or other western
countries where the costs are very much higher than in Russia. But you can be sure of the
excellent and high quality education, while residing in reasonable comfort.
Q. Are mess facilities available in the hostels? Do they serve Indian food?
A. Mess facilities are generally not available in the hostels, but many hostels have a
cafeteria, which serve Russian and Continental food and snacks at subsidized rates. Such
cafeterias are also available in all university main buildings. The usual practice is for the
student to have lunch in the university cafeteria & cook his / her own meal in the kitchen
provided on each floor of every hostel.
Q. How much money is required for living expenses in Russia?
A. A student can manage comfortably with $100 to $120 per month in most Russian cities. In
Moscow & St Petersburg, the expenses could be as high as $250 to $300 per month. It must
be noted however that the living expenses will depend also on the spending habits of the
Q. Can a student open a Bank Account in Russia? Are there any other means of sending
money to the student in Russia?
A. Yes, the student can open a Bank account in Russia after his / her passport and local
address has been registered with the immigration authorities. Money can be directly
transferred to the student's bank account from a bank in India. There are also convenient
ATM facilities in Russia from which students can withdraw money using Debit Cards or
Travel Currency Debit Cards which are issued by some banks and other authorized
institutions in India.
Q. How does a student keep in touch with his / her parents?
A. Mobile phones are widely used in Russia and are convenient for the student. Mobile
networks in Russia work on the GSM system. The student may carry a GSM compatible
phone from India or purchase one in Russia itself. The student can purchase a SIM card for
the mobile phone as soon as the registration procedure is completed. Internet facilities are
also available in Russia for keeping in touch through e-mail.
Q. What are the facilities available to a student in case he falls sick?
A. The Russian Government has made it mandatory for foreign students to take a medical
insurance policy to cover the cost of treatment including medication in case of hospitalization
for any ailment. The premium for such a policy varies between $ 100 to $ 150 per year. For
normal or routine cases not requiring hospitalization, the student can consult doctors free of
cost at the university hospitals, but the cost of medicines will have to be borne by the
Q. How is the safety and security of the students in Russia ensured?
A. Russia is a very safe country for all its residents including foreign citizens. Just as in every
country in the world, the general safety of the Russian as well as foreign citizens is entrusted
to the Police Department (called Militia in Russia). The universities and their hostels are
guarded by their own internal security departments.
The militia constantly patrols the streets, paying special attention to the security of
international students. All students are issued Identification cards by the university. They are
expected to carry their ID cards and a copy of their passport with them at all times when
moving outside the hostel, & produce them when and if asked to do so by the militia.
Q. Is Russia cold throughout the year? How does a student from India cope with the
A. Russia is not cold throughout the year. It has four distinct seasons - Summer from May to
August, Autumn from September to November, Winter from December to February and
spring from March to April. Summer temperatures average +25° С while winter temperatures
can be about -25°C.
All establishments in Russia like homes, hostels, classrooms and shops as well as all
means of transport like buses, trams, taxis, trains etc. are centrally heated. It is therefore not
a problem for the Indian students to cope with the extreme winter temperatures. They need
only ensure adequate protection from exposure to the cold by wearing warm clothing, gloves
& woolen headgear when moving around outdoors.
Q. When do the students get their vacations?
A. Undergraduate medical students get winter holidays from January 25th to February 9th'
and summer holidays from July 5th to August 30th each year. There is no specific vacation
period for Post graduate students.
Most students utilize the summer vacations to go back to their countries. The hostels remain
open for those who would like to stay back. Some universities also offer summer training
programmes like nursing, Para medicine etc. during the vacations for those students who
Q. Is it permissible to transfer to another university in Russia after admission?
A. It is important to note that migration from one university to another is not a right of a
student. It may be considered only in exceptional circumstances or on compassionate
grounds, provided the following criteria are fulfilled:
a) The university to which the student desires to migrate should be approved under the
provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.
b) The student must get an objection certificate from both universities to the transfer.
c) The student must get an exit visa from the university in which he / she is studying, return to
India, and then enter Russia again on the Invitation Letter issued by the university he/she
proposes to join.
d) Migration during the clinical course is not generally permitted on any grounds.
e) All migration cases are subject to the approval of the Ministry of Health, Government of
Q. Is there any ragging in Russia?
A. Ragging is severely discouraged in Russia & considered to be a criminal offence. Anyone
found guilty of ragging can be suspended or expelled from the university or deported from the
Q. Can the student's parents visit their children in the university in Russia?
A. Yes, parents are most welcome to Russia to meet their children. Universities consider it a
privilege to meet the parents and are eager to show them around the university to see for
themselves the infrastructure, the sophisticated teaching and diagnostic aids and the well-
equipped laboratories, clinical and surgical facilities etc.
Q. Are there any job opportunities in Russia after education there?
A. All Medical Universities in Russia are listed in the 'World Directory of Medical Schools'
published by the WHO. Hence the Degrees awarded by any of these universities are
recognized worldwide. Graduating students are eligible to write screening exams such as
the USMLE, PLAB, AMC etc. and on passing them will become eligible to work in those
Many countries in the Middle East, Maldives etc. directly recognize Russian medical degrees
& greatly value and prefer applications from students graduating from Russian universities.
The opportunities in Russia itself are rather limited. Moreover, remuneration levels in Russia
are yet to catch up with that of other countries and International graduates from Russia may
prefer to seek opportunities elsewhere.
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