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“It is very convenient here for young parents”

I have a lot of ties to Minsk. Graduated from high school in Bykhov, relatives live here. So I wouldn’t say I’ve moved to a totally new place. Packing took a week and a half, filled up the fuel tank and came. I used to work on business trips, up to fifty flights a year sometimes, so I didn’t sweat it. There were no expectations: there was work — I went to do it. And since it requires presence over a long period, I had to handle organizational issues — both legal and domestic. Haven’t faced a lot of red tape.

No problems with the kindergarten for the kid, either, although they were overcrowded in our area. It is very convenient here for parents with small children compared to Moscow. Low fees for interest clubs, plenty of educational opportunities to arrange besides the kindergarten. English courses — no problem; neither are dancing classes. No organizational heel-dragging, everything is within walking distance.

“Another notable upside is the lack of traffic jams”

When I came from Minsk to Moscow, it took me two or three days to adapt to traffic — and that’s even though I had been driving around Moscow for five years before. I don’t even perceive a 5-minute line before the traffic light as a traffic jam; Muscovites will relate to this one. The subway is also relatively empty, easily reachable on foot.

Prices here are higher than in Moscow: family expenses are up by 20%. However, this is offset by low apartment rental rates and good transport links.

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You absolutely can’t get bored here. Got places to visit; I do at least 250 miles of driving over a typical weekend. I’ve visited the castles with family; totally loved Lake Naroch. Going to nature is so much easier than in Moscow.

“And I rarely go abroad—nothing fundamentally new out there”

Going to the mall for shopping lies outside my area of interest.

I noticed that administrative issues at work get resolved much faster compared to Russian companies. I got lucky with the team—they’ve given me a warm welcome. Staying here with the family for a long time is still an open question for me. Now we’re deciding whether we want to send our child to school here. If I had come alone, Minsk would’ve become an intermediate stage. I am a guest here after all, not a citizen of Belarus. But it’s a great place for family life.

Upsides:
Affordability of children’s interest clubs.
Administrative issues get resolved faster.

Downsides
A 20% spike in expenses.