living in Russia

Old Nov 13th, 2002, 06:46 PM
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living in Russia

I am thinking about taking a major step, beyond travelling: applying for a teaching position in Moscow for two years!
I am from Europe (France), have been living in the US for three years, but I have itchy feet and love to discover new cultures; I am very drawn towards Russia, but two years is a big commitment. Any advice?
I do not speak any Russian, but I could try and learn (I am a foreign language teacher, and love languages). How well can you get by, just with English (and French?); also, my husband is a tech guy (linux, solaris, microsoft certified), how hard would it be for him to find a job?
So many questions...
Thanks in advance to all the Russian friends out there. I hope you help me make the right decision!
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 05:06 AM
Marc David Miller
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From my time there I believe that you will have many frustrating moments without knowing Russian--try getting your dry cleaning done, or communicating with your housekeeper. Hopefully you will have some assistance from your employer at needed times (and you could take lessons in Russian as well). English is spoken widely but try getting an English speaker when you really need one!

As for your husband, although Russia's IT market is booming without local language skills he will be at a great disadvantage. He could try associations such as RUSSOFT and National Software Digital and Silicon Taiga. I was recently at a conference in New York about the outsourcing market and there are some good success stories out there. There are many US and European companies with large offices in Moscow (Ernst & Young is but one example) but they tend to hire locals as support staff because of visa and salary (as well as language) issues.

You can also go to It is a good source for information on living in Russia (primarily in Moscow) and the message boards can be helpful for networking and for seeing the pains of living there as an expat (although the messages often are chauvinistic in tone).
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 08:46 AM
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My sister is in Year 2 of a 3 year contract in Moscow. She loves it and is now trying to negotiate an extension. She started studying Russian as soon as she got her contract and now functions well. It didn't take her long to be able to navigate through the essentials of her life.

Go for it.
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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Changing from Russia to Spain. Has anyone on this link gone to the ITC school in Barcelona, Madrid and Prague to teach English? I love to travel and have gotten great advice here for hotels, etc., but am thinking of retiring from my job here in the US and living for short while teaching English in above-mentioned countries. Thanks for your help.
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 10:13 AM
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Hi there. I spent a year teaching in St. Petersburg way back in 1994, so it has been a while. I knew very little Russian when I got there, but learned as time went by. I met a lot of wonderful people, got to travel all the time, and was able to discover this new culture. You'll have some frustrating moments communicating and shopping. Plus, it is very cold and takes some time to get used to it. But, I highly recommend going. You'll have these wonderful memories forever.
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