Relocating to a new country is like stepping into the unknown – and we totally get that. In an attempt to take some weight off your shoulders, we present to you our brief yet comprehensive “day one” digest on life in St. Petersburg.
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Getting from the airport
As an international student arriving in the city, you will most likely be welcomed by an ITMO Buddy who will help you settle in during your first weeks here. They will also help you to get to the city from the airport.
You will most likely take buses 39 or 39 express that start right outside the arrivals terminal and will bring you to the Moskovskaya metro station.
Taxis from the airport are also available in case you have a lot of luggage to carry. For more information on how to get to the city, check out this article.
After your first day: check out this detailed overview on how transport works and a brief guide to the student travel card that will give you access to unlimited monthly rides at a reduced fare.
Unless you’ve chosen to rent, you will be staying at one of ITMO’s dorms located all around the city at a convenient distance from campus. Here is what our international students say about their dorm experiences.
If you do decide to rent, here is all our shared wisdom in one article. You can also find it useful to learn from a first-hand experience of finding an apartment in St. Petersburg.
You will receive a Bank Saint Petersburg card for your monthly stipend. This card can also be used as an entry pass to ITMO’s buildings.
Online banking is very developed in Russia, so be sure to download the app of Bank Saint Petersburg (Google Play, App Store) and any other bank you might become a client of. This will save you many visits to the bank’s office and bring the most important features to your fingertips.
Apart from widespread online banking, the country can boast fast and affordable mobile internet. On average, for under 400-500 rubles, you are likely to get a monthly plan with several Gb of internet traffic and several hundred minutes of calls.
Some popular providers include YOTA, Beeline, MegaFon, MTS, and Tele2.
You can typically pay for your monthly plan either via your banking app or using the dedicated app of your service provider.
Groceries & food
Grocery stores for all tastes and budgets can be found on nearly every corner – and some of them will likely be open 24/7. Some popular chains are Perekrestok, Lenta, Pyaterochka, Magnit, and Dixy.
Here is a brief overview of prices and affordable food and cultural suggestions.
If you want to explore the St. Petersburg food scene, this is your treasure trove with all our recommendations through the years.
Stores to hit for a comfy home
Domovoy and Maksidom: for everything from tools and renovation materials to home decor, towels, pillows, cleaning tools, and cutlery;
Lilkko: for turning your room or apartment into a Pinterest-worthy fairy-lights embellished space;
Podruzhka (Girlfriend) and Ulybka Radugi (Rainbow smile): for cleaning products, washing up liquid, affordable skincare, etc.