Every year, more than a thousand students come to Russia to pursue their dream in medicine. Over 90 percent of students get admission through agents and most of them don’t tell students the reality about MBBS in Russia. After coming to Russia, many students realize that they have been cheated by their agents, and either they change their university or go back to India; leaving their dream behind. So here are the Top 10 things that Indian students must know before coming to Russia for MBBS!
100 percent attendance
The first thing an Indian student should know is that a Russian university requires 100 percent attendance without an exception. Yes, you read it correctly 100%! In case you miss class, you get atra-bodka (rework) meaning you have to repeat that particular class otherwise you will be not eligible for taking major tests and exams. If you fell ill, then you can get a medical certificate from the hospital so that you do not have to repeat the classes.
Don’t expect that the teacher will come to class and start explaining the topic just like in India. Here in Russia, it’s the opposite. The classes usually start with a written or oral test where teachers check your knowledge for that particular topic; and evaluate how well you prepared it at home. You have lecture before classes where you can get a basic idea of the topic.
Bilingual or English medium
Most of the Russian medical universities do not teach MBBS in the full English medium. These Russian medical universities prefer to teach MBBS in bilingual format, first half in English, and later in the Russian language. Many crook agents in India make fools of the students by portraying them as a full English medium and usually, these universities cost less tuition fees. Only a few universities like Kursk State Medical University and Kazan State Medical University teach full six years of MBBS in English medical. The cost of English medium MBBS university in Russia is usually around $5000 to $6000 USD per year.
You can find Indian restaurants in big cities like Moscow or Saint Petersburg, but mostly absent in small cities of Russia. Maybe your agent promises you the presence of an Indian mess in the medical university, either it is another lie or run by some students which is not reliable. The best thing is to be prepared to cook your own meal and learn the basis back at home. You might become a chef along with becoming a great doctor!
Living in Russia is not very expensive and on top of that currency conversion is almost equivalent. A student can have a decent lifestyle at a monthly expense of 15000 to 16000 rubles. This cost will be able to cover up your monthly rent which is around 6000-8000 rubles for two-room apartment or university hostel and food, leisure bills.
Most of the Russians do not speak English. You will have to communicate in the Russian language outside the university campus and especially in hospitals to communicate with the patients. You will be learn the Russian language at the university, but it will be better if you will study it before coming to Russia. There are many free courses available on the internet for the Russian language or use the Duolingo app to study it.
Yes, you heard it right Russian winters are cold, temperature going up to minus -20 to -40 degree Celsius. But it is kind of false also. All buildings in Russia are equipped with a central heating system. So, the room temperature is usually plus 25-30 degrees Celsius despite ice-cold outside. When going outside on the road, just wear a Russian thermal jacket and shoes so that you don’t feel the cold. You can watch the snow fall from your apartment window wearing a T-shirt!
The best thing about studying MBBS in Russia is that you won’t have to face horrific ragging here. In India, medical colleges have a very bad reputation regarding the ragging. Even the top med school like AIIMS do not have control on ragging. Most of the seniors in the Russian medical universities are very helpful and treat you like their younger brother or sister.
Usually, Russian medical universities have a mini world inside the campus. There are students from all over the globe including India, Malaysia, Brazil, Nigeria, Maldives, etc. You get to learn and experience their culture along with studies that widen from intellectual boundaries. You get a chance to make friends across the world and that is magnificent!
Russia is generally a safe country to travel, especially for girls. The crime rate is very less compared to India. Even you will rarely encounter a racial comment which is quite common in English countries like the USA, the UK these days. In general, Russian citizens are friendly towards Indians.