Ready to explore Russia for free?
While this won’t be a free trip to Russia for just anyone, it’s totally possible for you to visit and explore Russia for free by taking advantage of this amazing program!
The video below, is an example of many folklore expeditions put on by the Partnership for Russian, Eurasian and East European Folklore (formerly American Friends of Russian Folklore).
Partnership for Russian, Eurasian and East European Folklore
I have so much respect for this organization.
Those who know me personally, know I am very passionate about indigenous culture, rights, and education.
It’s not enough to provide a high-quality, well-rounded program to indigenous peoples.
We also need to educate people in other populations about indigenous cultures, especially in places where those lands have been taken over and colonized. /stepping off soapbox
Additionally, it’s very important to note that, for these programs, you would be visiting rural villages.
This means that everyday things you might take for granted, may not be available.
This quote about their expeditions says it best:
“WE CAN TAKE YOU THERE
Our expedition volunteers record, film and photograph folklore traditions and the people who are the tradition-bearers. They work under the direction of expert local folklorists who gladly share their knowledge. The field recordings end up in scholarly archives to be preserved for future generations.
IT CAN BE A LITTLE ROUGH
No luxury hotel, no swimming pool, no fancy restaurant.
BUT THERE ARE COMPENSATIONS
Great home-made hospitality. Spectacular scenery. Immersion in village life. And some improvements to your global vision.”
This program is all about being a guest in another’s home and culture – to document what they want to share with the world, in a respectful way that’s educational and transformational, instead of consumptive.
It’s all about increasing global awareness and citizenry in teachers & students, from all over the world.
And of course, Traveling Teachers are all about that.
Next, we’ll talk about their specific programs.
To say that this program allows you to just explore Russia for free is really an understatement.
You’d be going on expeditions.
Since the theme of their program is folklore, participants document and authentically experience festivals, food, music, theater and art – but you have to have a spirit for adventure, since these locations are often rural.
If you’re available during the Spring (February-March), you could experience Butter Week in the Smolensk province.
In July, you can explore how the indigenous Altains and descendants of settlers from the 1800s, live side-by-side.
Interested in archaeology? Available during July? Check out the bronze age city of Arkaim in the Ural mountains, which has attracted pilgrims since it’s discovery in 1987.
There are so many options. and you’ll find the link to explore their pass expeditions at the bottom of this page.
Each expedition has scholarship opportunities for K-12 teachers, and we talk about other ways to get your trips funded in our Facebook group.
The ideal fit for this program would be someone who is:
- Interested in Russian folklore and culture
- Experienced with some kind of media (writing, photograph, videography)
- Up for an adventure
- Willing to sacrifice comforts they are accustomed to
- A match for their volunteer requirements
They are revamping their website right now, so check back for qualifications once they repost them. 😉
Preferred Applicant Traits & Skills
They love hosting educators, though you still have the opportunity to go even if you’re not a classroom teacher.
Typically, they look for someone who can document the folklore they interact with.
This can look like:
- Recording audio for podcast episode(s)
- Editing video for their documentary archives
- Taking striking photographs
- Writing compelling blog posts, essays or posts about what’s seen there
- Creating an anthology of stories, poems and songs shared by the people there
Namely, the unique opportunity of a lifetime.
To clarify, there are fees to participate in their programs – but they offer many opportunities for internships and scholarships. They also work with applicants on options to ensure they can truly explore Russia for free.
Find out more about financial aid for their programs by clicking here.
Transportation between sites for the program is included.
They have scholarships for $2,000 available for educators.
It’s worth noting that they also have $2,000 scholarships available in general, for people who are not teachers.
You must be an American citizen, or a legal resident of the United States, to qualify for these scholarships.
Dates and Deadlines
Since they have programs throughout the year, application deadlines vary.
So be sure to keep an eye on their website!
Scroll to the bottom for the link. 😉
Upcoming Program Dates
2021 trips haven’t been announced yet.
Scroll to the bottom for the link to their website.
Planning a Trip to Russia?
Even if you’re not going to explore Russia for free through one of their expeditions, it’s definitely a country worth visiting.
And since it’s such a large and diverse nation, it deserves several trips!
Heading to Moscow? There’s so much to see, and this is a great home-base.
If you’re exploring the Baltics, and/or eastern Europe, St. Petersburg might be an easier city to base your Russian exploration from.
Use the search bar below to find things to do!
Start your search for things to do and things to see below.
Looking for something else?
Consider these other articles and opportunities.
Blogs About Free Travel & Amazing Places
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I love helping teachers discover how they can live the life they want, and that includes travel.
- Help you book personal or business travel since I’m a certified, independent travel agent with InteleTravel.
And it doesn’t cost you anything extra. I get paid by commissions, so nothing extra will come out of your pocket.
Email me! I’d love to help you plan your next trip.
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- “I can show you the woooooorrrrrld!”
Any other Disney fans here? 🙂
Anyway – if you want to travel to incredible bucket list destinations, with other amazing teachers, on a budget – check out trips with Traveling Teachers!
Each trip is lead by a teacher who is passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced with travel.
And, every trip also includes some kind of educational component.
- Check out the podcast Teachers Talk Travel.
You’ll learn all kinds of unique ways to travel the world as a teacher.
Want to be on the show? Submit this form on the podcast’s website!
- Join our community on Facebook!
Our group hosts thousands of teachers from all over the world. We discuss, share, and create opportunities for teachers to travel. Come join us!
- And of course, you can just reach out.
Feel free to connect with me using your social media platform of choice.
Can’t wait to hear from you! 🙂
Looking for something else?
Explore all of the other teacher travel programs listed here.