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Everything you need to know about becoming an international teacher in Russia

International teachers

As an international teacher in Russia, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to the nation’s renowned education system, engaging with students from various backgrounds and fostering cross-cultural understanding.

Beyond the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself into the unique blend of Eastern and Western influences, visit world-renowned museums, and explore the historic streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming an international teacher in Russia, including visa requirements, cost of living, healthcare, cultural expectations and norms, and expat communities.


Visa requirements for international teachers in Russia

International teachers planning to work in Russia will need to obtain a work visa. Firstly, you must secure a job offer from a Russian educational institution, establishing the institution as the official sponsor for the visa application.

Subsequently, your employing institution will provide you with an official invitation letter. This letter is a prerequisite for the visa application.

Armed with the invitation letter, you can then proceed to apply for the work visa at the Russian consulate or embassy in your home country. The application typically includes a completed form, a valid passport, passport-sized photos, and a medical certificate confirming the absence of specific diseases.

Upon arrival in Russia, you’ll be required to register with local authorities within seven business days. This registration is mandatory and formalises your legal stay. Depending on individual circumstances, you may also need a work permit, a document typically obtained by the employer to ensure legal authorisation for employment.

For detailed information, visit the Russian government website.


Cost of living for international teachers in Russia

The cost of living for international teachers in Russia varies depending on the city and lifestyle preferences. Major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg generally have higher living expenses compared to smaller towns, but the overall cost of living in Russia can be moderate, providing international teachers with opportunities to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Housing costs, including rent and utilities, constitute a significant portion of living expenses. Some international schools in Russia may provide housing assistance or accommodations as part of the employment package, easing the financial burden for teachers. Grocery expenses are reasonable, and local markets offer fresh produce at affordable prices.

Public transportation, including metro systems and buses, is a cost-effective way to navigate cities. Dining out can range from budget-friendly options to higher-end restaurants, allowing teachers to explore Russian cuisine and local eateries.

Cultural activities and entertainment options vary, providing opportunities for teachers to engage in local events, visit museums, and explore the diverse cultural offerings in Russia.

Cost of living in Moscow (USD)

Rent for one-bedroom apartment in city centre – $785 per month
Rent for one-bedroom apartment outside city centre – $470 per month
Loaf of bread – $0.60
Litre of milk – $0.95
12 eggs – $1.35
Takeaway coffee – $2.55
Meal for two at mid-range restaurant – $33.95
Meal at inexpensive restaurant – $7.90


Healthcare for international teachers in Russia

Healthcare in Russia offers a mix of public and private options. The country has well-equipped medical facilities, particularly in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, where international teachers often reside.

Public healthcare in Russia is available to residents and expatriates, but it may vary in quality and accessibility. Private medical services in Russia are known for their high standards, with well-qualified professionals and state-of-the-art equipment.

Pharmacies are widely available, and over-the-counter medications are accessible. It’s advisable for international teachers to familiarise themselves with the locations of medical facilities and pharmacies in their area, ensuring quick access to healthcare services when needed.

Many international schools in Russia offer health insurance as part of their employment package.


Cultural expectations and norms for international teachers in Russia

Russian culture is marked by a strong sense of hospitality, respect for authority, and an appreciation for intellectual pursuits.

Formality is often emphasised in professional settings, with titles and proper greetings playing a significant role. It’s customary to address colleagues and superiors with their titles and last names, reflecting a sense of professionalism. Demonstrating respect for authority figures and adhering to hierarchies in educational institutions is important in fostering positive interactions.

Building personal relationships is highly valued in Russian culture, and teachers who take the time to engage in social interactions outside of the classroom often find themselves more seamlessly integrated into the local community. Participating in extracurricular activities, attending social events, and embracing local traditions contribute to a deeper cultural understanding.

Additionally, showcasing a genuine interest in Russian language and culture is often well-received, demonstrating a commitment to understanding and embracing the local way of life.


Expat communities for international teachers in Russia

In major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, expat communities thrive, offering a mix of social events, professional networking opportunities, and cultural activities.

These communities often organise language exchange programs, cultural outings, and social gatherings, fostering a sense of camaraderie among teachers from around the world.

Within these expat circles, international teachers find valuable resources and practical advice, easing their transition into Russian life. Online forums, social media groups, and local expat organisations further contribute to the sense of community, allowing teachers to connect, share experiences, and navigate the unique aspects of living and working in Russia.

Engaging with Russia’s expatriate community extends beyond professional support, providing a platform for personal growth and cross-cultural friendships. Participating in local traditions, exploring the diverse landscapes, and attending expat-led initiatives contribute to a well-rounded expatriate experience.


Schrole international schools in Russia

Ready to find out what Russia has to offer you? Explore Schrole international schools in Russia now:

International School of Kazan
Letovo School

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$50 USD per year
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  • Ability to create a unique educator profile that holds your references and important documents, such as teaching qualifications, all in one location.
  • Access to our entire database of 400+ international schools representing 100+ countries.
  • 5,000+ teaching vacancies every recruitment season.
  • Unlimited number of job applications.
  • Custom alerts so you’re the first to hear when your preferred roles are posted.
  • Access to virtual and in-person recruitment events with school leaders and recruiters.

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Free membership
  • Ability to create a unique educator profile that holds your references and important documents, such as teaching qualifications, all in one location.
  • Access to our entire database of schools to discover your next teaching role.
  • Submission of three job applications.

Schrole has been a reliable platform for us to access strong candidates and Schrole staff have been very helpful throughout the recruiting process. I very much look forward to a long working relationship with Schrole.

Brian Lalor  Primary Principal 
 Xi’an Liangjiatan International School
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Xi’an Liangjiatan International School