View Full Version : Relocation

louise jobson
18-09-2003, 23:44
Can anyone give me some infomation or advice please?
My husband has just been offered a job in Moscow (for 3 years).We have a decision to make!We have three children aged 5,6 and 8.As a family we all love travelling and are interesred in other cultures, but havenever been to Moscow and would really appreciate any advice or opinions.
Im told we would be given a good package and be supported by the company, but what is it like to actually live in Moscow? I am a school teacher and also a TESOL teacher.How easy is it to findwork?
Are there lots of expats in Moscow?
I would be very pleased to hear from anyone.Thank you!

19-09-2003, 09:00
It can be whatever you want to make it. You can delve into the Russian culture and community or you can sequestor yourself in a pseudo American community. It is no problem to find work teaching English however if your husband has a 'good package' the money you will make is insignificant.

19-09-2003, 09:22
Moscow can be real fun if you like adventure. Please browse this site - for instance topic "living and working in moscow".

But mocow can be very-very expensive for a foreghner. Having three kids of school age your husband must negotiate a school fee wth his company. If I am not mistaken, both Anglo-Ameican and British school charge smth around $2k/month.

louise jobson
19-09-2003, 16:30
Thank you for your replies so far.This is all a bit of a whirlwind as he was only approached about this job on Wednesday and we are now being flown out to Moscow for our reconnaisance visit this Thursday!
Apparently his company would pay for the childrens schooling which is obviously going to be worth a lot.I am just finding it hard to imagine what our life would be like( but who ever knows that!)
He will still be travelling a lot with his job as he does at the moment so I am used to friends being very important and making a big effort to fit in and build up a good support network.I would be most interested in coming to Moscow and trying to get to know the place and the people (I dislike being a 'tourist' at the best of times ),but appreciate that life in the expat community would be the simplest option.Can you be part of both?

19-09-2003, 21:03
Go for it!

I came here full of anticipation, but absolutely love it. We have a 3 year old who also enjoys it here and who has settled in well. There is so much to do and see - in the City, around Moscow and, of course, the rest of Russia! I found work teaching English and know there's plenty of demand for native speakers. It is possible to live both an expat and local life, and your enjoyment will depend on how much you're willing to embrace a totally different culture.

Yes, there are lots of expats here, of all nationalities. Where you live will depend on how much interaction you'll have with locals or expats - if you want a broader perspective, I would advise living nearer the Centre, rather than in one of the expat compounds, where your interaction will be minimal. Understanding the history of Russia will help you understand their "ways" and being able to read the Russian alphabet will help on a day-to-day basis. You might want to enrol in a language course - there are plenty available - private lessons, through expat clubs or the University and other institutions.

Also, just read some previous threads, which paint a pretty varied picture - a bit like Moscow itself!

Hope your recce goes well...


21-09-2003, 16:23
Where you live will depend on how much interaction you'll have with locals or expats - if you want a broader perspective, I would advise living nearer the Centre, rather than in one of the expat compounds, where your interaction will be minimal.

You can delve into the Russian culture and community or you can sequestor yourself in a pseudo American community.

I am so tired of this attitude! This is spoken by people who don't live out in the 'burbs of Moscow.

We live out in Pokrovsky Hills which is a gated community next to the Anglo American School. It is definitely "new Moscow" but I would choose to live in a nice townhouse over a apartment that is really a deathtrap if any emergency should happen. The air is cleaner (marginally :) , there is easily accessible green space to play in (both in & outside of the gates), it is adjacent to the school so your kids will not have to commute for hours on end & you could teach there, and friends are easy to find. Pokrovsky has a lot of Americans living in it, but also every other nationality under the sun.

My husband & I choose to live in Moscow. My kids have little choice. So I am not going to subject them to spending 3 hours in a car commuting to school just so I can get some cultural experience. Also, any apartment that an expat family is going to be housed in is not going to be typical housing for the average Russian, so your interaction with locals is not going to be any greater based on where you live. My friends who live downtown rarely meet anyone in their apartment buildings anyways. I can tell you who lives in almost every house here & could greet their kids by name.

I "delve" into the Russian culture on a daily basis when I go grocery shopping at the local produkti or when I ride the metro or when we go out to eat at the local russian restaurants. We regularly go to the theater & other cultural events. Our kids have really enjoyed the circuses & other kids theatres here.

It doesn't matter where you live: you can choose to interact with the local people & culture at any time. There are people who never leave the safety of PH. That is their choice. Even still, they are not isolated like they would be if they lived in a downtown apartment with young kids & never went out. Here there are many opportunities for friendship. Then there are people like me, and many out here, who are active in the expat community at large & just drive into the city when there is something they want to take part in. I drive all over the place on a daily basis & really driving here is not that bad.

Where you live is your choice. We chose based on what is best for our kids. It certainly is inconvenient to have to commute to work downtown, but it is not any different then any major downtown city commute. Our kids go to a good school & have good friends. We have made good friends here as well. We are so thankful that we chose to live here.

Best of luck in your decision making.

21-09-2003, 20:24
No, we don't live out in the suburbs, but I've met plenty of people who do and I'm glad there are some people who are not put off by the traffic problems and who do actually get involved in what's to offer in Moscow Centre. I know there are plenty of people who just live in their compounds and don't venture out, which I just think is a shame (for both themselves and their children), given how much there is to do and see here.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter where you live - (I guess we're just city folk still, not ready for surburban life!) - and the amount of interaction you have depends on your attitude and whether or not you mind a longer commute for work and socialising, that's all. There are plenty of parks and playgrounds in the Centre and the buildings differ - some are more local than others and some are greener than others, like in any major city.

Your choice will totally depend on where your husband's office is and how long he would want to commute everyday, as well as your children's school life and your own social/work life...

22-09-2003, 13:36
Hi, Louise,

All things considered, given your family makeup and your own career experience, Pokrovsky sounds like the way to go. The commute into central Moscow is difficult, and best done very early in the morning, but many of my colleagues live out there, they prefer it for the kids.

Another reason to go there, since you say you are an experienced teacher, is that the Anglo-American School is located there, and is always looking for experienced teachers to fill positions. It's arguably the best English/International school in Moscow, and if your husband's firm will pay for your kids to go there, all the better. More info about the school and employment opportunities there can be found at www.aas.ru.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll love it here. :)