Each year, Language Link offers teaching employment to a number of applicants who do not have a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate or relevant TEFL teaching experience. By joining Language Link as Teacher Interns, these applicants receive 4 weeks of intensive TEFL training in Moscow prior to the start of their contract. They are then allocated their own groups and begin teaching independently, but training continues throughout the course of their paid 9-month Teacher Internship Certification Programme in the form of seminars, written assignments, observations and feedback from supervisors, as well as regular academic support with Language Link's Teacher Trainers. There are approximately 20-30 vacancies for the Teacher Internship Certification Programme every year. Normally, our teachers Interns are recent university graduates looking for both an international experience and the opportunity to develop skills as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages.
Experience has shown that success as a teacher is not necessarily dependent upon having a formal TEFL Certification. This should not, however, be interpreted as meaning that almost anyone is capable of teaching English. Indeed, someone considering the Teacher Internship Certification Programme should realize from the start that speaking English is not the same as teaching English.
In that same vein, being a university-trained English teacher without a TEFL qualification is, again, no guarantee of success in an English as a Foreign Language classroom. What must be remembered is that your greatest tool, a thorough knowledge of the English language (in the best of cases), is often of little value when facing a class of non-English speaking students. Therefore, it must be asked, 'How do I teach English if my students cannot speak English?' The answer lies in methodology and temperament. Of this latter quality it must be understood, students want to like their teachers; thus successful teachers owe part of their success to the following qualities: enthusiasm, friendliness, a warm smile, approachability and that sense of caring, called empathy. Indeed, many TEFL-qualified teachers have failed for exhibiting a lack of these traits, and though arousing a sense of empathy for the foreign language learner should be a crucial and mandatory part of any validated TEFL course (most often accomplished through the use of a mini-foreign language learning experience), learning to empathise is a more difficult endeavour.
If possessing the aforementioned qualities were enough, then a teacher internship certification programme would not be necessary. In other words, liking their teacher is not enough. The student must also be able to respect their teacher, and this is where learning methodology must come into play. Remember, good looks, being friendly and a sense of humour can get you into a classroom, but it is never enough to keep you there. This is the role played by the training that a teacher intern receives.
At Language Link, we are aware that the majority of those wishing to undertake the Teacher Internship Certification Programme would not be able to support themselves were they to go through an unpaid traineeship. Therefore, Language Link has created an on-the-job traineeship which combines authentic classroom teaching with a programme of on-going in-sets and seminars. To see if you qualify for the Language Link Teacher Internship Certification Programme, please review the 'Entry Requirements' below.
- be at least 20 years old by the end of the course,
- have an awareness of language and a competence in English, both spoken and written, which will enable them to succeed on the Teacher Intern Certification Programme as well as to complete the written assignments successfully,
- have the potential to develop the necessary skills to become effective classroom teachers,
- show that they are able to enter, commit to and complete the nine month Teacher Intern Certification Programme.
Please note that while holding a degree would be helpful, it is not mandatory.
The Teacher Intern Certification Programme starts off with a one-month, classroom-based Initial Training Programme (ITP). The ITP includes instruction in methodology, practice teaching, classroom observations and a written assignment. During this time, each teacher intern will be assigned to a support group led by one of Language Link's Academic Managers.
After completion of the ITP, interns are contracted to teach up to 28 academic hours per week in one of our centres throughout Russia for a period of 9 months. Each intern will be assigned a tutor who can be contacted for tutorials, professional support and day to day advice. Regular workshops and seminars are provided throughout the year to give continuing academic support and opportunities for professional development. Intern lessons are observed by a member of academic management a minimum of 3 times a year for quality control and training purposes.
Candidates should note that, while rare, it is possible to fail the programme should a teacher intern not reach the required standard of classroom performance. Upon successful completion of the nine month programme, the teacher intern will be awarded a Language Link Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and with it confirmation that he or she has achieved full teacher status.
Preparing for the Initial Training Programme (ITP)
Prior to coming to Russia, all teachers interns are expected to complete a self-access grammar awareness module and read the online TEFL Primer covering the following areas:
- Introduction to TEFL - gain greater insight into the field of EFL
- What to expect in TEFL - the expectations of the students, the schools and the teachers in a TEFL environment
- TEFL Methodologies - some of the major developments in and the theory behind the major approaches to language learning
- Introduction to Grammar - the underlying structure of English
- Pronunciation - the sound system on which the English language is based
- Tips for Teachers - some practical guidance on teaching EFL
- Warmers and Fillers - a compendium of dozens of useful, short activities for the classroom
The Initial Training Programme (ITP)
Teacher interns are asked to arrive in Russia approximately one month prior to the start of their contract for the classroom-based Initial Training Programme (ITP). The four week intensive programme will include about 120 hours of tuition. The sessions, led by Language Link DOSes and experienced teachers, cover a variety of issues related to the methodology of teaching English as a foreign language: introduction to the communicative approach, lesson plan preparation, use of supplementary materials, classroom management, etc. The programme also includes sessions on understanding and teaching grammar and phonology. Following input sessions each day, interns are afforded the opportunity to put into practice the teaching skills that they were instructed in during the input session. During Week 1, programme participants perform a number of peer teaching exercises and starting Week 2 will practice their teaching skills in real classrooms.
A typical timetable for the one-month Initial Training Programme is shown below:
Programme Start Dates
Language Link will be running one Teacher Intern Certification Programme during the 2020-21 academic year. Start dates for the four-week Initial Training Programmes (ITP) is:
- August 3rd (ending on August 28th)
Salary and Benefits
Teacher interns do not receive a salary during the first one-month Initial Training Programme (ITP). Although this programme is provided free of charge, participants must pay US$ 550 on arrival to cover his/her accommodation during the ITP, programme registration and administration, materials and the pre-programme networking function. Please note that the standard of this accommodation is basic and will be in a shared flat or homestay. Those wishing to arrange their own accommodation during the ITP and/or thereafter may do so provided they alert Language Link’s Department of Human Resources one month in advance of their arrival or their decision to leave company-provided accommodation. Teachers who rent their own accommodation during the ITP are eligible to waive USD 400 of the the initial fee.
Following successful completion of the Initial Training Programme, the teacher intern receives:
a net monthly salary of 30,000 roubles and a benefit package which includes company-paid income and social welfare tax (presently 60% in total of all salary and benefits)
- performance-based salary increases
- accommodation in a shared flat or homestay
- provision of medical services
- paid time off during public holidays
- full work visa support
- flight reimbursement (up to RUR 30,000)
- on-going academic support
On successful completion of the Teacher Intern Certification Programme, the teacher intern will be awarded a Language Link Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and with it confirmation that s/he has achieved full teacher status.
N.B. Teacher interns should arrive in Russia with sufficient funds to live for 6-8 weeks until they receive their first salary payment (salaries are paid in arrears every two weeks, on approximately the 7th and 22nd of every month). Teacher interns are not eligible for payment until they have commenced their teaching.
PROGRAMME PROS AND CONS
Since first creating the Teacher Intern Certification Programme, Language Link has had over 1500 teacher interns participate in the programme. Though the vast majority of our teacher interns have been an asset to the programme as well as the company, experience has shown that the pre-requisites noted above are not the only considerations that a potential applicant should think about before making a decision as to whether to apply. So as to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion as well as provide potential applicants with some food for thought concerning the pros and cons of this programme, please take time to read through the following section.
Reasons for applying:
I want to enter a programme that will add to my human capital
Human capital is best defined as the knowledge, skills, abilities and capacities that an individual has acquired during their lifetime (i.e., their present knowledge, skills and abilities) or will acquire at some time in the future (i.e., their capacities) that add both intrinsic and extrinsic value to them. Though this may sound like a mouthful, this concept goes to the very heart of who we are as human beings. Every time we learn something new, we increase our value to ourselves and the community. Though it is true that we often engage in learning activities that are best described as self-fulfilling e.g., snowboarding, cooking, or lifesaving, at other times we do so for the monetary value that they can bring to us in the workplace. For this reason, people take courses that they can use either to get a job or, if they have a job, to get a salary rise.
Language Link’s Teacher Internship Certification Programme has been developed with the latter purpose in mind. Though teaching English a foreign language can be a rewarding experience, you really only know if this is true for you once you’ve started teaching. On the other hand, the knowledge, skills and abilities acquired during the Teacher Internship Certification Programme are indisputable. They are immediately usable during the programme and marketable well after it is over. So if you are looking a programme that will guide you step by step to becoming a proficient teacher by helping you to develop a valuable skill-set, then the Teacher Internship Certification Programme is well worth considering.
I’m looking for a professional international experience that will help me in the future
While it is true that travel broadens the mind, tourism, even if as backpacker, provides only limited exposure to the real world out there. As the old saying goes, ‘you don’t really know someone until you live with them’. If ever this were true, it is when it comes to being abroad. Living as part of the population as versus being on the fringe allows you to develop a deeper understanding of what makes the world tick and what it takes to tick along with them. In this respect, teaching English as a foreign language has most other activities that one can undertake abroad beat hands down. You may ask why this is so.
The answer has to do with your proximity to real people. By real people, I mean a microcosm of the world in which you are living. TEFL Teachers by virtue of the professional activity in which they engage i.e., teaching, come into contact with people of most ages and from most walks of life. Though this section is not meant to fully describe this experience, TEFL teachers will find themselves standing in front of classrooms of young learners, teenagers and young (and not so young) adults who are studying at school or university or working in professions such as medicine, law, education, business, marketing, HR, finance and accounting. However, once all those people mentioned above enter a language classroom, they leave their titles at the door and become simply people … your students. Your experience doesn’t stop once your class is over. On the contrary, your experience only becomes even more profound once you find yourself walking along the street next to people who like yourself are thinking in their own unique way about family, friends, work and play. If you give yourself enough time to stand in one place, you will develop a unique understanding of how these people are both similar and different to you. It is these experiences that make the Language Link Teacher Internship Certification Programme unique and it is these experiences that will open future professional doors for you. So if you’ve had your fill of backpacking abroad and are ready to stand still long enough to truly learn about a foreign culture then the Language Link Teacher Internship Certification Programme is well worth considering.
I’m looking for a safe international experience where I will be working in full compliance with the law
While there may be a lot to be said for having a ‘Devil may care’ attitude, Language Link does not ascribe to it. When bringing teacher interns into the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, Language Link does so in full accordance with the law. Though Language Link’s Teacher Intern Certification Programme is a training programme, teacher interns are provided with a real world teaching experience. In other words, the classrooms are real as are the students that enter them. Therefore, the teacher intern is an actual employee of the company and not simply ‘a student’. Unlike students who need student visas, a teacher intern needs a full working visa.
The difference, should it not be apparent, is that as an employee Language Link is responsible for seeing to it that all taxes due on the teacher interns’ salary are paid in full to the authorities. To try and avoid paying taxes is foolhardy for both the company and its teachers. Therefore, so as to make the teacher intern’s learning experience not just a positive one but a legal one as well, the company is committed to acting as a responsible business and member of the community. And while paying teachers ‘under the table’ may have the dubious distinction of allowing a teacher to earn a higher salary, it puts the teacher at risk, a risk which Language Link deems unnecessary and irresponsible. So if working in full compliance with the law in a safe, legal and comfortable professional environment is important to you, then the Language Link Teacher Internship Certification Programme is well worth considering.
I’m looking for an international experience that I can enter with my eyes wide open
No one likes to be fooled. No one enjoys regret. For these reasons, Language Link makes every attempt to make the Teacher Intern Certification Programme as transparent as possible. Our commitment to transparency is evident from the very start, to wit this page has been entitled The Pros and Cons of the Teacher Intern Certification Program. The more an applicant understands about the programme, the better the decision she or he will make. Of course, transparency does not stop with the last sentence on this page.
To help potential applicants make the best possible decision, the application process has been designed to allow those thinking of entering the programme the opportunity to explore this programme from as many angles as possible. First, the site contains an overview of the programme so that applicants can fully understand what it is that they will be learning during the one month initial training programme (ITP). In addition, Language Link has gone to great lengths to create a section of the site referred to as the TEFL Primer. This section has been designed to allow potential applicants to examine TEFL teaching by offering them a glimpse into what it means to work in the industry. To make this section as authentic as possible, we have included videos portraying Language Link teachers. Of course, reading about the programme and viewing videos, though revealing, is not the same as getting inside it yourself. Therefore, on receiving a Teacher Intern Certification Programme application, the applicant is sent a pre-interview task to complete which will allow the applicant to explore 1) the field of TEFL, 2) Language Link the company and 3) the teacher intern contract. Following completion of the pre-interview task, applicants are invited to a SKYPE/ telephone interview with a fully qualified member of the academic staff, the same staff who will supervise the applicant should she or he decide to enter the programme. During the interview, the applicant, in addition to answering questions, will have the opportunity to ask questions of the academic manager concerning teaching, life in Russia and Language Link’s teacher intern contract. With respect to the contract, teacher interns are afforded the opportunity to go through the contract prior to interviewing for acceptance to the programme. And finally, once accepted for the programme, the teacher intern will become part of an online new teacher community in which to continue to get to know the programme, the school and your fellow interns. Therefore, if you are looking for a transparent programme with no hidden caveats, then you would do well to consider Language Link’s Teacher Intern Certification Programme.
Though there are, no doubt, other reasons why someone would wish to apply for this programme, the time has come to look at the other side of the coin and discover an equal number of reasons why we ask applicants to be absolutely sure that this programme is for them. This programme has been designed with success in mind. If, however, the applicant enters the programme with two strikes against them, then no amount of design can make up for this.
Reasons for not applying:
You need to save money for your return home
While it is true that Language Link’s teacher interns receive a monthly salary, it is only sufficient to meet the teacher intern's needs while living in Russia. On completion of the four week Initial Training Programme (ITP) that Language Link provides at no cost to the intern, the teacher intern receives a monthly salary that, as previously mentioned, will be sufficient for him or her to live comfortably though not luxuriously during his or her nine month academic year stay.
In that Language Link also provides the teacher intern with free company-provided accommodation as well as pays all taxes due on the aforementioned salary and benefit package in the Russian Federation, the remuneration package can be viewed as generous. All that said, however, anyone considering applying for the teacher intern programme who is hoping to save money for graduate school or whatever will be sadly disappointed.
You can’t be away from home for an extended period without seeing your family and friends
Though it may seem self-evident, if you are considering submitting an application for an overseas programme, then the applicant would do well to consider whether she or he can be away from his or her family and friends for an extended period of time. Language Link understands the importance of family and friends, and though nine months may not seem like a long time, it can be an eternity for someone in need of being physically close to their significant others. Therefore, if you are considering applying for the Teacher Intern Certification Program, then you would do well to consider whether you can honour the nine month teaching commitment.
If the thought of being away from home for nine months is unthinkable, then this programme is not for you. And though Language Link provides its teacher interns with up to two weeks’ time off during the winter holiday (end of December – beginning of January), most teacher interns will find flights home to be a costly expenditure. In a similar vein and of no less importance are upcoming family events that one considers too important to forego such as birthdays and weddings. A commitment to teaching has got to be a firm commitment, one that you are able to let take priority over your own personal interests.
You’re looking for a 9 to 5 job without challenges
Teaching English as a foreign language is not a 9 to 5 job. Like most language schools, Language Link is an extracurricular educational centre. Therefore, our students come to us to study English either before or after school or work. In other words, our teachers usually work split shifts. Likewise, in that our students come in all ‘shapes and sizes’, teachers can expect to teach both young learners and adults with an emphasis on the former.
Given this, potential applicants should understand this can be a challenging endeavour which will require the utmost in teacher flexibility. If you are someone who does not adapt well to change or cannot function well before 11 am, then teaching English as foreign language and the Teacher Intern Certification Programme are definitely not for you.
You have no other alternatives open to you or the alternatives you do have are ‘worse’
This is a pretty powerful statement. Though having no other alternatives is not the same as not knowing what you want to do with your life, both can be equally bad reasons for applying for the Teacher Intern Certification Programme. Being an applicant’s fallback plan is definitely not an enviable position for Language Link to be in. In such cases, the teacher intern is usually not really interested in Language Link, teaching English or Russia and eventually when confronted with life in the presence of all three will find nothing to keep him or her committed to the programme.
As importantly, choosing the teacher internship because you do not know what direction you want your life to go in or simply do not want to think about it for now can under the right circumstances both be recipes for disaster. Just because you do not know what you want to do with your life now does not mean you will not figure it out in the very near future. If your plan can wait until you have finished your nine month commitment, then as they say, no harm, no fowl. If, however, the new plan means leaving the programme early, then it will be at the expense of all who are depending upon you here in Russia: the company and your students. So if your present plan is based on avoidance, then you would do well to think twice before applying for the Teacher Intern Certification Programme.
Though there are no doubt other reasons why it might be best not to apply for this programme, these are the major issues we ask our applicant teacher interns to consider before applying for Language Link’s Teacher Intern Certification Program. If from the start, these issues are understood and the applicant is still prepared to enter and see this program through to the end, then there are very few opportunities available today that will provide the applicant with such an eye-opening and enriching experience.
General questions about Language Link's Teacher Intern Certification Programme
Where does the Initial (one month) Training Programme (ITP) take place?Regardless of where you are assigned to teach, the Language Link Initial Training Programme is held in Moscow at our Central School.
How long does the Teacher Intern Certification Programme last?The length of the programme is 1 academic year, i.e. 36 teaching weeks following completion of the four-week Initial Teacher Training Programme.
How much does the Teacher Intern Certification Programme cost?Language Link's four-week Teacher Intern Certification Programme is provided free of charge by Language Link in exchange for commiting to and completing the full nine month programme. On arrival in Russia, course participants must however pay US$ 550 to cover his/her accommodation during the ITP, programme registration and administration, materials and the pre-programme networking function. Teachers who rent their own accommodation during the ITP are eligible to waive USD 400 of the initial fee.
What does the Programme consist of?The teacher Intern Certification Programme begins with the Initial Teacher Training Programme (ITP), which is one month of classroom-based EFL training. On completion of the ITP, the teacher intern is assigned classes to teach. Throughout the programme, Teacher Interns receive input and guidance from Teacher Trainers and are observed by Academic Managers.
Do Teacher Interns receive a teaching contract?Yes. Prior to the start of the Teacher Intern Training Programme, each Teacher Intern is required to sign an employment contract with Language Link.
How are pay rises granted to Teacher Interns?Teacher Interns will be evaluated twice in an academic year. These evaluations will be in the form of Performance Reviews which are conducted by an Academic Manager. During a Performance Review a Teacher Intern is evaluated on his/ her teaching performance, attitude, participation, observation results and attendance at mock exams and workshops. Should a Teacher Intern's classroom performance and/or teaching standards be less than acceptable, the Teacher Intern may be ineligible for a pay rise and also may be placed on probation until such time as his or her classroom performance improves to the point of meriting status reconsideration.
Do Teacher Interns receive a Teaching Certificate?Yes. Upon completing the nine-month Teacher Intern Certification Programme, teachers receive a Language Link Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language attesting to the fact that they have completed both an on-the-job training programme and a practical teaching experience component.
Which nationalities are eligible for the Teacher Intern Certification Programme?Your participation depends on Language Link's ability to issue you with a visa invitation. To be an EFL teacher, you must be British, American, Irish, Canadian, Australian, South African or a New Zealander. If your nationality doesn't figure in this short list even if you are a native English speaker, then Language Link may not be able to offer you employment. If you're asking "Why is this so?" the answer is that companies with permission to invite and employ 'foreign specialists' are usually limited to a given number of countries from which they may do so. To see if you are eligible the Teacher Intern Training Programme, please contact us.
What kind of classes will I be asked to teach?Teacher Interns teach in schools, companies and on client premises, and occasionally may be asked to teach in an English Camp for short periods. Teaching may involve instruction in any of the following areas: tuition of General English to adults and/or young learners, Conversation courses, Business English, English for Special Purposes and/or Examination preparation classes. Our clients range from 3 years old to 70+ with 60% of our students being young learners and teenagers.
What holidays will I have during the Teacher Intern Certification Programme?Teacher Interns are entitled to all public holidays as paid time off and may take an additional one week of unpaid holiday.
How and when can I apply?
You can apply 2 - 12 months before you wish to join the Teacher Intern Certification Programme. The first step in the application process is to complete and submit an online application form. Once we receive it, we will contact your nominated referees for recommendations. Provided two favourable references are returned and a pre-interview task is completed successfully, we will then invite you to a Skype or messaging app interview. Following the interview you will be notified by email as to whether or not you have been accepted onto the Teacher Intern Certification Programme.
Academic Questions about Language Link's Teacher Intern Certification Programme
What is required from me as a Teacher Intern?During the initial one month ITP, Teacher Interns are required to attend daily intensive training sessions and conduct peer and student practice teaching. Following the ITP, Teacher Interns are required to complete nine months of classroom teaching, attend mandatory workshops, meetings and mock exams, attend tutorials with Academic Managers and be observed by Academic Managers regularly.
How often do I have to attend seminars and workshops?Workshops are held throughtout the programme. Workshop attendance is optional, unless otherwise specified. If a workshop or meeting is specified as “Mandatory”, absence from said workshop without a valid excuse will result in a pay deduction. It should be noted that while workshops not specified as “Mandatory” are indeed optional, attendance at said workshops will increase your chances of a pay rise based on your Performance Evaluations.
What are Mock Exams and how often am I required to attend?Language Link offers exam preparation for Cambridge Exams (i.e. FCE, CAE, etc.). As a testing center, we also offer “mock” exams to allow some exam practice for those who wish take the Cambridge exam at a later date. For these mock exams, native speaking teachers are needed for exam invigilation and assessment. Interns are required to attend and work as a mock exam invigilators/assessors to a maximum of 3 mock exams during the academic year.
How is the course assessed?The Initial (one month) Training Programme (ITP) has an end-of-course test. Performance and attitude during the training programme, punctuality, teaching results, and contribution during input sessions are also among the factors that are taken into consideration.
Questions about Life in Russia
How expensive is life in Russia? Will I earn enough to cover living costs?
The money you earn as a Teacher Intern should cover your living costs in Russia, although this does depend on how often you like to go out and whether you plan to make lots of trips and excursions. Provided you avoid expat hang-outs in Moscow, the cost of living here is in general lower than any major western metropolis.
What will my accommodation be like?
The standard accommodation for Teacher Interns is a shared apartment, though in some cases it may be home-stay accommodation. Shared apartments are typically Russian style, with a single bedroom for each person living there, and a kitchen, bathroom and toilet which you share with a colleague. All apartments are furnished and equipped with the necessary basics, including a fridge/freezer, stove, pots and pans, washing machine and bedding. Your accommodation will be located within walking distance (20 minutes max) of a metro station if you are based in Moscow, but it may be in any area of the city. Once you are assigned classes, we try to accommodate you as close as possible to your place of work, with commuting time averaging from 30 minutes to an hour or more. Since the ITP takes place in the Moscow Central School, Teacher Interns may have long commutes during the training period.
A home-stay option is available if you are particularly keen to live with a Russian family, but may require payment of a supplement.
What's the social life like at Language Link?Language Link's teaching staff (qualified teachers, teachers-in-training, Work-Study Participants and Volunteers) form a close-knit community, and social life is very much alive. Most nights after work there is the opportunity to meet up with colleagues in one of the various cities' bars to catch up on the latest events and gossip. Teachers often arrange trips to other cities and towns.
What are the schools and facilities like where I'll be teaching?
Teacher Interns are usually assigned to one of Language Link's main centres in Moscow (and Moscow region), St Petersburg (and neighbouring Pushkin or Petergof) and Volgograd, though Language Link also has many other centres where Teacher Interns may be placed.
Normally, the classrooms are equipped with whiteboards, and you will have access to CD players. Most schools will have some facilities for teachers like photocopier and computer access and/or Wi-Fi. You will be provided with coursebooks and some locations have EFL recourse libraries
Is it safe to live in Russia?
Is it safe to live in New York or London? Moscow and St Petersburg are neither safer nor more dangerous than any other large cities. It's all just a question of common sense. Wherever you live, it’s important to always use common sense, avoid reckless behaviour, and remember that you are in a foreign country.
Just how cold does it actually get in Russia?
Russia can certainly guarantee you a 'real' winter, with plenty of snow and temperatures that remain below freezing for at least 3 months of the year. However, the climate is not as extreme as certain stereotypes would have you believe. In non-Siberian centres, first snow generally falls in late November, and the average temperature in December, January and February is minus 5 to minus 10 degrees Celsius. If you're reading this in California or Sydney that probably sounds cold, but with a big warm coat, hat and scarf, it's really not so bad. The most extreme cold you could be expected to face would be minus 30, but such temperatures usually only occur for a few days each winter, if at all. The colder temperatures may persist for longer in Siberia. St Petersburg is probably the coldest of the non-Siberian centres, as its proximity to the sea make the climate windier and damper than Moscow's. Volgograd's climate is the mildest, with average temperatures about 10 degrees higher than in Moscow.
What many people tend to forget is that Russia (including Siberia) has a summer too. From May until the end of September, the weather can be lovely, and certainly sunnier and drier than the UK. July and August are the hottest months, when temperatures regularly rise above 30 degrees Celsius.
What will it be like arriving in Russia?
Most people arrive at one of Moscow's three international airports, Sheremetevo, Domodedovo or Vnukova. After exiting the plane (generally directly into the airport building) you should follow the signs to passport control. There you will hand over your passport for inspection. Once satisfied that your visa is in order, passport control will ask you to sign two copies of a migration card, one side of which s/he will retain with the other being placed into your passport. Thereafter, you will go through to baggage collection and customs. Find the appropriate baggage conveyor belt for your flight and when your bag has been retrieved, go through customs. Most likely you will go through the green channel (nothing to declare) in customs. Only if you are travelling with a large amount of money in cash (more than 10,000 USD) do you need to go through the red channel, where you will need to fill out a customs declaration form
You will walk through to the exit, where people are waiting to meet the arrivals. It is here, on one side or the other that you will see someone with a 'Language Link' sign, who will welcome you to Russia and take you to your accommodation. If, by chance, you do not see someone with a sign, continue to the end of the 'aisle' and wait. Perhaps you missed him or possibly your plane was early. Do not worry: you will be met.
This year's Teacher Intern Training Programme saw participants from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France and New Zealand. Here's what some of them had to say about the programme.
I’m surprised by how much we learned during the month. I had thought it was going to be a lot less. The staff were amazing. I felt comfortable talking with everyone.