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Students exchange programme (SEP) and Freemover programme


Application deadline for the academic year 2022-2023 is extended until June 15th.

For those students who can't arrive to Saint Petersburg in person we will provide opportunities to study online. The application for online studies at SPbU is possible until June 30th, 2022. Information about the online study possibilities and available courses will be sent to the accepted students after the application deadline. 

Please, note that lung x-ray results are obligatory for the dormitory. If the lung x-ray results are not submitted to the dormitory upon check-in, the dormitory administration may require that you go to a local hospital and make an x-ray on the same day. We advise to do the x-ray in Russia after arrival because you might need the x-ray for the registration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and they only accept the certificates done by accredited Russian hospitals. No other medical certificates are required in the application, however, if you have any special needs, you may attach a medical certificate in the "other documents" section to confirm some special requirements.


Student Exchange programme is available for students from SPbU partner universities who intend to spend 1 or 2 semesters in SPbU, the 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. The 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). The minimum number of credits for exchange students is 10 ECTS per semester.

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, a Russian language course is included in 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 students have an individual study plan, which means they can choose any courses from the course catalogue, taking into account the following regulations:

All or most of the courses should be from 1 faculty or a set of faculties mentioned together in the course catalogue. If a student needs to combine courses from different fields of studies, he can add 1 or 2 courses from outside his main field of studies. 

If the student is interested in the Russian language course, he should remember to include it in his study plan.

The average workload is 30 ECTS per semester, the minimum workload is 10 ECTS per semester. 

At the end of the 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:

Grade Grade name ECTS grade Performance % Description
5 Отлично (Excellent) A 100-90 Outstanding performance
4 Хорошо (Good) B-C 89-70 Above average standard but with some errors
3 Удовлетворительно (Satisfactory) D 69-50 Fair but with significant shortcomings
2 Неудовлетворительно (Fail) F <49 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 submitted through the online form 

Please, note that the form will not be submitted without the necessary documents. Important! Problems may occur if your documents are bigger than 1,5 Mb. Please, make sure that each document attached is not more than 1,5 Mb! 

After submitting the online form you will receive an automatic confirmation letter to your e-mail. If you don't receive the confirmation of your application (sometimes it arrives to spam), please, write an e-mail to e.petryanina@spbu.ru to check your application have been received.

We DO NOT require original application documents to be sent by post.


Exchange period Terms Deadline
Autumn semester September 01 - January 31 May 01
Spring semester February 01 - June 30 October 20
Full Academic year September 01 - June 30 May 01

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


Please, submit your application through the online form. The following documents should be attached to the form (obligatory documents are marked with *)

1. Nomination letter by Applicant's Home University Exchange Coordinator (necessary for exchange students (coming within a bilateral agreement or Erasmus+ programme), we can also accept nomination by e-mail - in this case please attach a print screen of the e-mail to the online application form; not necessary for freemover (fee-paying) students). List of current student exchange partners can be found here.

2. Motivation letter* in Russian or English (.doc or .pdf, free format, app.1 page long – why you’ve chosen SPbU and what you are going to study here; please name the document “motivation_surname_name”)

3. Study Plan*pdfdoc. (please, name “plan_surname_name”)
SPbU Academic Offer can be found here http://ifea.spbu.ru/en/academic-offer 
If you already have a learning agreement from your home university, you can submit it instead of the Study Plan. The plan doesn't have to be signed at the moment of application.

4. Copy of travelling passport* (.jpg or .pdf, the page with photo, full and readable copy; if you need a visa, your passport should be valid at least 1,5 years after the beginning of the exchange period; please, name “passport_surname_name”)

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

5. Confirmation of language proficiency* (Please, attach the confirmation of the language you're going to study in - Russian or English; language proficiency certificate not obligatory but still can be attached for students coming to full-time Russian language courses; obligatory in all other cases; please, name “language_surname_name”)

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.

If the language you're going to study in is your native language, you don't need to provide a certificate of language proficiency.

6. Photo for documents 3*4, .jpg, good quality (not smaller than 450*600pix)

7. Transcript of Records (if any, please, name “transcript_surname_name”)

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 3 months to 1 year).

In this case you need to submit the following documents via the online form: Motivation letter*; Copy 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 is 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 a fee-paying basis. Please, note that if you come on fee-paying basis, you pay for the whole semester of studies even if your research period is shorter.

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 are not selected by their home University but who want to study selected courses at SPbU for 1 or 2 semesters without getting a degree, applicants are accepted on a fee-paying basis. Tuition fees are 141400-269900 rubles per semester depending 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.


If you have already finished your non-degree studies, you can leave your review here.


Here you can find materials about exchange and freemover opportunities at SPbU.