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AFS Review: Professional Opportunities

Russian/American Educators' Exchange 2015 Now Accepting Applications

Monday, January 5, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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American Friends of Russian Folklore invites middle- and high-school teachers to apply for the 2015 season of the Russian/American Educators' Exchange.

The program grant covers all expedition travel, food and lodging, including an orientation meeting before departure and flights between New York and Moscow. Participants are responsible for obtaining their visas (around $300) and for travel between their homes and JFK.

Participants travel to rural Russia to collect Russian folklore by filming holiday celebrations, recording local singers, interviewing villagers about traditional lore, and photographing local handicrafts. They experience Russian village life first-hand, living in a village house and eating the local food.

They also visit Russian rural schools, where they will make presentations about American folklore and meet with Russian teachers to discuss matters of mutual professional interest. Upon return, the American teachers will create and share curriculum materials incorporating some element of the Russian folklore they collected.

The three folklore expeditions are timed to coincide with important holidays of the Russian traditional calendar:

  • Expedition 1: Easter in Volgograd province, Danilov district. April 8- April 21, 2015
  • Expedition 2: Pentecost/Trinity Week in Smolensk province, Sevsk district. May 21 - June 3, 2015
  • Expedition 3: Dormition Day traditions and first day of school traditions in Bryansk province. August 22 - September 4, 2015

Knowledge of Russian is useful, but not required. Translators will be provided.

To qualify, you must:

  • hold a valid US passport
  • be employed as a teacher or curriculum specialist at a public or private school
  • teach or work with curriculum at the middle- or high-school level (grades 6-12)
  • prepare an American folklore presentation to share in Russia
  • commit to creating, using and disseminating curriculum materials that incorporate Russian folklore. The curriculum materials can be in any subject.
  • provide a letter of support from your principal

All educators who work with middle- or high-school students or curriculum are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those whose schools are in rural areas --- Census Bureau Locale Codes 41, 42, or 43.

Registration for each trip will close 60 days before the trip start date.

For details and application instructions, visit or email us at

This opportunity is presented by American Friends of Russian Folklore, a 501©3public benefit corporation.

Funding comes from the US - Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialog Program, with additional support from the Russian and East European Institute of Indiana University.

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