Internships Abroad in Eastern Europe & Russia

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A Guide to Internships in Eastern Europe & Russia

A veritable hotbed of scientific, medical, architectural, and linguistic advancements, Eastern Europe and Russia is an exciting region to learn valuable workplace skills through an internship placement, while soaking up the region’s history. Though many still think of Eastern Europe and Russia as gritty and struggling after the fall of the Soviet Union, the truth is much of the region is thriving today. It’s home to hidden jewels, such as impeccably preserved cathedrals, lush seaside environments, and delicious food. Landing an internship in Eastern Europe or Russia will be a life-changing experience, demonstrating your passion for travel and zest for educational enrichment.


This culturally and socially diverse area is made up of some 20 various countries, all with internships that allow candidates to learn about their field of study and the history of an enchanting group of people with shared cultural ancestry and languages. There are several schools of thought on how to divide Europe into Western and Eastern Europe, most popularly including countries belonging to the former Soviet Union; despite these disputes, countries including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, and several others have long-been accepted as Eastern European countries.

As the birthplace of scientific inventions that allowed humankind to be launched into space, periodic elements to be organized and classified, and information technology that powers the modern world, Russia is a fascinating country. Moscow, Russia’s capital, offers possibility in the fields of business, law, and politics. St. Petersburg, the second largest city, has internship opportunities in the arts, music, and theater. Anyway you have it, Russia is a wonderful, though culturally shocking at times, place to intern abroad.

Interning in Poland can be enticing. Poland boasts a cultural and ethnic heredity of national pride, exquisite food, and the reputation for standing strong through national strife and war. Many Americans can trace some portion of their genealogy to Poland, a country made up of huge national parks, nearly 10,000 bodies of water, and a bustling business community.

Internship Placements

If you’ve decided to intern abroad in Eastern Europe and Russia, then you’re in luck: you can find internships in nearly any one of these countries in a variety of subjects and job fields. Many students are drawn to work with the countless museums and history-preserving organizations throughout Eastern Europe, safeguarding fine arts, artifacts of war and strife, and even important inventions. Museums, such as the Jewish Museum in Poland, often hire interns to act as tour guides or conversation facilitators. 

If Slavic or Balto-Slavic languages are your interest, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, along with most every other Eastern European country, look for interns with various ranges of linguistic knowledge and experience to aid in translation. If you don’t know a foreign language but are fluent in English, internship opportunities to teach local youth English are always available. 

As with anywhere in the world, internships in Eastern Europe’s larger cities are available in the fields of business, law, and even politics. Learning how businesses and governments work halfway around the world, in a region where many smaller countries are still rebounding from Cold War Era politics, is certain to be fascinating learning experience. For those looking to study international relations, foreign consulate provide internships in Eastern Europe and Russia which allow interns to learn the ways of communication between countries and how international agreements come to pass.

Being a historically rich place in terms of science and engineering, internships in Russia and its Eastern European neighbors offer young engineers the perfect chance to practice their trade. Aerospace engineers can intern at one of the many companies in Eastern Europe involved in space exploration, while civil engineers and architects can revel in the classical architecture, some dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

Salary & Costs

Most internships in Eastern Europe and Russia require tight visa and governmental regulations, making it difficult to pay wages to interns. However, interns can sometimes be offered housing or food costs to be paid for by the company they intern with. International internships are invaluable for gaining first-hand experience in the field of your choice, experiencing a different culture and language, and making lasting connections, but if making money is your main goal then working as an intern abroad in any country may not be for you.

Fortunately, when compared to Western Europe, Eastern European prices are substantially lower, when it comes to rent and food costs especially. This, of course, depends on the country you choose to live and intern abroad in. Larger cities, such as Moscow, have higher costs of living, especially in rent costs, however, in a larger city public transportation can save you money getting to and from work and other destinations. interning abroad in a country such as Ukraine or Romania, some of what are considered the poorer countries of Eastern Europe, will be cheaper, but you may sacrifice time or money due to longer transportation periods.

Accommodation & Visas

Similar to studying abroad, those who intern abroad in Russia and Eastern Europe could be set up with a host family for accommodation. Staying with a host family has been shown to increase foreign language competency, expose interns to local foods, and create lasting connections; home stays are also the most affordable option for those interning abroad.

Another option for international interns in Eastern Europe and Russia is to find an apartment near to your placement locations, which affords more personal freedoms but can be a more pricey option. If your internship in Eastern Europe is contracted through a local university, be sure to ask them about housing arrangement possibilities. Often, universities can house interns in dorms or apartment living, which allows the freedom of apartment life at a subsidized cost.

Most countries in the European Union allow foreign travelers to complete internships on a tourist visa, for periods of 90 days or less. With careful planning, a summer internship abroad can easily be completed in less than 90 days, eliminating the need to seek out a more complicated visa. If, however, your internship in Eastern Europe or Russia lasts longer than three months, or your employer intends to compensate you for your internship work, a working visa may have to be obtained. This option requires employer sponsorship, so be sure to communicate with your future internship employer ahead of time.

Benefits & Challenges

For some, thoughts of Eastern Europe revolve around dark political pasts and days of famine; it is true that Eastern Europe doesn’t always have the best reputation. This is one of the biggest challenges you can expect to face if you choose to intern abroad in Russia or Poland, for example, as your own views of these countries may inhibit you from experiencing all these countries have to offer those interning abroad. 

When looking for internships abroad, Eastern Europe is often overlooked in favor of the more popular Western European options. If you’re looking to have a completely unique cultural experience, sample hearty cuisines, and meet people with distinct national pride and interesting life stories, Eastern European countries can guarantee just that.  

An internship abroad in Eastern Europe can show future employers your enthusiasm for international travel and communication, and in a world where global communication is more and more important for a company’s success, international internships can make a huge impact on your resume.

Learning your trade in a country where the language, business culture, and even the way of thinking is different, can teach you new ways to think about your field of interest and help you grow as a student and a future employee.

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Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Internships in Eastern Europe & Russia


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ELI-Experiential Learning International

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