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Pre-arrival guide

Prior to arriving to SPbSFTU please learn carefully about life in Saint Petersburg

CLIMATE IN SAINT PETERSBURG

St. Petersburg is located in northwestern Russia, the climate here is continental, with freezing winters and pleasantly warm summers. In winter, snowfalls are rather frequent, as well as rainfalls in summer. It is often windy (especially near the banks of canals, Neva river and the Gulf of Finland), although the wind calms down a bit in summer.

Here are the average monthly temperatures:

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

High °C

-2

-2

1

8

16

20

22

20

14

8

2

-3

Low °C

-9

-9

-5

1

7

11

14

12

8

4

-1

-7

High °F

28

28

34

46

61

68

72

68

57

46

36

27

Low °F

16

16

23

34

45

52

57

54

46

39

30

19

STUDENTS‘ LIFE

HOUSING

University provides housing facilities for SPbSFTU’s students and staff. There are fully furnished double and triple rooms of various comfort level available.

Each residence provides rest room and laundry. Some of them have a gym. All buildings are in walking distance to public transport, shopping centers and SPbSFTU’s campus.

When settling in you are to sign a living agreement and get acquainted with certain rules to be followed. To find out more about the university’s dormitories, please check the link below: http://en.spbftu.ru/campus/

STUDENT CARD AND DORMITORY PASS

A student card is a document that proves your status as a student of SPbSFTU. It gives students the access to the university libraries, sport facilities and discounts in some museums and stores.

Upon arrival to the dormitory, you will be given a dormitory pass. Accommodated students will be let in only if they show their dormitory pass.

It is compulsory for students to carry their student card and dormitory pass with them all the time in order to access services provided by or through the University.

HEALTHCARE AND INSURANCE

All students MUST have medical insurance for the period of study (mostly for one year, later they prolong its validity). It allows to save money and get medical assistance at public medical institutions of Saint-Petersburg. This policy contains a memo with emergency phone numbers in case of insurance event (illness, injury, etc.) and a list of medical institutions where you can get medical assistance free of charge.

REMEMBER! You will not get free medical help without the insurance policy.

BANKING AND FINANCE
The official currency in Russia is Ruble (abbreviated as RUB). Each ruble contains 100 kopecks (copecks). There are the following banknotes: 50 rubles, 100 rubles, 500 rubles, 1000 rubles, 2000 rubles and 5000 rubles as well as coins denominated in 1, 2, 5, and 10 rubles. ATMs are widely available in St. Petersburg. Therefore you may withdraw rubles from a Russian ATM using your foreign bank card.

The documents needed to open a bank account in Russia are passport, visa, and a registration paper that provides your residency information.

You can find the currency exchange rates on Bank of Russia’s website: www.cbr.ru

We strongly recommend you not to carry much cash with you and to create a bank account and get a payment card. It will allow you to use cash dispensers (ATMs). You could also use traveler’s cheques.

Be careful! Avoid street moneychangers. The only safe option is to change money in banks or official exchange offices.

USEFUL TO KNOW

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

As any other city in Europe, St. Petersburg has a well-developed network of public transport with buses, trolleybuses and trams that links all parts of the city. Please learn the public transport routes beforehand.

Public transport stops only in authorized spots. As a rule, there are special sighs (with letter “A” for buses and “T” for trolleybuses and trams) that list numbers of routes. Public transport is available from 5.30 a.m. to midnight.

St. Petersburg subway (metro) is very convenient to use. It has five major lines. There are also suburban trains operating from 5.45 a.m. to 0.40 a.m. The metro closes for entrance at 0.30 a.m. Please note that junction stations have two names—one for each line.

The public transport fare:

o metro—70 rubles;

o buses, trolleybuses, trams—65 rubles.

You can also purchase an electronic monthly ticket (smart card) for one or more types of transport.

CATERING

There are over 3 canteens and cafes at SPbSFTU’s premises that serve full-fledged lunches. The city also has a variety of bistros, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy national cuisines, including Russian.

o Lunch at University’s cafetery ≈ 230 rubles;

o Coffee at University’s cafetery ≈ 100 rubles

o BigMac at Vkusno I Tochka (former Macdonalds) ≈ 165 rubles.

BRIDGES

St. Petersburg is known as the Northern Venice, since the city is located on over 30 islands linked to each other by more than 300 bridges. Some of the bridges are raised every night during the navigation period that runs from late April to November. Drawbridges are one of the most spectacular attractions for the tourists.

All the bridges are raised at a different time and the schedule is available online at https://mostotrest-spb.ru/ (Be aware that there might be some changes)

The common timetable of bridge openings:

  • Aleksandra Nevskogo—2:20 to 5:10 a.m.
  • Birzhevoy (Exchange Bridge)—1:00 to 5:45 a.m.
  • Blagoveshchensky (Annunciation Bridge) —1:25 to 2:45 a.m.
  • Bolsheokhtinsky—2:00 to 5:00 a.m.
  • Volodarsky—2:00 to 3:45 a.m.
  • Dvortsovy (Palace Bridge) —1:10 to 2:50 a.m.
  • Liteyny—1:40 to 4:45 a.m.
  • Troitsky (Trinity Bridge) —1:20 to 4:50 a.m.

You should plan your routes more careful if want to go somewhere during the bridges’ opening hours

HOLIDAYS

The state holidays are time off from studies for schoolchildren and students. Be aware that banks, business centers, and some shops might be closed on these days.

Here in Russia we have some public holidays:

  • 1-10 January—New Year
  • 7 January—Orthodox Christmas
  • 23 February—Defender of the Fatherland Day
  • 8 March—International Women’s Day
  • 1 May—International Workers’ Day
  • 9 May—Victory Day
  • 12 June—Russia's Day
  • 4 November—National Unity Day

There are also some unofficial holidays (especially beloved by SPbSFTU’s students):

  • 19 September — Forester’s Day
  • 25 January — Russian Student Day (Tatiana’s Day)
  • 27 May — St. Petersburg Foundation Day