Ukraine Lifestyle: What Should You Know To Have A Smooth Relocation?
Breathtaking scenery, delicious food, beautiful women, and kind, friendly people. Not the worst description of a country to desire to live there, agree? Ukraine is still not on the top lists of dream locations to move but maybe that’s just a matter of time? This state has everything to ensure a foreigner’s comfortable and happy living. Let’s dig right in? Discover what life is like in Ukraine today!
#1. Tasty McDonald’s
There are lots of reviews and articles on the internet where ordinary travelers or professional bloggers compare typical McDonald’s menu positions in different countries. Ukrainians receive a good deal of positive feedback. The taste is bright and full. The reason for that might be local meat and vegetables and their ecological production. If you’re a McDonald’s fan you’re going to love it there even more.
Tip: Try a local Ukrainian burger — with pork, fresh lettuce, pickles, and bright horseradish sauce. It costs about 60 hryvnias or $2.12. Tastes like pure Ukraine.
#2. Dates’ rules
Living in Ukraine get used to the main dates’ rule — man always pays. An offer to split the bill might offend your Ukrainian girlfriend and you more likely won’t see her again. This is not because local women are materialistic gold-diggers, they just don’t even know any other way to behave on a date. From a female point of view, this gesture proves a gentleman is capable of taking care of his own life as well as providing a comfortable living for his future wife.
Tip: Insist on paying the bill even if she offers to share it. This is just a sign of her good manners. Oh, and donэt ever make your lady feel awkward hinting she should choose something not very pricey. She wonэt choose you in the end.
#3.High standards in appearance
A stretched sweater and old joggers arenэt the Ukraine lifestyle. People love to look good here and put big efforts into that. Ladies wear heels, beautiful dresses, and nice makeup. Gentlemen may prefer jeans or good trousers and a shirt or hoodie. Always fresh, tidy, and with a great hairstyle.
Tip: Find a good beautician, barber, or nails master and visit him regularly. Itэs common for all Ukrainians to have their own beauty-master and make appointments at least once a month.
#4. 3 widely-spread languages
Thereэs only one official language in Ukraine — Ukrainian. Though youэll meet many people speaking Russian and local dialect surzhyk — a mix of both Ukrainian and Russian. Which one to learn? Your choice. Better opt for Ukrainian or at least Russian. Surzhyk isn’t an officially existing language and is easy to understand if you know some Ukrainian or Russian. How to learn Ukrainian fast? Get a local tutor and practice more!
Tip: Western and Northern parts of Ukraine mostly speak Ukrainian, while the East and the South are mainly Russian-speaking. Donэt get confused by hearing different languages in different cities.
#5. Public transport
Ukrainian marshrutka is an iconic thing. It’s a bus, and itэs always full of passengers. Drivers pick up people on bus-stops until thereэs no place to make a move inside. Literally. People stay so close to each other they can feel each otherэs skin or hair. The same refers to the local metro. Another way to navigate through the city is by taxi. Itэs considerably cheap and much more comfortable. Many Ukrainians, especially in big cities like Kyiv, prefer this transport.
Tip: Getting a taxi, always rely on international apps or those that are popular in Ukraine. Better avoid taxi companies that still use only a phone number to make an order.
#.6 Traveling around the country
About 55% of Ukrainians have never been abroad. Ukrainian standard of living is too low for many families to afford such trips. That’s why they choose to travel in the country to such locations as Odessa and Zatoka for sea leisure and Verkhovyna and Yaremche to see mountains. Usually, it takes almost a day to reach the destination point as all the traveling in Ukraine is done by trains mainly. For example, the train Kyiv-Odessa takes about 10 hours.
Tip: Book train tickets in advance, especially in a high season. Do it only on the official Ukrzaliznytsia website or through your online bank app.
If you choose Kyiv for relocation, be ready to see many homeless on the streets, especially near the train station and on the metro. They may ask you for monetary help or some food. There are many volunteer organizations in the city that help these people with food and shelter to the most possible extent.
Tip: If you see a homeless begging for money, try to offer to buy him some food, so you’ll be sure he won’t spend that cash on alcohol.
#8. Very diverse climate
Being an expat in Ukraine, you’ll experience freezing winter, hot summer, warm spring, and windy fall. Weather and landscapes are the Ukrainian treasures. You’ll see this country in all possible states and will definitely love each of them.
Tip: Don’t underestimate local winters. Purchase a good puffy jacket, scarf, hat, and mittens. Especially if your homeland was California.
#9. Fresh and tasty vegetables
You’ve never tasted a juicier tomato probably. Ukraine is an agricultural country, and it’s the most fruitful industry of the local economy. The main export products are grain and sunflower oil.
Tip: Buy only seasonal fruits and vegetables to experience their usefulness and full taste. Means no cucumbers in winter, otherwise, you won’t distinguish them from water.
#10. Life goals
Every Ukrainian citizen dreams about owning a car and apartment or house. It’s common to save money for many years just to finally purchase that desired home and have some stability and a place to always come back for. Though real estate is considerably cheap there, lots of people will still never afford it.
Tip: It’s legal for a foreigner to buy and own real estate in Ukraine. Considering the fact you can use it for rent, such a purchase might become a fruitful investment.
#11. Underestimated local tourism
There are many more places in Ukraine than Odessa and Lviv only. Ukraine has a rich history and a huge cultural heritage. Sadly, local tourism is still undeveloped. Ukrainians are proud of their homeland but many of them have never left their native region to see what else is there.
Tip: The best Ukraine travel tip is to choose the not popular but exciting locations for your trip: Chernivtsi and its magical university, Chernihiv and its churches, Kherson and its pink lake.
#12. High service in restaurants
Ukrainians have high standards when it comes to service in restaurants, hotels, SPA, etc. You won’t see the same in Europe and the USA. Waiters here will make sure you’re not only satisfied with the food but feel comfortable with music, your kids have toys to play with, your dog has a separate plate, etc. The interior of many luxury spots is impressive and the majority of good restaurants have an English menu or at least a translation of the Ukrainian one. Though, it all mostly relates to big cities. Little towns can’t brag the same experience, and you won’t find English menus there.
Tip: Tipping waiters is crucial. Usually, it’s not included in the final check, so be sure to give at least 10% in cash.
#13. Low prices and low average income
Cost of living in Ukraine is almost 60% lower than in the USA. For example, apartment rent in the city center will cost you here $283 on average. Bottle of nice wine — $3, the meal in a good restaurant — $10. That would seem a paradise, but only for you. The majority of locals get only $350 monthly. With such an income, they hardly afford any extra except food.
Tip: If you have a chance to earn American wage living in Ukraine, just enjoy it.
#14. Balcony chic
This is something you’ll be surprised to see for the first time. Architecture in Ukraine, especially in the old parts of cities, is beautiful. Still, Ukrainians tend to stand out, so they try to make their balconies unique. The front part of the ship? Easy. A pool in the car? Yes! Ukrainian imagination seems to have no limits.
Tip: Being in Kyiv, take time to just have a stroll and stare at local architecture. Hunt the most hilarious balconies!
As a foreigner, you’re not allowed to get free medical help. But there are many private clinics where service is high and prices are still relatively low. Often, doctors work at public and private hospitals at the same time, so you can be sure you’ll get the best assistance.
Tip: Before going to a private clinic, search for patients’ reviews on the internet. Ukrainians love to share feedback on any type of services they get.
Relocating to Ukraine there are a few work options for you: being a volunteer, starting your own business, getting a position in a local company, or freelancing. Take into consideration that Ukraine jobs for foreigners imply Ukrainian salaries.
Tip: Modern technologies let you keep your American job and work remotely while living anywhere. This way, you’ll receive the US salary and live a very comfortable life in Ukraine.
#17. High traffic
Kyiv is in the list of top world cities with the worst traffic. An average Kyiv driver spends almost 10 days in traffic jams every year. There are many cars in Ukraine, and from first sight, it’s not logical considering the average salary. But the quality of life in Ukraine is diverse. There are many social and material ranks in the country.
Tip: If you don’t plan to go a long distance by car, opt for metro navigation through the city. Or at least do it on working days, in the morning and evening especially. Get a KievSmartCard — it saves you money, and you don’t need to have cash with you all the time.
What city to choose for a living in?
If you’re planning to migrate because your wife is Ukrainian, the question of where to live won’t probably appear. Those who desire to move to Ukraine to find a woman must spot cities with the best girls and great living conditions. These are:
Relocation to Ukraine might become the brightest adventure of your life. Local people, traditions, and food will impress you. Taking into consideration all the cultural differences and getting ready for possible daily challenges you won’t even feel you’ve moved to another country. Don’t be scared to change your life only because of not knowing something! Forewarned is forearmed.