I decided that as most people coming to Moscow to study will be at some faculty of MGU, I would do a separate post on their dorms. I did mention some of them in this post
. Unfortunately I’m out of touch with the pricing although it shouldn’t be too costly.
MGU main building (pictured above)
This is the big daddy of the MGU dorms, slap bang on metro Universitet. From the outside it looks great but the inside is a different story. A lot of the rooms are quite small and a tad on the dirty side with showers that range from ok to unusable. I didn’t really mind my room so much, I felt like Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment in a way (the room in the picture was my room mates, messy but you get the impression of how big the dorm rooms there are).
The mix of students is quite good, with Russians, Asians, families and all other nationalities.
You need to always lock your doors as there is always someone waiting to waltz in and steel your shit so be careful (my roommate had some expensive stuff stolen from our shared hall, although it wasn’t really much of a hall).
Other than that the place is like a maze with all the different sectors. There are shops and decent enough Stolovayas for you to eat in. We got lost in the actual building quite a few times as it’s all like on big marble maze. I remember getting back from clubs and entering via the wrong sector too and being screwed (inside they close off the different sectors) which forced me outside In -20 to climb over gates and take other almost secret routes (some Russians showed us a way of getting from sector to sector which students weren’t, in theory supposed to know about).
The main building is at a pretty good location, sounds cool when you say you lived there and would be my first or second choice of place to live.
Shablovskaya (no pic for this one)
The Shab dorm is by far the worst in my opinion. I went into some of my grips about this one in the apartments, dorms and registration article so I won’t bother again here. Suffice to say there are no Russians there, you get no practice and the administration is like one huge cock block. No bribing guests in, no loud music, no nothing. If you want to waste your time in Russia and hang out with English and European people all day and night, blasting English as you go, live here. If upon returning home you scratch your head and wonder why your Russian sucks so hard after a whole year in Russia, you’ll know why.
The good thing about Shab was that it was quite clean (weekly inspection made sure of that) and the rooms were fairly decent.
Now DSK was not a great option. This was where my American friends ended up living and they had problems bribing their girlfriends in and any self respecting man knows that this shit can’t be tolerated.
The rooms here were ok too but there was a distinct lack of Russians to interact with, although they were around (unlike Shab). Mainly it was Korean or Asian families with kids and stuff - yes with kids. This caused a bit of a weird atmosphere, as I’m sure you can imagine. To get around the bribe inconsistency my friends bought some bolt cutters and cut the large bolt of the back of the fire door (it was around the back of the dorm and out of sight). They then replaced the lock with their own and whenever they wanted to party or bring people back, they would go via the emergency exit stairs. This was good because guests would have to leave at 11 so this way there was no problems, plus you got the added adrenalin boost of knowing you were doing something naughty. Very satisfying.
I don’t have any pictures of DSK, but it looked exactly the same as DSV
I lived here the longest and it was my personal favorite simply because its location was ok, price wasn’t too expensive, there were plenty of Russians there and you had no trouble bribing people back or coming back late. Some floors had been renovated, some had not so it was hit and miss (as you can see).
General rules apply to most dorms so use common sense and don’t leave your stuff lying around or door open (I once had the batteries stolen out of my toothbrush). Even if you take a power nap, lock your door. I heard a ton of stories of people falling asleep and having stuff stolen.
Яснево – Yasinevo
Don’t know much about this one and don’t know of any foreigner that’s lived here, but from Russians I hear that it’s an ok place, more expensive and more like a flat in the sense that rooms come in blocks with their own toilets, kitchens and other Soviet wonders (like Shab). In fact, I couldn’t even find a picture for this one so you’ll have to go without. Although I’m really not sure that they even offer this one to foreigners so I wouldn’t worry too much.
A note on guests
One rule with MGU dorms is that you can only invite guests from other MGU faculties, why this is, I have no idea. Also, guests can only stay till 11pm. If you want your family to come visit, that’s different and involves filling out a simple form to get them a propusk (like a dorm pass). If your friend is not a student or not doesn’t study at MGU, you’ll need to bribe them in (which should be about 200 roubles).