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Tutor English To A Family In Russia

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

Meanwhile in Russia....

My experience in tutoring for a host family in Vologda, Russia was a positive one. It helps to bring an open mind, tolerant, simple and don't expect any high expectations. My host family treated me like a member of their family. I didn't feel like an inferior to them. They were funny and hospitable. My student was very curious about my life and culture so I felt happy. My social life was mediocre because I was surrounded by Russian speakers and only a few knew English. Many were shy to speak to me although they did want to improve their English skill. I already knew enough Russian to get ahead so I didn't have problems to get around. The administrator of GeoVisions worked and helped me step by step. She was responsive in her e-mails and fun to work with. She made sure I'm okay when I was abroad. I thanked her greatly that she assigned me to this family. After the program ended, I continue to stay in touch with my host family and friends that I made there. When it comes to flexible scheduling and when you want to go and how long you want to stay is really up to you and the host family. I wouldn't mind doing this again.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Teaching English In Real Russia

My experience with this program was great! My program coordinator, Jodi, was with me throughout the paper process. No problems at all! :) I don't regret GeoVisions!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Teaching Conversation English In Russia

I honestly think this was a decent program to go abroad to teach conversation English as a private tutor. This is a volunteer program but you get free housing and food (provided by the host family), so it evens out. My host family is in Vologda, Russia (experiencing REAL Russia, not Moscow or St. Petersburg) and they treated me like I'm part of their family. I get to eat, cook and play sports with them. The program coordinator will work with you side by side, hold your hand throughout the process. Communication through e-mail is prompt. It took me almost two months to get a host family, so you need to have a lot of time and patience. I was a private tutor over the summer in Russia and the only problem I have was fighting off mosquitoes and saying good-bye when leaving. I'm lucky to have a great russian host family and I'm planning to visit them again! YOU ROCK JODI!! THANKS!! :)

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

No Matter Where You're From Good People Are Good People

Yulia and Lyosha were the best possible hosts I could have asked for. They wrote me a letter at the end saying they learned that no matter what part of the world you are from, good people are good people. Despite any of our differing beliefs, we found common ground and really cared about each other. I think about them all the time and really, really miss them. They also sent me a care package about a month after I returned full of Russian candy and movies. I am in the process of buying some Vermont goodies and mailing it to them!

We visited St. Petersburg which was stunning. They took me to the Hermitage and many other sites. We also foraged for mushrooms in the forest which was such a great experience.

We had a fun time seeing the sites in Moscow too. Red Square was, and will always be, my favorite! One of my favorite memories will be the first time I saw St. Basil's cathedral.

I thought the application process was fine. The only time I was confused was when it came to the invitation letter. I didn't realize the overseas Russian center would be sending it so I was about to purchase a random one online. I think a lot of that confusion was on my end and everything else went very smoothly.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity Ro Experience Another Culture And Live In Another Country

My two months in Russia was an incredible experience. Geovisions Conversation Corps program allowed me to stay in the country and experience the Russian culture. My two months in Moscow brought a whole new chapter in my life. I got to see some of the most incredible sights in the world, meet some of the most interesting people I've ever known, and live in a culture that for the longest time was isolated from the rest of the world. For those with the passion to travel and live in a culture that is very unique, you cannot go wrong with Russia. It is not a trip that should be taken lightly though, Russia is not the most friendly to foreigners in terms of people who speak English and getting around, knowing some basic Russian, especially the alphabet, will prove invaluable during the trip. Another thing to note is during the summer there are very few numbers of families willing to host a student, most Russians in Moscow and St. Petersburg are at their summer-homes and so there may be a shortage of host families during this time. When difficulties arose in my program, my adviser at Geovisions was incredibly helpful and determined to get my program running. If you have the chance to partake in a Conversation Program, you most definitely should, no matter the country you will have a unique experience and a adventure you will never forget.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

Independently-driven, Volunteer Experience Abroad!

Conversation Corps is a program for the independent traveller who doesn’t like to be bound by too many rules, yet still likes the structure and security of having a comfortable lifestyle with a family, home, and regular meal source.

Geovisions is only responsible for two things here: providing you with a host family and making sure your traveler’s insurance is valid.

You are responsible for everything else: building a strong relationship with your host family, connecting with your local community, travelling around the country (although if you’re lucky, like I was, your host family will be adventurous and travel with you), and immersing yourself in the culture for a truly authentic experience.

The goal in this program is to teach your host family (with me it was just for my host-siblings, not the whole family) English by simply having conversations. The concept is simple, but casual, social encounters are the best way to learn a new language. That’s the intrigue here for the host - when else will they go grocery shopping, get too drunk, cook, or play video games with a native English speaker? Never.

This is a fairly short-term program and I wanted to get the most bang for my buck, so I stayed for the maximum amount of time: 3 months. I was paired with 2 host families, 6 weeks each, and both were great matches. To significantly improve your experience, be honest in your applications. Express your true self. And be ready to wait it out once your application is submitted. The key here is compatibility - if I didn't get paired with the right families, my time would have been dull. Since Geovisions paired me just right, I had a great time with the many new friends I made, even when there was little to do (the town I lived in wasn't too lively).

The staff are always a short e-mail away, and will always assist you the best that they can - checking on you from time to time, always answering questions and providing necessary documents. They do their job well.

I withheld giving this program a higher score for a few reasons:

1) While the experience is outstanding, so is the price. I paid $1200 before even buying my Visa or plane ticket. And as a volunteer, that didn't seem right.

2) The gap between submitting my application and being paired was 6 months, and I was only told a few weeks in advance of the start date.

3) It was my first travel abroad experience, and for the price, I would have appreciated more guidance from the staff. They were very helpful, but expected me to do outside research and know about the Visa application process. There was no assistance or connection with the Russian embassies (and Russian embassies are notoriously painful to work with). I ended up having to hire a travel agency to assist me with my Visa, and getting it last minute (after my plane ticket was already bought) and it was incredibly stress inducing and pricey.

Over all, the good most definitely outweighed the bad - my experience, and everything I had to go through to get there, was so amazingly worth it!