Moscow, Russia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 15, 2011

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

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What are the schools in Moscow 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," commented one expat when asked about Anglo American School of Moscow in 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," explained one expat in Moscow, Russia with kids at Anglo American School.

"I would recommend to do enroll child in advance (spring time) - otherwise you might loose the place for your child," wrote an expat living in Moscow with children attending Atlantic International School.

"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 one commented one expat when asked about 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," mentioned one expat living in Moscow, Russia.

"The facilities and feel of community are what make this school special, however academics seriously lack. The school attempts to incorporate too many things into the curriculum causing students only to get the general idea of all things. Although this is an American school there is no SAT prep class. The school forces children in the high school to go through IB courses but neglects to focus on it enough to have neccesary EE classes. My recommendation is to attend the school, take advantage of the facilities and sense of community but if you can afford it teach your child at home through tutors in order to prepare him/her for college. There is also a very long wait list for this school. If you are interested in the school and your company or embassy does not provide a pre-paid seat, you do not hold an American, Canadian or UK passport expect 1-2 years of waiting. During this time most children attend the British School- a profit oriented and not to be recomended school. AAS is a good school but one has to consider some major flaws," explained one expat when asked about Anglo-American School of Moscow in Moscow.

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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