New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia
New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia
New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia

Living in Russia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Russia. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What are the schools in Russia like?

"A pricey school with the curriculum of a mid-level American public school. It changed to common core a few years ago which is baffling and the change was done apparently without clear understanding of the international parents. It is now a mish mash of PYP, common core and IB programming. The math program is very poor. They run some standard testing but the computer systems often fail during testing and scores are therefore uneven. Teachers' kids appear to be given preferential treatment. Teachers have special use of facilities and parents are made to pay to even use the gym facilities! This school is sub par in my opinion. It is a shiny, beautiful building on the outside, without the academic structure you would expect. Administration is not responsive and can actually be unwelcoming to those who point out problems. We were glad to leave," said another expat in Moscow with children at Anglo American School of Moscow.

"Think hard about attending here. This school thinks it is much better than it is. The curriculum, particularly math, is very weak. Most parents engage tutors for the children to keep up with the home curriculum. The teachers' children receive preference in sports, drama clubs etc. The teachers receive preference for use of school facilities such as the workout room. It is not nearly good enough for the high tuition paid and the headmaster is ineffective. The administration does not welcome constructive criticism. The best advice? Attend ISM if given the choice," remarked another parent with kids at Anglo American School in Moscow.

"I would recommend to do enroll child in advance (spring time) - otherwise you might loose the place for your child," explained one expat living in Moscow, Russia.

"I am very worried about this school. Is it a school? I'm not sure. It seems so strange that this is a school run by Turkish businessmen who have been given offices in a tiny school, when there are not enough classrooms for the children. I am getting the feeling that they have employed a few western teachers to give it a look of being credible, but they are hiding behind them. Everything is done so cheaply - and so is the canteen food. My children complain of the boring food! Not enough resources for students! ICT VERY tiny. I am paying good money - for what?," said another parent with children at Atlantic International School in Moscow.

"To look at the kindergarden at Rechnoy Vokzal as a good range of qualified teachers from a range of countries. It is a small school, where you get to know the teachers and all of the children know each other," commented one expat when asked about Atlantic International School in Moscow.

"Here everyone is welcome: the atmosphere is multicultural and English-speaking; As I've mentioned, there is a free trial week; Many tutors have worked out their own methods of teaching; Physical Education classes also include Physical Therapy; The celebrations and concerts held at school are amazing! I've been to a couple of schools in Saint-Petersburg and this one is really the best! Judging by my kid, the tutors know how to find a mutual understanding with any child and how to make him interested in studying," explained one expat in Saint Petersburg, Russia with kids at Infant School (International School).

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia
Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in Russia GuideLiving in Russia Guide

Guide to Living in Russia covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

Russia Forum Russia Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Russia.

Cost of Living in RussiaCost of Living in Russia

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Russia.

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Our guide to moving to Russia with lots of advice from expats on the ground.

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Contribute to Russia Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Russia.

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