Frequently asked questions

LESSONS

Getting to the school

If you’re staying at the hostfamily, they will lead you to the school on the first study day. In case if you have arranged the accommodation on your own, we will send you the detailed instructions on how to find us.

Time to arrive

You should arrive at 10:15 on your first day of studies to be welcomed by our reception team and your teacher. You might also be given a placement test upon arrival, if needed. Our Staff will be happy to arrange a short tour around the school and shopping centre’s premises, to show you where you can get the lunch during breaks or where you can exchange your currency.

Items to bring

Please bring the following items on the first day:

  • Your passport with visa and migration card which you get at the airport (for the registration)
  • A photo for your EducaCentre student card (passport sized, either black&white or color)
  • A pen & copybook
General time table

Standard course 20 lessons per week: 10.15 am – 13.30 pm (including breaks)

Intensive course 30 lessons per week: 10.15 am – 15.30 pm(including breaks)

Group size

We provide group tuition in small groups up to 4 people per group. Normally 2-3 students.

Levels

All new students are required to complete a pre-course questionnaire and take a placement test before arrival in order for us to check for the group availability for the desired dates.

Students who booked group tuition and have no co-students, are entitled to be compensated with individual lessons:

–       20 group lessons compensated with 15 individual lessons

–       30 group lessons compensated with 20 individual lessons

–       30 group lessons may be compensated with 20 group lessons( in case there is a group available) + 5 individual lessons

As soon as the other student with the same level joins the group, the amount of lessons changes back accordingly.

Course End certificate

All our students receive a graded certificate at the end of their course indicating course type, course length, numbers of academic hours taken and level achieved

Holidays

Fee reductions do not apply where a course includes a public holiday when the school is closed. Lessons missed because of school closure will be given on other days by the arrangement between the school and the student.

ACCOMMODATION

Homestay or hostel/hotel?

We strongly recommend students to choose host family accommodation when visiting St. Petersburg to study Russian. Not only does staying with a host family provide the perfect opportunity to experience real Russian life in friendly and welcoming company, it also gives students the chance to improve their Russian outside the classroom.

How do you choose the families?

Our host families have been carefully selected according to the following criteria:

  • The quality of accommodation as well as the warmth of hospitality offered
  • The hosts speak standard educated Russian
  • The hosts are genuinely interested in helping students to develop fluency in Russian
  • The hosts are sociable and keen to make new friends and learn about the lives and cultures of students from other countries
Check-in and check-out dates

The homestay accommodation is booked Sunday to Saturday. The minimum length of stay –one week. Extra days can be booked only on request and they are charged according to our price list.

What are the locations of the families?

All our host-families are either located in the historical centre of Saint-Petersburg (25 minutes by metro to the school) or in a residential area within a walking distance from the school.

Provision

The student is welcome to choose their preferred provision – Breakfast only or half-board. Please inform the school and the family on allergy and diet preferences in your catering. Also please be in time for your dinner and let your host know when you are planning to eat out. The lunch can be taken on the food court in the school.

Laundry

Your host family will let you do your washing and ironing usually once a week. Alternatively you use any of the launderettes/dry cleaning services in the city.

Internet connection

Usually there is a wifi or wire internet in the families but that is not guaranteed unless it’s put as the special request in the accommodation booking request. If your family doesn’t have the internet connection, you can always use free wifi at the school or ask the staff to help you to get the local sim card with the internet coverage.

Inviting guests

It is uncommon to invite your friends to your host family, but if you really need to do it, please ask your host for the permission first.

Can I change the family?

If you’re unhappy with your family, please start by talking to your host first to solve the issue. But if you have  difficulties communicating with the families or experience any kind of problems, please inform our managers and we will find the replacement family for you from the next week since the complaint date.

Hostels & hotels

If you’re willing to stay at the hostel/hotel, we will be happy to advise you on the best options based on your criterias provided and book the room for your stay. Please contact our managers to get more information.

VISAS and TRAVEL

Do I need a visa to enter Russia?

All foreign nationals are required to have entry visas to travel to the Russian Federation unless the country of citizenship is among the visa-free countries. Russian entry visas can be obtained at local Russian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. In order to apply for the visa, you’ll need a special visa support letter as known as visa invitation from our school. The full list of support documents needed for each visa application (depending on the visa type and the nationality of the applicant) is always available on the websites of Russian Consulates of every country.

Visa types

The length of the visa invitation we provide is always strictly set according to amount of study weeks and the accommodation booked at our school. Based on your course length, we can offer you  either a tourist, a business or a student visa invitation.  The tourist visa invitation is provided for the students who are enrolled at the short-term courses of 4 weeks maximum. The business and student visa invitations are for the long term courses from 5 weeks and more.

Migration card

Upon arrival in Russia every foreign visitor is granted the migration card they need to keep safe until departure.

Airport pick up

If you book an airport transfer at our school, you personal driver will take you and your luggage  from the airport to your accommodation. The driver’s waiting time is limited to 1,5 hours after the arrival of your flight. The driver meeting you at the airport will carry a sign with your name on it. If you cannot locate your driver, please call the emergency numbers stated in your transfer confirmation. Please inform the staff in advance on your flight delays and cancellations.

Registration of the arrival

The students are required to bring the passport with visa and the migration card on the first day in order to register the arrival at the migration office of Russia. Once the registration is ready, our managers will give you the original paper or a copy for to keep in the passport the departure from Russia. Please note that if you stay in Russia less than 7 working days, you do not need to register your arrival.

LIVING in RUSSIA

Getting a local SIM card

We advise our students to buy the local mobile card in order to use for the local calls and also for the internet connection. Our managers will help you to choose the best tariff plan based on your needs and the length of stay. Usually our students get a monthly plan for 250 RUR per month. This fare includes limited amount of local calls, sms and the internet connection.

Public transport fares

There are various options for transport cards in St.Petersburg – multicard, metro card, bus card, tram and bus card, trolleybus card and etc. Our managers will advise you on the best option for you based on the location of your hostfamily and desires to travel around.

Here are the basic options:

-Standard  Monthly Pass – 2690 RUR (70 journeys on any type of a transport)

– 10 Journey Pass for 7 days – 330 RUR

– 20 Journey Pass for 15 days – 630 RUR

You can always buy a simple token for one way ride on metro for 35 rubles and one way ride on the ground transport will cost 30 rubles one way.

Cultural activities and excisions

There is so much to see in St.Petersburg! Our managers will happy to plan your afternoon sightseeing program in the city. We can also book entrance tickets for any kind of places of interest in St.Petersburg for you – theatres, cinemas, museums and etc.

If you would to see the city with your personal guide, we will be happy to arrange this for you as outdoor one to one lessons.

Visiting St.Petersburg suburbs

Petergof, Puskin, Pavlovsk, Kronstadt… St.Petersburg is all surrounded by the beautiful places to see. Former tsar villages, amazing parks and military forts – we will be happy to book you the tour or just the entrance tickets anywhere upon request. These excursions are usually full-day, so it is better to plan them on weekends.

Student card discounts

With the student card issued by our school you can get the free entry to the main museums of Saint Petersburg. The discount also applies on the entry tickets to the city parks.

PAYMENT POLICY

What is included in the administrative fee?

Our non-refundable administrative fee of € 120 is made to cover the enrolment administration charges and it includes:

-Pre-course questionnaire & placement test

-Course booking fee

-Accommodation booking fee

-Tourist visa invitation (up to 30 days of stay in Russia)

-Registration at the migration office of St.Petersburg upon arrival

-Course and supplementary language materials

-Student card (with free-entry to city museums)

-Use of computers and Wifi connection at the school

-A certificate at the end of the course.

What is not included in the tuition fees?

-Travel costs

-Accommodation, transfer and visa costs.

-Paper, pens, pencils, cassettes, stationery, photocopies and books (other than those provided as part of the teaching materials).

-Personal & health insurance.

-Social programme / excursions – except those events advertised as free or included.

-Bank charges on international money transfers and credit card charges.

-Express postage charges

Do I need to pay all fees in advance?

For the short – term courses up to 4 weeks we require the prepayment of 20% of the invoice total to be done to our bank account at the moment of booking. Remaining fees have to be paid in full to our bank account not later than in two weeks prior arrival.

For the long-term courses 4+ weeks that require the processing of the student visa, the full prepayment for the first three months of stay has to be processed before we issue the visa invitation letter.

Payment options

You can pay either by bank transfer or paypal before arrival or in cash by credit card on the first day of the school.

REFUND POLICY

Cancellation fees for direct bookings

Up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the course — 10%, up to 10 days — 25%, but if cancellation occurs when visa support has already taken place — not less than the invoiced amount for enrollment and visa related cancellation fee services. For cancellations that occur later, the cancellation fee amounts to 50% of the total fee. Cancellations should be communicated in writing directly to our booking office.

Bookings made through an agency

If you have booked your course through an authorized agent, the refund policy of the agent applies and your fees will be repaid to you by the agent and not by the school. Please check the booking conditions of your agent and contact the agent immediately should you wish to cancel the course.

OTHER

Discipline

– Punctual arrival is the student’s responsibility. The school will not extend the teaching time due to late arrival. Absences without the notice in at least 24 hours prior will not be compensated with extra classes later on.

– Students are expected to behave in an orderly manner and any wilful damage to school property or personnel will be treated as gross misconduct. In case of such misconduct the student will be held personally responsible for rectifying any damage caused.

– Students will also be expected to behave respectfully towards other students and staff of EducaCentre. Extreme cases may result in expulsion.

– Students are expected to observe fire and safety rules displayed at the school.

Force Majeure

A basic stipulation of the agreement/contract between students and EducaCentre, or its representatives, is that neither EducaCentre or its representatives are liable for refunds or damages, however arising, in cases where EducaCentre is unable to fulfil any services to which they are contractually bound because of labour disputes, insufficient demand for classes or other reasons which are beyond their control.

Liability

The school, its employees and its representatives accept no responsibility for personal injury and/or loss or damage to personal property on the school premises whether as a result of fire, burglary, theft or otherwise. This condition also applies to public and private places included in school trips and excursions.

Promotional actions

Photographs of the students may be used in the school’s promotional and publicity material unless the student specifically objects.  Students will not be paid for the time involved in the taking of such photographs and will assign to the school any rights to royalties they may have.

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