Living in Moldova
Last updated on Feb 10, 2022
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Moldova: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.
What do I need to know about living in Moldova?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Moldova, they said:
"1.Profit on eating healthy and organic Moldovan food! 2. Be kind in clubs and bars, but do not exagerate-people will try to profit on you 3. Moldovan Women are the best in the world in matter of everything: smart, good wifes, good at work, good at cooking.... 4. Try to avoid discussions with drunk local people- they may kick your ass," said another expat in Chisinau.
"Be aware of the language issue - Russian tends to be the language of commerce, but it's also seen by many as the language of oppression. Only around 13% of the population is ethnic Russian. The majority are Moldovan and speak Romanian (though Russians call it "Moldovan," in an effort to impose psychological separation between Romania and Moldova). It's a touchy issue, entwined in the country's history. Make sure to visit the wineries - they're amazing, and during the summer and fall do most of your food shopping at the outdoor markets - the prices are cheap and you'll get some of the best produce you've ever had. Bring with you a good pair of jeans, and some smart clothes. People dress up for all types of occasions, and just walking down the street is like walking through a fashion magazine. But you also wonder where they get this stuff, because the selection you find in stores and at the market is meager and overpriced. You can get a good winter coat cheap over there, but take a good pair of lined, waterproof boots with you for winter. Take with you any kitchen tools you can't live without, though now you can get things like a garlic press and can opener. If you're going to take electrical appliances, also take an adapter. Good medicines are easy to find, just don't be afraid to ask the pharmacist what they recommend for your symptoms. Lasagna noodles and pepperoni were the 2 foods we could never ever find, but most everything else could be either found or approximated. Tupperware, on the other hand, is scarce and expensive," remarked another in Chisinau.
How do I meet people in Moldova?If you live in Moldova, newcomers to Moldova would love to hear your answer to this question.
When we asked people living in Moldova about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"The most famous attractions are Wine cellars, clubs. I recommend visiting in period May-October, to fond an extremely lovely green city such as Chisinau. The prices for food are from very low (local production) to average (for some imported goods), for services are quite low," added another person living in Chisinau.
Will I be able to find a job in Moldova?
When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Moldova, they reponded:
"Opening your own company or buying a Moldovan one may be an idea, otherwise the salaries are very low to survive for a foreigner," explained one expat living in Chisinau.
"There are a lot of jobs for expats teaching English or doing editing work. Moldovans are highly educated and place great emphasis on educational standards. Agriculture is central to the economy, though, so there are a significant number of jobs in agricultural consulting, micro-enterprise development, as well as university level teaching," said another expat in Chisinau.
What is life like in Moldova?
When we asked people living in Moldova what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"Even though the country is poorest in Europe, you will never say that by being there. The cars on the street are expensive, people are dressed very well, even much better than are other Europeans.The priorities are not travelling or socializing around the world, but building a house, buying a better car, making great parties, where the tables are "ruined" because of the numerous extraordinary good dishes," said another person in Chisinau.
"It's much more laid back than the states. The pace of life is slower, family is of utmost importance, and people make sure to take time out for social gatherings - often, in summer, in the forest for "shashlyk," or a type of shishkabob," remarked another expat in Chisinau.
Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Moldova accepting of differences?
"Foreigners (men) are very well tolerated by the feminine population and quite bad tolerated by men. They see this more as a competition: who is better? If you are just a normal guy (as a foreigner), who does not involve in conflicts, this means that you will be fine. Gays are not tolerated. Blacks are tolerated, but you will see just 0.000001% from the population," said another expat in Chisinau.
"The people are remarkably homogeneous. Be prepared for unabashed stares if you don't fit the typical mold. A lot of people judge based on appearance, but are willing to make friends regardless, and a friend will stick by you no matter what," remarked another in Chisinau.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.