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Moscow



Morale among expats:

Varies significantly depending on one's expectations and reaction to the weather/local culture/work environment/etc. - Jul 28, 2013
Mixed. It seems to depend on people's jobs and their comfort with the Russian language. Some jobs at the U.S. Embassy are inherently more difficult in Russia right now than others. Some people really get into Russian culture, and there are a number of Russophiles at the embassy who have been here, or in the region, on multiple tours. On the other hand, I also know people who have Google calendars on their smart phones giving them the number of days left until they leave post. The U.S. Embassy is huge and there is not a great deal of community spirit. But it can be cliquish and unfriendly here. We are having a good experience overall, but two years will be enough. - Jul 18, 2013
Unfortunately, it seems a lot of the community hates it, or at least dislikes it enough to be counting the days left. We have enjoyed our time here, but I think that is mostly because of how we managed our attitudes and expectations. If you don't give this place a chance and keep an open mind, you will be miserable. - Jan 13, 2013
Varies, it's typically a love-it-or-hate-it post. - Mar 14, 2012
Mixed. Some of us love it, some hate it, some have a love/hate relationship. I think it would be hardest for a single woman. - May 29, 2011
It varies. People who speak Russian, who have lived in - and enjoyed - HUGE cities (ex: New York, Chicago), and who are interested in Russian history/culture love this place. But many expats struggle; it is a very challenging post to live and work in. - Jan 1, 2011
On the whole, middling to low. Russia, and Moscow in particular, is a tough place to live. The culture, the attitudes of people, and the difficulty to get simple things done can wear on people. The reign of official stamps and forms is strong here, and most people find it easier to say "no," usually in a brusque manner. Travel outside Russia (or at least outside Moscow) is a must to maintaining sanity. - Jul 31, 2010
At Rosinka, very low. - May 22, 2010
Iffy. Depends really. If you are a single female, your morale might be a little bit lower. The embassy caters first to people living on the compound - the CLO could care less if you live off compound. If you have a family, then you are second in the ranking. Those who live further out in the city, and Rosinka, are generally left out of events because of their location. - May 5, 2010
Varies widely. if you learn Russia and get beyond the expat-only circle, you will probably enjoy it. if not, you may end up frustrated and a little bored. - Feb 13, 2010
Huge mood swings, depending on the season. Everyone is miserable and trying to keep spirits up during the long, dark and frigid winter - try to fly south, to keep warm!The summers are gorgeous, and everyone is smiling and content - Jan 23, 2010
Pretty good. There's a blend of outlooks on life in Russia among embassy folks, as with any place. - Nov 6, 2009
Mixed. If you hang with the half-empty crowd, you'll be complaining about Paris, right? That said, it's a big post with a lot to get done a lot of people trying to get noticed. - Oct 24, 2009
Ok. It's a long winter, and the host country government and people can be unnecessarily mean. - Aug 29, 2009
I would say middle. Some people love it and some people can't wait to leave. Some people will hate every place they go, so don't let their negativity affect you. Just try to make the best of it and don't let the winter get you down. Get out and accept invitations when people invite you to dinner. I do find that two years in Moscow is enough, and most people are ready to leave when it's their time, but some people choose to extend. - Aug 22, 2009
It varies depending on job satisfaction. Most non-working spouses are a bit bored, as winter can be long and getting around is a challenge. - Jul 12, 2009
Varies. Many expats have a love/hate relationship with the city, and a number end up staying (voluntarily) for years and years. - Sep 12, 2008
It seems to be okay... families with kids get them involved in English league sports, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, etc. There are book clubs, an American Club and an International Women's Club that is large. - Aug 25, 2008