Russia is a vast country that covers one-eighth of the world’s surface and extends across 11 time zones. Rich in natural beauty, the country varies between the steppe plains to mountains, deserts to tundra, grassy meadows to mighty rivers. Its cities offer world-class ballet, opera, theatre, and music.
Russians are warm and intelligent people, and the family is the principal stabilising factor in society. You can expect your host family to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. You could be placed anywhere in Russia, though it is very unlikely that you will be hosted downtown in a big city. Participants are mostly placed in small towns outside of larger cities in the western and central parts of Russia.
Russia is a land of contrast, with both extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Privacy is far less important and the government is far more controlling. The Russian way of life is very different from the Kiwi way of life; but, if you are up to the challenge and go in with an open mind, you will find the experience extremely rewarding and will really have broadened your horizons.