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I want Russia...
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:59 am    Post subject: I want Russia... Reply with quote

I just finished my CELTA course at the end of August, and I have a little problem. Well, a few. Firstly, I have bipolar disorder. However, this is my chosen profession, and honestly I think the challenges of living and working abroad will be good for me. That said, I want to transition as easily as I possibly can, friends and contacts would be fabulous. I realize that's easier requested than achieved. And from reading the forums, I realize that I'll most likely have to teach in a McSchool for a year. So...where should I apply? Are there significant opportunities outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg?

Also, I have two misdemeanor marijuana charges on my record from 2006. Is that going to prevent me from finding a job in Russia or the C.I.S.? Sashadroogie help me!

tttompatz directed me toward Mexico, but it sounds just as brutal as Russia, and I'd rather go to Russia. Think I can make it? I really want to make it...

Please request any additional information that I may have neglected to include. Oh and I have a BA in English as well. I'm American, male, and 28 years old.
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose I posted a little prematurely. I had read all of the Russia/C.I.S. posts a few days ago, but apparently forgotten their content. I guess the real question I'm asking is...where is the best place in the area for me to start looking for some modicum of stability, and does anyone work for a good school that is currently hiring? I can hack it. I can do the move, I will start learning Russian, I will handle the cold, and be friendly and outgoing with every ounce of my being. I just need a little specific direction. I know it's difficult because you don't know me, but...try? Moscow, Vladi, Novo, SPB...Sochi b/c of the upcoming games? I guess more than anything I just don't want this to fail. I have about $3K saved to get there and get settled. Beyond that, if things don't work out, I could be stuck in Missouri (yes, MISSOURI) for months. Again, thanks for thoughtful replies. I hope I've been thorough and appropriately erudite and do not incur the wrath of any lovers of the Motherland.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi njs7t3!

I'd love to help, but I know nothing about bipolar disorder, or how it may be affected by living in Russia. As to your misdemenours, again, not sure how this would affect your job search. I don't know anyone who has been asked for a police check, but this situation is changing. The little I actually know about background checks is that most MacSchools will ask you to tick a box stating that you have never been involved in offences against children. Fairly primitive, but I'm sure other posters will be able to shed further light on this subject.

As for places - probably Moscow or St. Petersburg would be easiest to get started in, though others will disagree. Apply to the usual suspects, BKC, Language Link, English First etc. (They may ask about medical issues though. I'm not sure I would inform them, unless you think it will affect your work.)

Best of luck to you!
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got preliminary apps in with EF and BKC, although I'm not sure about trying to cope with the big-city life in Moscow or St. Petersburg (I'm from Missouri, where our biggest cities don't break the 1 million mark) while also starting a new career etc. More research to do! Thank you for your heartfelt reply, and perhaps sometime soon, I will have better questions. You're a saint!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been told that it is not legal to teach in Russia with mental health problems. I think you need to check this out, however, as I am not sure of this.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know much about Missouri (or the French I took, or a science book...), or how small it may be. But I'd be concerned about the isolation of being in a small provincial town in the middle of nowhere Russia, especially for a newbie regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. Very few English speakers, masses of culture shock, little in the way of home comforts. True, the sheer scale of a place like Moscow has its own issues, but I think the advantages of having a support network would outweigh them.

I'd advise you to think very carefully about moving to a small town in Siberia. What ever about Missouri, it won't be Kansas...
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if a newbie to Russia, then a small town is not a good idea. However, how about Novosibirsk?
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lechatbleu



Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Krasnodar, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi njs7t3,

I'm definitely not one of the experienced ones here, but I wanted to give you a little shout-out of support since sounds like we're coming from pretty similar places. I'm 30, American, in the midwest (though I'm not male)- and against my better judgement and all the good advice I received, I had my heart set on Russia. Now, I'm leaving in 8 days!

I also felt a bit like Moscow or St. Petersburg might be a little overwhelming, and as it turned out I'm headed to Krasnodar, which sounds like a good fit for me.

Being a newbie, I do have some recent experience with applying to McSchools, so I can help you out there- I was not asked to provide any kind of background check. They didn't even ask if I had a record, so for a McSchool the pot charges probably would not a be a problem.

However, I was asked about pre-existing medical conditions, and the contract specified that failing to disclose any would definitely lead to termination. That said, I was not asked for any kind of proof (like a doctor's letter or medical check) so I suppose it depends how much the bi-polar affects you and how under control you've got it.

Hope that helps a bit!
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That helps a lot guys. I will look into Novosibirsk and Krasnodar. Sasha and cole I think you're right about being too isolated; I don't think that would be good either. Honestly, the only reason I even mentioned the bipolar (which I'm not treated for right now anyway since I don't have insurance), is because when things are bad for days or weeks, it becomes increasingly hard for me to function, or just "push through," "pull up my bootstraps," "get back on the horse," whichever idiom you prefer. But like I said, I'm dedicated, and as long as I can make some friends and find a decent school, I can make it work. When applying I probably won't disclose either the disorder OR the criminal record to potential employers.
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After researching today I have several cities in mind. But it seems like finding the schools and job postings is going to be tough. Anyone care to help with contacts, know of schools, work in any of the following cities: Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk...?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9486
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm chiming in here outside of my normal borders (I haunt the Russia forum because I work with lots of Russians and have done projects inside the country), so take this with a bit of a grain of salt.

But on the issue of 'making friends,' which really equates to 'creating a social support system' (meaning that it's actually very important when living abroad), most newbies to any given country are really looking at the expat community as a first layer. That's why it's important to be somewhere there IS an expat community to draw from.

Way back when I got started in 1998, I turned down a job in a small town where the expat community of English speakers amounted to a total of 3, two of whom were social misfits. I'm glad I did. Language barriers are not the only difficulty to overcome when making friends among the local population. The locals will by definition already have lives, family, and friends and will have less incentive to take in a foreigner as a new friend right away. No one should any longer count on the cache of being an 'exotic' native English speaker - that lustre wore off about a decade ago.

My point is that a strong expat community is a very helpful first bridge into a country and culture, as it generally takes more time to develop a real social network among the locals. So, be sure to go somewhere that this exists!
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, thank you spiral. I actually found a (slightly) outdated expat website for...it was one of those cities...and sent an email. We'll see what I get back from them. I hope I'm not trying your patience, but do you have any ideas? From your experience, or others' experience, where is there a decent expat community (considering my situation(s)) that you think would benefit me?
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very true, spiral78. And on that basis, I would not look at Krasnodar and Krasnoyarsk. They're lovely places in themselves (Krasnoyarsk especially if you're interested in getting out into the countryside - ski slopes, hiking, even rock climbing on the famous 'stolby'). However, there is a very small expat community outside visiting businessmen.

Ekateriburg and N-sk would be the best bets - I can pm you some schools I can recommend, njs7t3. Kazan is actually one of my favourite cities but the employment options are very poor.
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd also like to point out that two of my favourite pubs in Russia are in Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk Smile

Ekat: The Rosy Jane pub and whisky bar.

Novosibirsk: St. Patrick's Corner.

Awesome pubs, many happy times in both of them.


Last edited by Nexus on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You had me at whiskey bar.
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