“Working with Crossroads was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life in terms of both language and personal growth.“Marisa D.
This internship is about exploring Russia at street-level. A local expert introduces you to the basics of field research and guides you through the process, focusing on a theme of your choice. At the end, you write a newspaper-style article based on your findings. A language tutor will help you if you choose to write in Russian. Strong Russian-language work is published in Downtown.ru, a popular Voronezh newspaper.
Q: What is it like?
This internship combines small-group classroom instruction, hands-on field research, and intensive writing.
During the first week, you refine your topic, learn how to gather information, and structure your research. You can explore any topic you like. If you don’t have one, we will help you find one. The second and third week is the research itself. You are out and about, doing interviews, observing, running surveys, etc. The fourth week is when you write.
For example, imagine that you want to see if Voronezh has any vegans.
While doing your research, you find that Voronezh actually has several vegan-friendly restaurants. The local expert sets up an interview with the owner of one, who in turn recommends you visit a local yoga studio (and mention his awesome restaurant). At the studio, you learn that healthy living is very popular in Russia, particularly among young people.
Your essay basically writes itself. You talk about the challenge of being a vegan in a country that loves its meat and milk. You publish this on your blog and make a note to send it to your university paper when you return.
You write an article in Russian as well. This is tough, and your Russian feels insufficient. But, your language tutor is there to help you, and in the end it is actually quite good. Fingers crossed, it’ll get published.
Q: Where will I work?
This internship is led by the editor in chief of Downtown.ru. He teaches the group, offers individual guidance on the research, and sets up interviews where necessary.
Your official host will be the same local language academy that takes our English teaching interns. The organization will provide the necessary classroom or office facilities. But, remember, this internship is about meeting people. A lot of your work will take place off-site, wherever your research takes you.
Q: Where will I live?
You will stay with a host family, maybe two.
Your homestay is a place to rest and a glimpse into Russian family life. Your host family will likely be out during the day, so you won't get a steam bowl of fresh borscht every day. But, you do get a chance to sit together at the dinner table and chat about their day and yours. It's an experience you cannot replicate in a classroom.
Q: Is my Russian good enough to participate?
Media/journalism requires at least 4 semesters of university-level Russian or equivalent. Heritage speakers are also welcome.
As part of the application process, we may ask you to take a short language test.
Q: How much Russian practice do I get?
You practice Russian basically everywhere. Your work will involve English, of course. However, outside of that, you can speak as much Russian as you like. With your host family, with your colleagues, students (if you have any), their friends... this internship is as immersive as you want to make it.
For that bit of extra practice, a tutor will be around once or twice per week to help you clear up anything you don't understand. Less focused on grammar and more on language use, these sessions will help you better absorb what you see and hear.
Q: What about free time?
It will be a combination of the planned and spontaneous. You will have a few planned weekend activities, like a trip to a museum or a nearby town. Spontaneous opportunities will fill the other time. These will probably involve colleagues from your workplace or your host family. You are a special guest for these people, and it's almost inevitable that you will spend time with them.
Q: Where does this internship take place?
This internship takes place in Voronezh. Read a description of it on the locations page.
Q: When does it take place?
Internships take place during the summer, with start dates at roughly two-week intervals in May, June, and July. The application will ask you for your travel preferences. We will aim to get you started as close to your preferred start date as we can.
For logistical reasons, we require at least 4 weeks of participation. The maximum amount of time you can stay is 12 weeks (visa limit).
Q: How much does it cost?
For a list of program fees for the different internship types and other estimated costs you may incur, see costs page
Q: How do I apply?
Fill out the application on the
Q: When is the deadline to apply?
See application deadline page.