Compulsory documents

As a student, you will first have to deal with medical documents when finalizing your university application and applying for a visa. These documents will include: 

  • a medical certificate stating that there are no medical restrictions preventing you from studying abroad;
  • a medical certificate with an HIV test (dated less than 6 months before the application date);
  • a record of all previous vaccinations. 

You will also need to take one PCR test for COVID-19 within 2 days before arriving in Russia, and another – within 3 days after arrival. You will have to send the test results of both the first and second test to the university’s medical center ( 

Importantly, before moving into the dorm or commencing with your studies, you will also need to take a chest X-ray if it’s not included in your medical certificate.

Within 90 days after entering the country, international students have to take a mandatory medical exam, provide their fingerprints, and have their photos taken. You can do all this by visiting a branch of the Ministry of Home Affairs located on Krasnogo Tekstilshchika St. 10-12, bldg. B (second entrance, from the courtyard) and submitting your passport (ID). You can learn more about the procedure at ITMO’s Migration Services Office (  

If you get sick

In an emergency

In case of an emergency, dial (on any phone): 

  • 103 to call an ambulance; 
  • 112 to reach all of the city’s emergency services;
  • 122 to consult a clinician specifically on coronavirus.

At the university

If you are feeling so unwell that you don’t think you can attend classes or you suddenly feel sick at uni, just go straight to a first aid post at your campus. You can find information about them here. There, you will not only receive first aid, but will also be able to get a note of absence for your classes and even a referral to a specialist.

ITMO also regularly organizes days when students and staff can get vaccination from COVID-19 and influenza, as well as get their annual chest X-ray. Stay tuned for announcements on ISU.

Seeing a doctor in Russia: 

Health insurance

You will have to have a valid medical insurance policy that will cover the whole period of your stay in Russia. You can purchase a plan with one of your local companies to cover your traveling time and the first few months in Russia, and then purchase one of the longer-lasting plans offered by an insurance company in St. Petersburg. Here you can find a ranking of the most trusted companies compiled by Forbes in 2021.

What you should keep in mind is that in case you need to make an appointment with a doctor, you will need to first call the phone number stated in your health insurance contract, state your concern, and ask them which partner hospital in the city you can visit to see the specialist you need. It might sound a little more complicated than just arriving at the nearest hospital, however this way you make sure that your insurance does cover your appointment and sometimes it helps you avoid lengthy queues, too.

Here is what Subhrajit Barua, a PhD student at ITMO and a journalist with our English editorial team, says about his experiences of receiving medical help in Russia: 

“It is always beneficial to know some Russian as it will make your communication with the staff easier. When I was ill, I received a lot of support from the hospital staff. The doctors did not know English, but they cooperated with me. Do check the hospitals and clinics covered by your health insurance. You will save a lot of money if you visit those.”

Private healthcare

Additionally, you can turn to private hospitals and clinics for paid medical services. There, you will only need your ID or passport and will also have the opportunity to evade queues, saving a lot of time. You can find lists of such clinics on various aggregators (for instance, here). Keep in mind that this option is typically quite demanding on the wallet, especially if you need several appointments or services.

For general inquiries about the necessary medical documents, you can reach out to: