SRAS Programs in Moscow are hosted at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) or Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), depending on the program chosen. In both cases, students will live in the dormitories run by the respective institution.
Dormitories for HSE
The following is a compilation of student reviews about the HSE dorms #4. HSE has many dorms around the city and students may be placed in any of the dorms available while on However, all HSE dorms are quite similar in condition and facilities available.
Living Conditions at the Moscow Dormitories at HSE
Lauren Chilton (Summer, 2019): The dorms had much to offer with certain caveats. The kitchens were pretty large, every kitchen had a water filter offering hot water or cold, the showers were warm and had good water pressure, the rooms were big, the Internet was reliable, and each floor had a study room with lots of natural light. Perhaps the best aspect, for me at least, was that there was a full-size refrigerator in each room! This really helps when it comes to having snacks and saving money on meals! The caveats were that the bathrooms and showers were communal and sometimes a little dirty, the kitchens could also be messy depending on who had just been cooking, the walls were thin and people could be very noisy (especially around graduation time), and there is no drier in the laundry room downstairs (just drying racks). Despite these aspects, I found the dorms cozy. Just make sure you bring shower shoes and some slippers to wear around the dorm as it can get dusty and you do not want to track debris from outside into your room!
The metro stop was very close to the dorm; however, it was closed a few weekends for maintenance. The dorms were very conveniently placed except for the trip to class. There were a couple of restaurants near the dorm along with a few different grocery stores. If you needed more specific foods or utensils, you could take the metro one stop to the Европейский mall. My favorite restaurant there, Грабли, has a great breakfast buffet. If you go one more stop in the opposite direction and then switch to the 14 line and then go two more stops to Площадь Гагарина, there is an Ashan store that is much like Wal-Mart with food, clothes, and utensils at very reasonable prices. There are also a few bars around the dorm, but my favorite was Дижестив. It was only about a ten minute walk away from the dorm and very classy. They are open very late as well! Moscow City Center is also close to the dorm. It is about a 15-20 minute walk, but it is gorgeous!
Eating Facilities at the Moscow Dormitories at HSE
Lauren Chilton (Summer, 2019): I often would have my breakfast on the way to class. There are a few coffee places on the way to HSE. There was a place called Правда where they gave you a free muffin if you spent at least 150 rubles! I would often eat at HSE’s cafeteria, but I sometimes would eat at the pho place across the street or the other stolovaya on that side as well. I was very impressed with HSE’s cafeteria. I could eat the business lunch there for just 110 rubles! They also had coffee and pastries! For later, I had snacks at the dorm, and I would often purchase easy frozen meals at the store that I could make in the microwave. I also used my dutch oven for other frozen meals or soups. I usually ate like this during the week, and on the weekend, I would find other restaurants to go to. I particularly enjoyed Хачапури, Шоколадница, and Суши Wok.
Lauren Chilton (Summer, 2019): The dorms made it very easy to see other classmates and meet new people. There weren’t really any Russians, but there were other international students. It was easy to study together and make plans with one another. If people liked to hang out outside or smoke, it was easy to meet other students as there was a designated smoking place right outside the dorm where people spent time.
Lauren Chilton (Summer, 2019): The work-out rooms on the first floor were very basic and only one person could work out in there at a time unless you were fine with working out in very close quarters with a stranger! The laundry room was good, but there were only drying racks and no actual dryers (that’s common in this part of the world). I would suggest bringing a drying line with you in your suitcase because it is difficult to hang dry due to the climate and the small communal area for hang drying. Also, there is a laundromat close to the dorm that will wash, dry, and fold a load of laundry for 330 rubles all in just two or three hours. I would suggest using that service unless you cannot afford it. Hang drying tends to leave your clothes crusty. I also suggest that you purchase a dutch oven when you get to the dorm. There is no oven in the kitchens, only a stove, so with a dutch oven, you can improvise. Depending on the floor you are on, there will be communal dishes, but I just went ahead and bought everything I would need for cheap.
Dormitories for MGIMO
MGIMO dormitories are all on campus, a short walk from class. You will be living about 10-15 minute walk to the metro and about 45-50 minutes from the city center by public transport.
Reviews of the MGIMO dorms will be posted later.