Internships in Russia

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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!

  • Main Industries: Energy & Oil, International Business
  • Popular Destinations: Moscow, St. Petersburg
  • Cost of Living: $800 to 1500 (USD) heavily dependent on location
  • Visa: Business visa. Attaining a Business visa can be complicated process. It involves three stages: Invitation, application and registration. Visit the Russian Consulate website for full details on applying for a Russian visa.
  • Business/International Business: With Russia's fast growing economy, many international companies have offices or headquarters here. Areas such as marketing, accounting, and finance are generally favorable fields for internships. However, these jobs should be pre-arranged, as finding a business to sponsor you will be very difficult once you're in Russia.
  • Hotel Ukraine
    Hotel Ukraine
  • Teaching English: Teaching English is a great way to experience Russia. There are many companies that are able to assist you with placements and can also assist with accommodation and your visa. Many require you to take Russian language classes at the beginning of your placement and an intermediate level of Russia preferred.
  • Hospitality Tourism: There are many new developments along the coast of the Black Sea as Russia gets prepared to host the Winter Olympics. The rapid growth in the tourism industry makes it a great time for those interested in business or hospitality internships.
  • International Development: There are many not for profit organizations that offer internships in Russia, from international development to environmental conservation. Most of these positions are usually unpaid and can range in duration from 3 weeks to one year.
  • Energy and Oil: Russia has the largest reserves of mineral and energy and is the largest producer of oil and natural gas.
When and Where to Look for an Internship:

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.

The Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin
Cost of Living in Russia:

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.

Work Culture in Russia:

  • 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.

  • Language: An intermediate level of Russian is required for most internships, particularly in smaller towns where locals may only speak Russian. Some programs also require participation in language simultaneous to your internship.
  • Networking: Vkontakte.ru is the dominant social network used in Russia similar to Facebook. With Russians more reserved approach, be aware that creating relationships will take slightly longer but will be valuable once gained.
the Red Square
The Red Square
Why Intern in Russia?

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)!

Photo Credit: Hotel Ukraine - Moscow Kremlin - Red Square


Contributed by Sarah Young

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.

Do you think there is something missing in our guide to interning in Russia? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.

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