Relocation Tips: Perks of Student Life in St. Petersburg (Part 1)

St. Petersburg, Russia’s “northern capital”, is renowned for its sights, culture and entertainment. QS Top Universities ranks it as the 78th best city in the world for students. To help you get the most out of your stay in St. Pete, we’ve prepared a list of the special offers and opportunities that you, as a student, can enjoy in our city. In part 1 of this article, you’ll learn about the basic and most important advantages of being a student that will help you get around the city and get to know its sights and landmarks.

Museums

Most sights and landmarks in St. Petersburg, such as the State Hermitage Museum, Kunstkamera and the Museum of Anna Akhmatova offer free admission to students, while others offer discounts; most student tickets tend to be priced at 50 to 200 rubles. To make use of these offers, you will need to present your student ID at the ticket office. Don't forget to check that your ID has been validated (stamped) by your university!

Transit

The St. Petersburg public transit authorities offer students transportation cards at a discounted rate. As of September 2017, the monthly rate is 1,035 rubles.  This price includes a month of unlimited rides on trams, buses and trolleybuses and 100 subway “rides”. Please note that you cannot use this card in marshrutkas; it is advisable to get a Podorozhnik card for those.

There are several ways to apply for your student pass:

  • Through ISIC. The easiest way to get your student pass is to select the “ISIC-БСК” option when you apply online for an ISIC card. See detailed ISIC instruction below.   

  • At a subway station. To apply for a student pass, bring your personal ID, student ID and a 3x4cm photo of yourself to the ticket office at any subway station. You will need to pay a 250 ruble fee for the card. It takes up to 10 days for the card to be issued, and in the meantime you can buy a temporary student card for another 80 rubles. The temporary card can be returned to a ticket office for a full refund not later than 45 days after it has been purchased.

  • At the main office. If you’re in a rush and need your pass as soon as possible, you can come to the main student card office at 3 Chernoretsky pereulok (Metro station “Ploschad Alexandra Nevskogo-2”) and receive your card on the same day.

  • Using the online service. You can order a student pass through a specialized website; however, note that it is available only in Russian.

In any case, you will be required to provide your personal and student IDs, as well as a printed 3x4cm photo of yourself (if applying at an office) or a digital photo when applying online.

First-year students can use a temporary non-personalized student card for the first semester of their studies. Starting with the second semester, it is necessary to use the personal card. When you top up your pass, do not forget to specify with the cashier whether you want to have the next month of use to begin on the day of your payment or on the day after.

ISIC

The International Student Identity Card, ISIC, is one of your best friends as a student. It provides you with many opportunities such as the aforementioned transport card, discounts for railway and plane tickets and at various stores, cafes, museums, hotels and ticket agencies. You can apply for ISIC online or at one of the numerous offices all over the world. All you need to provide is a photo, a personal ID and a student ID number. In St.Petersburg you can apply for the card at a number of locations around the city. The main office of ISIC in St. Petersburg is located at 14/35 Spassky prospekt, in the “Na Sennoy” business centre, room 404. An ISIC card’s period of validity always begins in September of the current year and lasts until the next December; e.g. a card that was received between 01.09.2017 and 31.08.2018 will last until 31.12.2018.

You can find the list of global discounts on ISIC’s international website in English; you can also find a complete list of Russia-specific discounts on ISIC’s Russian website.

Images credit: golocalspb.com, media.ifmo.ru, isic.se

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