APPLICATION for 2024-2025 


Application requirements

The application form must be filled out in English. It includes an essay in which the candidates can write about themselves and their experience and evaluate their leadership qualities, as well as share their vision on how they are going to use knowledge and skills that they will gain through the MSA programme.

In order to complete your admissions application, you must provide required documents.

Please scan and submit the following documents:

  1. Certificates and diplomas of your completed degree(s) from an internationally recognised higher education institution
  2. Transcripts of completed degree(s) and grades for each semester included in your degree


- Transcripts must be uploaded together with the degree certificate in one multipage file

- Preliminary certificates and entries in academic record books cannot be accepted as certificates of completed degree and transcripts of records

- If you have a Diploma Supplement, you can submit it together with your degree certificate in place of an official academic transcript. Your Diploma Supplement alone cannot be used as proof of your degree

- Make sure to request certificates and transcripts early. Note if your documents are not in English or Russian you must submit and official  translation.

  1. Your valid passport (should be valid for a minimum period of 18 months from the visa issue date and should contain at least 2 blank pages)


- It is required to upload one page file with a copy of the page with your personal data and photograph and the adjacent page. Please do not make multipage files or two different files of copies of these two pages of your passport

  1. A valid English language certificate that meets the minimum level requirement of C1
  2. Where appropriate: other documents (for example letters of recommendation, appreciation letters)

Once you have completed your application and uploaded all required documents, choose the MSA course and click the SUMBIT button. The application portal generates confirmation of successful submission. Keep track of your application.


Legalization and Recognition of Educational Documents

  1. Legalization of Educational Documents

Your educational documents should be legalized if you have an international qualification (completed your Bachelor Degree outside Russia). The legalization of any document is possible only on the territory of the country, where the document was issued. There are two main types of document legalization - the "Apostille" and Consular legalization. The choice/need of the legalization type and procedures to follow in every case depends upon weather the country, where the document was issued, IS or is NOT party to the Hague Convention of October 5th, 1961. A full list of countries which signed the convention and contacts of competent authorities can be found by clicking here.

  • If your Country is Party To the Hauge Convention

If a country is the party to the Hague Convention, the "Apostille" stamping (sometimes this procedure is called "the simplified legalization" or "apostilling") is used to prepare the document for its further usage in the countries, which joined to the Hague Convention.

To be eligible for an apostille, a document must first be certified by an officer (notaries, in some cases), which will then be recognized by the authority that will issue the apostille. Each country, party to the Hague Convention, makes its own decision on the list of authorized agencies to be allowed to issues apostilles.

  • If your Country is not part of the Hauge Convention

If a country is not the party to the Hague Convention, Consular legalization is required, when a document must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the document originated and then by the Embassy or a Consulate of the government where the document will be used (Russia in your case).


Legalization is not required for the application process where it is sufficient to submit scans of officially translated education certificates if not in English or Russian. RIOU only requires you to submit scans of your original documents for the application process. Legalized hard copies are required when you arrive in Sochi to complete the enrollment process and start the course.

  1. Recognition of Educational Documents

After legalization of your foreign educational documents in the country where they were issued, the documents should then undergo the official recognition procedure in Russia. Within the national recognition of educational background or foreign qualifications, the documents are to be submitted to the National Information Centre / National Accreditation Agency  (special department of Russian governmental institution – Rosobrnadzor). RIOU provides full administrative support to its students to recognize their international documents given all required documents are submitted by the students in time.


Your name and birthdate must match on all documents

For your documents to be accepted:

  • the name and birthdate provided must be the same on all your documents (passport, transcripts, degree certificate, etc.)
  • the name on your documents must match the name you reported in your application account

If the names are different, you must provide us with documentation (for example, a marriage certificate if you have been married) as to why they do not match.

If the birthdate on any of your documents is different from your passport, the difference must be explained with official documentation.

This documentation must be either issued in English or Russian or, if issued in another language, officially translated to English or Russian.

Application deadline

For international candidates who need visa to entre Russia – 31st of July 2024

For other candidates who do not need visa – 5th September 2024

A letter of admission

All applications are considered by the Admissions Board, headed by the RIOU Rector, which decides whether or not an applicant is recommended for enrolment in the MSA programme. The Board will notify the applicant of its decision via email within two months of the date of the application. Upon receiving a letter of admission, the applicant will be sent an invoice for tuition. An invoice for accommodation at the University's apartment hotel will be sent on request.

The admission letter contains important information about enrolling at the University. You are not officially a student at the University until you have completed the enrollment process in person.

Visa support

The University will provide students with visa support. To apply for the Russian visa international students will need to receive and official invitation issued by the Federal Migration Service of Russia (RFMS). The University is required to apply for this official invitation to RFMS in order to get it issued and then mailed to a student. The whole process takes up to 4-5 weeks before you get hold of your official invitation. Please note that the University will apply for official invitation only after tuition fee is paid by the student.

Medical certification and fingerprinting of foreign citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation

All foreign citizens who receive education at Russian universities, and arrived in the Russian Federation for a period of more than 90 days, are required to undergo the procedure of fingerprinting, photography and medical examination and certification at the medical institution approved Local Authorities. The nearest medical institution to obtain the medical certificate for RIOU students as well as the Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (DMIA) to undergo fingerprinting and photography are located in the city of Krasnodar. Photography and fingerprinting take place upon presentation of a medical certificate. As always, RIOU provides full administrative support to its students to undergo the required procedures including translation during the procedures to ensure unfailing communication with the medical institution and DMIA staff who in many cases speak Russian.

All procedures must be completed within 90 days from the moment of crossing the border.

Health Insurance Certificate

Healthcare cover is mandatory by law for all residents in Russia, even those staying for one semester. All international students are required to have healthcare insurance before they embark on their degree. RIOU gets it organized for its students during the introductory week and course administrator helps students every step of the way, ensuring their healthcare cover is organised upon they arrive in Sochi.

Estimate living costs in Sochi

It is important to be aware of the living costs and associated study fees before you apply. The good news is that the cost of living in Russia for students is reasonable. Also, student living expenses in Russia are far less than in the rest of Europe.

University tuition fees

Master of Sport Administration course fee for 2024-2025 is 11,400 USD for international students and 570 000 rubles for Russian students. Fee can be paid in 3 installments (more details in the offer).

Student Housing/Accommodation

RIOU offers student housing for the RIOU Scholarship winners. Other students can easily find shared (private) accommodation along with other students. Sochi is one of the most expensive cities in Russia, but there is always a good choice of quite reasonable privately owned accommodation options. Accommodation typically costs around 30 000 rubles (depending on exchange rates appr.300 USD) a month for a flat within a travel distance from the university, rising to around 60 000 rubles (appr.600 USD) for a flat in the University neighborhood. Flats are normally shared by 2 or 3 students that makes accommodation costs more affordable.  

Medical certification, finger printing and photography, health insurance and recognition of educational documents for international students

Fingerprinting and photography for legal purposes are free of charge whereas medical examination and certification, health insurance and recognition of educational documents are paid services:

  • Medical examination and certification appr. 10 000 rubles (appr.100 USD)
  • Health insurance certification appr. 15 000 rubles (appr.150 USD)
  • Recognition of educational documents appr. 15 000 rubles (appr.150 USD)

Food prices and transportation costs

Food and grocery shopping is an important part of anyone's weekly budget, and it's important to include it when you are calculating how much you need to live on when you move to Sochi. Groceries are readily available in Sochi and are open 7 days a week. RIOU canteen is a quite popular place to have lunch for reasonable price and good quality.

A single person who plans meals carefully can do his/her weekly shopping for less than 6 000 rubles (appr.60 USD) a week. 

The price of public transport in Sochi and generally in Russia is fairly low in cost, especially when compared to most countries in north and west Europe. One way bus ticket costs about 50 rubles (0,5 USD). There is no subway in Sochi. In most cases, key locations are within the walking distance from the University. However, it is important to be aware that Russia is a large country and if you want to travel to other cities in Russia, you will have to pay for air tickets, accommodation, etc.

Resort fee

A resort fee is a fee charged in addition to the hotel room rate to cover hotel-specific services and amenities not included in the room rate. Resort fees are charged hotels on a nightly basis, not per stay. Sochi hotels charge a minimal resort fee of 50 rubles (appr.0,5 USD) each night.

All this makes the average monthly expenses in Sochi (not including tuition fee and accommodation costs) around 40 000-50 000 rubles that makes about 400-500 USD (depending on currency exchange rates).

Banks and cards

International students are recommended to consult their banks to explore options to access their bank accounts during their stay in Russia. One of the options is having a UnionPay card. Alternatively, students need to bring cash and exchange it once they arrive in Russia. MasterCard and Visa cards issued by foreign banks are not currently accepted in Russia.

If you are a winner of the RIOU Scholarship the university will assist you to open your Russian bank account to receive your entitled monthly allowance. Important to note that this allowance is not sufficient to cover all living costs.

We wish you all the best of luck with your application and look forward to seeing you at the Russian International Olympic University!