Students exchange programme (SEP) and Freemover programme

Student Exchange programme is available for students from SPbU partner universities who intend to spend 1 or 2 semesters in SPbU, tuition fee is waived in the framework of bilateral cooperation agreements. For the information concerning the students who are not from SPbU Partner Universities please see the Freemover (Visiting) Students Programme section at the bottom of this page.

SEP at SPbU is open for both undergraduate and graduate students, and also for postgraduate students who would like to attend lectures and seminars. SEP participants choose 1 host faculty at SPbU to attend lectures, seminars and practical training from the curricula provided for the current exchange period. Average workload for SEP students is 30 ECTS which equals about 20 academic hours per week (1 academic hour or AH = 45 minutes, duration of a class at SPSU is 2 AH = 90 minutes). It means that SEP students should select up to 10 classes per week at the host faculty.

You can read reviews written by previous exchange students at the website of SPbU Ambassadors 

SEP students can also take a free Russian language course (8 ECTS, 8 academic hours per week) during the whole exchange period. Classes are organized usually 2 times per week in groups (10-12 people) depending on students' current language skills. If chosen, Russian language course is included into the workload for SEP students.

SEP students have an opportunity to study at a full-time Russian language programme at the faculty of Philology (30 ECTS, 20 academic hours per week). The course covers the main aspects of the Russian language (Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing, Grammar etc) and can include other courses, e.g. Russian literature or Media at upper levels. 

SEP student can choose one of the following options:

1) 20 AH per week (10 classes) at the host faculty, no free Russian language course (or additional language courses for an extra fee)

2) 12 AH per week (6 classes) at the host faculty + 8 AH per week of free Russian language course

3) 20 AH per week (10 classes) of Russian language course, no other courses should be selected.

At the end of exchange period SEP students get a Transcript of Records listing all the completed courses with their workload and grades.

SPbU grading scale related to ECTS grading system:






Outstanding performance






Above the average standard but with some errors






Fair but with significant shortcomings






Substantial improvement necessary; requirement of further work


  • 1 semester (minimum 4 months)
  • 1 academic year (2 consecutive semesters, maximum 10 months starting from September only)


We consider a SEP application only if it is delivered to us via e-mail ( or - as scanned files (*.pdf is preferable format)

After sending us any applications, please always check that documents are delivered!

At the present time we DO NOT require original application documents to be sent by post.


Exchange period



Autumn semester

September 01 - January 31

May 15

Spring semester

February 01 - June 30

November 01

Full Academic year

September 01 - June 30

May 15

Please note that students can be accepted for full academic year starting from September only! Students who come to SPbU in February can be accepted for 1 semester maximum.


Before submitting a SEP Application we advise to use this check-list to make sure that application package is complete.

1. Nomination letter - signed and stamped by Applicant's Home University Exchange Coordinator

2. Student Exchange Programme Application Form

3. Motivation letter

4. Study Plan: *pdf, *doc. SPbU Academic Offer can be found here

5. Copy of travelling passport - page with photo; the copy should be full, clear and readable

Applicant's passport should be valid minimum 1,5 years after the beginning of planned exchange period! Otherwise Applicant will be unable to get Russian visa.

6. Confirmation of language proficiency

This could be either an International Certificate, or a letter signed by Applicant's Home University Russian language teacher indicating Applicant's current language proficiency in accordance with the European Language Level Self Assessment Grid.

To apply for the courses taught in Russian students need to provide a certificate proving their level of the Russian language – B2 minimum. To apply for the courses taught in English students should provide a certificate of English language proficiency – B2 minimum. Students applying for full-time Russian language course don't have to provide a language certificate.

7. General health certificate in Russian language 

This should be a certificate proving that the Applicant is in a well state of health (absence of infectious and pulmonary diseases, no contra-indications for studying abroad), signed and stamped by your local doctor. HIV test is also required, but the student can bring it to Russia instead of sending it with other application documents. The certificates should be either performed in Applicant's native language AND in Russian language or officially translated into Russian language (including translation of stamps and signatures).
Please, note that lung x-ray results are obligatory for the dormitory. The certificate must be either performed in Applicant's native language AND in Russian language or officially translated into Russian language (including translation of stamps and signatures).
We advise to make HIV test 1 or 2 months before coming to SPbU, because it's usually necessary for the visa application to Russia, but is valid only for 3 months.

8. Copies of previous visas to the Russian Federation (if any).


If you're not interested in taking courses, but plan to conduct research at Saint-Petersburg University, you can come to SPbU for short period (from 2 weeks to 1 year).

In this case you need to submit the following documents to the International Academic Cooperation Department ( Student Exchange Programme Application FormMotivation letterCopy of travelling passport - page with photo; Research plan (in free form); Letter from SPbU professor confirming his consent to supervise the planned research; General health certificate in Russian or English language (in free form, please, note that lung x-ray results are obligatory for the dormitory); Nomination letter (in case of applying under exchange programme conditions).

Admission to short-term research internships are possible either under exchange programme conditions or on fee-paying basis.

The deadline for application is at least 2 months before the planned beginning of the studies/research.


Freemover (visiting) students programme is available for students who study at non-partner Universities or not selected by their home University but who want to study selected courses at SPbU for 1 or 2 semesters without getting SPbU degree, applicants are accepted on fee-paying basis.Tuition fees depend on the chosen field of studies.

Application procedure for the visiting students is the same as for the SEP students except for the nomination from their home University, which is not necessary.