Local enterprises, environmental groups and charities that are trying to improve Russia’s environmental and social scorecard are usually on the lookout for volunteers. A good example is the Great Baikal Trail project helping to construct a hiking trail around Lake Baikal. The US-based School of Russian & Asian Studies (SRAS) has complied an online list of volunteer opportunities in Russia (www.sras.org/volunteer_opportunities_in_russia). Other possibilities:
Bureaucracy makes getting a job or starting a business in Russia a hassle, but it’s certainly not impossible. It is wise to use a professional relocation firm to navigate the country’s thicket of rules and regulations surrounding employment of foreigners. Good websites for expats are www.expat.ru and www.redtape.ru/forum.
If you’ve ever thought about living and working in Russia, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.