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Thread: work for americans in Russia - prestigious-->humble

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    work for americans in Russia - prestigious-->humble

    This question has been asked before in different ways, but it's been a long time since I've seen the topic discussed. So, sorry if I'm being repetitive. But I've nigh-on exhausted my own ability to research this topic, and I'm really curious what you all might know about the topic, that I don't.

    The topic is Work - particularly, work securable by Americans in Russia. I've been thinking about this for years, and I'm deeply interested in the idea of a prolonged stay in Russia. Granted this won't be immediate, as anything worth doing takes a fair amount of planning, preparation and hard work. But before those three important parts comes another, simpler part - an understanding of the undertaking.

    Now, I've heard about the general need for English teachers in Russia. I've never thought of myself as being the "teacher" type, and my skillset as education is concerned is different.. But this is a hurdle that can be overcome, with hard work. And if it becomes clear that teaching English is the only, or the best route, to being able to stay and work for a period of time in Russia, I'm definitely willing to do that work. My skill and experience are strong, actually, in areas that I'm not sure would be greatly beneficial, namely sales/customer service, and hospitality.. So, I'm thinking as far as experience and education I'll be starting from scratch, either way I approach the situation.

    What kinds of work are available or conceivable in Russia, for an American? Is there a need for Americans in anything beyond teaching English? Is it rare to hear of an American working in Russia? Does it seem a tenable situation - as for instance Russians who come to New York or Chicago for work? - or does it seem less tenable - like an American working in Denmark (LOL) ?

    (Currently I work in hospitality and a branch of my company opened in Moscow recently. However, these branches are owned individually, so there's no ground gained by my working for the corporate office. It does help a bit, to show experience in the industry. But ultimately the person who would decide to employ me at this hotel would be one man, either the owner or his second-in-command; so though I would like to work in Russia in the industry I'm currently in, I'm not sure it's much of an option. On top of that, it's likely that this hotelier would hire native Russians first, over foreigners, unless he had a good reason not to. And it's easy to get help in hospitality from India, which is more local and has a long history of hospitality. So I'm saying this to explain why I'm open to any industry, and not dedicated to hospitality..)

    By the way, I don't demand a career from this, and I don't demand "prestigious" work. I'm willing to do what it takes as far as education and such before attempting this, but I'm not adverse to more "humble" types of work. I'm red-blooded; I won't blanche at waiting tables. =)

    Sorry if this is a silly question, or if I've asked this before - I'm interested in starting some discussion on the topic. (Surely I'm not the only American who thinks it would be great to live in Russia?)
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Hmm, could you specify what kind of salary you're expecting?

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    I don't think English teachers are needed that badly. My mailbox (for paper mail) is full of spam offering (among other things) 'learning English in 2 weeks using an advanced method from native Engilsh speakers'. Learning English is not a problem at all here.
    Secondly, it's rather hard to get officially employed for a foreigner, because of the law stating that if you plan to employ a foreign person you must prove that you won't be able to find a suitable candidate among residents.
    Third. Your income as an English teacher won't probably cover your living expenses (although I can only judge by the number of 'offers' in my spambox - the competition is hard, as I imagine).
    There may be some demand for English teachers in smaller cities but your earnings there would be less. Substantially.
    If you feel like it, you can try some business here (import some goods from the US), but again, it must be something unique (something that is not made in China )

    The best way would be to get employed by an American company who works in Russia and come work here.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    @ eric - Honestly my desire was not much more than to be able to live there for a period of time, so the cost of living would have to be met.. Ramil mentioned I suppose that often teachers don't make enough for this... Teachers are underpaid here in USA too, of course... But there is the infamous story of a time not too long ago when teachers in Russia were being paid in vodka.. (Of course I'm not suggesting this, haha)

    @ Ramil - thank you for the information in your post.. So after reading this, I'm thinking that having somewhat exclusive hospitality certification like CHA or some such might be a better shoe-in-the-door..? Also I've just read a lot about visa laws and work/visa laws in russia, and it seems a hotel or an employer can be functional in bringing a person in and helping them with having/maintaining the correct paperwork.. It sesms a long shot but maybe there is some merit in the hospitality edge of things.

    Then again, maybe not - =) A lot to consider.. and subsequently more research =)

    {RAMIL} "If you feel like it, you can try some business here (import some goods from the US), but again, it must be something unique (something that is not made in China ) " <-- "Hm, made in america, let me think... come on, man, think, there's got to be something!!" =))
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom View Post
    {RAMIL} "If you feel like it, you can try some business here (import some goods from the US), but again, it must be something unique (something that is not made in China ) " <-- "Hm, made in america, let me think... come on, man, think, there's got to be something!!" =))
    Bring dollars. Lots of them, they still have some substantial value here
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Bring dollars. Lots of them, they still have some substantial value here
    I beg to assume he meant you gotta find something "made in America" in the US. =))

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Bring dollars. Lots of them, they still have some substantial value here
    I assume they are "made in America" and not China, lol.... (but these days, who knows?)

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    Подающий надежды оратор Neilan's Avatar
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    You will struggle to find employers willing to officially employ you as someone has already said - I have been offered an admin job in Moscow with a good salary for me (60,000 rub per month) however it's completely unofficial work or in Western terms illegal work! However that is the situation with many employees in Russia, even Russian employees! I'm in two minds whether to take it or not simply for the lack of stability. I don't have a wealthy family (quite the opposite actually) and if they decide they don't like me or don't want to pay me, then they can do what they want ''vse bez ofitsialnogo oformlenia'' so I don't have a leg to stand on!

    I've worked in a language school in the province before and I'd actually recommend you do something along those lines! You can actually make very decent money because if you choose the province wisely, you'll likely be the only native speaker there and the school is likely to pay you fairly as you'll bring them business! I worked in a language school whilst I was a student in Russia and the pay was not bad for a small town ! 250 roubles per academic hour (each class is 2 academic hours) so 500 roubles per lesson.. I walked away with about 25 000 roubles per month and was still able to study and party When you compare 25 000 roubles with the average earnings in the smaller towns it is a particularly substantial income!

    You won't make your fortunes doing it but if your aim is to have enough money to live and be able to enjoy yourself for a short period of time 6 months/1 year/2 years then it's a great option! Of course by all means try to get into language schools in Moscow where they'll pay you 1800 roubles per lesson lol but it's a struggle as the competition is very high and unless you come with all sorts of CELTA's and TEFLS' and degrees, you're likely to find that there'll be somebody else who has something you don't waiting in the queue!

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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    Sochi 2014 Olympics.

    That's what this Crazy Hotel Worker is thinking.
    Why not? I hire 4 Russians every summer.

    Maybe sell condoms on the side
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    English teachers are demanded very highly. It is easier to find private lessons, if you are a teacher of English than almost any other subject and prices are high.

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    My skill and experience are strong, actually, in areas that I'm not sure would be greatly beneficial, namely sales/customer service, and hospitality.. So, I'm thinking as far as experience and education I'll be starting from scratch, either way I approach the situation.
    Не обязательно, сможете найти работу в этом областью в России если ваш русский достаточно хорошо, но не знаю если это рекомендовано.
    "Особенно упорно надо заниматься тем, кто ничего не знает." - Като Ломб

    "В один прекрасный день все ваши подспудные знания хлынут наружу. Ощущения при этом замечательные, уверяю вас." -Кто-то

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    Why didn't anyone mention renting price in Moscow? Smallest and dirtiest condo in Moscow outskirt costs about $1000 a month. A foreigner from Germany, who works in our company, have to pay $500 a month for the small room in the two bedroom condo which he shares with alcoholic owner. Food price is slightly higher than in the Europe and clothes is also costs more than in Europe. I haven't been in the US but my coworkers who been there told me that cost of living is lower in the US while the incomes are higher.

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    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel_B View Post
    Why didn't anyone mention renting price in Moscow? Smallest and dirtiest condo in Moscow outskirt costs about $1000 a month. A foreigner from Germany, who works in our company, have to pay $500 a month for the small room in the two bedroom condo which he shares with alcoholic owner. Food price is slightly higher than in the Europe and clothes is also costs more than in Europe. I haven't been in the US but my coworkers who been there told me that cost of living is lower in the US while the incomes are higher.
    Ok so what is the rent for a nice flat 2 bedrooms (not luxury but clean and renovated) in a good area?
    Do Russians count bedrooms only when describing flats, i.e a "two bedroom" flat has three rooms because there is also a living room? Or do they count all rooms, i.e "three room flat" which includes the living room?

    What is the age of most houses is Moscow and what is considered good vintage for a house? I.e. good soundproofing between flats, high ceiling, no plumbing problems etc.

    People who move to other countries need to find out what to expect before they move, if not be prepared to put up with the unexpected without complaining! Anyway, as far as I am aware the housing situation in Moscow is infamous going back at least 50 years if not a decade. I.e. a shortage of houses. How could anyone not have heard of it. The prices you are describing are still better than London, and from what I understand - New York, Tokyo and lots of other industrialised cities of the same size.

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Ok so what is the rent for a nice flat 2 bedrooms (not luxury but clean and renovated) in a good area?
    Do Russians count bedrooms only when describing flats, i.e a "two bedroom" flat has three rooms because there is also a living room? Or do they count all rooms, i.e "three room flat" which includes the living room?

    What is the age of most houses is Moscow and what is considered good vintage for a house? I.e. good soundproofing between flats, high ceiling, no plumbing problems etc.

    People who move to other countries need to find out what to expect before they move, if not be prepared to put up with the unexpected without complaining! Anyway, as far as I am aware the housing situation in Moscow is infamous going back at least 50 years if not a decade. I.e. a shortage of houses. How could anyone not have heard of it. The prices you are describing are still better than London, and from what I understand - New York, Tokyo and lots of other industrialised cities of the same size.
    When we rent a flat we count all the rooms that are available there, living room is very often used as an additional bedroom. When you rent a 2-room flat you will have a living room with a convertible sofa and a bedroom, that's all. If they say they have a 1-room flat for you, there will be the only room indeed (with a convertible sofa again, they are very popular here =) The rooms will be a bit bigger than people usually have in Europe (because we have less of them in our appartaments) but not much, and if the building is a so called Khrushchyovka than the rooms will be tiny, dirty and you will know everything about your neighbours in no time without meeting them at all.

    The renting price of acceptable 1-room flat starts from 600$. The renting price of flats you described starts from 1000$ a month, the closer to the center the higher price will be. Moscow is a huge citty, people living far from the center spend two hours to get to job and then two more hours to get back home in the evening. Of cause people would prefer to live closer to their jobs and there are no vacant land for building apartaments there, that is why the flats in the center cost a fortune.

    Unless it is a new and expensive residential compaund (like this one) the houses will be old. Some new areas are being build up at the edge of the city but the houses there are of bearing-wall construction and they don't have any soundproofing at all, that is why Russian people like carpets that much.

    img_lublino2.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Ok so what is the rent for a nice flat 2 bedrooms (not luxury but clean and renovated) in a good area?
    Do Russians count bedrooms only when describing flats, i.e a "two bedroom" flat has three rooms because there is also a living room? Or do they count all rooms, i.e "three room flat" which includes the living room?

    What is the age of most houses is Moscow and what is considered good vintage for a house? I.e. good soundproofing between flats, high ceiling, no plumbing problems etc.

    People who move to other countries need to find out what to expect before they move, if not be prepared to put up with the unexpected without complaining! Anyway, as far as I am aware the housing situation in Moscow is infamous going back at least 50 years if not a decade. I.e. a shortage of houses. How could anyone not have heard of it. The prices you are describing are still better than London, and from what I understand - New York, Tokyo and lots of other industrialised cities of the same size.
    We count all rooms except kitchen, toilet and bathroom, livingroom included. "Clean and renovated" flat in Moscow with two bedrooms and a livingroom would cost you about $2 000 - $3 000 to rent a month and about $ 700 000 to buy. But this kind of flat is considered a luxury. The same flat in typical "commieblock" neighbourhood would cost slightly less: about $ 1 700 -$2 000 to rent and about $ 500 000 to buy. The same flat in the town where I live (50 km east from Moscow) will cost about $700-$1000 a month to rent and about $200 000 - $250 000 to buy. Note that the average monthly salary in Moscow is about $1000-$1500 a month (in my town it's $500-$800 a month), so most people just can't afford to rent a flat. "Working class" people live in flats wich they inherited from their parents/grandparents or have to rent just a room. At the same time most "blue collar" jobs in Moscow occupied by Middle Asia immigrants who usually live in sewers, attics, garbage cans or rent a 1-room flat for 20-30 people.

    Moscow buidings you could classify by following categories:

    1) Old houses (pre-revolutionary era) - extremly expensive but at the same time often in bad condition, if not recently renovated (wooden beams in overlaps and such things), most of them are not used for living anymore but remade into offices and other public places.




    2) Stalin era buildings - very expensive and usually good (high celing, big rooms, houses are elegant and located in prestigious neigbourhood). These houses were built for Soviet elite of that times.




    3) Khrushchev era buildings - most ugly ones, with very small flats, usually has 5-floors and without an elevator. Could be pretty expensive if located in "prestigious" neghbourhood (near metro station or so). There is an urban legend that Soviet builders have "borrowed" the design for these from Nazi Germany architects who designed it as a barracks for their future "slavische untermenschen" slaves. The bitter irony is that the people who defeated Nazis often lived in worse living conditions at that time.




    4) 1970-1980 era buldings - slightly upgraded versions of "krushchevkas", has more floors, an elevator, rooms, kitchen and facilities are bigger, every flat has a balcony. I live in such a flat.




    5) Modern "economy class" buildings - ok flats, but often are built with a very bad quality.




    6) Modern "luxury class" buildings - pompous and very expensive, quality of building can be bad too (leaking pipes, сracking walls, etc.)

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    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    Basil77, I guess the topicstarter doesn't mean the luxury property, I was serching for a flat about a year and a half ago and it was about 18-20k for a 1-room flat conviently located near the МКАД (Moscow ring road) - Tushinskaya/Shukinskaya/Mitino subway stations. I guess the same price will be for the flats in the place like Lyublino, though I don't like the southern part of the city at all. Those in the area of Prospect Mira were a bit more expensive and and for 35-40k it was possible to find a 2-room flat , that is about 1150$

    The only problam is that we don't earn enough to ren flats even for 800$ a month

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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoax View Post
    Basil77, I guess the topicstarter doesn't mean the luxury property, I was serching for a flat about a year and a half ago and it was about 18-20k for a 1-room flat conviently located near the МКАД (Moscow ring road) - Tushinskaya/Shukinskaya/Mitino subway stations. I guess the same price will be for the flats in the place like Lyublino, though I don't like the southern part of the city at all. Those in the area of Prospect Mira were a bit more expensive and and for 35-40k it was possible to find a 2-room flat , that is about 1150$

    The only problam is that we don't earn enough to ren flats even for 800$ a month
    The question was about "clean and renovated" flat with 2 beedrooms and a livingtoom. The closest analog I can think of is трёшка в доме бизнесс-класса с хорошим ремонтом и мебелью. So I posted the prices for such type of flat. The flats you described are usually located in very ugly houses wich halls and elevators are covered with graffity and piss, garbage near house's front doors etc. Flats for rent in such houses usually has very ugly if any furniture, very dirty and with cocroaches.





    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    I would never consider those flats you give as an example. You forget or don't know that there are a lot of new apartaments built, in Mitino for example and Strogino (And also in the south of Moscow though I still haven't change my oppinion about that part), some even have grannies guarding the entrance hall and protecting walls from graffity and piss, there is one where my uncle rents a flat.

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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    I still stand that average renting price in Moscow for a decent 3-rooms flat would be no less than $1700 a month. A friend of mine inherited 2-rooms flat in Kuzminki from his grandmother (it's an ordinary flat in a panel house buit in early 80s) and he leases it for 50 000 roubles (about $ 1600) a month. He says there isn't a problem at all to find a customer for such a price.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  20. #20
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    I still stand that average renting price in Moscow for a decent 3-rooms flat would be no less than $1700 a month. A friend of mine inherited 2-rooms flat in Kuzminki from his grandmother (it's an ordinary flat in a panel house buit in early 80s) and he leases it for 50 000 roubles (about $ 1600) a month. He says there isn't a problem at all to find a customer for such a price.
    This would be an absolutely acceptable rent for me, on my current London salary. No problem, I could be more.
    However, I doubt I'd get the salary I'm getting now, if I was a Russian person doing this job in Moscow! So it's not really comparable. Probably, I'd get about half and then I that rent would be a stretch.

    What is included? Heating, Water, electricity, gas? Any taxes for just living?

    I took a 1 bedroom flat after returning to London. I really don't like this building, and the plumbing is terrible. There is a mobile phone mast on the roof, very bad for health.
    But I'm saving money and at least I am in one of the best areas of town. It sounds like Moscow is worse than London, but probably not by much.

    I often compare with Sweden, and Sweden has the same Wild West situation with rental flats that Moscow seems to have. People get/got rental contracts from the state. They can basically never lose the contract unless they forfeit paying the rent and they are obviously not living there for several years. If the person who has the contract dies, a relative who is registered as living with the person who died can take over the contract.
    So everybody is after such a state contract; they are traded, bought illegally and any number of shady arrangements. Meanwhile private lets are very regulated and overpriced, and everything is getting privatised, so the best thing to do is to buy a place.

    Although the actual flats in Sweden are better quality than London, the supply/demand is totally messed up.
    The housing styles in Sweden are much more similar to Russia than the UK, but the equivalent of "Khrustevska" are a bit better quality, I think. Not much though. They had a plan to build 1 million flats in 5 years, and the result is quantity over quality. Only immigrants and very poor people live there now.

    I stayed in a flat of the post war Stalin era when I was in Minsk. 2 rooms, good sized and high ceilings, facing the street. It wasn't a grand building, but it was very nice indeed. If I could live like that in London I'd absolutely love it. I probably could afford a mortgage for a similar type of flat in Stockholm, but never in London. Very good location too, next to the Peace monument.

    Definitely no noise from the neighbours and it had been fully renovated to an excellent standard. I think it had original parquet floor. No fireplaces. I was really surprised how good the quality was. The plumbing was good too.

    You entered the house from a nice yard behind the building, with a little park, playground etc. But for such a nice building it had an very ugly front door (painted steel) and the stairs were spartan and quite ugly. Not vandalised, just ugly. I have no idea how the owner got hold of the flat, and I am pretty sure he charged me at least double the real rent for staying there. The other inhabitants were locals, but at least half the cars parked outside had German or Russian license plates. No idea what the deal was with that.

    I have a positive view of Russia as a place to live - if you have money! And also Belarus and to a lesser degree Ukraine (saw a lot of poverty there). However, these are terrible places to be poor! What if something happened....
    I think it would be really scary to live somewhere that has literally NO social security and people are totally dependent on friends and family if something happens. I don't know what the exact healthcare situation is.

    Moscow property prices will probably continue to go up, up, up - since there simply isn't enough supply to match the demand.

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