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Q. What is the duration of the undergraduate medical course in Russia? What is the degree awarded?

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 advantages of choosing a Russian medical university for study?

A. There are many advantages in choosing the study in Russia such as:

  • 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 are very reasonable and much less in comparison to a private medical college in India or any other country.
  • 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. Is the Russian Postgraduate Medical Degree recognized in India or elsewhere in the world?

A. Universities in Russia awarding postgraduate degrees are listed in the “World Directory of Medical Schools” published by the World Health Organization (WHO). 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.

Q. Are the students provided hostel accommodation? What facilities do the hostels provide?

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 has 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.

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 your country. 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.

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 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 at the university hospitals, but the cost of medicines will have to be borne by the student.

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. The universities and their hostels are guarded by their own internal security departments.

The police patrols the streets constantly, 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 police.

Q. Is Russia cold throughout the year? How does a student from other countries cope with the conditions?

A. Russia is not cold throughout the year. It has four distinct seasons – summer is 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, taxis, trains etc. are centrally heated. It is therefore not a problem for the foreign 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.

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 country.

Q. Can the students’ 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.