Russia has always been veiled in mystery when it was a part of the Soviet Union. But after the Iron Curtain fell, people have started to see the beauty of this transcontinental country located in Northern Asia and Eastern Europe. Keep on reading to find out all the details you need to know about teaching English in Russia, including salary, jobs, requirements and more.
Home to numerous museums, Russia has a rich cultural heritage and has 23 UNESCO Heritage Sites, including Lake Baikal, the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments, the Red Square, and the Kremlin.
The country also has numerous museums, including the Hermitage Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the State Historical Museum. The Matryoshka doll is probably one of the most famous souvenirs you can bring home from Russia.
While Russia has made it to the list of top tourist destinations in the world, it is also a good place for English teachers to practice their profession.
If you’re interested in knowing more about teaching English in Russia, continue reading and find out. We’ll give you the rundown on teaching jobs in Russia to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.
Lucy Talks Teaching ESL in Russia on the Let’s Talk TEFL Podcast
Check out episode 5 of the Let’s Talk TEFL podcast where Jackie talks with Lucy about teaching English in this beautiful country. You can download this teaching English Russia episode wherever you like to listen to podcasts or have a listen right here:
Teaching English in Russia
Ever since they came out of the Iron Curtain, the demand for English teachers has gradually grown. This demand continues to grow with the increasing dependence of the Russian economy on global commerce.
In this situation, English teachers can look forward to working anytime in Russia. So, if you’re coming off a contract in an ESL school, you can consider going there and looking for a job.
What’s more, the requirements are not as stringent as other countries. A college degree isn’t required since all you need is a TEFL certification if you’re a native English speaker. But some schools don’t even ask for a TEFL certificate if you’re a native English speaker.
And if you’re working in a private language school, the company will normally sponsor your work visa. Some even provide free airfare and housing for their teachers. This makes Russia a good option if you’re looking for an English teaching job abroad.
Requirements to Teach English in Russia
As indicated above, the requirements to teach English in Russia aren’t as strict as in other countries. The following are some of the requirements you need to teach in Russia:
- Be a native English speaker
- Some schools or companies require a 120-hour TEFL course certificate
- A Bachelor’s degree isn’t required but may help you find a higher paying job
Even though the requirements are not strict, it may be advantageous for you to have a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate to get a higher salary.
No Degree Required for Teaching in Russia
Russia is one of the few countries in the world where you can teach English without a degree. However, you’ll find that having one opens up the door to better job opportunities and it will certainly help you find a job.
Teaching ESL in Russia Salary and Benefits
The demand for English teachers may be high in Russia, but the salary is smaller compared to what you’ll receive in Asian countries. But there’s one exception to this. Continue reading to find out.
- Private Schools and Language Institutes – $1,000 USD to $1,200 USD per month
- Corporate Tutor – $1,000 USD to $2,600 USD per month
- Private Tutor – Up to $70 USD per hour
- International Schools – $1,500 USD to $2,000 USD per month
- Governor/Governess – up to $6,500 USD per month
The following are some of the benefits you can expect when you teach English in Russia.
- Airfare reimbursement
- Free accommodations and meals for governors/governesses
If you’re looking for some better-paying jobs, consider one of these countries: high-paying ESL teaching jobs.
English Jobs in Russia
Working in Russia offers several opportunities for English teachers. The following are the options you can consider when working as an English teacher in Russia.
Private Schools or Language Institutes
Private Schools or Language Institutes will be your first option when teaching English in Russia. These are great options for beginners who are still starting an English teaching career in Russia. The students range from young children to adults.
The schedule is fixed and the contract will range from nine to twelve months at a time. Many of these schools require a TEFL certificate from a well-known international institution. Some schools and institutes work on the visa and provide shared accommodations for their teachers.
Another option is to teach English to corporate clients. Teaching corporate clients require you to travel from one office to another. Your teaching schedule will revolve around the working schedule of your clients.
Similar to private schools and language institutes, you will also be required to provide a TEFL certificate. Some even require the teachers to have a university degree.
Working as a private tutor allows you to earn additional income while in Russia. You can look forward to students who are already eager to learn the language. This makes your work to motivate the student easier.
But you need to check with the school or company you’re working for if this is allowed in your contract. There are some schools and companies that don’t allow their teachers to take private tutoring classes.
The requirements of International schools are more stringent compared to the other teaching options in Russia. Aside from being a native English speaker and a TEFL certificate, you must specialize in the subject you’re teaching. In this case, you should have a degree related to English teaching.
Having a master’s degree in your specialization will give you a bigger chance of landing a job in an international school.
A governor or governess is essentially a babysitter for mega-rich Russian families. You’re asked to babysit or teach the children while communicating with them in English. This is a full-time job, but you only interact with the children after school.
Aside from a high salary, you’ll also get free accommodations and meals. If you don’t live with the family, you’ll also get a driver and car to bring you from your flat to the home of your employers and vice versa. You also get to join the family when they go on vacation.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Russia
Before you pack your bags and take the next flight to Russia, it’s best for you to go through the following things to consider when teaching in Russia
- Private schools and language institutes normally have a casual atmosphere so you won’t be asked to wear business attire.
- You should expect a lively discussion in a private school since Russian students are normally active and engaged.
- For corporate clients, it’s best for you to wear suitable business attire, especially if you’re teaching in the office of your students
- If your working as a governor or governess, make sure to ask about the family you’ll be working for before signing the contract. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with children who are difficult to deal with due to their behavior.
- While learning Russian isn’t required to teach English in Russia, you may want to learn some phrases you can use when you’re buying something in the supermarket or want to get directions from a local.
Teaching English in Russia is gradually becoming popular in the industry. The salary may not be the highest, but you’ll get the opportunity to explore a country with a rich cultural and historical heritage.
Also, consider the weather. It can certainly get very cold in winter. If you’re looking for somewhere slightly more tropical, then consider teaching in Puerto Rico or Okinawa. Or, perhaps you want to teach in Europe but are looking for a more temperature climate? You might want to consider teaching English in the Czech Republic.
English Teaching in Russia FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching ESL in Russia. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
Does Russia need English teachers?
Yes, Russia needs English teachers. Most jobs start in September or January. However, you can find jobs on an ongoing basis at private language schools.
Do I need to speak Russian to teach English in Russia?
You don’t need to speak Russian to teach English in Russia. Classes will be conducted entirely in English, or with the assistance of a Russian teacher.
Is it safe to teach English in Russia?
Check with your country for their official recommendation on whether or not it’s safe to travel or teach in Russia. Apart from that, Russia is generally considered to be a safe place for teachers and tourists, as long as you aren’t gay.
Can you teach English in Russia without a Degree?
Russia is one of the few countries in the world where you can teach English without a degree. However, having at least a BA or a TEFL certificate will help you command a better salary and attain better jobs.
Xan I expect a competitive salary as an ESL teacher in Russia?
ESL teacher salaries in Russia can vary based on qualifications, experience, location, and the type of institution. While salaries may not be as high as in some Western countries, they are usually sufficient to cover living expenses.
What is the cultural experience like for ESL teachers in Russia?
Teaching ESL in Russia offers a rich cultural experience. You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Russian traditions, try local cuisine, explore historical landmarks, and interact with friendly locals.
Are there specific challenges to teaching ESL in Russia?
Some challenges in teaching ESL in Russia can include adapting to the local educational system, cultural differences, and the Cyrillic alphabet for beginners. However, these challenges can also be rewarding as they offer unique learning experiences.
Should I Teach English in Russia?
Deciding whether to teach English in Russia is a personal decision that depends on various factors. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed choice:
Demand for English teachers
Russia has a high demand for English teachers, especially in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. English is considered an important language for business, tourism, and international communication. There are opportunities to teach in language schools, universities, private tutoring, or corporate settings.
Qualifications and requirements
Many employers in Russia prefer English teachers with a bachelor’s degree and a recognized English teaching certification like TEFL or TESOL. Having relevant teaching experience or a background in education can also be advantageous.
Teaching English in Russia provides a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to immerse yourself in Russian culture. You can explore historic sites, taste traditional cuisine, and engage with local customs and traditions.
While English proficiency is growing in Russia, particularly among younger generations and in major cities, there may still be a language barrier outside of English language classrooms. Learning some Russian phrases can help with daily life and building connections within the community.
Lifestyle and living conditions
Russia offers diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cities. However, it’s important to consider factors such as the cost of living, weather conditions (with cold winters in many regions), and adapting to a different cultural and social environment.
Russian educational institutions may have different teaching methods and expectations compared to your home country. It’s important to research and understand the local teaching culture, administrative procedures, and work conditions before making a decision.
Professional development opportunities
Teaching in Russia can provide opportunities for professional growth and development. Engaging with local teaching communities, attending conferences or workshops, and networking with other educators can enhance your teaching skills and broaden your perspectives.
Safety and security
While this country is generally safe for foreigners, it’s important to stay informed about the current political and social situations. Researching the specific region or city you plan to teach in can help you assess safety and security concerns.
Have your Say about Teaching English in Russia
What are your thoughts about teaching in this country? Is it a good option, or are there other countries you’re considering like Hong Kong, Sweden, or Finland? Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Also, be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other English teachers, like yourself find more information about teaching in Russia.