Research and Journalism
“Working with Crossroads was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life in terms of both language and personal growth.“Marisa D.
Ever wonder what Russians actually think about something? Learn the basics of field research from a local expert and let them guide your work. Explore Russia at street level on a theme of your choice. At the end, share your findings in a newspaper-style article.
Q: What is it like?
This internship combines small-group classroom instruction, hands-on field research, and intensive writing. It is led by the editor-in-chief of Downtown.ru, a popular Voronezh newspaper.
The first week is the classroom week — you refine your topic, learn how to gather information, and structure your research. You can explore any topic you like, and if you don’t have one, that’s OK. We can give you ideas. The second and third week is the research itself. You are out and about, doing interviews, observing, running surveys, etc. During the fourth week, you write. You can write in Russian or in English.
A Russian tutor is around the entire time to help out where your Russian isn’t strong enough.
For example, imagine that you want to see if Voronezh has any vegans — an oddity in a country that loves its meat and milk.
While out and about, you find that Voronezh actually has several vegan-friendly restaurants. The curator 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.
The research is the fun part. You meet people and you learn something new — a unique perspective based on your own first hand experience.
Q: Where will I work?
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 one or more host families (depending on the length of your program).
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?
This internship 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 twice per week to help you clear up anything you don't understand. Less focused on grammar and more on language use, these individualized 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 for a summer internship is 12 weeks.
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.