Stary Oskol


June 2 - June 25, 2019

Director: Steve Merkel-Hess (contact)

WIESCO is thrilled to return to Russia for its first program since 2012. Seize this rare opportunity to join us at this unique STEM-focused English language program!

About the program

Program Dates: June 3 - 21, 2019

The 2019 program will be held at a sports camp facility outside the town of Stary Oskol, which was also used for our program in 2012. The program is sponsored by a local mining company and the students, coming from various parts of Russia, will mainly be the children of the metals corporation employees. Students not from the area will board at the sports camp facility and will be supervised by Russian staff at night and on the weekends.

The Russia program will have a STEM focus, so we are especially interested in recruiting math and science teachers. But, of course, the main focus will still be on expanding the students' English language skills.


Visas and Other Requirements

  • A VISA IS REQUIRED. The local coordinator will assist with sponsorship documents. WIESCO volunteers are responsible for the cost of the visa.
  • You will be required to provide copies of your passport. Your passport must have at least 2 blank visa-designated pages and be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia.
  • As of April 2019, the turn around time to receive your visa is approximately two weeks, but the earlier you start the process the better!
  • Contact program director Steve Merkel-Hess at with questions or guidance on the visa application process.

Getting There

Volunteers must arrive at Moscow Domodedovo airport (DME) no later than 12pm on Sunday, June 2, 2019. The local host will meet us at the Moscow DME Airport to fly or travel by bus, as a group, to Stary Oskol.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to spend time touring Moscow after the end of the program on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Departure may be planned from Moscow on or after Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

Program Director

Steve Merkel-Hess

(319) 512-8176

Steve Merkel-Hess joined WIESCO in 2014 as a teacher at our Siauliai, Lithuania program. He has since served as director of WIESCO's program in Vanadzor, Armenia. Steve taught elementary and junior high in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Iowa City, Iowa, for 35 years. After retirement he taught junior high and high school for four years at international schools in Egypt, Japan, and Sudan. He enjoys travel and photography.