STUDY IN BELARUS

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Belarus is a landlocked former Soviet republic in Eastern Europe that retains strong cultural relations with its neighbour Russia while also having its own distinct and proud culture to appreciate. Belarus may not be your first choice for studying abroad, but it has a lot to offer, including lush green spaces, historic but modern towns, and friendly, welcoming people. It’s also very affordable study abroad destination and key attraction for more than 6,000 international students who come here every year.

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WHY STUDY IN BELARUS?

There are 48 universities in Belarus, many of which are based in Minsk, the capital city. In addition to general universities, there are also specialized medical schools, such as Belarusian State Medical University, and technical universities, such as Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU).

Two Belarusian universities are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, with a further two found in the QS EECA University Rankings 2018, a ranking of the top universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia (EECA).

HOW TO APPLY TO STUDY IN BELARUS

The application process is quite straightforward – you should apply directly to your chosen Belarusian institution, including your high school leaving certificate or equivalent, to prove that you’ve completed 12 years of education. If applying for a master’s degree, you’ll need your bachelor’s degree certificate.

The language of instruction at universities in Belarus is usually Russian or Belarussian, but some universities offer English-taught courses. If your course is in Belarussian or Russian and you’re not fluent in either language, you’ll need to take a 10-month language immersion course before starting your studies. These cost US$1,800.

The Belarusian academic year is made up of two semesters, the first one lasting from September to January, the second lasting from February to July. Bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete, while master’s degrees take two years.

HOW TO GET A BELARUSIAN STUDENT VISA

All international students need a visa (Belarus is not a member of the European Union). To apply for this, you’ll need to go to your nearest Belarusian embassy or consulate and submit the following documents:

  • Your passport, which should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended return date
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your completed student visa application form
  • Two passport-size color photos of yourself with a plain white background
  • A statement of medical fitness, including proof you’ve had a HIV/AIDS test
  • Your paid visa fee (US$60)
  • An official letter of invitation from the Belarusian university you’ll be attending

You’ll need to purchase health insurance, which costs around US$110 a year. Your university will assist you in getting a temporary residence permit.

TUITION FEES, LIVING COSTS AND FUNDING

Tuition fees in Belarus will vary depending on your university and subject, but international students can expect to pay around US$2,000-3,500 a year, with English-taught courses tending to be more expensive than Russian or Belarusian-taught courses. As is common around the world, medical degrees are more expensive, costing around US$4,100 a year, or US$4,600 or more if you study in English.

Belarus is quite affordable in terms of living costs, with students only needing around US$2,400-3,600 per year. This means your study abroad costs could come to as little as US$4,400 a year.

Numbeo is a useful source for comparing the costs you’re used to in your home city with how much things cost in a Belarusian city such as Minsk (for example, the cost of rent is 85 percent lower than in London). In terms of accommodation, most students live in student hostels offered by the university, which only cost around US$30-50 per month.

You may want to look for a scholarship to help fund your studies, particularly as international students can’t work whilst studying in Belarus.