What to expect when teaching in Moscow

It may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about teaching overseas, but Moscow has become an increasingly popular destination for expatriate teachers. There are now over 100 international schools in Russia with more than 80 of these located in Moscow.  Moscow is a vibrant, energetic and beautiful city with a great history and many architectural and cultural delights on offer. The Moscovites say ‘Moscow never sleeps’ and this is true; there is always something to do or see. Here’s what to expect when living and working in Moscow:

Teaching in Moscow

There are many excellent professional opportunities in Moscow. TIC provides recruitment support for many international schools in Moscow that deliver a range of curricula; from the IPC to the National Curriculum of England and the International Baccalureate (IB) programmes.

Culture and tradition

Moscow is full of culture. There’s a wonderful selection of museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet.  There is also the Russian tradition of banya; since mediaeval times Russian towns and villages have had a steam house where men and women would sit steaming themselves, beating one another with venniki (branches of birch leaves) before rolling in the snow! Today it is slightly different as a person can choose between mixed or single-sex banya, and there are pools of cold water rather than snow…but the birch leaves remain (optional!).

What you need to know about Russia

It is important to learn something about Russia, its people and its history before deciding to teach in Russia. You do not need to learn Russian to be able to get by, but recognising the alphabet is certainly an advantage and can be picked up over time while you are living there. However, both Russian and English languages are used in many places throughout the city such as the Metro, and signs are generally in both languages.

The weather

The weather in the summer in Moscow is great, regularly hitting 30 degrees, and when the weather is good there’s a lively café society in the city. Although the winters are harsh, the change of season brings new sports opportunities like cross country skiing and ice skating. If you’re dressed appropriately – don’t forget to buy yourself a faux fur hat while you’re there to keep warm – life can go on as normal.

The cost of living in Moscow

While Moscow can be an expensive city at times, transport is incredibly cheap and the price of food varies depending where you shop. Some items cost the same as Western prices, such as drink and food in bars and restaurants. It is definitely possible to live well in Moscow and save money too.

Great travel opportunities

There are some excellent opportunities for travel around the city, and beyond to the historic towns in Russia’s Golden Ring. Beyond Moscow, it’s definitely worth travelling to St. Petersburg and Siberia as well as discovering more of this enormous and fascinating country.

If you are interested in teaching in Moscow, you can view current vacancies here. 

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