Dear students,

We would like to inform you of temporary changes to the registration procedure for every foreign citizens staying in Russia for the duration of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup (from June 1st to July 12th 2017).

Between June 1st and July 12th, 2017, the time given to process your registration is shortened to 24 hours after your arrival.

This means that if you plan to leave Russia or travel around the country (and get registered in another city, hotel, …) and return to Moscow during this period, you MUST bring your passport to CREF on the morning of your re-arrival in order to renew your registration within 24 hours after your arrival.

A fine between 40 000 and 50 000 rubles can be charged by the Russian authorities to anyone not complying with this temporary measure in case of police check for instance.

Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact your manager at CREF.

A new intensive Russian group for beginners

For all those who want to learn Russian quickly:

A new intensive Russian group for beginners will start on monday 29 may 2017.

Register now and learn Russian quickly and efficiently with CREF. To register or get more information, call

us at +7(495)5454745 or

A stroll in downtown Moscow

With its broad sidewalks – тротуары (trotwaree) and painted facades – фасады (fasaadee), downtown Moscow (tsentr Moskvy) has morphed into a great place to go for a stroll – прогуливаться (pragoulivatsa). It is also the intersection for a variety of architectural styles – архитектурные стили (arkhitektournyé stili). Let CREF take you on a journey through time to get you better acquainted with the city.

It’s easy to pick out the quintessentially traditional in Russian architecture: roofs that are steep and multi-faceted – многогранный (mnagagrannyi). Another hallmark: the “shatyor” – шатëр, a pyramid-like structure that crowns not only the Kremlin’s peripheral towers, but also numerous other ancient towers – часовни (chasoavni). The oldest stone specimen can be found on the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye Park (built in 1532). One can encounter Russian residences characteristic of the 16th century – палаты (palaaty) sprinkled around Moscow: squat houses painted white, with small windows – окна (oakna) and gray-tiled roofs – крыши (kryshi), like in Varvarka street, or like those from the Romanov era near the Red Square. Read more

A new intensive Russian group for beginners

For all those who want to learn Russian quickly:

A new intensive Russian group for beginners will start on monday 15 may 2017.

Register now and learn Russian quickly and efficiently with CREF. To register or get more information, call

us at +7(495)5454745 or

Open doors at CREF

Open doors at CREF on thursday, 27th of april from 18:00 to 20:00

We welcome all expats and foreigners in Moscow to our open door. Our “Open Days” event is a great opportunity for you to get to know us better, as well as:
• Participate in free Russian language lessons
• Assess your competence in Russian
• Meet our qualified teachers for advice and discuss Russian language study plans

Read more

Back To Basics

Any and all foreigners- иностранцы (inastrantsee) who have ever studied Russian would agree that this language – язык (yazeek), spoken by nearly 170 million people, is not only beautiful, but also remarkable for its sound – звучание (zvoochaniye), and its alphabet – алфавит (alfavit). But where does it come from? CREF offers a look back in time to its origins.

As is often the case, the language predates its writing system, with each Slavic group – славянский народ (slaviyanski naroad) having its own dialect – диалект (dialekt). The first Cyrillic alphabet was invented in about 860 AD, or a little more than a century before the Christianization of Russia. It was the work of two saints, Cyril and Methodius – Кирилл и Мефодий (Kiril i Méfodi), two brothers – братья (bratia), from the city of Thessaloniki, at the time a part of the Byzantine Empire, and where, along with Greek, a Southern Slavic dialect was also spoken.

Cyril was sent to Moravia (a historical country making up the eastern part of today’s Czech Republic) to work as an Orthodox missionary and to teach – учить (oucheet) the Scriptures to the Slavs. To achieve this, he and his brother, along with their students, translated the holy books – богослужебные книги (bagaslouzhebnye knighee) into an alphabet inspired by Greek. In order to accomplish this, he felt it necessary to build an abecedary– азбука (azbouka). Read more

At work

This month, CREF would like to take you on a journey, putting you in the shoes of an intern – стажëр (stajzhior) in Moscow, Nizhny-Novgorod, or anywhere, for that matter, in Russia, to discover a few useful words used at work – в офисе (v’ofisey).

Your boss – начальник (nachalnik) happily welcomes you, taking you to your desk – рабочее место (rabochiie myestuh). But there’s no time to dawdle: you need to get started on some invitations – приглашения (priglashenya) for an event – мероприятие (merapriatiyé) and your boss asks you to update the addresses on the client list – список клиентов (speesok kliyentov) and print – напечатать (napétchatat’) the invitation letters. It’s a job – задание (zadanié) entirely within your means to do, since you are familiar with datasheets – таблицы данных (tablitsy dannykh) and the Russian bits of the Internet. He sits you down in front of your computer – за компьютером (za compioutérom) and it’s “off you go!”!

Read more

Interview with our students – Maaike

CREF: Hello, Maaike, could you introduce yourself, please?

Maaike: Hello, I am from Holland, I study Political Sciences at the university of Leyden.

CREF: Is this your first time in Moscow? How do you like the city?

Maaike: Yes, it is my first time in Moscow, and in Russia as well! Moscow is an amazing city. Wherever I go, I am surprised at its beauty. There are many places of interest, alongside touristic sites like Red Square and the Kremlin, and each time I take a walk to discover the city, I stumble upon a new, beautiful and big place that I hadn’t heard of before.

I visited many places, museums, attractions, I even had the opportunity to attend a rooftop concert, thanks to my father’s contacts!

Read more


The month of August – а́вгуст [avgust] is a very active month in Russia. As a matter of fact, those lucky enough to have a parcel of land – уча́сток [utchastok], and they are many, can harvest the fruit of their labor – уси́лия [ussilia], which, for some, will feed прокорми́ть [prakarmit’] them all year around.

It all starts as early as March, when spring’s around the corner, but the earth – земля́ [zemlia] is still covered in snow. The seedlings – посе́в [passev] are planted and potted in flats and as soon as possible, are transported to the vegetable garden – огоро́д [agarod]. If one has a greenhouse – тепли́ца [tiéplitsa], it may be heated while waiting for more favorable weather conditions. Then, after a few weeks of hard labor and natural fertilizer – удобре́ние [oudabrenie] yes, everything is organic here, no industrial pesticides – comes the time to harvest – уража́й [urajaï].

Read more