JenFed asked in TravelOther - Destinations · 1 decade ago

Moving to Russia?

Hey! I live in San Francisco, California but my husband and I are thinking about moving to his native country of Russia. We have four children, 2 boys aged 14 and 16, and 2 girls who are 12 and 15. I have no immediate family anymore, and his family back in Russia is very large, so I think it would be good to be close to them. However, I have a couple of concerns. His entire family in centered in and around Moscow, would this be a nice place to live and raise a family? Are there any neighborhoods you would suggest? My children were raised speaking Russian with their father and with visiting family from Russia, so they speak it fluently. However, my knowledge of Russian is very limited. Would it be easier for me to learn Russian before leaving California, or once in Russia? How do the people generally feel about foreigners living there? And would my children be accepted by other teenagers? And how much culture shock should we expect? How does the school system work there, and is the education offered of a high standard? What about private schools? My husband and I both work in the medical field, as he is a surgeon and I am an anesthesiologist. Is there much work in this field there? Any more information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!


P.S- Sorry if it seems as if I’m frantically asking questions, there’s just a lot going through my mind. Thanks again!

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It’s okay to be frantic; you have a lot on your mind. Russia is a fascinating and beautiful country. I’m not saying we don’t have our issues, but for the most part we’re doing great, especially here is Moscow where we have the most billionaires in the world. I moved here from Seattle about 7 years ago with 2 kids, a boy who was 17 and a girl who was 15. We made the transition fine, and it’s great that you want to be around family. I will try to answer your questions as best as possible. Moscow is a very faced pace city. It’s also very crowded, as it is the largest metro area in all of Europe. But it can be a great place to raise a family, as there’s so much to do. As you are from San Francisco, you probably enjoy city living and being in the middle of everything, so I would suggest the Central Administrative District (Центральный административный округ). Both Khamovniki (Хамо́вники) and Presnensky (Пре́сненский) are wonderful and beautiful places to live and a great place to raise a family, albeit very expensive. Russian is a very hard language for native English speakers. As you’ve been around Russian for some time now, I’m sure you have some basic knowledge. I would recommend you take a short course in the language in the States, and then get out and use the language once here. Being immersed, you will pick it up much more quickly. If you still need some help, enrol in a program here. Russians accept foreigners with open arms. They love to learn about people from other countries and can be fascinated with Americans. Just don’t bring up George W. Bush and you’ll be fine ahaha. Teenagers here will for the most part accept your children. They will probably be very interested in them and want to learn about the US. However, teens will be teens and some may make fun of them a bit. But I’m sure they will make friends quickly and not have much of a problem and integrate just fine. There will be some culture shock. You will probably notice it the most as you don’t speak the language. But you will get over that fairly quickly, especially once you learn how nice, hospitable, and accommodating the Russians can be nowadays. Education in Russia is set at a very high standard. Students must complete up to 9th grade here, it’s mandatory. Then the student has to decide to either stay in high school for two more years to graduate and then enter a university, or they can go to a tradesmen school if they want to get into the work force with a blue-collar job instead of going to university. And university is paid for by the government here, and is very competitive. I’m sure you will both find jobs here, especially if you have plenty of experience. There are many hospitals, and they are hiring all the time. However, you will need to get your papers and pass some tests to be able to practice is Russia. Your pay will be different depending on the hospital, but you probably won’t make as much as you’re used to, but you never know. I will tell you that housing is incredibly expensive, although you’re probably used to it coming from San Francisco. But you probably won’t be able to live in a house unless you live far outside the city center, which would mean a long and hectic commute. Most people in Moscow live in apartments or flats. I have a 3 bedroom flat that costs about US$5200 per month. But it fluctuates depending on the area. Another thing is getting around. Many people walk to places nearby. Public transit is great, but very crowded. And driving is a nightmare, especially at rush hour. So you’ll have to find a way to commute that you’re comfortable with. The climate here can be very harsh as well. Winters can be unbearably cold, so get used to dressing in warm clothes. The beautiful white snow makes everything look pretty though. But the summers are warm and sunny and just wonderful. Shopping in Moscow is great! There’s all kinds of international stores here and plenty of malls and such. I would recommend taking lots of mini vacations to get out of the city and travel to the countryside, which is gorgeous. I’m sure you’ll love it here. Russia is a magnificent country. Good luck!!

    Source(s): My experiences relocating from Seattle to Moscow with 2 kids.
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.