Ever dreamt of sipping coffee (or vodka) while overlooking Saint Basil’s Cathedral? This is just one of the many stops you could make while spending time teaching abroad in Moscow. Teaching in Moscow is very rewarding, with the opportunity to bridge culture gaps and paint your own culture in a positive light by making a lasting impression on the people you meet. So pack some rulers, apples, and fur hats, and make the leap of faith to one of the world’s most surprisingly-colorful cities. Nostrovia!
Popular Ways to Teach Abroad in Moscow
Teaching jobs in Moscow differ greatly in subject, type of institution, and grade level. Finding the job that best fits your abilities helps ensure that you have the best time possible teaching meaningfully and spending your free time strolling through the Red Square or relaxing at a Russian sauna.
Public schools vs. universities vs. tutoring centers. Opportunities in Moscow for teachers include different subjects, the most common of which is arguable English. Teachers who have experience in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) have little trouble finding jobs in Moscow, with opportunities available in public and private schools. Private tutoring is also a choice for those willing to live with a Russian family and get the most out of their experience.
The Russian school system. The school year in Russia starts in September and ends the last week of May. There are four terms, with a one-week break between them and a three-month break for summer. Daily routines as a teacher differ, depending on which type of school you work for. Public schools have traditional hours, while some primary schools are only open four days a week. Secondary school are open for five days. Language training schools usually have later hours, allowing students to come in after school or work.
Teaching English vs. teaching other subjects. Other subjects are open to teachers with or without the ability to speak Russian; teachers who speak Russian find more options in public schools, where Russian is the instructional language. Immersion schools in Russia teach subjects in English and don’t require any prior experience in Russian. Opportunities to teach in universities also exist for those with enough credentials.
Life in Moscow for ESL Teachers
Moscow is one of those social hubs with enough museums for everyday of the year. Between art, history, culture, and technology, the Russian desire to impress certainly extends into daily life and entertainment options.
Daily life is Moscow tends to be fast-paced. This sprawling city is home to an amazing metro system that is worth visiting on its own, which can take you from one side of the city to the other in less than an hour. Some not-to-be-missed places that anyone should visit while teaching there include the Red Square, Bolshoi Theater, and an amazing flea-market called Izmailovsky Market, where you can get all types of cool stuff from the Soviet era.
Working in Moscow for most people means a commute to work using the metro or bus system. Teachers, students, businessmen and politicians all frequent Moscow for various reasons. Being an international teacher in Moscow is very common for people to see. That doesn’t mean that you won’t stick out, Russian fashion trends usually can identify you as a foreigner. Teachers in Russia are traditional in their appearance and their approach to teaching.
Teaching salaries differ depending on your previous experience, personality, and type of school teaching. Some schools in Moscow pay per hour (average of 800 rubles), while others offer a flat rate per month. When choosing a school to work for, be sure to negotiate for the best pay. There are also some perks when working with select schools, such as free Russian language classes, housing assistance, health insurance, and flight reimbursement.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
While teaching abroad in Moscow, getting to know the local customs and people plugs into the local academic network. This gives you a heads up on future job opportunities and a foot in the door because you’ve spent time meeting other teachers, both local and foreign. The global experience you gain when teaching in Moscow gives you a greater sense of how we are all connected. Teaching in Moscow shows you another lens to look through when viewing world events from the perspective of someone who has walked down those streets and sampled the local customs.
While living in Moscow, the language barrier can be a difficult hurdle to jump over, but many programs help with free language classes and learning is part of the fun. Another cultural difference that can be seen in day-to-day life is the misleading demeanor of Russians. Possibly because of the climate, Russians in general are considered to be cold themselves, but if you sit down to have nice hot cup of tea with them, they will warm right up to you.
Teaching in Moscow is a chance for a teacher at any point in their career to expand their knowledge and appreciation for a culture that is as vast as its borders. For those willing to take the long leap to Moscow, the time spent there changes you in a way that only a cup of black tea and a Chekov novel can.
Read more about teaching abroad in Russia here.