Sarah Rorimer (’03) on teaching English in Russia

I first got interested in Russia when I took a First Year Seminar on Russian Literature with Professor Jane Costlow. She encouraged the members of our class to study abroad in St. Petersburg the following year, and such an opportunity seemed like a real adventure. After an excellent semester of studying Russian language, culture, arts and history with Professor Costlow and Professor James Parakilas, I came back to Bates and signed up as a Russian Studies major.

Sarah trekking in Russia (Photo: Sarah Rorimer)

By my senior year, my curiosity about Russia had far from faded, and I accepted a job teaching English in Vladimir, Russia. I’ve just finished my first year working at an institute of sorts called, “The American Home.” It is an American style house that functions as a language learning center for American English. Here I’m both a teacher and student: I teach teenagers and adults in the evening and in my free time, I study Russian. I work with 8 other American teachers and live with a Russian host family. All in all, it’s a demanding but rewarding job. The students are dedicated and results of their improvement are visible after just a semester. Now, I’m headed for a second year teaching, studying Russian, and learning about what it means to live in Russia. For more information about the American Home, go to the website:

Icon restoration with master (Photo: Sarah Rorimer)