Author Topic: Moving to the Ukraine with kids  (Read 5592 times)

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Offline Jeroen

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Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« on: 23:29 11-Jun-2012 »
Hi,

I'm thinking of moving to the Ukraine with my kids (girl of 8, boys of 1 and 3), but I was wondering if it is such a good idea. A lot of people (at home) have shared their opinions... basically that I'm crazy to do so. I think a lot stems from not knowing the country and is based on prejudice, but I wanted to double check anyway.

* I value tolerance a lot. I want my kids to be open-minded to people from other races, other sexual orientation, etc... I've been told that in the Ukraine there is a huge problem in those areas. How bad is it actually?

* Someone from Odessa told me "But I'm not sure kids would like it here. And it may be dangerous for them". I asked for more info, but got no reply. So I'm wondering what he meant?

* my kids mother language is Dutch. My oldest is learning English over summer, but the boys are to young to do so. Would it be a problem for them to follow pre-school at a Ukrainian school and learn English by a private teacher? What's the quality of Ukrainian schools (infrastructure, education, etc...)? The oldest I would send to International school since she already started her education. But I've seen some very high prices (+20K USD/year)... Are all international schools in Kiev that expensive?

* I will need a full time nanny, preferably living in. Is it easy to find this in the Ukraine? what kind of budget do I have to factor in for this?

* I hear rumors that if the kids get sick, you're on your own. Doctors are good for common colds, etc... but not for real illnesses. Is this true, or just a matter of finding a good GP?

* Ukrainian vs Russian : are all Ukrainian schools teaching in Ukrainian or are there also Russian schools? I'd prefer the kids to learn English/Russian first, Ukrainian as 4th.

* Someone else told me that she heard of a friend (hearsay?!) who went to Kiev for work (cultural sector, setting up exhibitions). The friend got to a few parties and was amazed at some of the things she saw there (adult movies playing, open use of drugs, everyone smoking, etc...). Is that a common thing among Ukrainian youth?

I realize that a lot of these things are based on hearsay and prejudices, but it's worrying to say the least.

Thanks for the info!



Offline Дідусь

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #1 on: 23:58 11-Jun-2012 »
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* Someone from Odessa told me "But I'm not sure kids would like it here. And it may be dangerous for them". I asked for more info, but got no reply. So I'm wondering what he meant?


Well, I very much doubt the person from Odessa was one of the expatua forum regulars. Only the kids themselves can say whether or not they would like it there. I love it. I wouldn't consider Odessa any more dangerous than London or Amsterdam but certainly safer than New York and several other US cities I happen to have visited over the years.

I cannot answer all your questions but you can arrange private health cover for the family that does not cost an arm and a leg. For example, in Odessa:

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The above allow GP visits in the form of .

Hearsay is a real problem, mostly spewed out by those who are jealous of one thing or another. Facebook is the electronic version of hearsay.



"When surrounded by the dark void of the wilfully blind, it does not excuse those that are a spark of light their duty to shine" - Pompey Nik

Offline Jeroen

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #2 on: 00:29 12-Jun-2012 »
I would actually live in Kiev if I move. The person from Odessa is someone I worked with.

Offline steveo

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #3 on: 01:08 12-Jun-2012 »
I don't think it will be dangerous for your kids, in fact I have found the opposite, that kids here are quite over-looked after by their ever present Babushkas and Mothers. There are lots of parks and playgrounds for kids in Kiev, some aren't the safest because of their age, but if you look at where all the kids are playing you're usually alright...my experience in Kiev anyway.

If you're Ukraine broke and have cancer then the healthcare isn't the best, sometimes the doctors expect payment and sometimes they don't all depends on the situation and the doctor. I've always found it reasonable, but we have had one negative experience where someone refused to sign a document in the hope we would pay her for the privilege, we found a way round it.

Nanny wages are high compared to other professions in Ukraine check rabota.ua.

If you want to you can have a really cotton-wool experience in Kiev, some people I've met have never used the metro/buses, drive everywhere, send their kids to private schools, have a house with a garden and a high fence.  :)

 
Keep calm and let karma do its thing.

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #4 on: 07:52 12-Jun-2012 »
Well, I can only give you my opinion on some things and my experience on others, though there are many more with more or different experiences than I have had. I have many friends in all age ranges, (teens to extreme ancient older than dirt seniors) all eager to show me something they are proud of or upset with, everyday is an education here. That being said:

Point One:
Ukraine does have a slight problem in this area, but honestly not as bad as the USA. (which I can use for comparison). Can you honestly say that that one place is more tolerant than another? It often varies in real life, and from one neighborhood to another.

Point Two:
Your friend is talking out of his @ss. What is defined as danger to you? And how do you know what your children will like? At their ages, they are extremely adaptable. There are dangers in ANY country for children, there always has been and always will be. At least they aren't being kidnapped and trained to kill people by some political freak, or strapping bombs on them selves eager to die for some nebulous cause.

Point Three:
Your children will be raised in Ukraine. Try not to isolate them from the world by keeping them in a little Euro box. (Skip the International School attitude, that is for people who are here for a short time) Their education will be Ukrainian, not Dutch. The system here is vastly different from what I had when I or my own children grew up with. If they are going to live here, let them live, children are extremely adaptable. Your 8 year old will have to be on the fast track for Ukrainian. Unless she is a complete idiot she will pick up the language very fast, the other two will pick it up faster. I came from an extreme multicultural country, my boys learned Spanish from their friends and English in school, the youngest hung around with some Vietnamese and in less than a year was able to converse with them in their tongue.

Point Four: Beats me! No experience in that area here in Ukraine.

Point Five:
I have two kids here, not my own, but currently they are 10 and 17. The parents and Doctors dote over them like they are a precious natural resource, which they are. Health care even in my city is pretty good, but huge problems need to be addressed in Kiev. Health care insurance is not very expensive. I have a heart condition, but I am not worried about it, much ...

Point Six:
This is Ukraine, not Russia. Looks like the kids will learn both. Who are you to chose for them how they speak? You are only their parent, their friends will speak what they speak and so will your kids. Again don't keep them in a little box. At their ages it will come to them very quickly, English is also taught in school. You can't just decide on your own which language they need to learn, they will learn what the need to get along here. I think Ukrainian is the best bet, Russian will follow along at the same time.  SERIOUSLY do not underestimate the brain of a kid dropped into a new environment, I can not stress this enough. YOU will have more problem(s) learning than they will. Guaranteed, unless you already speak Russian or Ukrainian.

Point Seven:
Is this a problem with Ukrainian youth? I am sure it is a problem in many places. So you plan on dropping the 1,3 and 8 year olds at a party attended by wayward teens? NO, you are just gonna worry about that LATER when they are older, hell, things change. When I was a kid (1960's) in San Francisco Bay Area is was free love-sex, drugs and rock-in-roll, it' isn't that way today. You clearly missed the 70's in Berlin also, and Berlin without the Wall, is not what it used to be by a long shot.

So for the couple people at home, if they haven't been here they can not speak about it with any intelligence at all, because nothing they say has any Ukrainian experience behind it right? A friend hears from someone about a party, big deal. I hear lonely Australian men like to have sex with sheep, is that true? More than likely NOT. I hear in Ukraine all girls want leave Ukraine and are nothing but gold digging prostitutes. Is that true? No, absolutely not. I hear in Brazil women go topless on the beach is that true? Well, yes, yes they do, (seen it first hand) though SOME should not. Hearsay is mostly all crap.

Ukraine like most places is what you make of it. Your kids will do okay, the problem is you are moving them here and they will no longer be like the children of their original country, what could you possibly expect? They will have Ukrainian mindsets and values, thanks to you.

Most Expats on this forum who live here 24/7 365 days a year have little real problems. As long as you are here full time you will learn how to adapt faster and stop relying on getting things done back in the home country. Problems will be solved faster, you will make friends you see everyday, and trust me things will get easier. Ukraine is much different than we are all used to, this is a society with a different mind set, maybe someday that will change, but then every country/culture has it's own mind set ... you are about to enter the Twlight Zone.

Just my opinions.
« Last Edit: 11:13 12-Jun-2012 by Fraucha »
Peace is the failure of the military to convince the government that it can and should kick its enemies ass.

Offline Дідусь

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #5 on: 10:45 12-Jun-2012 »
Seriously good post, matey, especially point 6.

"When surrounded by the dark void of the wilfully blind, it does not excuse those that are a spark of light their duty to shine" - Pompey Nik

Offline Whippet

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #6 on: 11:21 12-Jun-2012 »
Value your kids life first?, then Ukraine is not the place to raise children. 

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Here is mine.

1.  You don't want to send your kids to a public school in Ukraine.  Low quality. Horrible teachers. 
2.  Internatinal schools are not accredited.
3.  Not accredited means you can not send them to most Ukrainian Unis.
4.  Ukrainian Unis are rigged.  Your child may have the best marks but a politicians son will
     be the first to enter.  Unless you donate.  There are only a handful of "good" unis in Ukraine.
5.  Internationals are 15K USD and above. 
6.  You will want to bus your own kids,  never let them walk to school on their own. 
     No rich person sends their kids to international without a chauffeur. All students at an internation
     are rich.  Trust me.
7.  International means you will have to most likely send kids abroad for Uni. Many countries do not
     accept anything but their national standard.  The quickest is to send them to the Good Ol USA.
8.  US colleges will run  you at least 20.000 USD a year.  You will need to take standardized test to e
     enter most US unis.  (more money just to take an SAT or ACT)
9.   Gay?  Good luck.  Not as bad as Russia.  Black?  unless you are a footy player, you're
      not going to get invited.  Asian?  Them yellows are all Chinese, and they are invading our markets
      Arab.  Really good luck. 
10.  Nanny?  How can you trust a nanny in Ukraine?   Most Ukrainians don't trust ukrainians.  LOL
       There's a good joke.
       A guy catches a gold fish and the fish says, let me go and I will grant you a wish, but there is a
       catch (no pun intended),  your neighbor will get twice more than you.  So if you wish for a million
       dollars, the neighbor will get 2 mil.  The Ukrainian thinks hard and says,  I want to go blind
       in one of my eyes.    There you go, a common joke.   Seriously, marry a Ukrainian and have
       her take care of your kids if possible.   This country is going bankrupt,  When it does, women are
       going to go on a fire sale!!  Think I'm nasty, rude, crude and lewd?  Fine.  But remember
       most foreigners come to Ukraine looking for a cheap hottie that does house work.


Ukraine is a dangerous place.  It's something between a Sub Saharan poop Hole and 2nd world. (oops that might be a prejudice term.  ). 

Your understanding may be different from mine, your interface may not be as sensitive as mine, you may be able to tolerate a lot more than myself, so the inevitable question are:

1.  what can you compromise? 
2.  how thick skinned are you?
3.  how much money do you have?
4.  willing to look the other way?
5.  willing to ignore it all together?

Take an example of danger.  In Kiev, there are billboard signs of kidnapped kids.  You can take this as a caution.  Think, "if the government posts these things, I better be careful with my kids."  Or you could think, "this is an isolated incidence, the government is so caring for it's citizens, it is using valuable ad space that could generate money!!!  on the few randomly selected kids that have vanished, this is what I call government care,  vanishing kids?  That should be filed under a minority report, beside it would never happen to my kids, I take good care of them, besides how do I know that these kids are really kidnapped, they could be living in the sewers with mutant ninja turtles, and they love it so much they don't want to leave."    Hope you get my point.

It's the way you percieve things, each to his own.  My conclusion comes from my job.  I own my own company.  My job requires me to manage risks strategically.  Winning by default is what I aim every single time.  Why bother trying to win by getting hurt.  Worse, why bother risking your children.

Now if don't have to work, have money to burn, want to have fun, ready to pay to have fun, 
WoooohoOoooo!!!!!!   this is the country to be.  Everything has a price. You can literally kill someone and get away with it.  Trust me, seen it done. 

Most important is to separate the assumptions, truths, and facts.  These 3 have nothing to do with each other, despite people interchanging them.   Assumptions can be downright lies.  Truths are what hold value to you.  Facts are non negotiable.   Fact is Ukraine is more dangerous than your home country.   That is the starting point for you. 

Online Fraucha

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #7 on: 11:26 12-Jun-2012 »
Well, there you go. Two opinions. Somewhere in-between you must decide for yourself if this is the place for you.

But then I have to ask @Whippet, if this is such a poop hole and the country is going BK, why are you here? Aren't you just throwing your life and business down the endless toilet that is Ukraine? If you are so afraid of the "danger" here are are so sensitive, why not just, leave??
« Last Edit: 11:29 12-Jun-2012 by Fraucha »
Peace is the failure of the military to convince the government that it can and should kick its enemies ass.

Offline Whippet

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #8 on: 11:41 12-Jun-2012 »
Simple.   I know that I can buy anything in this country.  No one asks me questions as long as I pay.  That outweighs the risks and dangers. 

Even in case of bankruptcy, I can supply water, food, protection to a certain degree so the immediate dangers of bankruptcy is cancelled. 

This is a comfortable country for anyone that wishes not to be disturbed.  As long as you have the money and not involved in politics or business, it's great.  There is freedom here that you can't get in other parts of the world. 

Offline Tis_me

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #9 on: 12:28 12-Jun-2012 »
Funny, i was having a similar discussion yesterday about the UK, but my gripe was solely about the weather!
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day."

Offline Дідусь

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #10 on: 13:05 12-Jun-2012 »
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But then I have to ask @Whippet, if this is such a poop hole and the country is going BK, why are you here? Aren't you just throwing your life and business down the endless toilet that is Ukraine? If you are so afraid of the "danger" here are are so sensitive, why not just, leave??


Couldn't agree more but then he may well be talking from a personal perspective, something we approve and encourage on the forum (unless you are the idiot Ivan Q (Smart-reader - galaxy)):

Quote
But remember most foreigners come to Ukraine looking for a cheap hottie that does house work.
"When surrounded by the dark void of the wilfully blind, it does not excuse those that are a spark of light their duty to shine" - Pompey Nik

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #11 on: 13:58 12-Jun-2012 »
I will vouch for Fraucha's point on adaptable kids.  I know of many cases of Russian speaking kids going to the US and GB (any English speaking country, really) as youngsters and excelling in school within months of arriving.

Kids are sponges and learn very quick.  Don't let that hinder your choice.

As for the quality of education here, well the Ukrainian & Russian folks I've had the privilege to meet and come to know well are some of the most intelligent & knowledgeable people I've ever met.

As far as sexual orientation in UA is concerned, well tbh, it's still not socially acceptable here and Ukrainians could care less about being politically correct.

Your other points have been well covered so...
One out of three Hillary voters are just as crazy as the other two.

Offline Дідусь

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #12 on: 14:08 12-Jun-2012 »
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As for the quality of education here, well the Ukrainian & Russian folks I've had the privilege to meet and come to know well are some of the most intelligent & knowledgeable people I've ever met.


Excellent point ............. right down to a knowledgeable gypsy cab driver who drove us home from the local market. He was actually a professor at one of Odessa's better universities and proved this by naming some of the other professors that my wife knew.
"When surrounded by the dark void of the wilfully blind, it does not excuse those that are a spark of light their duty to shine" - Pompey Nik

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #13 on: 14:16 12-Jun-2012 »
Ukraine is OK. It could be worse.
Peace is the failure of the military to convince the government that it can and should kick its enemies ass.

Offline Jeroen

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Re: Moving to the Ukraine with kids
« Reply #14 on: 15:17 12-Jun-2012 »
I must say this reassures me a lot. I was taking what I heard with a big grain of salt, but future of the kids and how they adapt is my biggest worry... so better safe than sorry :)

Thanks for the replies.