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Get an internship in Russia and explore the largest country in the world! Russia covers approximately an eighth of the world's inhabited area, almost twice the size of the United States and borders 14 countries. Due to its size, Russia has something to suit all travelers from the subtropical climate of the Black Sea to the arctic temperatures of Siberia.
Russia has plenty to offer interns with its rich history and cultural heritage. The country has renowned museums, famous theaters and ornate buildings and many world heritage sites. Visitors experience a unique culture - influenced from both Europe and Asia. Its rapidly growing economy also makes it a great destination, particularly for business internships. To top it all off, the country is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics!
Major cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg are most popular with international companies and many offices are located in these cities. The Coast is great for hospitality internships with many resorts.
You could travel to Russia without an internship lined up but this will be extremely difficult. Unless you already have a contact in Russia It is best to make arrangements through an agency that will be able to help you apply for your business visa and internship. These agencies usually have additional fees and requirements, and it is best to apply a couple of months before you plan on leaving.
Unfortunately, Russia is a relatively expensive country to live in with Moscow and St. Petersburg among the most expensive cities in Europe. Similar to the United States, the cost of living varies greatly depending on where you live. Generally, the closer to the city, the higher the rent. However, there are some rural areas that can be just as expensive. The two most popular cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg are two of the most expensive cities to live in within Europe. For example, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Moscow is $740 (Rio Novosti).
While rent is very expensive, other expenses such as groceries, petrol, and transport are relatively cheap. During most internships, another job is not permitted. Simple changes such as eating at home and packing your own lunch will help you to keep expenses down.
Etiquette: Russians are generally more reserved and somber. Therefore, speaking or laughing loudly is considered rude. Introductions may seem distant but once you get better acquainted, smiles will become more common. In addition, a western smile can be interpreted as insincere or that you find their behavior amusing or odd.
Women are highly respected audit is common for doors to be opened by males and assistance offered with carrying heavy bags for instance. This treatment is also expected from male travellers. This cultural difference should not be seen as sexual harassment or to condescend females.
Russia is a beautiful country that holds many opportunities for those willing to put in a little bit of effort to find it. It is a great way to improve your Russian and grow international contacts.
Being such a large country, Russia provides something for everyone. Travel from city to city and you can find yourself in a completely different place. Russia has so much to offer and will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to be there during the Winter Olympics. Once you have found your internship a wealth of opportunities will open up and life will become bespredel (without limits)!
Sarah Young is an avid traveler, currently interning for CENET: Cultural Exchange Network. New Zealand is home where she enjoys yoga, fish'n chips and being close to the beach. Follow her on @sarahynz.
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