About the visa
Accommodation in host family
About the visa
Would I be able to come to Russia without a visa?
It is absolutely impossible to come to Russia without a visa. A visa is a special page in your passport, which indicates the dates of your arrival and departure to/from the Russian territory. That is why you need to plan your travel accurately.
Which type of visa do I need to learn Russian at CREF Language Center?
- If you don’t live in Russia, you need a student visa. CREF Language Center provides the invitation for your student visa only if you booked a “language stay” formula (course every day from Monday to Friday).
- For those already living in Russia (preferably Moscow), the type of visa you possess does not matter, you can directly book courses on our website.
How do I obtain a visa for the Russian Federation?
You must make an appointment at the consulate/embassy of Russian Federation of your country, or at a visa center and deliver them all the documents necessary to apply for a visa.
Which documents do I need to apply for a student visa for the Russian Federation? (this section is for information purposes and is subject to change according to the embassy/consulate/visa center where you apply)
- A passport still valid 6 months after the day you leave the Russian territory.
- An official invitation issued by the hotel or the organization that invited you. For the students who take at least 5 lessons a week, CREF Language Center can send you the invitation by mail under 48 hours, once you paid the deposit and you provided all the information required for us to make your invitation.
- An application form filled and signed. You will find it on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation website.
- An insurance certificate valid in Russia. Your insurance must cover any repatriation or medical expenses up to 30 000€. If you already purchase such insurance, this kind of document is obtained quite quickly (in a day for most of insurance companies).
- A recent ID photo (taken less than 6 months ago) different from the one on your passport.
- If you’re a student, unemployed or retired, you will probably be asked a proof of solvency. A recent bank statement is enough.
How much time does it take to obtain my passport?
Once you provided all the documents and that everything is in order, you have to wait one or two weeks before retrieving your visa at the embassy/consulate of the Russian Federation or at the visa center. We advise you to book your plane ticket after you get your visa, so that you do no run any risks. It is usually better to initiate the procedure of application to a visa one month before your departure.
How much time can I stay in Russia?
Your student visa is valid for 3 months maximum. Once there, you can extend it to 1 year at CREF Language Center, as long as you are taking classes.
During my stay, can I travel to other Russian cities or to another country?
Yes, but as soon as you come back to Moscow, you have to be registered again at CREF Language Center. In order to do that, bring your passport and your migration card. If you are not registered on time, you expose yourself to a heavy fine in case of a police control.
How can I book a course or request a note to CREF Language Center?
It’s simple! You only have to fill in the form and we will contact you within 48 hours.
Can I take classes at CREF Language Center if I am a complete beginner?
Of course. If the only words you know in Russian are “da” and “net”, you can join one of our beginner groups. CREF opens a beginner group about every month, according to demand. If you wish to know when the next beginner group will start, contact our team. You can also book individual classes, then you can start at any time.
What is the best option for me? Group or individual classes?
Whether you take group or individual classes, the course will be adapted to your level (we will assess your level according to the results of the online test or after an oral test in our premises). The group courses allow direct interaction with other students, it is an opportunity to get to know other people in Moscow who, just like you, do not master Russian language. The advantage of individual courses is that they can be adapted to your needs : for instance, if you wish to understand the menus in Russian restaurants, it is possible to ask that your lesson is focused on Russian cuisine vocabulary.
What is the minimum age to take classes at CREF Language Center?
CREF welcomes students who are minimum 16 years old, but groups of underage students can be formed, accompanied by a major person in charge of the group.
How long does a lesson last, when does it take place?
A lesson lasts 45 minutes. For a linguistic stay formula with group courses, you will usually take classes in the morning between 9am and 12am (4 lessons of 45 minutes), with a break in the meantime. For individual courses, you set your own schedule.
What is the size of the groups?
For each student to have plenty of speaking time and make rapid progress, the groups comprise no more than 6 students.
How is a Russian course like?
The courses are based on communication and aim at making you speak correctly in Russian. In general, you will learn vocabulary related to a specific theme (transport, food, tourism, shopping, etc.) and you will put into practice this vocabulary through written exercises and dialogues with your teacher or other students. Then, you will be able to set useful phrases for specific situations and manage to live in Moscow on your own.
Can I cancel a lesson?
It is possible to cancel an individual lesson, provided that you informed CREF Language Center about it no later than 6pm (Moscow time) on the previous day. This lesson will be postponed to a later date.
On the other hand, it is obviously impossible to cancel a group lesson, your classmates have the right to learn without you!
What happens if I’m late?
In case you arrive late (more than 15 minutes late), it is better to tell your teacher by sending a message, especially if you take an individual lesson. You can ask your teacher’s number as early as your first lesson. If you arrive far too late to attend the course, CREF will consider this as a late cancellation and won’t reimburse that lesson, so be sure to arrive on time!
Do the teachers speak also English?
Since CREF Language Center focuses on a communicative approach, the students are immersed in a Russian-speaking environment, so the teacher will speak only Russian. However, in cases where the student or the group doesn’t understand a word or a structure, the teacher will use English to provide a helpful explanation.
What do I need during the classes?
You only need to bring writing materials. CREF Language Center will provide the learning material (books, audio, video).
Is it possible to pay online?
Payment by bank transfer can be organized.
Accommodation in host family
How do you select the host families?
We follow a very strict set of guidelines in choosing the host families for clients. We take careful effort to ensure that the comfort, the cleanliness, and size of the room where you will stay fulfill all of your expectations. Also, we choose families who have a real interest in being an active and open host for students. This will allow you to progress even faster in your Russian course. And finally, you can be sure that your place of accommodation will be near the school in the city center. The geographical criteria are certainly important when making the decision about where you will stay.
Will I have my own room if I live with a host family?
Yes, you will have a private room fully furnished and comfortable (bed, closet, desk, chair). You will share the kitchen and the bathroom with your host. You will live the total immersion experience, which is the best way to learn a foreign language.
How will I wash my clothes?
Your host family will be happy to wash your clothes for a small charge. Otherwise, you may take your clothes to one of the many launderettes or dry-cleaners in the city. Their prices are comparable to European prices.
Is it safe to drink tap water?
We advise against it. Russians generally filter tap water in a purifier then boil it (many of them make tea out of it). If you don’t want to run any risk, buy bottled water.
How do I get from the airport to my accommodation?
CREF Language Center can take care of the taxi transfer from the airport to your accommodation for 50€ per journey.
Where is CREF Language Center located?
CREF is located in the city center near the metro stations Lubyanka and Chistye-Prudy, about ten minutes walking distance from Red Square.
Our address is : 16/4 Ulitsa Malaya Lubyanka 101000 Moscow.
How can I get around in Moscow?
The best way move around the city is by metro, by bus, or on foot. Public transport in Moscow is reliable, clean and cheap (about 0,50€ per trip) and it is possible to buy multi-journey cards (1, 2, 20, 40) or multi-day cards (1, 3, 7, 30) with unlimited number of trips. If you are taking courses at CREF Language Center during 1 month, the 30-day unlimited card will be the most appropriate. In the metro, a lot of signs are translated into English. When you are in the center, a voice in English indicates you the next metro station. Some of stations are particularly beautiful.
Metro and buses operate between 6am and 1am. Outside of these hours, we advise you to take a taxi. Book official taxis only, like Yandex, Gettaxi or Uber. Beware of the “gypsy cabs” (referred to as tchastniki): they are not licensed drivers, are not accountable to anyone, are not always very familiar with the city nor the best routes; moreover they are known for frequently hustling the price of their fare.
Where can I eat?
At CREF Language Center, there is a recreational area with food and beverage dispenser. Near our school, you will find many restaurants will all types of cuisine (Russian, European, American, Asian), most of which offer, around lunchtime, “business lunch” formulas (salad, soup, hot dish, beverage) at attractive prices.
Will I have Internet access?
Of course ! CREF Language Center provides free Wi-Fi connexion to its students. The password will be given to you at the reception. You can also use one of CREF’s computers.
Do I have to buy a local SIM card?
We advise you to do so, to contact CREF Language Center for exemple. You can buy a new SIM card directly at the airport, in stations, or in the numerous retail outlets in the city. The most popular telecom operators in Russia are Megafon, BeeLine and MTS. The simplest choice is to buy a prepaid card. These cards provide local calling minutes, messages and mobile data. Keep in mind that in order to buy a SIM card, you will need your passport.
What can I do in Moscow aside from courses?
You can’t be bored in Moscow! Besides the main tourist attractions (Red Square, Kremlin, Tretyakov Gallery, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, …) you can visit countless museums, go to the theatre, watch ballet, opera, concert, … (you can contact our partner Tsar Voyage to plan your visits in Moscow). Eventually, the nightlife in Moscow is particularly vibrant. You will find electronic music clubs as well as quiet bars, there is something for every taste.
You have another question? Send your message to CREF Language Center.