TEFL Jobs in Moscow – How to Live and Earn Like a Local
TEFL jobs give you the opportunity to live in Moscow and earn like a local. If you’ve ever dreamed about travelling to the Russian capital, you can do so without touching your savings account. One of the most fun and rewarding ways to travel and earn is by teaching English abroad. The opportunities don’t end with the salary, as you could also get expenses paid and even free Russian lessons. Most importantly, you will live and earn like a local in Moscow, which is one of the best cultural experiences a traveler can dream of.
Why Travel to Moscow
Before you find out how to get those teaching jobs in Moscow, let’s talk about this fascinating capital and the many exciting things you can do whilst living there.
Moscow in History
Moscow is 860 years old and the cultural city has been the capital of Russia since 1991. As a metropolitan hub of Russian culture, economics and politics, when you step into Moscow and walk the streets with the other 13 million residents, it will be clear that you are in the heart of the Russian Federation.
Culture and Everyday Life
Moscow is an intriguing and vibrant city, with something to do at any hour of the day. Whether you want to hang out in ‘Moscow City’ and enjoy the architectural masterpieces of modern Russia, or whether you prefer to go off the beaten path to visit the less famous sights, such as the Museum of GULAG History, or just want to hang out and enjoy traditional meals and good beer, the choices are unlimited.
Cost of Living in Moscow
The currency in Moscow is the Russian Rubble (RUB). For an idea of how the Rubble converts into other currencies, here is an estimate:
1 RUB = 0.015 EUR / 0.019 USD / 0.012 GBP
The living cost in Moscow is considered quite high, and here are some examples of what to expect:
- One bedroom apartment in the city centre – 52 000+ RUB / 1000+ USB / 700+ GBP
- Utility costs for one bedroom apartment – 5,000 RUB / 100 USB / 60 GBP
- Three course meal for two – 2,400 RUB / 50 USB / 30 GBP
- Cappuccino – 100 RUB / 1.90 USB / 1.20 GBP
- Moscow Kremlin Museum entry cost – 300-900 RUB / 6 – 18 USB / 3.50 – 10 GBP
Now that you have a glimpse of the living costs in Moscow, you probably wonder how much to expect to earn for a TEFL job. There is no accurate answer, as it will highly depend on the school you work for. Some language schools will cover accommodation, Russian lessons and pay you the extra salary that will probably be just enough to cover your expenses and some travel. You have the option to freelance and work full time or part time TEFL jobs, for either public or private schools.
Your best bet to ensure a higher salary when teaching English is Moscow is to get qualified with one of the accredited TEFL courses and carefully review your contract terms beforehand. Try to figure out your own living costs beforehand, such as accommodation, lifestyle and any travel outside Moscow. With that in mind, tailor your job search and you will certainly be able to choose one of the TEFL jobs that covers all your needs.
What to Expect From a TEFL Jobs
As mentioned before, there are so many types of TEFL jobs and contracts, for which both working hours and salary will vary. Here are a few examples to help steer you in the right direction:
Teaching English in Public and Private Language Schools
When you work directly with a school, you would usually follow a part-time or full-time contract for an entire school year, from 1st of September to end of May. There is a high demand for native English teachers with TEFL qualifications in both public and private schools. The latter usually pays higher, up to 100 000 RUB (approx. 20000 USD / 1300 GBP) for a full-time contract. You contract could also include accommodation and reimbursement of your airfare costs from your home country to Moscow and back. The salary rate will vary depending on the school and your contract with them. Keep in mind that a very common practice in Russia is to have a trial period, of up to three months, when you are paid significantly less.
Teaching Business English at Companies
This is an emerging market in Russia, especially Moscow, as companies are recognizing the need to have an English-speaking workforce. You could teach business English is Moscow either by freelancing directly with the company for an hourly fee or setting a contract for the duration of the training, or you can work with a school or training programme that offers ‘in company’ teaching. This is a great opportunity if you prefer to work with businesses rather than teaching young children, and the payment is also significantly higher.
You can also become a freelance English teacher in Moscow. You could either choose to work online or offer one-on-one English lessons. There are many online platforms and you can use word of mouth or adverts to promote your face-to-face meetings. It might be easier to secure private lessons once you’ve worked with a school and made some connections. Here you set your own fee and your own hours. You can work with students of all ages, prepare them for school exams or even IELTS in case they are looking to study abroad. The hourly rates are usually between 800 -1300 RUB (15-25 USD / 9-16 GBP). The benefit of freelancing is that you choose your own hours and is also suitable for short-term stays in Moscow. You may also choose to freelance on top of your current TEFL job in order to increase your income.
Other opportunities for TEFL jobs include teaching English in Universities or even volunteering TEFL internships. The latter won’t have a salary but usually includes accommodation and living expenses, and the contracts can be shorter such as 2-3 months contracts for TEFL summer camps.
How to get TEFL Jobs in Moscow
There are really only 3 steps to getting a teaching job in Moscow.
- Start by getting your TEFL qualification.
- After that, ensure that you have the right work permit. Depending on your country of residence you may need a working visa. Check that with your local authorities (embassy) and get it prepared in advance.
- The last step is finding the right teaching job in Moscow. You can search for TEFL Jobs via our jobs board. Once you found the school that you want to work for and a contract to suit your needs, pack your bags and off you go on your Russian adventure. Take a journal and a camera, because your stay in Moscow will be worth remembering.