I worked with Language Link for 6 months in 2005-6. I had just obtained my CELTA and I applied to two different language schools in Moscow. Even though they were both prestigious, I decided to accept Language Link's offer because from the very start, they showed that they were not only serious and professional, but also, perhaps more importantly, extremely helpful and personable. They happily provide me with all the information I needed before arriving to Russia, no matter how trivial my questions may have seemed. They, of course, also organised my visa and flat very smoothly and without any stress. The flat was comfortable, and though not a palace was more than I had expected. They have a number of different locations of both schools and accommodation, and they endeavour to make the travelling that is required of you as easy as possible.
The phone interview was not only an interview but also an opportunity to hear opinions and impressions about working in a country like Russia. The interviewer was friendly and interested not only in finding out about my experience and motivation, but also keen to share her own experiences, give me advice and assure me that once in Moscow, I'd have all the support I needed, both academic and personal. She also provided much needed assurances that I would indeed survive the winter!
As it was my first professional experience of teaching I was inevitably a little apprehensive, but once working for Language Link, I immediately found a huge support network which helped quickly quash any anxiety. There is an extensive library of material provided for all the teachers which was invaluable, but the real help came from my DOS Natasha. I was able to ask for advice about classes whenever I needed and she never failed to give interesting suggestions. It was vital because from the start I worked In-Company and so I had quite a diverse selection of requirements, especially from a number of individual students, which I hadn't had to deal with on my CELTA, but once again I found her work very helpful and the feedback I got from her after she observed me was very instructive and directed and really helped improve my understanding of how to teach.
Language Link is not only a workplace but also a means to meet new people and create a social network. I made some great friends and had lots of fun attending the many parties organised by the school. One thing you quickly learn in Russia is that behind the cold exterior that many people display, there is a love of organising parties with little excuse to celebrate required, and especially games at these parties. The administrators always worked hard to make every event a real success.
It seems to me that the school you work for is really as good as the people who run it and the students you have. At Language Link, I met great people in both areas, and I can only add that working for Language Link was a great experience both professionally and personally that helped me not only to improve as a teacher and but allowed me to have a hugely enjoyable and fulfilling stay in Russia.
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