How to enroll in 9 month preparatory course at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

I recently went through a process to enroll in a 9 month preparatory intense Russian language course at Taras Shevchenko National University here in Kiev, Ukraine. This blog post will describe the application process and what you need to do to get a proper student visa as a foreigner in Ukraine.

I started learning the Russian language intensively 3 months ago. It ended up being a lot more difficult than I had previously thought so my plan was to give up and then go back to live in South America. My Russian teacher informed me about the 9 month intensive Russian course at Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev, Ukraine which is supposed to take your Russian ability up to a level where you can enter University with it. It’s also only around $2,000 for the entire program so I decided to go along with the application process just in case I change my mind about continuing to learn Russian.

Do note that this guide is for a US citizen who received his university diploma in 2011 (6 years ago as of today). I have heard that if you received your diploma a long time ago (I don’t remember the exact number of years where they set a limit), the process you have to go through may be different. I was also in Kiev at the time when I was applying, so I could go into the University’s offices to hand the required documents directly. If you’re not in Kiev, you may have to mail and/or fax your documents in.

Finally, before I continue, the contact information for the preparatory faculty at the university can be found here if you want to ask them any questions directly.

Things you need

To enroll as a student in the university as a foreigner, you need to get a student visa. To get a student visa, you need an letter of invitation from the university. You need to submit the following documents to receive the letter of invitation.

  • Valid passport
  • High School diploma
  • University diploma
  • University transcript
  • Application form
  • 950 UAH for application fee and letter of invitation (around $35 USD at the time of this writing)

All of the documents with the exception of the application form need to be translated to Ukrainian for submission. You can get this done for around $50 for all of the documents and I had this done while I was in Kiev.

In the application form, you’ll have to fill in the typical information such as your name, date of birth, and etc. One important field that you’ll have to enter in is the country you would like to receive your visa. For some reason, you can only receive your visa outside of Ukraine, meaning if you’re already in Ukraine, you will have to leave the country, receive your visa at a Ukrainian embassy in the country of your choosing, and re-enter Ukraine. Most students choose Poland for this purpose due to the country’s proximity. If you’re not already in Ukraine however, choose the country that’s most convenient to you.

One important thing to note here is that Ukrainian bureaucracy uses a computerized system to print out your invitation letter, and the system they use automatically chooses your country of origin as the country where you would receive your visa, regardless of whether you write Poland as your country of preference. For example, I wrote Poland and specified this to the administrative assistant when submitting my application, and despite this my country where I had to physically go to receive my visa was set to the United States. Thus, I had to get a second letter of invitation where the country I was to receive my visa was set to Poland. The bad thing about this whole ordeal was that I had to pay for the first letter of invitation too, even though the error wasn’t my fault (blame the idiotic Ukrainian bureaucracy for this one).

Finally, when you do receive your letter of invitation, you do need someone to physically go to the university to retrieve the letter. If you are not in Kiev yourself, you’ll have to ask someone to go get it for you.

Getting your visa at Ukrainian embassy

After receiving the letter of invitation and the required documents from the university, you’ll have to visit the Ukrainian embassy in the country of your choosing. Present the necessary documents to them and they’ll issue you a visa. With the visa in hand, you can now enter Ukraine. Once you’re in Ukraine, you must visit the University to submit additional documents so that you can receive a proper residence visa that will be valid for the duration of your studies. The University has proper facilities in process to help you with this.

The process to receive your residence visa will take about a month and you’ll have to submit your passport at this time, which means that you won’t be able to leave Ukraine while your residence visa is being issued. Keep this in mind before you begin the process for receiving your residence visa if you wanted to visit other countries.

Register for your classes

Congrats on getting through all of the paperwork to receive a proper non-tourist Ukrainian visa. The final step is to register for classes. All you have to do is go to the university at around August timeframe to register for your classes and pay your tuition. I haven’t done this part yet, but it should be much less complicated than the process to receive a visa.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help to the best of my ability.

Thanks for reading.

About the Author Chris Jeon

Software developer currently focusing on Android development.