Ukrainian Expat Living in Czech Republic - Interview with Yuliya

Published: 19 Nov at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Czech Republic
Yuliya has been on the move since 17. While living in London she met her husband who was a student in the same Uni. Originally from Moscow, he came to UK when he was 12. They've been together for almost ten years now, sharing expat experiences in UK, Germany, China, Russia and now in Czech Republic. Their two daughters are tiny expats as well - for the older one it's already the 4th country. The little one is just beginning her expat journey with the first move. Yuliya's expat blog is called Tinyexpats's Blog (see listing here)

Here's the interview with Yuliya...

Where are you originally from?
I'm from Ukraine, but I moved around ever since I was 17 and so did my family. It's a bit hard to say by now where my home is.

In which country and city are you living now?
We moved to Pardubice, Czech Republic.

How long have you lived in Czech Republic and how long are you planning to stay?
We moved to Pardubice in May this year. Depending on my husband's job we can stay here for a year or longer.

Why did you move to Czech Republic and what do you do?
We moved here, because my husband was offered a contract. At the moment I stay at home with our two kids, but it seems like quite a hard work at times :) I'd like to find a job at some point, but that would probably have to be something flexible, maybe online, so that our gipsy lifestyle would not interfere.

Did you bring family with you?
Yes, we moved together with our kids. My parents and my sister currently live in Shangai, so it's a 7-hour time difference for us.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
It's not our first move, so it was not a shock, let's say. It was a bit harder finding info for expats in a small town like this, but I have to say that local people were very helpful and made settling down much easier.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I meet people mainly through what I do with my kids and my husband got to know his colleagues, of course. We socialize with locals as well as expats.

Old town
Old town
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
I like the fact that yo can live in a city and still feel close to nature. Labe walks or venturing out of the city for day trips is amazing. Plus I really like the old town, it's very doll-like, and the castle with the peacocks is one of the favorite places for my girls. Pardubice is also very conveniently located in the heart of Europe - why not use this opportunity and travel around Czech or other European countries?

What do you enjoy most about living in Czech Republic?
It's a city life without the stress of a big city. It might be not so exciting for singles wanting to have fun, but I think it's great for families with small kids. There's always something going on, events on the main square, hockey matches, sports activities. The place is small but by far not boring.

How does the cost of living in Czech Republic compare to home?
Again - hard to say where home is for me at the moment. I didn't live in Ukraine for over ten years now, so cannot say anything about it. It's much cheaper to live here than in Moscow and Shanghai, our previous homes, that's for sure. We expecially like how affordable it is to eat out here.

A day out in Kuneticka hora
A day out in Kuneticka hora
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Czech Republic?
It's just been half a year, ask me in another six months and I might have an answer for you. So far I'm happy with this place. Ah, one thing, I liked the fact that I could call a pediatrician to visit us at home in Moscow for free. But that's not possible neither here nor in any other places where we lived, so I can't hold it against Pardubice.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Czech Republic, what would it be?
I'd say the best thing you can do to feel more at home - get to know local people. So far everyone was very friendly and helpful. I wouldn't know half as much about Pardubice, if it wasn't for them.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
I'm so used to this life on the move by now that I actually really enjoyed moving here from the very beginning. I guess, what I had to concentrate on the most was making sure that my kids also feel comfortable and at home. It's been important to help my oldest daughter make friends here.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
That's hard to say. I don't plan on coming back to my home town as my family is not there and there's a military conflict going on. Lately, we've been talking a lot with my husband about future plans, but so far we cannot decided what the next step for us would be. Time will show :)

Old town
Old town
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Get to know locals. It's amazing how much easier it would be for you to settle down at your new home with a little help from new friends :)
  2. Learn at least some Czech. It's always nice to be able to exchange a few phrases without looking up every word in a dictionary.
  3. Don't stay at home! As an expat, you probably have a limited time in your new country, don't waste it!
  4. Research. Internet is full of info you could otherwise miss. Read up on the place you live in, surroundings, history, traditions. Make your experience fuller.
  5. Enjoy! It's one of the significant stages of your life, you'll tell you grandchildren about it :)
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I started my blog as I felt that some information that I gathered for my family and kids might come in handy for other expats coming to Pardubice. I have contacts of doctors, education, sports and activities. I also write about the places we like to visit in Pardubice and trips that we made. I'm not a writer, so it's something between a directory, a diary and a photo album of adventures of my tiny expats.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
You can write to me on Facebook, the link to the TinyExpats group is in the blog menu.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingYuliya is an Ukrainian expat living in Czech Republic. Blog description: Our new home - Pardubice. Settling in and exploring with our 2 little girls.
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