By: Sam Lovell (Travel writer/adventurer) @sam_anyroad
Covering over 17,000,000 km2, Russia is by far the largest country on Earth. The Western perception may still render memories of past dictators and an iron clad socialist sytem, but oh, how things have changed. Russia now presents itself as a modern, friendly country still overflowing with tradition and culture. So if you’re keen on a TEFL experience abroad and Russia hasn’t already been ticked off on your list of places to visit, teaching English in Russia could be a great way to get a taste of more than just caviar and blinis; but do treat your palate 😉 too!
Stretching across 7 time zones, one could question just where to TEFL in Russia? In reality, the best (and most well paid) cities to teach in are the big two: Moscow and St. Petersburg. There are however, several small towns with a plethora of teaching opportunities, all within an hour or so of the capital (teaching English in Russia need not be a city job). Perfect if you’re looking for a more peaceful, homelike experience. Feeling really adventurous and in need of an escape from ‘city living’? Then why not look at teaching in a more remote destination such as Novosibirsk?
The demand for TEFL qualified English teachers in Russia is now higher than ever. You’ll be placing yourself in a country where the thirst for speaking English is exploding. So for those who envision teaching English in Russia, the picture is far from bleak. There are a plenty of schools looking to hire native speakers. Add to this your students, who will no doubt be enthusiastic and eager to gain as much knowledge as possible; motivation enough for a Russia bound TEFL teacher.
One may think that Russia is a destination for experienced teachers only. Fortunately, this is not the case. More often than not, a bachelor’s degree or TEFL course is sufficient. With regard to pay, depending on experience you can expect it to vary but rest assured you will always be paid a decent wage, with accommodation usually included and an end of contract bonus too!
Teaching in the harsh winter can be challenging but provides a real insight into Russia at it’s finest, warts and all. So dive in and choose Russia as your next TEFL destination! ‘Na Zdarovye’ (as they say in Russian, when raising a toast – which will most often be vodka of the finest kind) to that.
There is extensive and in depth information available online, relating to any questions you might have about moving to Russia: a useful place to look is Way to Russia ; a blog put together by a TEFL teacher with considerable experience teaching and living in Russia – Inspiring stuff!
Destination Russia could well be TEFL’s best keep secret. So don’t be shy, do as the Russians would do, jump in and enjoy!
Have you had experience teaching English in Russia and have tips to share with other aspiring teachers?
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