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Kazakhstan Expat Forum

Living in Astana

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12/29/2012 15:40 EST

I am interviewing for a job in a school in Astana for next year. The pay is $4,000 a month but I am told I am paid in local currency. How difficult is it to convert that money when traveling? How hard is it to receive care packages from the states? How available are American products in the supermarket? Gotta have my Cheerios and peanut butter. Do I need to be concerned about crime, pollution, health hazards? What should I absolutely bring with me? What is the best way to get there from the states? I don't feel comfortable about the money situation and I am iffy about working in a school that is named after the living president. I am wondering if the totalitarian system isn't really still alive and well there? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

1/3/2013 06:46 EST

We are working with NU currently and it is a new modern school and Astana is a great city with everything you will need. I reguarly exchage between KTZ and USD using a single bank with two accounts. The only issue may be tax related so talk to an tax advisor who is familiar with the tax code here. Send a private e-mail and I can help you with the rest of your questions.

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1/3/2013 09:48 EST

Hi! What I'd say about is new city with lots of new buildings and roads. Clean and frosty air, people are fair enough. If they like you they smile, if not they don't:)) No tollerance at all. I'm kazakh and I know it))) We live and do what we want to do. We eat what we want and pray to God in different languages))) 
The school which is named after our president is one of the best schools in country. As I know most of the teachers are expats...and I know two of them, they are my friends. If you'd like I could give you there contacts. Probably they could answer all your questions.
Good luck!

1/3/2013 09:58 EST

I meant no totalitarian english is not that perfect! And not that bad:D

4/11/2013 10:59 EST

hello.. can you please tell me about work in astana?? in Graphic design and engineer computer if you can please...

8/20/2013 20:34 EST

You can get Shop Rite Toasted O's and peanut butter at any Ramstore. Things like flip flops, towels, sheets, coffee cups, cutting boards, knives are very expensive relative to US prices. If you require American food brands, bring lots of money. Your $4000 will not go far if you don't buy local products. Learn to read Russian and buy good Kazakh products. Pollution on right bank in spring and winter is bad. I use N-95 masks to filter out coal particulates. No problems with crime. I am paid in tenge and take a bundle down to the currency exchange places on the main drag, Respublica, to change every month. No problem. If you don't like to do it there, go to the bank in the Sine Tempori mall nearby.

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