View Full Version : Best School To Be Employed As An English Teacher In Russia?

04-10-2012, 18:40
I am a 38-year old native English speaker born and raised in the United States. I possess no English teaching certification. However, I am a 4-year college graduate with a Bachelor of Arts In Communications. And I posses professional experience in business and technical writing and speaking. Generally, I have an outstanding mastery of the English language. I know very little of the Russian language. My wife is Russian and I live in the United States currently.

My question is, what is the best English teaching school for me to become employed with in Russia? Additionally, what is the process for making all that happen? Also, taking into account, I might like to turn my employment into my own business at some point.

08-10-2012, 21:40
First you have to ask yourself what kind of a job you want. Do you want a job teaching business English only, or would you like a variety of students? I think that generally it is easier to get work teaching general English rather than business English (even companies seem to want their employees to learn general English).

Probably the fastest way of qualifying is to take a one-month long CELTA course. (You're welcome to apply to schools without any qualifications but I'm not sure whether you would get a job). You can then apply to schools and when you find one that wants to hire you, the school will send you a letter of invitation and you will be able to obtain a visa on the basis of that letter of invitation.

I shared a flat with two Language Link interns - Language Link seems to have a programme which allows you to attend a month-long course (cheaper than the CELTA) and then you work at a school as an intern. The wage isn't wonderful but you are provided with a shared flat for free.

Please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any further questions. Also take a look at other threads on this site.

14-10-2012, 22:45
Most new arrivals for TEFL jobs here come through the likes of BKC, LL or Ef (I'm talking Moscow, because that's where I have experience). The big advantages of those three are that they provide visa support and either give you accommodation as part of your remuneration, or help you find it. When you first pitch up at SVO, that's a big deal.

But, you're presumably planning on coming here and living with your wife. On the assumption that she has a place where you will live together, and you'll be able to sidestep (most of) the visa aggrevations us singletons face, you don't necessarily need to go down the same (badly paid) route. As a native English speaker with temporary residence and somewhere to lay your head, you can be much more choosy about who to sign up with. It would take someone more expert than me to advise on the tax / employment implications of working when you have TRP, but it's got to be easier than the usual work permit / visa set-up that I'm on (albeit not in teaching).

But, and it's a big but, get a teaching qualification. CELTA is ideal, and widely recognized all over the world. You could traing for it here in Russia, at BKC Moscow, if you wish, or you can do it somewhere local to you in the US (you may find the similar TOEFL course more widely available there - I'm a Brit and trained in London).

FWIW, I worked a while at BKC and found them reliable, in as much as they did what they said they would. But they never said they'd do much, and I've heard horror stories from other teachers who had a bad time with them. The major plus, especially for a new teacher, is that you're part of a big teaching community (something like 200 teachers when I was there), so there is always someone to turn to for advice / ideas / sympathy / beer. It might make a decent introduction to the business for a short-term contract (typically 9 months), then you'll have a bit of experience and a chance to pick up useful contacts in the business and see what's on offer.

As for setting up your own business, apart from suggesting you check out getting individual entrepreneur status, I can't advise much. But I know people have made a decent living as a freelance teacher and especially like being able to limit the geographical areas they work in - you can cut down travel time, manage your hours more flexibly, and potentially put together a decent income ... if you're good enough to attract and keep students. Good luck :)