Expats deplore cold Russian winters and cold Russians

Expats deplore cold Russian winters and cold Russians

Expats deplore cold Russian winters and cold Russians

It has to be said that Russia isn’t exactly an expat relocation favourite, but is it worth investigating?

If you’re looking for adventure as well as a new job, it’s just possible Russia might be of interest, as it’s unlike almost any other relocation destination in many ways. Downsides include the prevailing weather patterns, an almost incomprehensible language and chilly receptions from the locals. Long working days and a negative work/life balance are also cited as reasons to avoid the region.

In a recent study, expat opinions on the vast country were split almost in half as regards the majority of sectors, with wages at the top three income bracket levels a cause for celebration for 20 per cent of respondents. Even those who earned far less said they could manage on their salaries. Whilst Russia’s political situation might well be a cause for contention amongst progressive expats, some consider it an advantage for its stability, claiming there’s a Western lack of understanding about the country.

In general, personal safety isn’t a problem with most expats, although the result might be coloured by the fact that most foreigners stay within their own compounds as the welcome from Russian nationals is as chilly as the freezing winter weather. Working hours average around 50 per week, far higher than in Western countries, thus contributing to a poor work/life balance for the majority of respondents.

Upsides include provisions for expat families, with 83 per cent satisfied with kids’ leisure options, and education for older children is considered satisfactory. The cost of childcare for younger children, however, is a cause for complaint with almost half of expat parents. One cause for satisfaction for three-quarters of respondents was Russia’s comprehensive and reliable transport network, especially in St Petersburg and Moscow.

Many in the two major cities said they didn’t need a car, and long-distance travelling within the massive country is comfortable and affordable. The major negativity is the Russian climate, disliked by just under half of respondents. The long, cold winters may be fine for expats from other northern European countries, but for the rest of the expat population they’re annual nightmare.

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