Credit Card Payment, Currency Exchange
The currency is Russian Rouble (RUR). The current exchange rates are US$1 ~ 32-33 RUR, €1 ~ 43-44 RUR.
Paying with a credit card is common in restaurants and in most shops. If you need cash, there are plenty of ATMs around the university including three in the vestibule of the main building of the university. ATMs accept bank cards with MAESTRO/CIRRUS or MasterCard or VISA signs. Traveler’s checks in US$s or Euros are easy to cash in any bank. There are many banks around the university; an office of Bank 24.ru (84 Malysheva str., opposite the Park Inn hotel) has 7 days/24 hours desk service. In bank offices you can also exchange cash Euros and US$s to Russian Roubles (and back); other major currencies are accepted not in all offices and the exchange rates are unfavorable. There is no hidden tax for exchanging cash: what you see is what you get. However, the bank officers are quite sensitive with respect to the physical quality of money: if your bill looks old, has any cuts or bears inscriptions/stamps, they may refuse to accept it.
Where to eat
The conference venue is surrounded by many eating places, ranging from fastfood to quite expensive restaurants. Your package will contain a map with some of these places, and a legend to it.
Welcome Party and Conference Dinner
A welcome reception starts at 18:00 on Monday, June 24, in the banquet hall of the university cafeteria (basement of the university building Lenina 51). Don’t miss it if you arrive on June 24! The conference dinner will take place in the Vysotsky Banquet hall at the 37th floor of the Vysotsky Business Center from 19:00 on Thursday, June 27. You will find the invitations to these events in your registration package.
An excursion for the symposium participants is planned on Thursday, June 27th. It will go through the center of Ekaterinburg to the monument marking the border between Europe and Asia. The excursion will start at 14:00 sharp and end around 18:00. The place of departure will be announced at the conference. The guide in one bus will speak English, the guide in the other bus will speak Russian.The invitation to this excursion is in your registration package.
Practical Hints and Safety Advices
Badge: please do not forget to bear your badge; it will serve as your pass to get into the university buildings.
Safety on the street: be very alert around traffic, especially when crossing the street. Only cross at traffic signals, and never attempt to cross once the green light starts flashing. If you are in the middle of the street when this happens, follow the Russians' example and run! Drivers are reckless and are used to pedestrians jumping out of their way, so don't risk your life challenging them. Also, be on guard for cars swerving around corners.
Smoking: is not allowed in the university buildings.
Telephone: to call internationally dial 8, wait for the second dial tone, then dial 10, the country code and the number. If you want to use your mobile phone, a good idea may be to buy a new prepaid SIM-card from a local vendor, there are cheap contracts and you will save a lot of money in comparison with roaming.
Voltage: the voltage is 220 V, the frequency is 50 H.
Water: do not drink the tap water! Buy bottled water for drinking.
Weather: it depends. Be prepared both to a sunny weather and around +30 C during the day, and to rains and only +15..+20 C.