Information About Russia

Culture shock

Living in a new culture can be a positive, exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. You may experience homesickness as many of the everyday things that you take for granted are different and you may miss your family and friends. This period of transition is experienced by most people moving to live/study/work in a new country, or even a new location within their country — this is called as a culture shock.

Culture shock is not quite as sudden as most people expect. The first few days or weeks in a new country can be a really exciting time, when everything is new and intriguing. However, this excitement can fade and you may start to feel a bit low. This is the most difficult phase for any new student and it is important to remember that what you are feeling is a normal reaction for someone who has moved to new surrounding. Students from the Russia who are starting university for the first time are also very likely to go through a ‘lull’ as they adjust to their new lifestyle. This is a part of the process of setting in — and will probably start to fade as you make more friends and get used to your daily routine here.

This important thing to remember is that we are here to help. Whether you would like to drop in to see one of our counselors or just pop by the Center of International Education and Cooperation for a chat — make sure you keep in touch with us and make use of what we have to offer.

We have appointed few faculty members as curators for students to make sure our students do not feel homesick and their stay is comfortable.

Electricity

Everywhere in Russia 220 Volt and 50 Hz AC current supplies are used. Most of the sockets are standard European-size for double round-pin plugs, the same as in France or Germany. Appliances from the US, Canada, Britain will need adapters (it’s better to buy them in your own country, as it’s hard to find them in Russia). Most trains have electricity sockets where you can charge your mobile telephones or plug in a shaver, but it is not recommended to use them for sensitive devices without a stabilizer.

Weights, Measures & Numbers

The Russian system of weights and measures is similar to the one used in Continental Europe. Russians use kilometers, meters and centimeters to measure the distance and length respectively, and kilograms and liters to measure the weight and volume respectively. Temperature scale is used in Russia is a Celsius scale. 0 degrees Celsius equals to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Time & Open Hours.

The Time in the European part of Russia is 3 hours more than Greenwich meridian time or two hours more than central European part. (+3 GMT or +2 CET). During summer daylight saving time, Russia’s time is + 4 hours to Greenwich. So if in London it’s 10:00 in Moscow it’s 13:00 (in Russia the 24-hour system is used). Every year the clock goes 1 hour forward in the last Sunday of March and back 1 hour in the last Sunday of October. There are 11 time zones in Russia — so when it’s evening in Moscow, it’s morning of the next day in Vladivostok (a Russian port on the Pacific Ocean).

Open Hours. One great thing about Russia is that all shops are opened even on Sunday. The food shops are usually opened from 8.00 to 20.00 except on Sundays from 8:00 to 18:00, however many of them are open 24 hours a day. Big departmental stores, clothing stores, supermarkets are opened all week long from 9:00-10:00 to 9:00-10:00. State institutions, offices, companies are usually open from 9:00 or 10:00 to 18:00 or 19:00 and do not work on Saturday, Sundays and public holidays. Most banks are open from 9:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday, some are opened on Saturday and Sunday as well. The major banks such as Sberbank, AlfaBank, Raiffaisen Bank are open from 9:00 to 20:00 during weekdays, and 10:00 to 18:00 on weekends. Self-service ATMs operate 24×7.

On public holidays all banks, offices, museums and some shops are closed. However big departmental stores, food stores, supermarkets are all open.

List of National Holidays

31st of December- 1 of January — New Year’s Day, which is the main holiday in Russia, everybody’s happy because people wait for the great new life in the new year and give each other the presents. There’s no Father Christmas, there’s Father Frost in Russia. He comes on new year’s eve and gives presents. Traditionally people gather with family or friends.

7th and 8th of January — Orthodox Christmas. In Russia, contrary to many western countries, Christmas is being celebrated not on 25th December but on 7th January, because it’s orthodox’ Christmas. And the New Year is much more celebrated than Christmas.

8th of March — Women’s Day. Flowers are sold for doubled prices, and men suddenly realize the importance of women.

1st and 2nd of May — May Day & the Day of Spring. In the Soviet times they called it The Day of Labor, but it was a holiday for all. Now it’s just May Day — another free day to meet friends.

9th of May — Victory Day. The day of victory in World War II

12th of June — Independence Day. Still not everybody knows exactly why this date was chosen, but we reckon that this is the day when the first president of the Russian Federation was selected.

7th of November — Day of Reconciliation and Harmony. After 1917 until 1992 that was the Day of the Great October Revolution (1917). It’s a wise decision to rename the day when the civil war began to the Day of harmony of the whole society.

12th of December — Constitution Day.