Student Jobs in Russia
In all other cases, a permit is required. Permits are issued only to students on full-time courses at state-accredited universities. Students can work only according to the profession specified in the permit, and in the region where their university is located. A permit is issued for 1 year and needs to be extended for the term of the respective employment contract. If students leave their course, the permit is cancelled.
If a student changes their job before the end of the term of the current permit, they may work under this document at their next place of employment, but they must inform the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia of such changes. From 2014, it has become easier for international students to arrange a work permit. One exception to the no work without permit rule is if you work for your university. You might think that there isn’t much you can do if you don’t speak Russian, but if your school offers courses in English, there’s a high chance that they may be hiring, too.
The most popular university job offers are usually for teaching assistant or research assistant. If you have previous experience as a teaching assistant and you have a particular interest in a certain course, it is worth contacting the professor well in advance and asking if they are looking for an assistant. The job mostly consists in being an intermediary between the students and the teacher and helping prepare the materials for the class. You won’t be paid a lot, but it’s still a nice and relatively easy way to earn some pocket money. It will also look good on your CV.
If being the teacher’s pet isn’t really your thing, another way to turn your foreign student status to your advantage is to teach a foreign language. In Russia, especially in big cities, there is a constant demand for native speakers as tutors. Tutoring is a type of informal teaching, usually in the form of several hours of lessons at the client’s home. So if your native language is one of the popular foreign languages for Russians – English, French, German, Spanish, or Italian, or if you’re a native in a language such as Chinese for example, you have a very good chance of finding a tutoring job. And the best part? Russians are willing to pay a lot of money to learn a language from a native. Depending on your previous experience, the level of the student and in some cases, on your luck, you could get paid up to $50 an hour.
Finally, an idea for the more literary-minded: Being a freelance writer. While you probably won’t be authorized to write for a Russia-based media company, since it would be considered as working in Russia without a permit, you could make contributions to online magazines, culture guides, or newspapers in your own country. Russia is a fascinating destination and it definitely doesn’t lack material for inspiring travel or lifestyle pieces, but there isn’t that much written about the country on foreign websites, so you will have a competitive advantage.