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Adjusting to a New Culture: Ukraine

Ukraine has a long history that hasn’t always been the brightest, but currently they are on the up-and-up.  After a lengthy recession in the 90’s and the financial collapse of the late 2000’s, Ukraine’s economy is on the rise, therefore they will most likely see an influx of expats and tourists.  Whichever column you fall into, adjusting to a new culture can be tough, and to avoid culture shock follow these tips for moving to Ukraine:

Learn Russian.  Not only is it the most widely spoken language but the locals will respect you for knowing it and it will be MUCH easier to make friends.
Learn Cyrillic.  The written language of Ukraine.  While in Kiev, most things are in English, if you travel anywhere else you will be unable to read any signage unless you know it.
Be safe on the roads.  There are very few road safety laws and Ukrainians are notoriously bad drivers.  Most don’t wear seat belts.
Don’t drink the tap water.  Bottled is fine.
– On public transportation there is no personal space. Be prepared to be cramped!
It’s cold, really cold. Bring warm clothes and make sure wherever you move to has proper heating.
Pick-pocketing and petty theft is common. Make sure your belongings are secure at all times.
– Above all be kind and respectful, learn Russian, and you will get along just fine

ukraine magazine

 

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