American Councils Hiring Summer Russian-Speaking Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors

Position Description: 

American Councils is currently seeking qualified consultants to serve as Russian-speaking Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors to work on a variety of summer Russian language programs ranging from six to eight weeks in length. Individual programs are designed for high school or undergraduate and graduate students. All programs are focused on the acquisition of Russian language and culture in an immersion setting. Programs are held in a variety of locations including Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, and Russia. If applicants have experience in any of these countries, they should provide a description of that experience, including familiarity with additional regional languages and the length of time spent in any specific location, in their cover letter. Program locations are subject to change prior to program start. Consultant agreements include a scaled compensation fee structure in the event of a cancellation 6 weeks or less before the start of the program.

Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors represent American Councils on programs overseas. Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors will work with the host institution, manage communications between American Councils, program participants and local staff, arrange logistics for the group, advise participants as required, and resolve medical and other issues as necessary.

Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors must be available to program participants on a daily basis; observe classes at the host institution; meet regularly with teachers, administrators, and participants; and arrange group travel, cultural programs, and other events and activities focused on the immersion experience. Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors must be available to participants during any emergencies that arise and must communicate regularly with American Councils program staff in Washington, DC. Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors are not allowed to leave the program site or group excursions to conduct personal travel. Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors oversee a small program budget and are responsible for proper documentation of program expenditures and timely completion of a budget report at the end of each month and at the end of the program. Other reporting requirements may apply.

Prior to departure, Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors will be required to complete an orientation program. Resident Directors may be asked to travel with their respective participant groups at the beginning of their programs and return to Washington, DC with the group at the end of the program. In some cases, Resident Directors may be asked to travel to the program site in advance of the students’ arrival. Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors report to the DC-based Program Manager and staff. Completion of a successful background check may be required. All offers are contingent upon ability to receive and maintain a visa to the host country.

Anticipated Contract Dates: 

May – August 2021 (exact dates will vary by program and site). Resident Director and Assistant Resident Director training dates will be announced separately.

Position Responsibilities: 

  • Being responsible for and available to a group of American high school or undergraduate and graduate students at all times during the program;
  • Advising program participants as needed on a variety of language-learning, cultural, adjustment and logistical issues, including on issues such as group dynamics and interpersonal relationships;
  • Reporting on program activities to program staff in Washington, DC or staff in the host country;
  • Responding to participant emergencies, including assisting participants with securing medical care and navigating local clinics and hospitals;
  • Supporting students from diverse backgrounds as well as students who have never traveled abroad before;
  • Liaising with the host institution and local program staff;
  • Observing the academic program;
  • Arranging group travel and cultural programs, as well as volunteer opportunities and other program events (varies by program);
  • Maintaining adherence to program rules and policies among participants—for some programs, this includes a language policy;
  • Managing a small budget of program funds and maintaining detailed financial documentation, including monthly reports;
  • Collecting photographs and videos from students and local staff and creating newsletters (varies by program);
  • Completing a pre-departure orientation and training session;
  • Working with host families, which may include selection and monitoring of host families, conducting site visits, maintaining weekly communication, and conflict resolution (varies by program);
  • Supervising the work of an assistant (varies by program);
  • Resolving other program-related issues as necessary; and
  • Performing other program-related tasks as directed.



  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Russian, area studies, or a related field;
  • Advanced written and oral language skills (minimum 2/2+ on DLPT scale, Advanced on ACTFL scale) in Russian;
  • Study, work, or extensive travel experience in Russia, Eastern Europe, and/or Eurasia;
  • Experience working in a position of authority with high school, undergraduate, or graduate students;
  • Experience overseeing and guiding groups;
  • Demonstrated skills in academic and personal counseling; and
  • Demonstrated skills in general financial accountability.


Position contingent upon funding. Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.


Application and Additional Information.