Banks are generally open from Monday to Friday, between 09.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. Many branches have extended opening hours at least once a week (until 6.00 p.m. in larger cities). Banks are closed at weekends. You will normally need a visa registration residence, to open a bank account in Russia.
Banks will to let you open an account even if you don’t have a Russian identity card. You will need to show a valid passport, with your visa registration.
Credit cards are widely accepted in Russia, much more so than the rest of Europe. Commonly accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard and American Express. Traveler’s checks can also be used.
The Russian Ruble, is denoted by the international currency symbol RUB. Banknotes are available in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000. All major bank and credit cards are widely accepted throughout Russia.
Students ID cards
An identity card, or a Student ID card, is a card on which the bearer’s photo and personal number are registered. Having an ID card will help in any contact you may have with Russian authorities. It will also make it easier for you to open a bank account. To obtain a Russian Student ID card you must be registered as a resident.
Public transport – buses, commuter trains, trams and the underground – is available almost everywhere in Russia and provides a convenient, fast way to get around. Passes are usually valid for unlimited travel on the local network such as the underground, local buses and commuter trains. A monthly pass for public transport costs 40-80$ USD in Moscow and often less in smaller cities.
It is a standard European 220 volt in Russia.
Russia has Central European Time (CET), GMT +3. Daylight saving time (GMT +2) applies from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October. Clock time is written according to the European system, e.g. 1 p.m. is written 13.00.
Shopping hours are generally between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Shops close between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. In larger towns, department stores remain open until 8-10 p.m. and some are also open on Sundays between 12 noon and 4 p.m. Shops generally close early on the day before a public holiday.
Holidays in Russia:
1 January – New year
January 7 – Christmas
March 8 – an International feminine day
1 May – an International day of the labour
9 May – a Day of the Victory
June 12 – Independence Day
Useful Telephone Numbers:
01/ 101 – A Fireman inspection
02 /102 – Police
03 /103 – Ambulance
Important Russian Laws…
Local Law Enforcement
Like most countries, Russian laws vary. It is very important you should become familiar with and obey the local laws in the town or city where you live. During the busy season the population in the resort towns may grow substantially. To enable them to maintain order, the local police will often enforce strongly minor laws, usually the ones that cover alcohol consumption, noise levels, and group gatherings. Your best source of information will be Edu-Russia.com
Russians are likely to be much less tolerant of smoking than in other countries. It is illegal to smoke in many public areas, so check around before you light up. No smoking signs are usually posted in clear visible locations. Smoking is also restricted in office buildings, restaurants, public transport, amongst other places. If you are caught smoking inside student hostel even for first time you will have to leave the hostel.
Edu-Russia has a 24-hour emergency support line for programe participants. Emergencies include the following
1- medical emergency
2- If you have been a victim of crime
4- Urgent Counselling
Call 102 for the police or other emergency service. You will be asked questions, try to answer them as carefully as possible and as clearly as you can. Police, medical or fire crews will be sent to your location.
Non emergency issues
1- Housing concerns
2- Basic legal information
3- Victim of a theft or other non-violent crime
4- Employee/employer concerns
5- Forwarding your student card
7- General information about housing
Jobs in Russia
Foreign students in Russia will need permission from the authorities to enable you to work. This applies to both full and part time jobs
Illegal possession of controlled substances (drugs) in Russia is subject to prosecution by law. The penalties for possession vary. Any type of illegal drug use whilst in Russia could have serious consequences. You could have to pay fines or go to jail if you are caught using illegal drugs, or even if you are with people who have drugs.
You must be over 18 to legally drink in Russia, if you are under 18 and found around alcohol you could be arrested and subject to fines. In addition, if you buy any alcohol for someone under 18 you can also be arrested and subject to fines. Drinking alcohol in public areas is also illegal in many areas. You will have to pay fines if you are found guilty.
Driving whilst intoxicated, driving under the influence
Do NOT drive a car if you have been drinking alcohol, and do not get into a car if the driver has been drinking alcohol. Not only is your safety in danger, but laws are very strict. You may have to pay a penalty or go to jail if found guilty.