Home Education Language Learning Guide to learning the Russian language
Last update on June 11, 2021

Learning Russian is essential when living in Russia. Here you can find information on the Russian language and where you can study Russian.

The best way of getting to know a country is to learn the language. Russian is the only official language of the Russian Federation. In addition, there are many minority languages with speakers across the country. If you are planning on staying in Moscow for a longer while, for example for work or studying, you will need to know the language.

Russian is the most prevalent Slavic language. It is quite difficult to learn and it requires a lot of patience. Also the fact that Russian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet makes it challenging.

In Moscow, there are of course many options but first you would have to decide which level of Russian you would like to achieve. On a day-to-day basic Russian would be sufficient. However, for working and studying in Russia you would need a more advanced course. There are also courses for improving your Russian if you have knowledge of the language already.

The education and science ministry of Russia has established four levels of state educational standards for proficiency in Russian as a second language. Explanations of these levels can be found on the ministry’s website.

Once you reach a certain level in Russian, you can take the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) at a State Testing Centre and receive a certificate of proficiency in Russian. The Russian Language Centres (RLC) of the Moscow State Universities provide language courses for foreigners and prepare them for taking the TORFL test. You can take the test at  State Testing Centres and receive a certificate of proficiency in the Russian language.


Babbel is a language learning app. They have a number of professionally-made courses covering language basics including vocabulary, pronunciation and more. With courses in 14 languages and counting, Babbel helps you improve your language skills when it suits your lifestyle.

Where to study Russian?

Here are some places where you can study the Russian language and take the test:

Moscow State Institute of International Relations offers a broad range of Russian language courses including courses to improve your Russian, Russian for academic purposes, literature and culture, and theoretical grammar courses.

Moscow State University M. Lomonosov offers courses from beginners to advanced, all courses are taught with a combination of written and oral skills and a focus on background knowledge of the Russian world

Pushkin State Russian Language Institute offers group courses from beginners to advanced, but also individual tuition. They also offer Russian Language International Summer Courses.

See our Learning Russian: Some useful phrases article.