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Regular version of the site

F.A.Q.

Visa

May I participate in Summer School with a tourist visa?

In case you would like to live in the university dormitory during your stay in St. Petersburg, you will have to obtain a student visa (not the tourist one). Otherwise, we will not be able to provide any accommodation assistance.
Every student needs an official university invitation to obtain a Russian study visa. The admitted applicants will be provided with the Letter of Invitation.
Please check the Immigration and Visa guidelines here.

When will I receive my Letter of Invitation?

Non-EU citizens: The invitation letter is issued at the Federal Migration Service within 21 business days after the application is completed, it will take about 7-21 days to deliver the original document to your postal address. The original invitation letter is sent to the student after the programme participation payment is completed.

EU citizens: The invitation letter is issued by the University within 7 working days after the application is completed. A scanned copy of the Invitation is sent to the student via e-mail, which is enough to apply for the one-entry student visa.

How long does it take to obtain Russian student visa?

Depending on the country, the visa is normally issued within 2-3 weeks after the application, so please plan your time accordingly!
Please prepare the visa application package and arrange an appointment ASAP.   
There is also an urgent visa issuance (express visa) option at most of the Russian Consulates in the world.
We encourage you to contact the Consular Department of the Embassy or Consulate General near your location in advance in order to receive instructions on how to apply and get estimates of the time required for the process of visa issuance.

My passport is valid one day/week/month less than 1.5 years after the programme start, do I still have to issue a new one?

To issue a Letter of Invitation we will need your passport copy. Please make sure your international passport is valid at least 1,5 years from the planned starting date of your studies at HSE; otherwise the Immigration authorities will reject the application for your visa invitation; we advise you to apply for a new passport as soon as possible if needed.

May I apply for visa outside my home country?

If you are living in a country other than your country of origin, please note that (subject to your home country) you might be not allowed to apply for the student visa in the country of your residence, or additional application requirements may apply (e.g. you might be asked to provide notary translation of your residence permit in the country of application). Please let us know where you plan to apply for the student visa ASAP and check with the Russian Embassy in the country of application.

Health Insurance

What is to be included to the Health Insurance package? Do I need to purchase a specific Insurance plan?

Your international Health Insurance should be valid on the territory of the Russian Federation and cover the whole period of your stay. The Insurance package should include life insurance.
Those participants having specific medical indications are recommended to check whether their insurance package covers all the services/doctors they might need.
The appropriate Health Insurance is to be provided to the Russian Consulate/Embassy section or visa centre when applying for a student visa.

I am a visa-free country citizen, and therefore do not need Health Insurance for visa. Do I still have to purchase the Insurance?

All the HSE University students must provide relevant Health Insurance to the international office. A valid Health Insurance is compulsory in Russian Federation.

Your insurance should be valid for your whole period of stay in Russia and the insurance package should include life insurance.

Application

How many courses can I apply for?

You can apply for as many courses as you want. However, we have to kindly notify you, that courses held on the same dates might overlap.
We recommend you to apply for a minimum of two weeks to be able to participate in as much cultural and social events as possible and fully explore our wonderful city.

What if the courses I want to take are cancelled?

If you have been accepted to a course which is happening to be cancelled, we will notify you via email.  After receiving the notification, you may transfer to a different course of your choice or request the fee reimbursement. 

Till when may I apply for the Summer School?

Application deadlines are the following:
Early bird:
March 10th 

Regular:
Non-EU citizens - April 10th 
Citizens of EU and visa-free countries - May 10th

Please, note, that the visa issuance process (invitation and visa application) may take up to two months, so we highly recommend to apply well in advance.

Do I need to provide an English Language proficiency certificate?

You don’t need English language proficiency certificates for most courses. However, some of the programmes have specific application requirements (please, check here).

Do I have to provide my CV/diploma/transcript of records/certificates?

You don’t need to provide these documents for most courses. However, some of the programmes have specific application requirements (please, check here).

Do I need to know Russian language to participate in SPb HSE Summer School?

All the Summer School courses and programmes are taught in English; no Russian language knowledge is required for participants.

Programme schedule, content, assessment, certification

Which dates should I book my flights for?

Summer School participants are recommended to arrive 1-2 days before the classes start, and depart 1-2 days after the programme ends.

We do not recommend you to book non-refundable flight tickets before you obtain your visa.

What will my daily schedule be like?

Most courses will take place at morning and day hours. The 2nd half of the day might be filled with excursions and informal activities with local students.

Cultural activities

Is cultural programme included to the participation fee?

Yes, the participation fee includes the following cultural events:

  • boat trip and welcome dinner;
  • evening of cultures;
  • guided walking tour.

Accommodation

May I live in the same room with my friend if I choose to live in a student dormitory?

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you and your friend in the same room; however, we will try to take this information into account while placing students in the dormitory.

May I have single accommodation?

Unfortunately, single accommodation in the dormitory is not available at the moment. 

Where is the dormitory located?

HSE University has a couple dormitories located in different parts of the city. The two where the summer school students are most likely to be placed are situated on the green metro line (metro stations Vasileostrovskaya and Obukhovo). For more information on the dormitories, please, visit the web-page.
 

Facilities (internet, libraries, sport centres)

Is there internet connection in the dormitory?

Yes, all HSE student dormitories have free wifi connection.

Is there free WiFi at the University?

Yes, all the HSE campuses have free wifi available for all students, staff and visitors.

Costs and fees

Are there any discounts available?

There are several types of discounts available:
15 Euro per ECTS - Early bird discount (apply before March 10th)
10% off for 5+ student group 
20% off for 10+ student group
20% off for HSE alumni, exchange students, freemovers etc. from any HSE campuses
Please note that discounts cannot be combined, i. e. one person is only eligible for one type of discount.

Please pay attention, that discounts are not provided for several programmes (special fees and requirements apply for them). Find out more here.

When and how can I pay for my participation?

The online payment gate will be opened by mid-March 2019. You will be able to pay online.

Transfers

Does HSE University St.Petersburg organize the airport/railway station pick-up?

We do not provide an arranged transfer from the airport/ railway station. However, it will be possible to arrange a buddy (local student) who will help you to find your way to your place of residence.

Life in Russia and St. Petersburg

Is St. Petersburg a safe city?

Generally, St Petersburg is a safe place. However, like in any metropolitan city, you should beware of pickpockets and watch your belongings in popular areas and on public transportation.

Packing and Arrival

Should I take my student ID from my home university?

Yes, we really recommend you to take your student id, because they are often accepted in museums, shops, cafes, restaurants, etc. 

ESN Buddies

Who are ESN buddies?

Student Buddies are local students, who will be helping summer school participants out upon arrival, and organizing additional cultural and social activities for them.