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Crossroads Eurasia

About

Internships in Russia.

Don’t just study Russia. Live it! Improve your Russian, gain a personal perspective on today's Russia, and make your resume stand out.

Imagine spending time in Russia -- working, living, and relaxing with locals. Placed at a Russian company and in a regional city, you interact with Russians daily. We have something for beginners and advanced speakers alike.

You can choose one of four types of internships -- teaching English, translation, camp counseling, or media / field research. Choose one or combine multiple experiences.

No past experience required. The internships leverage your academic or extra-curricular work. You will have clear instructions on what to do and support from the coordinator and local colleagues.

Internships qualify for academic credit.

Founded
2010
Headquarters

15 Guy Court
Rockville, MD 20850
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Ryan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I adored this program. So much so, that after six weeks teaching in the camp, I came back for a weekend visit during a different study abroad program, and then again to help out after that program had ended. I really couldn't let the place go, simply because there's a certain charm to Nerekhta, the camp, and the people in it. It's really hard to describe in words, but here's three reasons why I loved the experience so much:

1) The novelty. Every day was unlike the last, and every two or three weeks, there arrives a fresh batch of kids with their own crazy (and sometimes way too crazy) personalities. Also, Nerekhta, a town of 20,000 people, is the complete opposite of New York City. But that doesn't mean you'll be river bathing and squatting! On the contrary - the house where they put you up is very, very nice. If you like adventure, this is for you.

2) The people, of course. There will be other English speakers (from the UK and America) along with Russian speakers, all with their own quirks. You'll gel with 99% of the them (sad truth), and will share many, many laughs. They are all so caring. I was going to miss a train in Yaroslavl, a town about an hour and a half away, and the parents of a kid I had taught offered to drive me there on a whim. Incredible.

3) Russian. I learned so. much. Russian. But this is largely dependent on you. If you take advantage of the constant access to Russian speakers, you'll make incredible language gains. Likewise, if you don't put yourself out there and start speaking, regardless of mistakes, you will stay at the same level.

Those are just some of the reasons, and this review is already getting quite long. Let me sum it up. In my experience (key word my), what Crossroads provides is a intimate experience in Russia and a streamlined visa application process. You may or may not find this elsewhere. If you think you can handle the visa process alone, by all means! But they do make it easier. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. Give it a shot.

Default avatar
Joseph
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Russia was amazing. Not only was my internship and time spent in the country absolutely what I was looking for, but so was the support from Crossroads. I was able to truly immerse myself in a work environment that allowed room for growth, contribution, and fun. The response time from team at Crossroads was great as well. Because of this I never had to worry about any hiccups in the program or my travels. The last thing I can say is that Crossroads set me up with an amazing supervisor and organization. I can truly say that many of those that I worked with were like family. Everyone should definitely consider embarking on a Crossroads Eurasia program! You won’t be disappointed.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing that I can add
Aidan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This summer I had the opportunity to spend five weeks teaching English in Voronezh, Russia. Although I know many classmates who made trips to Russia to take language classes, making the decision to teach English there instead was one of my best decisions when it came to understanding foreign cultures. Not only was the Crossroads Eurasia staff incredibly helpful with the process of taking care of the paperwork necessary for going abroad, but they took care of my living accommodations, food, and internship placement. I was able to teach young Russian Business professionals English and made close relationships with them both in and outside of the classroom, and had a flexible schedule which allowed for me to travel often within the surrounding region. Not many people who travel abroad are able to make friends with so many natives of the region they visit, especially with study abroad trips that restrict your communication to students from your own country. In addition, I became incredibly close with my host family, and they helped me develop my Russian speaking skills and cultural knowledge of Russia to a level I never could have if I read from a textbook all day. If you want an opportunity to develop professional skills by teaching your language to others, travel, learn a new language, and make life-long friends, Crossroads Eurasia is the program for you!

What would you improve about this program?
I am 100% satisfied with the Crossroads Eurasia program and have no possible improvements in mind.
Default avatar
Raya
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent 3 weeks teaching English at a private preschool-kindergarten program in Voronezh, Russia--if anything my Russian improved much more than my students' English did, as children use language very creatively and adults use a lot more imperatives than usual when in charge of children. The host family I stayed with could not have been more open or accommodating and treated me extremely courteously, allowing me relatively free use of all facilities in their house, and making conversation despite not being obligated to. Overall about an 8/10 experience, the -2 being only because Voronezh is unbearably hot in the summer and riding a crowded commuter bus at high noon when it is over 90 degrees outside is not ideal.

Default avatar
Marisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am so grateful to Crossroads Eurasia for giving me the opportunity to live and teach in Ryazan, Russia. They provided an incredible in-country support system that not only made me feel comfortable and cared for, but also introduced me to people who are now some of my closest friends. The people I worked and lived with welcomed me into their lives with open arms and happily shared different aspects of their culture with me.

I would recommend this program to anyone even remotely interested in learning about what it is like to live and work in Russia. The fact that Crossroads offers students the ability to experience life in Russia outside of the major cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg) is absolutely invaluable. Additionally, Crossroads and their partners all across Russia work their hardest to give students the chance to travel around the area and see as many different places and sights as possible.

Working with Crossroads was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life in terms of both language and personal growth.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Tyler Holl

Tyler Holl is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied Linguistics, Russian, and Government. In addition to Russian, Tyler also speaks Spanish and French, and hopes to continue learning languages until old age. His passion is international relations, and hopes to integrate his coursework, professional experience, and language skills to work in Washington, D.C. or in the United States military. He currently teaches English and Spanish in suburban Maryland.

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Crossroads Eurasia?

I began studying the Russian language at the beginning of my second year at Georgetown University, and I knew only after a few weeks that Russian language, culture, history, and politics was going to become my passion. I regretted not taking the language my first year as well, so I was actively searching for a way to continue learning that summer. I met the director of Crossroads Eurasia at a function with Russian diplomats at Georgetown in the winter, and he gave me his card to check out his website. When I saw what his program offered, I knew I wanted to intern in Russia with Crossroads Eurasia. This internship was one of few that I saw that required a homestay option, which I knew would force me to speak Russian, even when I didn’t necessarily want to do so. Conversations at the dinner table, not always instruction in the classroom, are where one really pushes the limit of his or her language skills.

What made this experience unique and special?

This experience was unique because Crossroads Eurasia does not offer programs in either Moscow or Saint Petersburg. I lived in Voronezh, a smaller city where I was able to witness the “real” Russia. I knew an internship outside of a large metropolis would give me the opportunity to connect with Russians on a more intimate level, increasing the size of my personal and professional networks. The internship also offered different options for the work that one would do while in Russia. I chose, for example to teach students English and Spanish, while some of my colleagues worked at a youth summer camp. I know that the program has expanded after the two years since I had participated, so there are even more options for interns. I became more independent while abroad with Crossroads Eurasia, all while gaining measurable professional experience to put on my résumé.

How has this experience impacted your future?

My experience in Voronezh provided me with experience teaching, helping me get a job in that field after graduation. The experience I gained from travelling has been well received by potential employers, and has made for interesting conversation during interviews. On a more personal level, however, this internship demonstrated the true meaning of cultural exchange. I connected with dozens of Russians of various ages, and never ran out of ideas to talk about. I become very close friends with my host sister and some of my students and colleagues in Voronezh, and stay in touch with them through Skype and VKontakte constantly! Lastly, my experience with Crossroads Eurasia boosted my Russian language skills through the roof. I excelled in my classes during my next semester at Georgetown, and was sometimes even ahead of the classwork material! Even though I only formally studied the language for three years at the university level, because of my time in Voronezh, I felt as though I had studied for four.

What was the highlight of your experience?

The highlight of my experience in Voronezh was the relationships that I built with my Russian friends. I truly feel that my host family has become a part of my own family because of the way that they took me in as I was and cared for me as one of their own. They continue that love and care by Skyping and writing me, keeping me up to date with their life, as I do with them. My friends in Voronezh are exemplars of Russian hospitality, having helped me get around the city when I was lost, and having gone far out of their way to make me feel at home. I have been fortunate to return the favor when one of my friends visited me in DC last year, and I hope to help many others come to America soon. While I am fortunate to have a section of my résumé filled with a few impressive bullet points because of Crossroads Eurasia, the intangible, personal relationships are what truly stick out in my memory as a highlight of my time there.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Russia?

Do it immediately! You will have an experience that you will never forget, and will make yourself stand out from competitors in your field. The only way to learn a language and culture or improve your existing skills is by living the Russian experience firsthand. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you’ll grow more than you could ever imagine.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Vlad Gorshkov

Job Title
Co-founder, Director of Crossroads Eurasia
Vlad is an experienced international traveler and an eager observer of Russian culture, politics, and business. Although he has spent most of his life in the U.S., Russia holds a very special place for him. Having lived and worked there, Vlad has experienced the kinds of opportunities that the country can offer to English speakers and what English speakers can do for Russian organizations. In founding Crossroads Eurasia, Vlad's goal is to facilitate more such connections and to help people learn from one another. Vlad holds a Master's Degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University. He speaks English, Russian, German, and French.

What separates Crossroads Eurasia from other internship providers?

Vlad Gorshkov - Co founder Director of Crossroads Eurasia

Vlad: There are six key differences:

  1. We provide a deeper cultural and language immersion. Our partner organizations are located in provincial centers, which have decidedly less foreign influence and English speakers than Moscow and St. Peteresburg, where most programs are. Moreover, our internships are structured such that the interns work side-by-side with Russians. This challenges the interns to push their language and cultural skills far beyond their existing boundaries.
  2. Our interns get more responsibility and acquire more professional skills. We partner with organizations for whom an intern's ability to speak English at a native level creates a competitive advantage. For example, language schools charge more for classes with native speakers. This motivates the partner organizations to give interns real responsibility and to work with them on improving their performance.
  3. Application to the program is competitive. Because our interns get real work, we do not take everyone who applies. While direct experience teaching/translating/etc. is not required, we look for strong evidence of potential. We aim for an acceptance rate of approximately 30%. This summer, it was around 40%.
  4. We have both a U.S. and local presence, which helps us make the travel logistics worry free. Before the interns travel, we link them with alumni to help them prepare for the experience, and we work with a visa agency to make sure that everyone gets the right type of visa on time the first time (a fairly complicated process). Once interns travel, we have a local coordinator meet them at the airport, take them to the host city, and help them settle in before they start work.
  5. Unlike most programs, we support our alumni. Our goal is to encourage alumni to help each other learn how they can use the Crossroads internship to make themselves more competitive in the job market and find next career step. We do this primarily through a closed Facebook group, where alumni interact with one another and where we share advice, job postings, etc. Our alumni have gotten jobs in Russia and the prestigious Boren Scholarship with their Crossroads experience playing a prominent role.
  6. Our program fee is much lower than comparable programs. Because our partners earn a profit from having our interns on staff, they cover housing and some other big costs. This allows us to keep the program fee to a minimum.

What are the core principles Crossroads Eurasia strives to achieve?

Vlad: Our goal is to enable and encourage people to immerse themselves deeper into Russian society/culture than they otherwise would think is possible.

How can an internship in Russia help interns prepare for the job market?

Vlad: For students who are interested in a career that involves Russia, which is most of our interns, the link is direct. Employers, graduate and even internship programs want students who understand Russia. For most students, that understanding remains on a superficial level. Even those that have done study abroad tend to be seen as not having gone deep enough. In this context, those interns who have done our program tend to stand out a lot.

For the few students who are not explicitly interested in a career involving Russia, the main benefit comes from the personal and professional skills that they pick up on the job. These are generally soft skills -- project management, relationship building, creativity, listening skills, etc. which can make one stand out on a resume and in-person. In general, taking part in our program, as is the case with other work-abroad programs, tends to make a person more mature, flexible, and introspective, which makes a big impression on interviewers.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Russia?

Vlad: Like with universities, look not only at the program itself, but what happens after. The group of people who hold Russia-related careers in the U.S. (in the government and private sector) is not that big, and having access to an alumni network that gives you a foot in the door can be a worthwhile investment.

Anything else you would like to share?

Vlad: The Russian visa process (for anything other than a tourist visa), in particular, can be a major pain, and not all companies that offer work in Russia can guide you through it. Those located in Russia, in particular, don't have as good of a handle on the process and will leave you to work through it yourself. If you have to work through it yourself, start at least a couple of months ahead of your travel date and expect to make at least two to three trips to the consulate to fix mistakes in your application.