Language Link’s Volunteer Programme in the Provinces is the best way to experience the real Russia. As every Russian will tell you Moscow is a fantastic city, but it isn’t Russia! Our International Language Centre in Volgograd has a limited number of vacancies each semester for teaching-assistant volunteers.
As a volunteer Teaching Assistant, you will be assigned to one of our foreign language departments to help teach English as a foreign language under the supervision of a qualified teacher. Following an initial period of basic training you will begin assisting in the classroom, where your responsibilities may include leading discussions, acting as a conversation partner and helping the students overcome their language learning difficulties or lack of confidence on a one-to-one basis. You may be asked to assist in lessons taught by Russian EFL teachers to improve students' pronunciation and understanding of the language as spoken by a native-speaker. There may also be the chance to help in lessons with children or young learners.
The Volunteer Programme includes a choice of accommodation (shared apartment or home-stay), plus visa support and registration, so the usually daunting task of travel to this fascinating but rather bureaucratic country is greatly simplified. We will advise and support you as you adapt to the unique Russian culture.
In Volgograd, volunteers are welcome for any programme length as long as it falls between September and May.
Language Link’s school in Volgograd first opened its doors in 1995 and over the past decade has developed its reputation as one of the best language centres in the city. The Central School is situated in the city centre at ул. Комсомолская 6 (Komsomolskaya street 6).
The school has everything necessary for teachers’ work: a photocopier, computer, video, tape player, free internet access and resource library. The Russian staff have been working there since the school first opened, and are always ready to help. One- and two-roomed apartments are provided for teachers in the centre of town, usually within 10 to 20 minutes’ walk from the school.
Given the central location of the school, you can find anything you need close by. The central market is brilliant for almost everything, and Gourmand and Ramstore are large supermarkets in the vicinity. Eating out in Volgograd is very good value for money. The big self-service restaurant (столовая/stolovaya) on ул. Коммунистическая (Kommunisticheskaya Street) is a popular place for teachers. There is also a good pizza restaurant called Арка (Arca) on ул. Ленина (Lenin Street).
There is a large bookshop quite near the Language Link school on ул. Коммунистическая (Kommunisticheskaya Street), which has a selection of foreign language and ELT books in the basement.
Prior to travelling to Volgograd, every volunteer will receive orientation and initial training in Moscow. Every volunteer will receive 4 academic hours of free Russian lessons. For beginners in Russian these lessons will be targeted to give the Volunteer the vocabulary and phrases they will need to get by in Russia. For the more experienced Russian speaker, the lessons will be aimed at activating their Russian language ability. Every volunteer will also be given a health and safety briefing from the International Programmes Coordinator. This will be quite informal, and any concerns and questions that the volunteer may have will be addressed.
After completing your initial training in Moscow, you will transfer to Volgograd by overnight train. A Language Link representative will meet you at the station in Volgograd and take you to your accommodation. They will arrange for you to come into the central school for orientation.