Overview

With Greenheart Travel’s Teach English in a Homestay program, you will have the chance to live and experience life as a local in Russia. You will be responsible for teaching conversational English for 15 hours a week to your host family and have the unique experience of being immersed in the culture and lifestyle of this dynamic country.

This program offers:

This is a volunteer, unpaid teaching placement designed for deep cultural immersion and exchange. This program is ideal for adults hoping to get their feet wet in teaching, teachers planning to travel during their summer break, or travelers seeking to experience full cultural immersion while teaching English abroad.

  • Volunteer tutoring position with a local host family
  • 15 hours per week teaching experience
  • Placements throughout the country
  • Accommodation provided with a Russian speaking host family
  • 1, 2 or 3 month placements
  • Rolling start dates twice monthly

What do past travelers say about the program?

“After 3 years of studying Russian, I can finally say that I have achieved one of my most important goals, and that is to see Russia as another place to explore rather than an exotic novelty. Sure, the language is still as difficult as ever, but that’s just a consideration I take in when approaching situations in everyday life, rather than the number one thing that defines how I see this country.” – Scout, homestay teacher 2015

 

Program Dates

Start dates are available year round. We need 12 weeks lead time to secure a host family. You are welcome to choose any of the start dates below. We’re flexible too, so if you are unable to start on these given dates, please contact Greenheart Travel directly to see what we can do.

Please note: the visa process in Russia can take a long time (approx 6-10 weeks) so last minute applications & placements can be challenging.

Program Start Date Deadline to Apply Date
December 12, 2017 October 12, 2017
December 26, 2017 October 26, 2017
January 9, 2018 November 9, 2017
January 23, 2018 November 23, 2017
February 6, 2018 December 6, 2017
February 20, 2018 December 20, 2017
March 6, 2018 January 3, 2018
March 20, 2018 January 20, 2018
April 3, 2018 February 3, 2018
April 17, 2018 February 17, 2018
May 1, 2018 March 1, 2018
May 15, 2018 March 15, 2018
May 29, 2018 March 29, 2018

Eligibility

No previous teaching experience or certification is required. We are looking for participants who are open-minded and flexible, as well as meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old – retirees welcome!
  • Be a native English speaker
  • Russian language experience (1-2 years preferred)
  • Be a citizen of the EU, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Canada
  • Have a basic level of Russian language abilities
  • Must be a high school graduate – college students and graduates preferred
  • Must have the ability to prepare a private tutoring lesson plan
  • Be in good mental* and physical health

I don’t have teaching experience. How will I know what to teach my host family?

The English lessons tend to be informal and conversation based. There is no pre-determined curriculum; however participants should be prepared to put together a lesson plan for each tutoring session. Greenheart Travel will provide you access to a library of resources to help you develop ideas for the lessons.

Typically families are looking for you to speak English with them over dinner or for a certain amount of time during the day.

Usually you will teach the children in the home but occasionally an adult will request lessons as well. The level of English will vary depending on the host family but most will be at the beginner level and will only have basic knowledge of English.

Costs

Program Fees

  • 1 Month – $1,250
  • 2 Months – $1,380
  • 3 Months – $1,520

Please note, all prices are listed in USD

What’s Included:

  • Host family search, screening, and placement process
  • Single room accommodation with carefully screened host family
  • Three home-cooked meals a day for duration of program
  • Local office support
  • Comprehensive medical insurance
  • English as a Second Language Teaching Resources
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Culture & Etiquette Guidebook
  • Resume-enhancing experience as a Private Language Tutor
  • Learn a new language through immersion in a different culture and country

What’s Not Included:

  • Flight to Russia
  • Visa to Russia**
  • Meals eaten outside of the host family home
  • Spending money for personal purchases, tourism or optional activities

**Greenheart Travel will help you with the visa paperwork, but the traveler is responsible for the cost of the visa application which could cost up to $585 depending on how far in advance you apply.

 

 

Accommodation

Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. Host families apply in a similar way to participants and Greenheart Travel will match you based on living preferences and personal interests. Host families are not compensated for hosting and host only in exchange for the English lessons. As an English teacher in a homestay, you will be warmly welcomed into a host family’s home, while having the opportunity to explore the region on your own.

Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

  • Successfully pass a criminal background check
  • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
  • Agree to and pass a home inspection

Participants will have their own private room but may share a bathroom and living areas with the host family. Host families also provide three meals per day except when going out to restaurants.

What do our participants say about their experience?

“During the past few weeks, I have been enjoying family life with the Suhorukovs. We go on daily walks about the city or trips to the river. I enjoy dinner with family friends and evenings are spent at the family’s B&B, swimming in the pool, singing karaoke, and dining on the veranda. I have had the pleasure of really getting to know the family. I know that Tanya drinks her coffee black, and I know that Sergey dreams of owning a boat and relaxing on a beach. I know that Zoya loves daisies, Russian poetry, and soccer. Yulia is creative, strong willed, and she is not afraid to be different (last year she had blue hair, this year it’s orange). It’s been an honor to be a part of the family for the past two months, I hope they can one day come to America and become part of my family too.” – Hannah, Homestay Teacher 2014

 

 

Placements

Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. You will receive your host family’s contact information prior to departure. Aside from the 15 hour per week teaching commitment, the rest of the time is yours to explore the language, culture and history of Russia.

It’s important to be flexible in your placement location, as there are families throughout the country.  Although we cannot guarantee placement in a specific city or area, you will rank the following regions and we do our best to get you placed in one of your top two choices:

  • Moscow Area
  • St. Petersburg Area
  • Voronezh Area

Placement FAQS:

Can I choose where I will be placed?

No. You can choose your destination country, but you must be flexible about where you will be placed within that country. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region and we match based on compatibility with the host family.

Once I receive my placement, can I request to change it?

No, we do not change host families based on preferences or location. If you request to change your host family after you have been placed, you will forfeit your $500 placement deposit.

What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

No. We do not change host families based on preferences or location. If concerns arise one you are in country, we handle them on a case-by-case basis and do our best to resolve issues amicably.

Can I be placed with my friend/spouse/significant other?

No. We are not able to place more than one person with a host family. It is okay to apply with friends and family; however, you will be placed in separate homes and we cannot guarantee they will be in the same city.

 

Application Process

Complete the Online Application

There are 5 short steps in the application process, which are outlined below. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and can be done in stages.

  1. Select the APPLY NOW button. You will receive a link to fill out the first portion of the application, which asks for general information about you.
  2. Once you complete part 1, you will be emailed Greenheart Travel’s Terms and conditions. Please read through them and sign.
  3. Next, you will pay a $250 deposit to hold your position in the program. It is very rare that our homestay applications are declined, but if you are rejected from the program, you will be refunded the $250 less a $75 processing fee. Otherwise, it is deducted for your overall program fee.
  4. Now, you will complete a second application form that includes more detailed information about yourself (such as education background, experience, medical history, host family preference, etc).
  5. In order to finalize your application, you will need to complete a 15 minute interview via Skype with the program manager.

Additionally, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • 1 letter of recommendation (can be personal or professional)
  • A “Dear Family” letter introducing yourself to your homestay family
  • Copy of your passport
  • A completed background check. If you are a US citizen, Greenheart Travel provides you a free, online background check service which you can access during the application process. If you are not a US citizen, you are required to submit your own background check from your local police station.

Review your Application

Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

You’re Accepted – now what?

Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will receive an orientation packet via email, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program.

Before we begin the host family screening and placement process, an additional $500 payment toward your program fee is due. This payment is required a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your departure.

A visa may be required for a tourist stay of up to 90 days depending on the destination country. Greenheart Travel will provide you information about applying for a visa, but please check with the embassy of your host country to verify, as visa requirements may change.

We will also schedule a pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions and prepare you for the program. This will be scheduled about 2-4 weeks before your departure date.