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Using the Phone

Using mobile telephones:

You may wish to bring two mobile telephones with you to Russia for the following reason: one, with the British SIM-card, you can retain to contact friends or family (text-messaging) in your native country. The cost of the international calls is expensive. The second mobile you can use locally in Yaroslavl as you will be provided with a Russian SIM-card on arrival, which will allow calling your group mates and hosting families in Yaroslavl at reasonable price. If you don't have a second mobile telephone you can buy one at about 1000 rubbles (20 dollars). YRLC has a contract with the biggest mobile company in Russia. A representative of this company (MTC) will come to YRLC the next day you arrive and will provide you with the Yaroslavl SIM-card and a USB modem for your laptop. Bring your laptop to Russia with you and you will be able to use the Internet, though it is quite slow.


Calling your home country: (by Nica, Oxford)

Phone numbers are relatively easy once you get your head around them, and are pretty similar to UK phone numbers.

The full UK phone number consists of 4 parts: the access code, the country code, the city code, and the landline number, for example 00 44 1234 123456. This is what you ring from a foreign landline. The access code changes depending on which country you are calling from, and Russia's access code is 810. Within the UK, you only need the city code and the landline number: 01234 123456. A zero replaces the 00 44. Within the city, you only need the landline number: 123456.

The full Russian phone number consists of those same 4 parts, but the country code is 7 (for example 00 7 1234 123456) and an 8 replaces the 00 7 when ringing from within Russia (for example 81234 123456). Yaroslavl's city code is 4852, but just like in England, you don't need to ring this if you're ringing a landline from a landline.

To get a Russian SIM card you have to go to a phone shop (most students favour MTS). You must have your passport and registration documents with you. You can't phone abroad from your mobile unless you buy an international phone card. When texting an English number from a Russian phone, you don't need the 810 at the beginning, just +44; when texting a Russian phone from an English number, you don't need the 00 and the beginning, just +7.

Some examples:
My Russian home phone number is 84852 212558. My Russian mobile number is 89159 843011. My UK home number is 01276 507678. My UK mobile is 07792 591055.

      

Some more advice from YRLC students

If possible it's best to get your mobile unlocked before you come to Russia. If not it's possible to buy phones (with lovely Cyrillic characters) right here. If you are not provided with the Yaroslavl SIM-card by YRLC you can buy a SIM-card. You'll need to go to a mobile phone shop (students here seem to favour MTC). You'll need your passport and registration documents in order to get one. To dial a Russian mobile from the UK you need to remove the 8 at the start of your Russian phone number and replace it with +7/007. If your friends/family at home want to ring you while you're away in Russia it'd be wise to use software such as Skype, purchase an international phone card or use www.telediscount.com. At present with this site it's possible to call Russian landlines from the UK for 2p/min or mobiles for 50/min. You can't phone abroad from your Russian mobile (you'll need to buy a phone card and dial from a landline) but you can send texts.

There are machines dotted all over Yaroslavl to top up your mobile phone credit, usually in supermarkets and "produktis". The Golden Ring Hotel is really useful as it has an ATM and mobile phone top up machine in the lobby. It's particularly handy on rent day when you don't want to take out large quantities of money from cash machines on the street.