A: Volunteer teachers do not, in fact, pay to work and the participation fee covers accommodation and ALL meals at the camp. We organise theatre and sightseeing trips and, in the winter, health treatment. This would have to be paid for separately if one came to Russia as tourists or to learn Russian. In return for their teaching our volunteers receive all the benefits mentioned, including Russian lessons and an exciting cultural and social programme. Students who are over eighteen may enrol as volunteer teachers, thus reducing the participation fee. The participation fee is incredible value if you think exactly what our programme has to offer in return.
A: If you have any favourite textbooks, please bring a sample of these, as we like to share resources. Please also do bring small gifts and souvenirs for the students, as it is a Russian tradition to exchange small gifts. Most of our former international
participants always had some small nice presents for children. These included post cards, pens, markers, small books, badges, small toys, cookies, some souvenirs related to their country, etc. Some small and inexpensive stuff. This is of course optional and is certainly not a must but we just wanted to let you know what have been done in the past. There are always returning teachers at the camp who will be bringing gifts for the children so it has become a tradition already.
On the first day of the session all international participants will do their presentations. It's a presentation of the country/culture as well as a personal presentation for which you can bring some items related to your country and the area you come from such as flags, posters, national symbols, maps, leaflets, picture books, or even some small traditional food items such as sweets, cookies etc., that you can demonstrate to the students of the camp to introduce the students to some aspects of your culture (we also arrange a display of the items which belong to different cultures and we will really appreciate it if you could contribute something about your country and culture and the area you come from). You can bring over a video/music tape or a computer presentation. If you are coming to participate in the winter camp it is always recommended to bring some items related to Christmas and Christmas traditions in your country.
As far as the teaching materials are concerned, each teacher is free to choose and bring over the materials he/she considers to be appropriate and informative for each topic. These can be course-books, textbooks, exercise-books, grammar exercises, magazine and newspaper articles, video, educational and music tapes, questionaries for discussion, quizzes, role-plays, fun games and activities, etc., all related to the theme of the day. Daily themes will be sent to each prospective volunteer teacher at least two months prior to the starting date of the session.
It is useful to bring glue, scotch tape, coloured pencils and pens for use in class. Some teachers like to bring their notebook computer in order to give presentations, it is recommended but not necessary.
A: Volunteers gain more than just job satisfaction from working for the Cosmopolitan program. Though the experience of seeing young people growing and developing as they experience a different culture can be very fulfilling. Volunteering for the Cosmopolitan program gives professionals a chance to use their work skills in the voluntary sector to promote intercultural learning.
But volunteering also offers people a chance to do something new and to gain new skills and experience which may prove to be invaluable later in their own work. Finally, volunteering for the Cosmopolitan program offers volunteers a chance to meet like minded people and to make new friends not only in Russia but around the World.
All volunteers have an excellent opportunity to attend Russian languages classes taught by well-educated native speakers trained to teach foreigners. No previous knowledge of Russian is required to get enrolled in the Russian course.
We organise an exciting cultural, social and excursion program for international participants of the camp, which is a very enriching experience. You will be involved in interaction with the Russian children, youth and adults all the time. This is the kind of experience you will never get if you come to Russia as a tourist. You will gain a first-hand experience of the Russian culture and life style, and particularly the Siberian one. They say if you want to know what real Russia is like you should come to Siberia.
Siberia has been opening up to the West and offers a range of still unexplored experiences and opportunities. As the cultural, scientific and educational center of Siberia, surrounded by picturesque wooded and field areas, Novosibirsk is an excellent place for immersion in the Russian language and culture, and provides many opportunities to experience the hospitality and cordiality Siberians are famed for.
A: Once you have received your official Invitation from Educational Centre “Cosmopolitan” to attend you will need to apply for a visa at your country’s Russian Consulate. It is possible to do this through a Travel Agent. In the UK we recommend Intourist or Real Russia who are experts at arranging Visas and travel documents for our participants. Contact Alla at Real Russia
who will be glad to help. Please note that the official Invitation is NOT the visa itself and it must be submitted to the Russian Consulate for the Visa to be stamped in your passport.
A: Absolutely not! You will be given lots of help and advice about the classes and our English co-ordinator will help you with planning/preparation. Classes are small and informal and our children are all willing and eager to learn.