Educational opportunities in Moscow.

Family Fun

Time to get over the summer time sadness and make use of all these educational opportunities!

Apart from a few cold and rainy weeks, this summer was exceptionally sunny, hot and full of diverting events. We at My Guide Moscow hope that everyone had a fun-filled, relaxing and unforgettable summer, either in Moscow or on a beach somewhere!

Now you might note that many Muscovites are back from their holidays and all the children, restocked with energy at their grandmothers’ dachas, summer camps or travels abroad, are bracing themselves for the new school year. September 1st is traditionally the day kids need to look their best - and in Russia this means flowers for the teachers, enormous ribbons and bows for girls and sharp suits and ties for the little men - for the first official day of the new school year. Fittingly, this day has been coinciding with the “Day of Knowledge” since 1984, when the Supreme Council of the USSR officially designated it as such.

Russian language educational options for Muscovites are virtually limitless in this vibrant megapolis but where can expats and their families find opportunities to improve their skills in their field of interest? Just in time for the Day of Knowledge, My Guide Moscow has compiled a list of various clubs, schools and organizations tailored specifically to expats’ educational needs!

Educational opportunities in Moscow.

Wives of expats at times find it challenging adjusting and transitioning to life in Moscow. Foreign women at times find it challenging adjusting and transitioning to life in Moscow. Many activities and interest groups that they used to take part in back home seem unavailable in Moscow, or at least not in a language they understand. Thankfully, The International Women’s Club can make this transition a lot more smooth. For 35 years this organization has been providing both women and men, actually, with an opportunity to learn new skills, meet like-minded people and make the most out of what Moscow has to offer without language being a barrier. But the best thing is that there’s something for absolutely everyone: interest groups range from arts & crafts to languages, from music to outdoor sport and from cooking, wining, and dining to children.

To hear native English speakers - often prominent and interesting individuals from Moscow's greater English-language and foreign-resident community - giving lectures on topics of their own choosing expats can join English Language Evenings. An independent, open public English-language lecture forum in Moscow, ELE has hosted more than 220 meetings and some 170 different speakers since it started in 1998. ;

For Jewish expats who want their children to learn about their religion and culture in a warm and welcoming environment Rabbi Yaakov Klein and his wife Rivky organize a Sunday Hebrew School (SHS) at the Anglo American School throughout the academic year. A wide range of Jewish traditions, heritage, history and culture are covered. “We started the Sunday Hebrew School because we believe every Jewish child deserves a Jewish education he could relate to in a fun way, which is why we make sure it’s full of ‘edutainment’, interactive and hands on,” says Rabbi Klein. Kids even get to learn some Hebrew!

Similarly, children of Christian expats of the Anglican faith are welcome at The Sunday School of St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Moscow to further their understanding of their religion while abroad. There are normally three groups for different ages: The Crèche (Nursery, ages 0-4),Middle Youth (ages 5-12) and the Teen Youth Group (ages 13-18)The older kids meet twice a month and focus on a wide variety of interests of the group and our Chaplain, sharing ideas, music, food and the Gospel. The Sunday School of St Andrew’s Anglican Church follows the Gospel read each Sunday in church.

International Women

Theater aficionados whose Russian is not yet quite at the level which would allow them to enjoy a traditional Gogol or Chekhov play in one of Moscow’s 150+ theaters can finally rejoice! A bit over a year ago Royal Shakespeare Company alum Jonathan Bex realized he had little hope of acting in any of the city's many theaters. Instead of despairing, however, he came up with a creative solution: he started the first ever theater company that would offer exclusively English-language productions to Moscow’s audiences. Moscow English Theater brings professional actors from Britain to stage contemporary British and American drama in Moscow. 

If you’re an English-speaking theater aficionado and would like to impart your love for this art form on your little ones, then the Flying Banana Children’s Theatre Group is a great place to start. It’s the only Engllish-language theater in Moscow for children 2-8 years of age. A crew of British actors, musicians and the sand artist, Liliya Chistina along with theater director Martin Cooke bring classical children's stories to life with vibrant storytelling, charming puppetry, enchanting music and of course a touch of magic sandart. In such a nice, cozy and friendly place your children are guaranteed to fall in love with theater from an early age!

Learning new sports or continuing practicing one can also be easy for non-Russian speakers in Moscow. Several welcoming English language sports clubs exist in Moscow.

The largest expat sports  group in Moscow, the Expat Football League has been running for over 13 years, and has hundreds of membersand roughly eight teams. Games take place on weekends at MGIMO stadium (pr. Vernadskogo 76, metro Yugo-Zapadnaya) and during winter season you can keep playing at Lokomotov stadium (ul. Bolshaya Cherkizovskaya 125A, metro Cherkizovskaya).

Club Hikers is an active and friendly hiking club and a non-profit organization open for everyone to join. Hikes take place every Sunday all-year-round in forests of Moscow region.

Flying Banana Theatre

The foodies and winies on a quest to enrich their lives with new and fascinating culinary experience are invited to join Moscow’s Good Food Club, which is dedicated to high dining and matching wines at sensible prices around the capital’s happening food scene. Started in 2013, to date the Moscow Good Food Club has sampled all kinds of delicacies in several high-profile as well as low-key locations around Moscow.

If you want to learn all there is to know about wine, the Wine Club would be more than happy to start you off on your path to becoming a discerning sommelier. Since 2000, WCMC has been introducing its members to various wines from all over the world through monthly wine tasting events, which have become very popular among Moscow-based expats and local wine lovers. It is always an educational and fun event for all who join!

And if you feel like your Russian is getting up to speed and you want to partake in educational activities in this beautiful language, then we strongly recommend a visit to VikiLand! Its concept is so simple yet so brilliant: a large variety of educational services under one roof in the heart of the city - right near Novokuznetskaya metro station - where both parents and children can take part in classes and activities simultaneously. This will save you hours in Moscow’s horrendous traffic!  Thanks to a very well thought through timetable, every age group will find something of interest at any point of the day in the art studio, pottery workshop, dance school, foreign language department or the kids' club. Adults can also dance passionate salsa, read Kerouac in the original language or find out the best way to cook Kamchatka crabs. Apart from the time-tabled classes, VikiLand also hosts a number of one-off master classes - culinary art, pumpkin carving for Halloween or parenting classes from a wise and experienced priest.  Last, but certainly not least, at VikiLand you can rest assured that you and your children are receiving knowledge from real professionals with years of experience in their respective fields, from the finest teachers Moscow has got to offer.

Time to get over the summer time sadness and make use of all these wonderful educational opportunities for expats that Moscow has on offer! Happy Day of Knowledge everyone!

VikiLand Family Club