As I realise my nordic dream will be a tough one with little vacancies in Scandinavia for English speakers, I thought of just checking a few other northern regions. Out of interest I searched for St Petersburg and Murmansk and immediately found a few jobs for English speakers with no Russian required, and we're not talking about labour jobs, but about regular office jobs.
I am pleasantly surprised, it may be interesting to check this option as it may be the easiest country to get far north.
Does anyone know if Russian life these days is any good? We all know that the country is closing the gap with western Europe and that standard of living is improving (in the cities) and that Russia is growing more and more western. But concrete: is the standard of living in Russia any good now?
Is it safe to live in the cities there?
Is it easy to find a decent apartment without paying very high prices?
And what about medical services in the mental health field? Is this widely available and of good quality?
Well I wouldn't go as for to say the standards are like western europe but I suppose they are improving. I stayed in a flat in Moscow for short time and it was great, though I'm not sure what you mean as "decent" - I thought it was decent, it had a bed, a fridge and a stove. I always felt as safe as one can in Russia. There was a little shop nearby to get some groceries and the underground station was only a few blocks away to anywhere in the city.
The apartment I was in seemed much like all of the other apartments in the city - old soviet blocs. You probably would have to cross over some old rusting gas pipes running through the delapedated playground. The door to the building will most likely have a solid metal door with a key hole old enough to match your antique key. You'll take the concrete stairs up to your floor and open your battered wooden door, the hazey light peers through the random tears in the drapes. You drop your keys onto the old wooden table and start up the gas stove-top. As the water boils you kick your shoes off and relax for a moment on the squeeky metal framed bed to suite the era.
The place wasn't much but it was one of the best times I've ever had, I think you should go for it. I'm not sure about all that medical availability though.
Hi, it all depends what kind of job are you applying for and what is the city you are planning to relocate. Murmansk and St Petersburg are 2 different planets. And everything above mentioned is true about average Russian city, not Moscow and St Petersburg. Usually the vacancies that are here for expats are well paid and very specific. So you can expect the salary far more then you can earn in your home land. So if you a super manager or have unique qiualification you can expect that you can have a better living for yourself (better flat, better medical service etc) Simply you will be paying for this, standard medical services or apartments are not very good. Public services are worse here, then in the West, but those who earn money can allow themselves a lot. There is a lot of stupidity and stange things here that will be a shock for you, but this you can expect whereever you are going to relocate.:-) I worked a lot with expats, if they are good enough- they earn a lot or can come back home with a good experience and have a much better job in the West after Russian experience. These people are usually under the help of local people and russians select them a place for living, help to select a medical hospital and answer 1000 questions that are normal for a new commer. I am sure it will be a great experience for you. Very different, but interesting, if you get a job here.....
I am from St-Petersburg and I know some foreigners living and working here. I even know one American cupple, they live here for 8 years. Live here is not that bad if you have a good job.
Let me give you the numbers:
Appartments here are:
- 1 room, far from the centrum = from $150 (very difficult to find) to $400
- 1 room not far from the centrum = from $200 (very difficult to find) up to $600
You can rent just a room in someones place ant this will cost you from $150 up to $250 (depends on the place
1 month ticket (metro+buss+trolleybus) = about $30
lunch in a cafe (regular one) = from $5-$10
if you cook and eat at home you can survive per $20-$30
good ones are olmost the same price
cheap (marcet places) 30 - 50 % less
But there is one thing you should know:
Lots of things here are more expensive for foreigners than for Russians
As for safety, St-Petersburg is as "safe" as most part of the big cities. All the big cities are more dangerous than the small ones, you just need to know how to live in a big city.
I hope this will help you a bit,
I am sure you will like this experience,
Belarus and the Ukraine could use medical help due to Chernobyl.