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What It’s Like To Live And Work In Ukraine

  • by: Jennifer Robinson
  • On: 16, Apr 2019
3 min read

Ukraine’s economy and population are growing, thanks to investment and an influx of people seeking to live and work in the country.

The engineering industry has been pivotal in Ukraine’s good fortune with a well-established automotive sector, and thanks to the marine industry making a comeback after the country’s independence in 1991, there are plenty of engineering and technical jobs available in Ukraine.

Living In Ukraine

One of the largest countries on the continent with a population of around forty-four million people, Ukraine is experiencing economic growth largely thanks to its engineering sector. Ukrainian software engineers are working with some of the largest companies in the world, and aerospace and electrical engineers are putting the country on the map.

The cost of living is much lower in Ukraine than in most other countries, even in cities. Food and drink costs you significantly less than in other countries, so your money will go much further. Rent is likewise cheaper than most other countries around the world.

The healthcare system in Ukraine is technically free, and allows you to buy most minor medicines fairly cheaply and without a prescription, and is actually responsible for attracting ‘medical tourists’, who visit the country to stock up on medicine that would be vastly more expensive in other countries.

Schools are state-run to a very high standard, and it is compulsory to complete school up to secondary level, which is why Ukraine has some of the highest literacy rates in the world.

The cold winters are matched by warm and dry summers with temperatures up to 30 degrees, and the local populace is welcoming to new faces.

Tips For Working In Ukraine

Ukraine’s manufacturing and chemical industries are growing, and the IT industry is skyrocketing thanks to outsourced work from Silicon Valley and other start up hubs. But what can you expect in the day-to-day of working in Ukraine, and how can you begin your career in Eastern Europe?

Get A Visa

You’ll need a visa to live and work in Ukraine. Luckily, visas aren’t very difficult to obtain. You will however need proof of an offer to work in the country, medical insurance, and proof of funds. Your visa can be anywhere from six months to three years, and will allow you to move freely within the country.

Enjoy Social Outings

Ukrainians enjoy getting together and having a good time. When you’re working in Ukraine, building a strong network of personal and professional contacts will go a long way to making you feel at home. It will also help you in your working life, as you build report with your co-workers, and learn more about them and their way of life.


It is not necessary to speak fluent Ukrainian or even Russian to live comfortably in Ukraine. However, as with living in any foreign country, you’ll quickly pick up enough to get by. Being polite is important to Ukrainians, so you’ll need to learn all the niceties and customs to help you make friends.

Ukrainian Culture

The region has a long, rich history, and deep traditions that go back hundreds of years. Maslenitsa week, or pancake week, dates back to the 11th century, beginning in the first Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus. Celebrated in the week before the Great Lent, it celebrates the end of Winter, and is enjoyed by many of Ukraine’s citizens.

Food is very important in Ukrainian culture, and alcohol is much cheaper than in other countries. Nature is likewise a big part of life in Ukraine. The geography is beautiful, and the Carpathian Mountains are a hot-spot for hikers.

Ukraine is a fantastic place for engineers to take contract work, learn new skills, languages, and  grow their career prospects.

Read the VHR Guide To Getting A Job, or learn about the best industries to work in.

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