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    SVEZHY VETER Travel Agency
    426008 Izhevsk Karla Marxa 288a
    mail: 426033 Izhevsk

    p.o.box 2040 Russia
    tel: +7 (3412) 450037, 613080
    +7 909 064 69 95

      Contact us



    Volunteers Section

    Volunteers History (2000-2011)      Currently Volunteering      School Photo Gallery



    Damian Etherington
    Edinburgh, UK
    email: djetherington@hotmail.com

    Hi, I spent the summer of 2002 in a summer camp near Izhevsk and it is something that I would highly recommend, I had an amazing time. I was the first volunteer to take part in the camp placement programme and it was a step into the unknown for Svezhy Veter and me.

    The work in the camp was very relaxed; a typical day included 1-2 hours of lessons (in the loosest possible sense of the word) with the kids, with the reminder of the day being spent playing sports and games with them. The kids were fantastic as were all the adults at the camp, they were amazingly friendly, open and eager to learn about my life and me.

    The people in the camp had a great zest for life. There was always something different and exciting to do in the camp, the counsellor always managed to have some competition, party or theme for each day. Which can be really confusing when you wake up and everyone is wearing their clothes inside out, and breakfast has become dinner. Very strange!

    If your wanting to take part in the camp programme a few survival tips I would give you are, take a deck of cards and learn (quickly) how to play durak (fool). Take LOTS of photos with you, Russian's love to see and know about your life, country and family. Always bring bits and bobs from your own country like money and driving licenses. Finally, be prepared to listen (and dance) to Russian pop!

    I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Russia; it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. During the three months I spent in Russia I met many exciting and different people and made many good friends. Well I'm sure that you'll have lots of questions, fears and worries that I've not mentioned here, so feel free to email me and ask!

    Volunteered: June 4 - August 30, 2002







    Alex Hart
    UK

    Volunteered: September 28, 2002 - November 28, 2002







    Michael James Nugent
    USA

    Volunteered: June 13 - August 15, 2003







    Eric Tant
    USA

    In June of 2004, I decided to go and teach in Izhevsk, Russia through the Svezhy Veter Travel Agency at School Number 27. Izhevsk, a town comparable to Baltimore in size, is located just west of the Ural Mountains and is about 18 to 19 hours by train from Moscow. Yekaterinburg is approximately 8-10 hours and Kazan? is about 7 hours by train. Upon arrival, I began teaching in the school and quickly got to know some of the students very well.

    The classes, usually 3-4 hours on weekday evenings, were comprised of students of all ages. Indeed, with the students from the English Club I had the opportunity to take a bike trip into rural Udmurtia (the republic which Izhevsk claims as capital), to travel by train to the Tatar city of Kazan?, and to visit the Kama river for a wonderful swimming and hiking trip.

    My hosts were two young people in their twenties, and they helped me adjust to the new surroundings and a new language environment. With that said, I would emphasize the importance of having some Russian background before traveling to Izhevsk. The location is remote, given its distance from Moscow, and therefore the need for English lessons is greater than it would be in the capital. Therefore, trying to negotiate things with locals would be very taxing without some Russian. More than many other countries, Russians do try and help you and will adjust their speaking to your ability in their language. Young people, of college age, are the ones likely to have the most English background. Also, be prepared to fend for yourself regarding meals, as your host family or roommates may be very busy with work and other responsibilities.

    When going about town, be careful of what you are charged at stores and in pubs, as foreigners make easy targets for a scam. Avoid taking cabs with strangers (a good way to lose a wallet) and travel in groups if out late (especially coming from a pub). There are plenty of banks and ATMs available and within reach of the centre, but credit cards are less useful and more prone to fraud.

    All in All, Izhevsk is a good place to experience life in Inner Russia, removed from Moscow and the big city. People were very interested to see foreigners in the town, sometimes cautious with the volunteers and sometimes talkative. Summer is very hot, with very short nights (only 4-5 hours of darkness) and long days.

    If you travel to Russia in spring or summer, be sure to stock up on bottled water and other essentials in one of the many supermarkets. Internet cafes are prevalent throughout the town, for about 35 rubles (a little over a dollar) per hour. Telephone connections will be very challenging, however, as many buildings still don?t have international dialing. Phone cards, such as Locus Link, can be easily obtained from any kiosk on the street. To call out, check with your hosts regarding the connection. If one is not available, you can ask the agency for short calls home.

    If you come to Izhevsk and Russia in general with a good amount of patience, a sense of adventure and the willingness to try something new, then you will have a great time.

    Volunteered: June 11 - July 31, 2004
    Return visit: February 1st - March 16, 2005







    Cody Thompson
    United States of America

    Volunteered: September 9 - October 8, 2005







    Karl Schmiedeskamp
    USA

    Volunteered: September - November, 2006





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