University Dormitory or Hostel
The accommodation fee is set by the university. It may vary from 2,000 to 4,000 roubles per month, depending on the university and the city, and makes it a much cheaper option compared to a rental apartment. Payments can be done on a monthly basis or per term. Sometimes you can even pay in advance for the whole academic year. In this case, some universities may offer you a discount.
Students who live in a dormitory must follow certain rules. The obvious ones are not to damage the furniture, keep one’s room tidy, not make too much noise (loud music, TV, etc.), notify the hall of residence supervisor of one’s long absence. There is a zero-tolerance policy on drinking and smoking in Russian halls of residence. You will be informed about these rules upon arrival.
If your university does not have a dormitory or for some reasons you don’t consider it as an option, then it is advisable to look for a rental apartment or room. Naturally, it will be more expensive, but you will be able to find a location and level of comfort that suits you. If you plan to rent an apartment with your fellow students or stay with a host family, you will be able to choose your neighbours.
Moscow and St. Petersburg are well known for having the most expensive apartments. The smaller the city is and the farther it is from major cities, the lower the rent is. For example, as of 2017 in Moscow, depending on the location and facilities available, a bedsit will cost you around 30-35 thousand rubles a month, and a room around 15-20 thousand rubles a month. In Novosibirsk, the same options would be 50% cheaper.