Russia — the world’s largest country by area that offers ancient-walled fortresses, plentiful skiing, and charming villages. You’ll quickly come to understand how this country produced legendary philosophers along the way. With a rapidly growing economy, you’re bound to find a program that will be a worthwhile experience as an intern abroad in Russia. Not to mention you’ll be entering a country that will surprise and puzzle Westerners with its autonomous culture and unique ways of life. So, if you dare, unlock Pandora’s box because there really is no escaping the mystery that is Russia.
Where to Intern Abroad in Russia
Nearly twice the size of the United States with various climates from subtropical to arctic temperatures makes this an interesting location for an internship. This land that covers more than one-eighth of Earth entails endless coastlines, epic mountains and volcanoes, meandering rivers, stretching plains, and more. Here are the best cities for interning in Russia.
Moscow. The capital and most-populous city that lies in western Russia is an economic, political, cultural, and scientific hub. The world-renowned architecture from the flame-shaped St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Seven Sisters, and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior are all awaiting your exploration. With nearly 100 parks in Moscow, you can mosey your way through plentiful trees and gardens to your heart’s delight. If you’re really looking to get cultured here, go see a ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre, step back in time at the State Historical Museum, and chat with locals over vodka.
St. Petersburg. This second-largest city in Russia lies on the the coast of the Baltic Sea in the northwestern area. Here you can cruise along its grid of canals, visit the Erarta Museum that showcases modern Russian art, and marvel at the Church of the Savior on Blood. Like Moscow, this city is rich with theatres, films, and museums that will keep you busy for several hours in your free time. Home to several companies and corporations, you’ll easily find an internship in the business field here.
Volgograd. While not as populated as its sister cities, you’ll find this industrial and administrative city in southwest Russia that’s famous for the Battle of Stalingrad in WWII. History buffs will admire the magnificent Motherland Calls sculpture and the Panorama Museum with its several artifacts. Many architectural sites will also please the eyes, such as the Kazan Cathedral and All Saints Church.
Popular Fields for Internships in Russia
For anyone desiring to intern abroad in Russia, you’ll find that many options are available, and you could focus on what you want to achieve that aligns with your interests. Here are the most popular types of internships for international students in Russia.
Business. With a plethora of international companies, you can easily find internships in accounting, marketing, and finance. You could gain many skills in your chosen field that will come in handy for down the road, and you could even earn college credit as well.
Hospitality. Russia attracts tourists from all over the world, so if you’re keen on customer service and managing people, then working in a hotel or inn might be a good fit for you. For those looking for adventures, consider looking into working a ski resort, too.
Social Work. If you’re looking to make a difference for the lives of Russian citizens, then humanitarian work might be up your alley. You’ll gain the opportunity to work with a community mentor and engage in education, community outreach, and empowering others. Along the way, you’ll advocate for social justice and human rights as well.
Costs of Interning in Russia
While some Russia internships offer a stipend or a base salary, you’ll find that many internships are unpaid. Your program fee will cover the cost of food, housing, and other transportation needs in most cases, however. Generally speaking, Russia is not an extremely expensive country; however, it is also not cheap. This excludes St. Petersburg and Moscow, which are some of the most expensive cities in the world. Fundraising and scholarships can help you cover some of the hefty expenses.
Accommodations in Russia
You may not be a czar living in a palace, but you can be rest assured that clean and cozy housing is available while you’re here. Programs usually arrange the accommodation, which could be shared housing in an apartment or in a homestay placement. Living in shared housing with other interns will provide you with opportunities to gain more international perspectives and make lifelong friends. If you’re in a homestay placement, you’ll be able to become fluent in Russian faster.
Depending on the length of your internship, if it’s unpaid or not, and your citizenship, the visa requirements will vary — you will need your passport at all times though. In most cases, you’ll need to apply for a tourist visa or work visa ahead of time before arriving in the country, and program coordinators can help you with the required documents and the process. To learn more about the requirements and for helpful information, visit GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Professional development. You’ll be learning the ropes in a country that is becoming a global supower. You’ll also be expanding your international network and learn more Russian, which is important in the global job market.
Cultural etiquette. While Russians aren’t known to smile to strangers on the street (legend says those that smiled came from crazy houses), once you break into conversation with them, you’ll find that they can be friendly and conversational.
Whether you’re taking a trans-Siberian adventure or trekking in the Altai, you’ll be dying to go back after you intern in Russia.