Teach English in a Homestay in Russia

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  • 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 in Russia

  • Program Dates

    Start dates

    Start dates are available year-round, usually the first and third Wednesday of every month (subject to change). However, we’re flexible, so if you are unable to start on those dates, please contact Greenheart Travel directly to see what we can do.

    Deadline to submit application

    In order to secure a host family, you should finish your application 3 months prior to when you want to go. For example, if you wish to be in Russia by Feb. 6, you must apply no later than Nov. 6.

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

  • 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
    • Basic knowledge of Russian language
    • Be a citizen of the EU, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Canada
    • 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 and Inclusions

    Program Fees

    • 1 Month – $1,510
    • 2 Months – $1,620
    • 3 Months – $1,620

    Please note, all prices are listed in USD

    What’s Included:

    • Host family search, screening, and placement process
    • Transportation to and from designated arrival airport
    • Single room accommodation with carefully screened host family
    • Two- three home-cooked meals a day for duration of program
    • Local office support
    • Comprehensive medical and accident insurance
    • English as a second language teaching resources
    • Culture & etiquette guidebook
    • Background check for the application
    • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
    • Visa letter of support
    • Power adapters
    • Local sim card
    • A full day local excursion every 2 weeks organized by the host family
    • 3-day travel pass in St. Petersburg or Moscow
    • The Greenheart Travel Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience
    • Access to the Greenheart Club, an online community for Greenheart alumni to find resources, log volunteer hours, and apply for alumni grants and scholarships

    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 $303 depending on how far in advance you apply and visa category you apply for.

  • Host Family

    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.

    Greenheart Traveler and his host brothers!

    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

  • 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.  A placement guarantee is available for an additional fee. Otherwise,  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 $300 commitment 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.

  • Optional TEFL Course

    While no certification is required for the Teach English in a Homestay program, an education in ESL teaching methods is extremely helpful in these tutoring positions.

    Therefore, we are excited to offer a special discount on the Online TEFL Certification Course. This will allow our Homestay teachers to get formal ESL training alongside the hands on experience of tutoring their host families. Alumni of the online course receive lifetime job placement assistance, opening up great opportunities for future teaching positions around the world.

    Adding the 170-hour online course is perfect if you want:

    • To teach abroad in a school in the future
    • To save time – the 20 practicum hours required by the course are fulfilled by your homestay program
    • A flexible course designed to fit around your full time schedule

    Teach English in a Homestay travelers can sign up for the TEFL course in their homestay application at a discounted fee of $1,045. Just check the “Add TEFL Certification” box when you apply!

    Read more about the course here!

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.

    5. Submitting Your Documents: Submit your required documents (below) at the link provided.

    6. Skype Interview (Approximately 10-15 Minutes):  Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    7. You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within a 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    8. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Russia!

    Required Documents

    • A letter of recommendation (personal or professional)
    • “dear host family” letter introducing yourself
    • A photo album with 5-7 recent photos of you (used for your host family to get to know you)
    • Copy of your passport
    • Completed background check. If you are a U.S. citizen we can provide you a free, online service.

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will receive your Greenheart Travel program handbook 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 $300 commitment deposit (which goes toward your program fee also) is due. 

    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.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to us about the program? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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