Moving to Ukraine
Expats moving to Ukraine will find themselves in a country of extremes, where heavy industrial areas are interspersed with beautiful and varied natural scenery. Though new arrivals often sense an abruptness about locals, they will find that the people are warm and respectful once one breaks the ice.
Decades of Stalinist rule and post-independence economic and social problems continue to leave their mark on the country. However, recent reforms and a closer working relationship with the EU mean that the outlook for Ukraine’s future is promising.
Economic growth has shown impressive improvements over the past decade. The country is home to established manufacturing and commodities sectors, as well as a promising agriculture industry, all of which look to improve as trade with the European Union opens up. In addition, Ukraine boasts a growing information technology sector.
Before the political unrest, European tourism used to be an important contributor to the economy, thanks to Ukraine's abundance of hiking, skiing, fishing and hunting opportunities, not to mention plenty of ancient castles, Soviet-era monuments, vineyards and beaches. Today, these remain compelling reasons for many expats’ moves to Ukraine.
Ukraine's capital city of Kiev is fast becoming one of Europe's most exciting cultural hubs due, in no small part, to the energy of the city's inhabitants who have worked hard to resist Russian influence and forge closer ties to the European Union. Now, Kiev abounds with sophisticated cuisine, vibrant nightlife and contemporary art that all acknowledge the country’s fascinating history.
Kiev has a lot to offer, but this does come with the highest cost of living in Ukraine. Still, most expats find that Kiev is substantially less expensive than other European capitals. Expats looking to relocate will find that housing can be very affordable, and healthcare is free to residents. Major structural reforms promise to only improve the standard of government services and the quality of life. This is also true for education. Expats who relocate to Ukraine with their families will find that there are several good public Ukrainian schools, although, for those who are just passing through, and who can afford it, there are also a handful of private international schools in Kiev.
While Ukraine isn't the most typical expat destination, those brave enough to venture to move there are sure to be richly rewarded with a truly unique experience.