Language Link is an extraordinary opportunity for anybody who has a sense of adventure and an interest in new experiences. Moving to a different country with a difficult language, new culture and complicated visa laws can be very intimidating, but Language Link performed spectacularly in terms of making me feel comfortable and welcome from my very first contact with them through e-mail. Every promise they made has been fulfilled, from visa support to airport pick-up and salary. My provided accommodation, while not luxurious, is comfortable and well-located near a metro station. Anytime I have a problem - no matter how paranoid or trivial - somebody is willing to help me find the answers I need and relax. The Managing Director in particular is always readily available to answer questions, despite being a very busy person.
I graduated from university in May 2007, not quite ready for a "real job" but wanting to expand my knowledge on a first hand basis and get some work experience. Language Link provided me with both of those opportunities. My schedule has allowed me to travel to many different places during the past year, including Spain, Greece, Turkey, Latvia, Estonia, and several cities in Western Russia, not to mention getting to intimately know Moscow. I would not have been able to have any of these experiences if I hadn't signed on to work with Language Link.
I'd recommend teaching English abroad to anybody, but be very careful about which school you choose to work with. Especially in Russia where bureaucracy rules it is very important to make sure the school you work for is legitimate and that you are working in this country legally. I promise you - there will be no red tape issues with Language Link, and if there is, by some fluke, an issue Language Link will be there to help.
As for the actual job, I worked in a school in the outskirts of Moscow in Mitino. Upon first hearing that I wouldn't be working in Central School I was bitterly disappointed, but after a few short weeks I learned that I am one of the lucky ones. The atmosphere in Mitino is relaxed and pleasant and Zoya, the administrator, is absolutely lovely. Sure, commuting 45 minutes by bus isn't ideal, but I'm glad to have had the opportunity to see the suburbs of Moscow where people are a little more "Russian" and English is not understood on the street. My students, all teenagers and adults, are generally eager to learn and motivated towards success, which makes teaching a pleasure rather than a burden. The school is very small, with only 4 teachers - two American and two Russian - which can make for some lonely days but also a lot of independence. My schedule in Mitino is better than any of the other teachers I know, working mostly evenings and only Monday-Friday.
So, as my time in Russia comes to an end, I can look back on my 9.5 months with Language Link with satisfaction. Living in Russia isn't always easy but it can make a person stronger and more prepared for life's obstacles. I am indebted to Language Link for making my first year out of college memorable and beneficial.
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