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Possibly 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!

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    U r about to take a decision which probably will change not only your life, but the whole future for your children.

    U should think twice! More than twice!

    What r your reasons to move to Russia, except that your husband is Russian and his relatives live over here?

    U should study all pro and con. Just take a pen and write down all “+ “and” –“…..make a comparison.

    Study that issues that r unknown to u:

    1)what company (Medical centre, hospital) would like to hire your husband and u. Do u need to confirm your diplomas. How long time it will take. How much money u expect to earn. Only after that u can look for purchasing your own apartment (or house). Life is quite expensive in Moscow (actually it depends what do u accustom to).There r many private hospitals in Moscow. But those who work for state hospitals don’t make more than 2 000 $ per month(some of doctor’s don’t make even 1$). So, I’m not sure that it would be possible to take bank credit.

    Just want to add …my friend’s parents thought that their medical practice would be wider if they moved to Krasnodar (Russia) from Israel….after 2 years they understood they were mistaken. They dreamed to have their own practice but realized that it took more time and money then it was expected.

    2) School system. The level of education depends of certain school .Yes , there r private schools in Moscow. Wife of Moscow’s mayor has established one for her own kids. But the prices r varied (as your husband speaks Russian)

    Your elder boy is 16. At the age of 18 kids graduate from school and pass the exams. Ok, they can speak Russian, but probably u will have to hire personal teacher to improve their knowledges in Russian language and Russian literature ….probably some other subjects too.

    Besides, at thefirst period of time, I guess, your kids will need a lot of your attention(help, etc.), but at the same time u will be very busy with your own job’s issues(language problems, confirming your degree).

    SF is situated near the Ocean, is such change of climate good for your kids? What about their usual sport’s activity. Trip to the sea side is pretty expensive for the family of 6.

    Hope u r not going to change the citizenship of your kids. Russian men(age 18-27) have to serve in Army.

    Actually rules about this r changed every year.

    In a couple of years your kids have to choose university for their future education. I have to say that we don’t have the system of financial aids (like in US). If they r good pupils ,probably they will be enough fortunate to pass the exams and become students to get their degree for free. If not – u will have to pay for their education.

    Hence…My suggestion: make a list of tough issues… study these issues…Don’t wait to face all troubles when u r in Russia. Try to resolve 50% while u r still in US… others 50% u should know how to resolve(u should study Russian law as well) . Take a short trip to Russia before (to look for work, school for kids, place for living… apartment). Besides at this period u will understand how do u feel over here(in Russia).

    Yes, people can survive even at the uninhabited island…but here kinda another situation…not a funny adventure – it’s future for your kids.

    It’s not easy to relocate even within one country!

    Good luck!

    P.S. I live in Russia. Well travelled… So I can say - there is no cultural shock…not at all(hope so!)…just u will face a lot of problems…be ready do resolve them.

    P.S.2 First person who answered your question mentioned that food over here is not of high quality. No problem. I have been to Germany So I can say, what u can buy at the Russian stores and at the markets( food )is good enough and healthy and tasty!

  • 1 decade ago

    Everyone's experience in Russia is different, you could have a bad one or a good one. There would be a very large culture shock, of course. From what I've seen, young people grow up too quickly there, and there usually aren't as many opportunities there as there are in America. I was born in Russia, but I personally would never move back there. However, maybe you could try paying Moscow a good visit to see if it suits you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wew, I grew up in Germany and went to Moscow on a college vacation for credits. I have been a lot of places in the world. I honestly have to say Moscow was the worst place I ever went. I went in 1990 I believe it was. The weather sucked! It was cold, miserable, the drab buildings and streets were very depressing. You couldn't drink anything. The soda sucked, the milk was undrinkable, even the water sucked. Nothing tasted right. The only thing drinkable was the vodka. Don't get me wrong. Most people we met were extremely generous and kind and friendly. From what I've been reading about Moscow, it's getting better and people are starting to earn more so they can live better. From what I saw back then, everyone was VERY poor.

    Sorry, don't mean to be a downer. I wish you all the best, but don't give up your US citizenship!

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