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IRES: Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Microbiology and Biogeosciences of Siberian Deep Subsurface Permafrost

Frequently Asked Questions

You will be able to exchange USD to Russian Rubles in many exchange offices in Russia. You may take some USD cash with you. Based on my travel experience, I usually have about $1000 with me, but I am Russian and thieves do not pay attention to me. I ask bank to give me new $100 bills, and a few $20 bills. Usually I do not spend all the money, so I bring it back. It is up to you how much money you would like to take, do not take more then $1000. Do not try to exchange all USD you have to Rubles at once. When in Russia exchange $100, and may be this is all amount you will be needed.

American Visa/Master Card is accepted, but not in all stores (for example some souvenir stores sell only for cash). Keep in mind that most of American credit cards charge an international transaction fee when used outside the USA. However, some credit cards, for example Bank One Visa, Southwest Visa, Chase Sapphire Visa, do not have international transaction fees. Call your credit card, and register your credit card for the international travel, and ask them about international transaction fee.

Yes, there is $2400 stipend; you will get it when you are back.

One check-in (50 lb/23 kg) bag, carry on bag and carry on personal item.

Summer in Russia usually is not so hot as here in Tennessee, temperature 20-26°C (72-82°F), but some days may be chilly - you need a jacket, others hot - you want wear a flip-flops and a shorts. Take a swimming suit, if you want to go to the Oka River or a pool. There is a sport complex there, so you may want to take some convenient clothes for work out.

There is laundry service in the hotel.

You may bring what you want / you need (just make sure these items go in to check in bag).

During your work in Russian institution you should perform research work and prepare PowerPoint presentation. You will have free time you may spend, as you like, for example travel to Moscow for shopping, museum, or theater. However, you may be responsible for some expenses if it is considered as entertainment or personal.

It will be usual workweek. Monday through Friday are considered workdays, Saturday-Sunday are weekend. Work hours will depend on task you are doing. Usually it is 8 work hours per weekday. You will have break for lunch.

Description of the Research Projects will be provided.

Hotel located in walking distance from the institute where you are going to work.

You will have breakfast in the hotel, lunch will be served in café at the institute, and you may have dinner in the hotel or in a café/restaurant in town.

It is very expensive to use phone with USA calling plan in Russia. You are not going to get any calls/text on your phone from USA either. But you will be able to use your phone when phone is connected to the Internet.

CYes. Install WhatsApp (or Viber) on your USA phone and ask your friends/relatives to install WhatsApp (or Viber) too. You will be able to use your phone in Russia without any additional charges to your USA calling plan bill when your phone connected to the Internet and you are using WhatsApp (or Viber) to call/text home or friends. You would be able connect your phone to the Internet in the institute. Skype also will work.

Yes, you can bring your laptops. Institute has Wi-Fi connection. You will have place to work on your computer when you have to.

There are no problems to travel to Moscow. It would be one-day trip. Moscow is a big city with numerous historical places, museums, theaters, ect. You may be responsible for some expences if it is considered as entertainment or personal.

A trip to St. Petersburg is not planned by the IRES organizers. Students may discuss with Russian mentors if students would have time and opportunity to travel to St. Petersburg. Students should have a few days to be able to travel to St. Petersburg. Lodging and meals in St. Petersburg may be expensive and outside of the IRES program budget.

For more information email or call Dr. Tatiana Vishnivetskaya
Phone: (615) 887-4736

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