I realize that there are many people out there who may be considering coming to Russia to teach English. I remember when I first made that decision for myself; I was suddenly faced with the daunting task of selecting the most suitable teaching opportunity available from among a long list of schools and programs. In the end, I decided that Language Link- Russia was the best choice for me. While I can’t tell you what the best choice is for you, I hope that I can at least offer some of my own experiences and perceptions as a Language Link employee to aide you in making your own decision. Let me offer a few examples of why I think you should consider Language Link- Russia:
1) Visa and registration support- Russia is notorious for having a complicated and often inconvenient system of various rules and regulations which affect foreigners living and working in Russia. Many schools in Russia will take shortcuts and use whatever loopholes they can find in the system to support their foreign staff. This often results in English teachers having to make a number of costly and ill-timed trips across the Russian border to renew necessary documents. I have been very impressed by the efficiency and competence of Language Link’s staff responsible for these necessary documents. LL supplies its teachers with multi-entry visas valid for one year. This is done officially through legal channels. The result? You, the teacher, possess the best documents available, allowing you to live and work without worry or bureaucratic hassle. Furthermore, these documents allow you to travel freely, should you catch the tourist-bug while you are in Russia.
2) Housing- Language Link provides its teachers with superior housing. Firstly, the housing comes at no cost to you, the teacher. Secondly, LL does not only find “adequate” housing. LL works hard to ensure that your housing is comfortable and convenient for you. While employed in St. Petersburg, I lived in a 4-room flat in the very center of St. Petersburg, a five minute walk from the famous Nevskii Prospekt. My flat was very modern in design and furnishings. I have lived in several Russian flats over a number of years. Never have I had a flat as nice as the one provided by Language Link. Again, this flat comes at NO cost to you, the teacher. While it would be much cheaper for the company to provide flats outside of the city center and far away from the school, LL is willing to pay the extra expense for your comfort and convenience. No other school that I know of provides comparable accommodations for its teaching staff.
3) Academic Support- Language Link maintains an extensive library of teaching resources for the use of its teachers. Furthermore, LL selects administrators that are competent and successful teachers to assist you in your work. Language Link provides the books and materials that you will need for work in the classroom. LL also works hard to offer its teaching staff additional training and instruction. I always felt that I had all necessary resources for teaching, as well as sources for additional answers, insight, and instruction when desired.
4) Internship Opportunities- I came to Language Link- Russia as a participant in its Teacher-Internship program. Having previous experience, but no formal teaching certificate, I was afforded the opportunity to take part in several stages of formal training by Language Link instructors, including two weeks of in-class instruction and on-the-job training in Language Link’s central school in Moscow, Russia. Additional training continues during the 6 month tenure of LL’s intern program while the teacher-intern is able to teach full time and employ the skills being learned and developed. This intern program comes at NO expense to the intern. In fact, the teacher receives an intern salary while engaged in the program. I was paid to study and to teach, and I received a formal TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate upon the successful completion of my internship program. Did I mention that a pay-raise also comes with the certificate? For me, the LL Internship made my goal of teaching English in Russia a very accessible reality. Why pay for an expensive teaching certificate program before you come to Russia? Language Link will train you and foot the bill!
5) Personality- Teaching is difficult work, done in Russia or anywhere else in the world! I value the time I spent with colleagues and coworkers. Language Link receives many applications each year and works hard to find “the right person” for the job. LL isn’t interested in hiring robots that will eat, drink, breathe, and sleep grammar every day. It DOES want people, people that have interesting and unique personalities, people that will make learning English fun and exciting, and people that know how to have fun and enjoy life themselves! I made many close friends working at Language Link and will stay in touch with many of my co-workers long after my teaching contract is completed. I’m glad that I worked at a school that valued me as more than just a teaching asset, but as a human being and as an individual as well. Teaching English in Russia isn’t meant to only be a job… it’s meant to be an adventure! I can honestly say that I had more than my fair share of memorable adventures working for Language Link- Russia.
As I said before, it’s important that you find the best teaching opportunity for you. As for me, Language Link offered me opportunities that probably never would have otherwise been possible for me. And Language Link supported me every step of the way. I’m familiar with other schools and with teachers employed at other schools. I am confident in saying that Language Link surpasses the typical standard in many areas! Above, I have listed those areas that I feel are most important to living and working in Russia. I hope that you will consider those factors in selecting your own teaching opportunity, and I hope that you will give Language Link serious consideration as being the best opportunity out there. I believe it is.
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