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"The inner circle took it skeptically"

I am a software engineer, engaged in verification. Moved with the wife nine months ago. This is my third big relocation, I’ve lived in Moscow before—didn’t like it much and decided to return. Spent a year in South Korea, things there ended logically.

I had never been to Belarus before the move, so my job-hunting was focused on the company rather than the city. November-ish, I passed the interview, received a job offer from SK hynix and decided: that’s it, I’m taking it. There was a concurrent proposal from Latvia, but I compared the options and went for the more interesting one.

I knew nothing about the Belarusian IT back then. And my inner circle was skeptical about my country choice. We have this prevailing opinion that major companies are only based in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But I kept calm, I knew the kind of place I was in for here. Many friends worried about the language barrier—which has later proved to be non-existent, same as the border.

“It’s almost impossible to know in advance what living in the country will be like”

I tried googling but all that got me was monuments, avenues, the National Library. I knew that Minsk is less active, but, as it turned out, there is generally everything you need. You just have to come here and find out for yourself.

Open positions at SK hynix in Minsk Group 9 Created with Sketch.

Our first accommodation didn’t pan out nicely. It’s difficult to choose the area when you’re in Russia, and we ended up renting an apartment between the railroad, a construction site and Minsk Beltway. Now we’re renting a different one—it’s small, 40 square meters (430 sq ft), I think it’s worth the money. Although I believed the rent would be lower. Was surprised by prices for different services, such as fitness clubs. Perhaps there are more of them in other cities, there’s competition—and you can attend centers with sauna and swimming pools for a low price, but here it’s quite expensive somehow. But the company helps with that, so no problem there.

Comparing Russians and Belarusians, I can say that we are very similar. It’s easier to live in Minsk than in Moscow; and the order and cleanliness in the city immediately catch the eye. But sunny days is what’s in short supply in Minsk. We didn’t even go anywhere in particular during the first two winter months—were waiting for good weather. Then we ourselves began receiving visits from relatives, friends. We checked out castles and lakes, went to Borisov, the local football capital. A friend came to us in May—the weather was amazing, strolled a lot, so he immediately started checking apartment prices. However, later he left and that was it.

“Now, 6+ months into it, we feel very comfortable here”

We’ve made lots of friends, attend master classes and generally find various ways to have quality time. The company supports this—where else would I play curling or participate in a golf tournament?

Upsides
Outbound traveling is more convenient.
Quietness.

Downsides
It’s hard without friends from the home country.