Resident Coordinator’s Role

The School in Russia employs its own on-site Resident Coordinator (RC) in Yaroslavl and in Irkutsk (the Director and Assistant Director are located in Moscow). The RC serves as Middlebury’s official representative and is generally the student’s first contact for administrative and academic matters on-site.  Resident Coordinators can be reached by cell phone 24 hours a day.

The Resident Coordinator’s role varies from site to site, depending on the needs of the particular group, and on the academic environment in the given semester.  To varying degrees, Resident Coordinators may:

  • Assist in establishing class schedules
  • Advise and assist students in their search for mainstream university classes
  • Offer tutoring for particular courses as necessary
  • Plan cultural events and/or trips
  • Assist students in locating co-curricular activities or volunteer work
  • Mediate in academic or housing problems

A very important part of the School in Russia program, however, is student independence.  While the Resident Coordinators are on-site to assist participants on a daily basis, they are not tour guides.  They are advisers.  Rather than doing things for students, their role is to help students learn to function on their own within Russian academic and social life.  As such, the Resident Coordinator will not:

  • Escort you to mainstream classes once they have been located
  • Buy travel tickets for your independent travel
  • Assist you (other than with advice) in obtaining visas for visitors
  • Escort you to extracurricular activities once he/she has helped you locate them
  • Take you to internships after the initial interview
  • Loan you money for any period of time
  • Plan regular social events or guarantee that you make friends

The Resident Coordinator is available to consult with and assist students whenever necessary and is obviously every student’s first emergency contact in Russia.  However, students should realize that on a day-to-day basis, the Resident Coordinator’s role is indeed one of adviser, and that you should be prepared to tackle your daily life in Russia independently.