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    SVEZHY VETER Travel Agency
    426008 Izhevsk Karla Marxa 288a
    mail: 426033 Izhevsk 2040 Russia
    tel: +7 (3412) 450037, 613080
    +7 909 064 69 95

      Contact us

    Volunteers Section

    Volunteers History (2000-2011)      Currently Volunteering      School Photo Gallery

    Damian Etherington
    Edinburgh, UK

    Hi, I spent the summer of 2002 in a summer camp near Izhevsk and it is something that I would highly recommend, I had an amazing time. I was the first volunteer to take part in the camp placement programme and it was a step into the unknown for Svezhy Veter and me.

    The work in the camp was very relaxed; a typical day included 1-2 hours of lessons (in the loosest possible sense of the word) with the kids, with the reminder of the day being spent playing sports and games with them. The kids were fantastic as were all the adults at the camp, they were amazingly friendly, open and eager to learn about my life and me.

    The people in the camp had a great zest for life. There was always something different and exciting to do in the camp, the counsellor always managed to have some competition, party or theme for each day. Which can be really confusing when you wake up and everyone is wearing their clothes inside out, and breakfast has become dinner. Very strange!

    If your wanting to take part in the camp programme a few survival tips I would give you are, take a deck of cards and learn (quickly) how to play durak (fool). Take LOTS of photos with you, Russian's love to see and know about your life, country and family. Always bring bits and bobs from your own country like money and driving licenses. Finally, be prepared to listen (and dance) to Russian pop!

    I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Russia; it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. During the three months I spent in Russia I met many exciting and different people and made many good friends. Well I'm sure that you'll have lots of questions, fears and worries that I've not mentioned here, so feel free to email me and ask!

    Volunteered: June 4 - August 30, 2002

    Jennifer Metcalf
    Iowa, USA

    Privet! Menya zavoot Jennifer Metcalf, and I'm an American who recently returned from Izhevsk. Although I was there to help teach, I was the one who received the education! It was a fantastic experience, and I can hardly wait to return. I met so many wonderful people that I already miss. As one who grew up when Russia was part of the Soviet Union, the thought of ever stepping inside the largest country in the world really never occurred to me... more

    Train Ride
    Day school
    Ideas for teaching
    Night classes (for adults)
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    Life in Russia
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    Volunteered: September, 2002

    Larry Bales

    ...Why did I choose Izhevsk, Russia, number one, because it is not Moscow or St. Petersburg, the main stops for the average American traveler. I wanted a place that I could visit and get to know the Russian people, what they do, how they live, what they think of Americans. In short, I had a tremdious amount of curiosity about Russia and I wanted to experience what it is like to live in Russia...more

    Read also Travel Suggestions

    Volunteered: September 22 - October 13, 2003

    Abhiroop Datta

    Volunteered: May 10 - July 31, 2004

    Victor Olaya Ferrero

    This is a little essay about the time I spent in Izhevsk hoping that it will be useful for all those who need a bit more of information before going there.

    I decided to travel to Izhevsk because I had always liked Russia and its culture. Also, I had started learning some russian and wanted to improve it, so i thought it was a great idea to go to Izhevsk and work there as a volunteer. At first i didn?t feel sure about it, mainly because from the outside russia seems to be a rather dangerous country (definitely, it is not more dangerous than any european country I know, and living in a city such as Izhevsk is a hundred times safer than here in Madrid...), and also because it was my first experience teaching english, which is not my mother language... But, i decided to go there and now I?m glad i did it, and I hope i can do it next year and maybe stay a bit longer.

    I must admit that i spoke in english most of the time, and rather seldom used my (rather poor) russian, so it did not improve a lot. However, passive learning is another good way of learning a language, and after being exposed to so much russian stuff, i discovered when I came back home that I was able to read russian quite better than before. Anyway, if your main aim is to improve your russian, you should better look for something different

    I guess that it is quite useless to write here a detailed description of what I did there or what you can expect to find in Izhevsk if you decide to go, so I will just write a couple of recommendations, just the kind of thing that i missed when i was preparing my trip. If you need to know something else, read what other volunteers have written, or simply imagine it, imagine yourself living in a russian family, teaching people that is eager to learn english and also learn everything about yourself and your country, and will offer you the best they have. This is it.

    Here are my recommendations:

    First, have patience with the visa. Safe for some rare cases, you will get it, but it might take a loooong time. Consider this when planning your travel.

    Before coming to Russia, I had travelled other countries, but most of them were more ?organized?. For that reason, I tried to arrange every single detail before leaving Spain, so as to avoid any kind of problem. Now i think it was not so necessary. Russian people is helpful with tourists, and you can ?improvise? a large part of your journey. Don?t be obsessed with arranging everything. From the outside Russia seems rather intimidating, but once you are there things are not so difficult, specially when you get out of Moscow.

    Spend some time before going to Izhevsk, if you can. I just visitied Moscow and St Petersburg before heading to Izhevsk, but I wish I had seen some other cities. As a city, Izhevsk has nothing special, the good thing that you are going to find there are the people, so I reccomend you to visit other places and then go to Izhevsk and relax :-)

    Adult classes can be quite boring at first, having to repeat dozens of times the same kind of phrases and answering the same questions: Where are your from? How is the weather in ? To avoid this, try to prepare some questions, don?t be afraid of asking them more ?personal? questions. This is not also good for you but also for them, since they can practice different vocabulary and talk about other subjects...

    If you have any question, just send me an e-mail:

    Volunteered: September, 2004

    Ashley Borges

    Volunteered: April - May, 2006

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