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Life in a Moscow Dormitory (Photo Essay)

On Jan. 25 students around Russia celebrated Tatyana's Day, or Student's Day, to mark the end of exams and the first semester of school.

The Moscow Times visited six obshchezhitiya, or dormitories, to observe the lives of students in Moscow. Many said that while communal life is hard as space is limited, social life is great and costs are cheap- rent is as low as 67 rubles ($2) a month.

All photos by Pascal Dumont.

Kudakwashe Ndlovu, a 25-year-old student from Zimbabwe, working out in his room.
Ndlovu said the walls were in need of a fresh layer of paint, water sometimes leaked from the floor above and the electric wiring could cause a fire at "any time." Then again, Ndlovu only pays $10 a month for his room.
"It's cheap that's for sure," he said. 

Dinara Vafina, 26, practicing piano in her room at the Moscow State Pedagogical University dormitory.
"I don't have a problem living with roommates but I would like to get my own place one day,"  she said.

Elena Gasyukova, 24, reading her favorite study book at the dormitory for students at the Higher School of Economics, where she pays $2 a month in rent.

"It's a great place because we only share with 9 people," she said.

Elena said students living at the dorm had to abide by a strict regime. "Every day a lady comes to my room to check whether it's clean and tidy." 

Third-year student Anatoly Paterilo inside his studio at the dormitory for the Moscow State Academic Art Institute.

The dormitory for students at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute from the outside.

Semen Lukansi, a 23-year-old native from Yakutsk in Siberia, has already made a name for himself as a painter though he is only 23, other students at the dorm said. 

Anya Kashina in her room at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute. Anya spent several years in London and has now returned to Moscow to study contemporary painting. 

A student of the Moscow Art Institute lighting his pipe in the staircase of the dormitory.

Inese Manguse, a 24-year-old Latvian native has lived at the dorm for only 4 months.

"At the dorm you can just walk around and drop by your friends from door to door. For me, a social network is really important," she said. 

See our photo gallery for more snapshots of life as a student in Russia.

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