Want to Teach English in Russia?
LanguageCorps in Russia
The LanguageCorps program in Russia is located in St. Petersburg – a city of almost five million inhabitants. Known throughout the world for its beauty and culture, it is often described as the most Western city in Russia.
The St Petersburg center is located in the heart of the city, near the Winter Palace, Palace Square, and the Hermitage. A variety of cultural, shopping, and entertainment facilities are located nearby.
TESOL Certification Program
The four-week training course (approximately 140 hours) includes academic input sessions, 12 hours of observed teaching and 10 hours of observed teaching practice with local EFL students. The program is intense, interactive, and practical and will give you the skills and confidence necessary to embark on a teaching career and work in a professional manner anywhere in the world.
The TESOL Certification Program Fee in St. Petersburg, Russia is US$1,495
The price of the course includes expenses to issue an invitation letter that allows you to obtain a visa.
Teacher Certification Dates
TESOL Course Dates 2018
• 22 January – 16 February
• 9 April – 4 May
• 2 July – 27 July
• 30 July – 24 August
• 10 September – 5 October
• 12 November – 7 December
TESOL Course Dates 2019
• 21 January – 15 February
• 6 May – 31 May
• 1 July – 26 July
• 5 August – 30 August
• 16 September – 11 October
• 18 November – 13 December
To ensure placement in the program you desire, we advise applying two to six months prior to your intended start date. Late placements are sometimes possible; please contact us immediately if you are applying less than two months before your desired start date.
Teaching in Russia
The demand for English is enormous as Russians appreciate the value of learning the international language of business and commerce. Since there are many openings in St. Petersburg for newly qualified teachers, most participants have secured teaching positions before the end of the four-week program. The length of contracts can be flexible, but the average contract can be anywhere from 6-12 months, with 25-30 hours of required in-class teaching per week.
In Russia, you will find ESL students of all different ages; children, teens, students, and business professionals who are – especially after the Olympics and FIFA World Cup – all very motivated to improve their level of English. The vast majority of the teaching positions are found in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but there are also opportunities to work in smaller towns like Vladimir, Krasnodar, and Omsk. Teachers can secure positions year-round, although the peak-months are the same as in most of Europe; September and January.
Russia is a great option if you do not want to hit the ground running without a job lined up. Many schools hire teachers in advance through their websites, and will interview potential employees over the phone or through Skype. However, if you are already in the country, it is always a good idea to visit the schools yourself and drop off your resume in person. It’s also a great opportunity to compare different schools to determine your preference.
To teach English in Russia, you will need a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate. It makes you very marketable as a teacher and will give you the possibility to negotiate a higher salary. A 4-year degree is preferred, but not required. Due to the strong demand for teachers in Russia, it is very possible to secure a teaching position without a degree.
Salaries highly vary in Russia, depending on the location, your hiring school, experience, and the hours worked per week; you can usually find a position paying US$600-US$1500 per month. This is sufficient to live on and usually offers the chance to save a bit. Accommodations in the bigger cities are quite expensive which is why most teachers find shared housing, or an employer that provides housing as a part of the contract. International schools usually offer the highest salaries, but also require higher qualifications from their teachers.
Other than most European countries, schools in Russia sometimes offer extra benefits, like housing, reimbursement of airfare, paid vacations, and/or finishing bonuses.
In addition to the program and housing fees, you will want to plan for airfare, any visa costs, and personal expenses (meals, local transportation, security deposit and first month’s rent on an apartment once you know where you’re working).
Travel For The Program
Most travelers, including those from the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe will need to apply for a visa to travel to Russia well in advance. There is a fee to obtain this visa. There are single-entry and multiple-entry visas. If you have single entry visa you cannot leave the country and then come come back. We recommend getting in touch with your local Russian embassy to discuss the best option for you.
Most schools will help their teachers with the necessary paperwork to apply for a work visa. You will need an original invitation letter, which the school will give to you in person or by mail. If you secure a job before traveling to Russia, you can apply for a work visa in advance. If you find a job while already in Russia, you will have to travel to another country first. You will also need a negative HIV/AIDS test to apply for a visa. Please note that these are only valid for 3 months.
Living in Russia
Russia is the largest country in the world covering more than one-eight of the world’s populated land area. The western part of the country is part of Eastern Europe, the eastern side is considered to be part of Asia. Russia is home to 180 ethnic groups that speak over 100 languages. Did you know that there are eleven (11!) time zones in Russia?
St. Petersburg is quite rightly known throughout the world for its beauty and culture. It is quite unlike the Russian cities that came before it – its strict geometric lines and elegance are reminiscent of Europe’s most alluring capitals. St. Petersburg is in many ways Russia’s adopted child: too European to be Russian, and yet too Russian to be European. A powerful combination of both East and West, St. Petersburg is, more than anything, a city born of the passion of its founder, Czar Peter the Great, to bring an unwilling Russian nation into the fold of Europe and into the mainstream of history. Built on more than a hundred islands in the NEA Delta linked by canals and arched bridges, it is often called the “northern Venice,” and its elegant embankments are reminiscent of those of Paris. The city’s focal point is the Admiralty; its most-visited attraction, a stone’s throw away, the Winter Palace. Three major avenues radiate outward from the Admiralty: Nevsky Prospect (St. Petersburg’s main shopping street), Gorokhovaya Ulitsa, and Voznesensky Prospect.However there is much more to the city than this. It features a huge variety of cultural and non-cultural entertainment.
The St. Petersburg training center is located in the heart of the city, near the Winter Palace, Palace Square, and the Hermitage. A great variety of cultural, shopping, and entertainment facilities are nearby.
Winters can be cold and the summers hot, but St. Petersburg’s climate is mild compared to that of the more inland areas of Russia. The city is on the Baltic Sea, which makes the seasons milder than elsewhere in Russia. It tends to be somewhat humid all year round. Whatever the season, it is wise to bring your umbrella and a windproof raincoat or jacket. You should also think carefully about footwear. Depending on the time of year, you will need warm boots with a non-slip sole, waterproof boots or shoes, or comfortable sandals. In winter it can get very cold outside, but hotels and homes are reasonably well heated. Still, it’s a good idea to dress in layers. In spring it might be chilly at times, but in mid-May it gets warmer. You can wear shorts in summer, although not when you are teaching. Bring a sweater or light jacket for those chilly evenings. You are most likely to use your umbrella in autumn, though a Russian version of an Indian Summer (around mid-September) can be mild and fairly dry.
Russian culture is known for its architecture, ballet, classical music, literature, vodka, and last but not least, politics. Most Russians consider themselves Orthodox Christians, although not everybody visits church on a regular basis. Funny fact about couples is that the wife is usually quite a bit younger than the husband, the other way around is considered to be weird. The grandmother, the babushka, is considered to be the wise woman who carries memories and traditions. Of course, she is also the best cook of the family!
There is a great variety of places to eat in St. Petersburg and a wide range of prices. You can find wonderful authentic Georgian or Ukranian Russian restaurants serving the most delicious, authentic food at a reasonable price, trendy cafes, and budget fast-food places. A specialty of St. Petersburg is blini – traditional tasty pancakes usually served with a filling (home-made jam, cottage cheese, mushrooms or caviar). You can also try shashlyk (Russian kebabs made with meat and vegetables), Pelmeni (pastry dumplings filled typically with meatballs), and Borshch (beet soup), which is one of the most famous traditional Russian foods. There are also good Indian, Italian, Asian, and African cuisine restaurants. Usually, a meal in a good restaurant costs about $15-$20 per person, but it is also very easy to find more economical places, where one can eat for $5-$10. Many restaurants are open 24 hours.
For those looking for nightlife, there is a wide and excellent selection of great clubs. The city hosts clubs of all genres: rock, pop, jazz, hip hop, R & B, and a lot more.
When teaching, be sure to adhere to the local working culture and basic ideas of professionalism. Business Casual is a safe bet.
The first stop for a first time visitor is Palace Square. The Square is bounded by the incredible Winter Palace, the stunning General Staff Building, and the incomparable Admiralty with the Alexander Column standing proudly in the center. The sheer vastness of the square and the beauty of the buildings is breath-taking. The Winter Palace was the residence of Russian emperors, and the exquisite green and white baroque building really has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The Hermitage Museum owns the largest museum collection in the world, which is located in 6 buildings, one of which is the Winter Palace.
The imposing St. Isaac’s Cathedral, standing not far from the shore of the Neva River, is one of the world’s largest churches. Architect, Auguste de Montferrand,’s vision took 40 years to complete with construction lasting from 1818-1858. Like most things in St. Petersburg, the cathedral is named in honor of Peter the Great; his birthday was on St. Isaac of Dalmatia’s feast day. Whether viewed from the traffic-choked Isaac’s Square side or from across the beautifully-tended gardens that lead from the cathedral to the Neva, St. Isaac’s is a striking sight.
For a trip outside of town head to Peterhof Palace. Not too far from the center, a visit here will allow you to experience what Imperial Russia was like. A truly exquisite estate with gorgeous gardens, fantastic fountains and picturesque palaces, Peterhof matches any in Europe and has been called “The Russian Versailles.” The estate consists of the Upper Gardens and the Lower Gardens which are separated by a natural 16 meter high bluff. On this bluff is the focal point of Peterhof-the Grand Palace and the Grand Cascade.