The city was founded in 1749, when according to the Decree of the Empress Elisabeth a customs house was set up in the mouth of the Temernik River. Later the customs house was protected by a military fortress founded in 1761 and named after Saint Dmitriy Rostovskiy. The settlements that appeared around the fortress were called “Rostov-on-Don” for the first time on August 17, 1807, by the decree of the Emperor Alexander I.
Rostov-on-Don takes up an area of 354 square kilometers and has a population of more than 1.058 million people. The city is situated 1226 kilometers to the south-west from Moscow, at the junction of important transportation routes, which give the city access to three seas – the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea – and immediate contact with all the countries of the European part of the CIS, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. An international airport with a capacity of 4.5 billion passenger/kilometers operates in the city.
Rostov-on-Don is the political, economic and cultural center of the south of Russia, with considerable industrial, banking, trade and scientific potential.
The volumes of industrial production – counting only large and medium-sized enterprises – constitutes about 31 billion rubles a year (about 1,210 million dollars); the growth rates of production output at the industrial enterprises in the city are stable. Almost 50% of the total trade turnover in the region occurs in Rostov.
Large enterprises – such as OJSC “Rostselmash”, OJSC “Rostvertol”, OJSC “Baltika-Don”, “Donskoy Tabak” and “Yug Rusi” – are part of the city’s image.
It is worth mentioning that the products of OJSC “Rostselmash” cover about 60% of the Russian market; the products of “Donskoy Tabak” 12%; and the products of OJSC “Baltika-Don”, 96% of the regional market. OJSC “Rostvertol” is the only enterprise in the Russian Federation to produce helicopters for different purposes. “Yug Rusi” is well-known as the largest producer and exporter of the wonderful Don sunflower oil.
Large industrial companies have shown significant interest in Rostov as the capital of the region’s business. These companies include such leaders in the world markets as Samsung, Canon, Panasonic, Philips, Bosh and Siemens.
The city is growing rapidly. Its boundaries are expanding. Over the period of 2002 to 2003 more than 800 thousand square meters of new housing was built in the city, and 420 buildings in the center of the city were reconstructed. The construction of comfortable private homes by individual constructors continues; more housing is being built by the enterprises of different forms of ownership. The volumes of the municipal housing construction increase continuously.
The investments in the construction in Rostov Region constitute about 7 billion rubles (about 275 million dollars) every year. The index of the newly built housing per capita is higher than the one in Moscow. By the pace of the newly built housing, Rostov occupies one of the leading positions in the Russian Federation.
The industrial potential of the city is constituted by the enterprises of machine building and metal industries (42%), food industry (32%), flour grinding (7%), light industry (6%), chemical industry (3%), construction materials industry (3%) and other branches. The financial sector of the economy includes 80 banks and their subsidiaries.
The reliability of Rostov-on-Don as a business partner can be proved by the fact that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has been giving out credits for the reconstruction of various facilities of municipal transportation and social services in the city. The project for Free Customs Zone “Southern Gates of Russia” is being implemented. The project is to consolidate the infrastructures of Rostov-on-Don and Rostov Region in order to broaden the export-import of the goods, capitals and services exchange going through the territory of Southern Russia.
Rostov-on-Don is a large scientific and educational center. There are more than 50 higher educational establishments, about 30 colleges and technical schools and 10 lyceums. In addition there are more than 10 secondary professional schools, 122 general secondary schools and 250 pre-school educational facilities in the city. Among the various cultural facilities are: the Don State Public Library (the largest library in the south of Russia, the zoo, the botanic gardens, music schools, the philharmonic society, theaters (two of which have the academic status) and four museums. There are 543 architectural monuments, 57 archeological sites and 18 objects of monumental art of federal importance in the city.
The market for tourist services in the city is demonstrating a tendency toward growth and increase in the number of organizations providing them. Every year Rostov is visited by more than two thousand people from 76 countries of the world. These include citizens of Great Britain, Germany, the USA, France, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and many other countries. The city of Rostov-on-Don is the cultural center of the south of Russia, with its four theaters (musical, drama, youth and puppet theaters), 220 cultural and arts facilities, many active creative unions and societies of national cultures. The city is decorated by 650 monuments of history, culture and monumental art.
At the end of the 1950s a beautiful mansion in Pushkinskaya Street began to house The Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts. The store-rooms of the museum are rich in the works of classical Russian painters, but lately more and more often the halls of the museum turn into creative workshops where the exhibitions of modern masters of fine arts of various creative trends are held.
The Rostov symphonic orchestra enjoys popularity in the city. The State Ensemble of Song and Dance of Don Cossack Awarded With the Friendship of Nations Order, working as a branch of the Philharmonic Society, has been bringing joy to the people for many years.
Rostov-on-Don is one of the largest jazz centers in the country, with its world-famous jazz school named after Kim Nazaretov.
There are 19 casinos and nightclubs operating in the town.
One of the 30 hotels in Rostov-on-Don is always ready to accommodate the guests of the city. The most prestigious hotels are “Rostov” and “Don Plaza”.
Climate in Rostov is defined by its geographical position in the south Russia and influence of nearest seas: the sea of Azov and the Black sea. Winter is warm, with short nip snaps under -20C. There is usually little snow but there often can be rime and strong glassy ice, when not only ground but also all trees and buildings are covered by coat of ice. Summer in Rostov is very hot and arid, often the temperature rises up +40C! Meteorological summer concurs with calendar, i.e. hot period lasts for nearly three months. Water in the Don and Taganrog gulf in this time warms up to +28-30C. Autumn is a nice time of year, after a rainy and windy September, a warm and windless weather settles; in the October known as “Indian summer” or “Golden autumn”, the daytime temperature rises close to +20C. Winter usually begins at the end of November.
Getting to Rostov-on-Don from Moscow is easy. The proximity of major highways, railroads and Moscow International airports makes for easy access to Rostov-on-Don by air, train or bus. It will take you about 90 minutes to get to Rostov by air, 18 hours by train and 15-17 hours by bus.
On arrival in Rostov-on-Don, you will be met by representatives of the school who will take you to your apartment. The following day you will be taken on an excursion around the city centre.
Teachers will be housed in a shared apartment with their own bedroom but shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Your hosts will pay for local telephone calls and electricity consumption up to 100 kW hours per month.
Prices for long-distance telephone calls vary. There are, however, ways of lowering the price of long-distance calls by using IP-telephony. At Language Link, there is a computer connected to the Internet which teachers will have access to for their personal use. All the key mobile providers are present in Rostov-on-Don: MTS, Beeline, Megaphone and Tele2. Charges cost from 1.5 cents to 3 cents per minute. The quality of the connection is high.
After arrival in Rostov-on-Don, teachers will be supplied with the school administrator’s mobile number which they can use for any questions that they may have. Other numbers which may, though hopefully not, prove useful are fire (01), police (02) and ambulance (03).
The electrical standard in Russia is 220 V/50 Hz and requires two-pin plugs. If you are bringing electronic equipment with you, it is advisable that you purchase any needed adapters prior to your arrival in Rostov-on-Don. The power supply is reliable and cases of power outages are very rare. The streets of Rostov-on-Don are generally well-lit.
Tap water in Rostov-on-Don is clean and complies with sanitary and health regulations. The majority of people drink tap water. For those who are particularly health conscious, filters as well as bottled drinking water are available. Should you desire, you can order water delivery to your apartment. The price for bottled water is $3 for 10 liters. Hot water is turned off once a year in May so as to drain and clean the pipes of the city’s central hot water heating system.
Washing machines are not provided in the teachers’ apartments. There are, however, self-service laundries or service laundries where your clothes can be washed.
The majority of public places are situated within walking distance. The transport infrastructure of the city is well-developed. Buses and mini-vans that travel round the city go every 3-5 minutes; the fare is 7-10 rubles. You can use a taxi that can be called from any phone to the place you need; the fare is different to different points in the city. The waiting period is 5-15 min.
There are many different types of cafes in Rostov-on-Don, each expressing its own individuality. There are cafes and restaurants with European, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Caucasian and even Mexican cuisine. Prices in Rostov-on-Don are more than affordable – a lunch for one person with beverages costs approximately 200 rubles ($8).
There are many different types of shops in Rostov-on-Don. There are large supermarkets in every micro-district, and you can always find a shop within walking distance where you can buy the necessities. There are several markets where fresh fruit and vegetables are sold and a meat market where you can choose fresh meat and poultry.
Shops selling clothes and footwear are numerous. There are also several large electronics and appliances stores.
A teacher’s appearance should reflect their role as a professional educator. That is how your students will perceive you. Though there is no strict dress code, it should be remembered that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Proper clothes will help you to make this very important first impression.
To feel comfortable in the Rostov-on-Don climate, you’ll need warm clothes and footwear, both of which you can buy in Russia at affordable prices. The school administrator will help you to choose quality and reasonably-priced clothes.
The level of healthcare in Rostov-on-Don is relatively high. There is a medical and research center, as well as private and state clinics. Drugstores can be found everywhere. If you need any special medication, it is better to bring it with you as it may prove difficult to find a pharmacy with the necessary license to sell your particular medication in Russia. Medical care will be provided to the teachers on the basis of a medical insurance policy. Dental and optical services are at the charge of the teacher, but they are much more affordable than in Europe or America.
An English language school is a necessary addition to both secondary and higher education institutions in Rostov.
The school is situated in the centre of the city on the corner of Pushkinskaya street and Universitetsky street in the student zone. There are buildings of the Rostov State University, the city public library, the Donskaya zonal library and some more major educational institutions nearby. All the necessary conditions for the teacher to work in comfortable surroundings have been created within the school: light, spacious classrooms; the necessary teaching equipment; a library and computers.
Living in Rostov offers teachers a number of wonderful opportunities for spending their leisure time. In Rostov-on-Don you can go out to cafes and clubs, eat in restaurants, go bowling or simply go for a stroll in one of the city parks. At weekend, you’ll be able to go to Starocherkassk and Novocherkassk (capitals of Don Cossacks), museum town Tanais, historical towns Azov, Taganrog, Cossack village Veshenskaya.
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