About the Volunteer Service
• What will I be doing at the Hermitage?
Typical work involves greeting guests and helping to explain museum rules to foreign visitors. It can also include translating Hermitage publications, creating interactive programs for all ages, helping with the organization of special museum events, and aiding the Hermitage’s many research departments with administrative and sometimes practical work. Volunteers are encouraged to pursue projects that interest them, and we ask them to be as pro-active as possible. However, we also expect volunteers to help with the daily running of the Volunteer Service, which may include office administration and other basic tasks.
• How long do volunteers usually stay?
That is entirely up to you. Most volunteers stay for a period of one to six months. It usually takes a month for both volunteers and interns to get to know the museum, the work and the city and for us to understand capabilities and educational needs of everyone. We will then try to get you involved more specific projects, always keeping in mind your preferences.
• Where is the Volunteer Service office located?
The office is in the main Winter Palace courtyard on the left side, looking to the visitor entrance. There is a small staircase leading to a green door, which is the entrance to the office. We are open from 10.30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday.
• What about the work schedule?
Our schedule is extremely flexible, as it depends on the needs of our departments. Keep in mind that the volunteers could work every day from Tuesday to Sunday (newly arrived candidates: Tuesday-Saturday).
• How many hours do I have to work?
It depends on you. If you wish to work as a volunteer, the minimum time is 20 hours per month. You also have the possibility to join us as an intern, but you must work for at least 60 hours per month.
• When am I supposed to come to the Hermitage once I arrive in St. Petersburg?
We usually ask candidates to come to our office after they completely arrange their accommodation, bringing with them their passport and a 3x4cm passport-type photograph. However, if you receive a visa through the Hermitage, you MUST be registered by us within two business days of your arrival in the country. On your first day, in addition to your passport and photograph, you will also need to bring us your migration card, which you will receive at the border.
• Do you have a dress code?
No, but we usually ask our volunteers to dress up for special events, so please bring at the very least a black suit or black dress.
• Can you get me a visa?
We can only give you the official invitation required to apply a humanitarian Visa (cultural relations) at the Russian Consulate or Embassy in your country. Unfortunately, we can only offer this to people who are going to spend more than one month here in St. Petersburg. If you plan to stay for a shorter time, you should apply for a Tourist VISA.
• How can I get a tourist VISA?
The easiest way is to ask a travel agency in your country, who can organise everything for you and make sure that you have all of the necessary information and documents in order to avoid any mistakes on your application. However, we always recommend that you ask the Russian Consulate or Embassy your country about the correct procedures to follow in order to receive your visa.
• What is the deadline for me to give you the exact dates of my stay?
As early as possible so that we can organise all of the official documents concerning your stay here.
• Can you give me some kind of document proving that I worked for you?
We only provide an official certificate to those who serve for at least 60 hours per month (both for volunteers and interns).
• Can I get a visa invitation even though I’m still in high school?
Unfortunately, we can only provide visa invitations for people who are at least 18 years old, as that is the legal age in Russia. You can still become a volunteer if you are at least 15 years old, but you will need to get your visa through a travel agency or in another way.
• Can you give me any information about Russian language lessons?
Russian lessons are taught by professional teachers at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The cost of one face to face lesson (90 minutes) is 700 rubles (14 Euros/20 US dollars).
• Do you know how to contact the Russian Academy of Sciences in order to plan my Russian language study program?
Our relationship with the Academy of Sciences has ongoing for many years, and we frequently arrange appointments with their teachers for our volunteers and interns. We can set up everything for you when you arrive.
• How do I find accommodation?
We cannot find accommodation for you, but we are happy to help you as much as we can. Please contact us by email for more information.