Students Exchange Programme (SEP) and Freemover Programme

General Information

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 Study Programme

SEP student can choose one of the following options:

  • 20 AH per week (10 classes) at the host faculty, no free Russian language course (or additional language courses for an extra fee)
  • 12 AH per week (6 classes) at the host faculty + 8 AH per week of free Russian language course
  • 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:

Grade Grade name ECTS grade Performance % Description
5 Отлично (Excellent) A 10090 Outstanding performance
4 Хорошо (Good) B
8970 Above average standard but with some errors
3 Удовлетворительно (Satisfactory) D 6950 Fair but with significant shortcomings
2 Неудовлетворительно (Fail) F <49

Substantial improvement necessary; requirement of further work

Sep Duration

  • 1 semester (minimum 4 months)

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

Application Procedure

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 a copy of it to your e-mail. If you don't receive a copy of your application, please, write an e-mail to to check your application have been received.

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

Organisation of academic mobility during the autumn semester 2020/21

About 200 St Petersburg University students have passed the competitive selection to join the exchange programmes at partner universities abroad. Clarifications have been received from the Ministry of Science and Education and the Government Office of the Russian Federation. It has been decided that students can be sent to study at partner universities only if they sign an informed consent form. The students must assume all risks that they may face in the event of the introduction of new restrictions, border closure, suspension of flights, and other such risks. We also continue to work with partner universities to clarify the conditions for internships and the way how the learning process will be organised.  

You can find more information on the academic exchange programmes on the website

Application Deadlines

Exchange period Terms Deadline

Autumn semester

September 01 
 January 31
May 01
Spring semester February 01 
 June 30
October 10
Full Academic year September 01 
 June 30
May 01

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.

Required Application Documents

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, we can also accept nomination by e-mail — in this case please attach a printscreen of the e-mail to the online application form; not necessary for freemover (fee-paying) students)
  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.
  4. Copy of travelling passport* (.jpg or .pdf, page with photo, full and readable copy; if you need 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 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Transcript of Records (if any, please, name «transcript_surname_name»)
  8. Copies of previous visas to the Russian Federation (if any).

Short-term Research Internship

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 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 fee-paying basis.

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

Freemover (visiting) Students Programme

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 onfee-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.