Frequently asked questions


Q: What are the minimum requirements for participation?


You must be a native English speaker or, if English is not your first language, you must speak it at a native level. "Native-level" for us means fluency at Level 4 or 5 on the ILR scale.  For camp counselor positions, Level 3 is acceptable as well.

Some positions require knowledge of Russian -- equivalent of 2 semesters of university-level Russian for teaching, and at least 4 semesters for translation. No Russian is required for the camp position. We also welcome heritage speakers and will accommodate for their unique needs. 

Lastly, you must be at least 17 years old to participate.  


Q: How do I apply? 

You can apply to the Crossroads Eurasia program by submitting an online application. We will follow up within a few days with a phone/Skype interview. We require applications and an interview to make sure that your needs and objectives are aligned with what we can offer in the program and learn more about your skills and interests. This allows us to offer placements and host families that are a good fit for each individual. While we are selective, the majority of candidates are accepted.

If we are able to secure you a spot, we will make you an offer, which you need to confirm within one week with a US$ 300 security deposit (or the equivalent in your local currency). The remainder of the program fee will be due within 45 days or by end-April, whichever is soonest (see costs and timing page for full program costs). 

Once we have your confirmation, we will start helping you prepare for your trip.


Q: How do you place interns?


Internship placements are based on your qualifications and objectives. We consider such factors as your level of interest in the Russia/CIS region, ability to communicate with individuals of other cultures, and your academic and extra-curricular activities. We likewise look to see that your objectives are something that you can achieve through our program. This information would come from your application and your interview. 


Q: Can I pick where I go? 


Unfortunately, no.  However, most internships are location-specific anyway. For example, all camp positions are in the Kostroma region, while all translation is in Voronezh. The only exception is teaching, which takes place in Ryazan and Voronezh. For these two, the decision usually comes down to timing, as the start dates and durations are slightly different in the two cities.  


Q: CAN I PICK WHEN I GO? 


In your application, you tell us when you are available during the summer, and we use this information to try to match you with available opportunities.  Your internship offer will give you a clear sense of when you will need to be in Russia, and you will have the last word on whether the timing works for you or not. 


Q: Do you offer scholarships? 

Unfortunately, no. That said, the internships can qualify for summer funding (and credit) through your university. We also offer discounts for individuals who apply early and refer others (see cost and timing page for details). 

If cost is an issue, consider the camp counselor position, the program fee for which comes to about US$ 150 per week, inclusive of accommodations and all meals.  

Q: What do I need to do to prepare for the trip?

We will start getting you prepared as soon as you accept our placement offer. We will be in touch regularly to make sure that you do not miss important deadlines. The key elements will be the following: 

  • Russian visa. You will need a special non-tourist visa. Getting one is time-consuming, so we will starting working with you on this right away. We will also follow up on administrative items (e.g. health information). 
  • Program dates and flights. We will confirm your travel dates as early as possible, so you can get your tickets early and at the best price. All you need to do is get to Moscow. We take care of all in-country transportation. 
  • Your hosts. We will put you in touch with your city coordinator before you travel, so you can ask them about what to expect. If you are staying with a host family, we will connect you with them as well before you go.   


Q: How do I get to the host city? 


We take care of in-country transportation to your host city. All that you need to do is get to Moscow. Your city coordinator or another representative of the program will meet you at the airport. Together you will travel to your host city. Before you travel, we will share with you the name, photo, and contact information of the person meeting you.  

Before you start work, your local coordinator will help you get your bearings -- a short orientation will show you where you will live, introduce you to your host company, and take care of some administrative items (e.g. SIM card).


Q: Is Russia safe?


Yes. The places you will go require no extraordinary precautions, aside from the usual list of do's and don'ts when traveling. Notwithstanding the current political discourse, you will be a welcome guest. For our part, we make sure that you are in good hands from the moment you land. For issues large and small, you will have a local city coordinator to advise you and a large local support network to lean on. 

  • 24/7 access to a Local Coordinator. Our local coordinators have years of experience hosting international travelers and dealing with any problems that come up. You are put in contact with them before you travel and stay in touch throughout your stay. 
  • Airport meeting: We meet you at the airport upon arrival and help you get to your host city to make sure that you have no trouble making the journey.
  • Safe accommodations. Our host families are well-known to the local coordinator and live in safe parts of town. Your route to work will have been double-checked to make sure that you can learn to navigate it easily. If you work at a camp, your accommodations are covered by stringent safety and security precautions that camp organizers must legally provide. 
  • We stay informed. We operate in safe areas and stay informed of developments. We do not send interns to areas where there is an unreasonable risk to personal safety. 


"From the very beginning, they really make you feel like you are safe and in good hands."

Ben K. (Goucher College)