The largest country in the world and a perennial global power, unfortunately not many people know more about Russia than they have learned through history or read in the news. Travelling to the country itself by enrolling in a TEFL course in Russia will be a great way to get a truer notion of everyday life in this storied, monolithic nation. In the process of becoming TEFL certified, you will also come to discover a land of tremendous diversity, beauty, and cultural depth.
Russia is the world’s largest country by a significant margin, spanning all the way from Europe in the west across the Asian continent to the Pacific Ocean in the east. There are roughly 150 million people living across this landscape, and several major cities stand out as popular choices where to enroll in a TEFL program in Russia.
The big two are Moscow and St. Petersburg. With roughly 16 million people living in the metropolitan area, Moscow is Russia’s capital and also one of the largest and most influential cities in the world. Meanwhile St. Petersburg, which was formerly seat to the Russian throne and is often stylized as the country’s most “European” city, is an equally popular a destination where to enroll in a TEFL program in Russia.
Other potential destinations where you can pursue a TEFL course in Russia include the smaller cities of Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, and Sochi. As a general rule of thumb, the further you travel into the country’s interior, the less commonly you will encounter English speakers. This can be an intimidating prospect, but as an international educator, it also presents an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the Russian culture and language!
Courses & Programs
Most TEFL programs in Russia are on par with international standards in the field, which require at least 120 hours of classroom time in order to become certified to teach English abroad. This generally corresponds to a one-month TEFL course in Russia, during which you will cover many different topics in the field ranging from the basics of grammar, reading, and writing, to more advanced strategies in teaching methods, classroom management, and student assessment.
Not all TEFL programs in Russia are the same; some will offer a bare-bones course structure, while others will provide you with additional perks such as first hand teaching experience in front of a classroom and lifelong job placement assistance after graduation. Once you obtain your TEFL certificate in Russia, you will have the opportunity either to stay in the country and find a teaching job there, or else seek out a placement in any other country across the world.
It is not required that you speak Russian in order to enroll in a TEFL program in Russia, or to teach English there afterward for that matter. However if you make a genuine effort to learn the local language, you will find that communication with your pupils becomes infinitely easier. It can’t hurt your social life outside of the classroom, either!
Costs & Affordability
TEFL programs in Russia range in affordability, though most often you can expect to pay in the realm of $1,500 to $2,000 in basic course fees. This tuition cost for an in-classroom TEFL training is pretty much standard around the world, but obviously different countries will range in affordability of other living costs. Russia as a whole is less expensive than most other industrialized nations, so it can be a good opportunity to save some money, depending on where in the country you choose to live.
Accommodation & Visas
During the duration of a one-month TEFL course in Russia, you will usually be given the options of living in a homestay or otherwise group living situation with fellow international educators. If you choose to stay on and teach English in the country after your TEFL program in Russia is complete, then many teachers will choose to move into their own apartments (typically with roommates at first to save money).
Russia’s visa policy will vary depending on factors such as your home nation and the duration of your intended stay, but most international educators should expect to obtain documentation upfront with the endorsement of their TEFL program in Russia. For more precise information about the country’s visa policy toward your home nation, check out our Russian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Behind the Curtain. The former Soviet Union existed behind a so-called “Iron Curtain,” which skewed any information to Westerners about what everyday life is actually like in Russia. It is an incredible country with a rich history and culture; come see for yourself.
Language Exchange. Enrolling in a TEFL program in Russia and then moving on to teach English in the country is an invaluable opportunity not only to develop your own English-teaching skills, but also to learn the Russian language while there.
Culture Abound. Though often categorized as a European country, Russia maintains a very distinct culture from the West, especially the further you move into its Central Asian and Eastern provinces. There is a huge internal diversity within the country, which merits as much exploration as possible during your stay!
Enrolling in a TEFL course in Russia is just the first step in what can turn into a grand global adventure teaching English around the world. Here you will come to discover an often misunderstood nation with an exceedingly complex and fascinating history and culture; not a bad place to begin!