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Bringing a Baby

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scoutsouth
12/22/2014 15:22 EST

My wife and I are considering applying for jobs with NIS but are a bit nervous as we are expecting our fist child in March. She would be 5 months old if we were to make the move for the new school year. Can anyone provide any information on pediatric care? Or child acre? Anyone work at one of the NIS schools and have any insights on potentially working there with a newborn?

Thanks!

Biologymann
12/26/2014 05:20 EST

My wife was two months pregnant when I started at NIS. We decided that it was best for my wife and elder son to stay at home. While the doctors will be well meaning, do not expect their knowledge and expertise to be up of western standards.

Things may be very different in Astana or Almaty.

Clearly, most babies flourish or there would be nobody in Kazakhstan.

Once the baby becomes a toddler, you are unlikely to have a garden for him to run around in. There are few parks and these lack green grass for him/her to play.

I know that my 7 month son has a much better life in England.

Also be aware that your apartment may be very dirty on arrival. My second apartment at the start on my second year was covered in a layer of dirt, there was mouldy butter in the fridge, left food in a pan on the cooker and a used condom on the floor in the corner of the lounge.

It is a personal decision, but personally, I would not consider taking my family to Kazakhstan with me.

PS. Also be aware of the NIS medicals: chest x-rays, rectal swabs, blood tests and gynaecological examinations for female staff. Their justification for the latter is that women sit on toilets! For some, all this is no big deal. For others like me, it is. The medicals are something they do not put in the recruiting adverts! Neither are they mentioned at interview.

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shannywade
2/11/2015 12:31 EST

Sorry my post may be a bit late but I am just getting around to reviewing some recent posts now after all the holiday hoopla! First, pardon my ignorance but I do not know what NIS is and where you would be located (that could make a big difference in Kazakhstan). I have been living with my family in Kazakhstan for over 3 years now, we came over with a 3 and 1 year old and then I got pregnant one year after arriving and we now have a 6 1/2 year old, 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old. All are thriving here. I did not give birth in Kazakhstan (it was against both my husband's company policy and the local SOS clinic, so I returned to Canada for the birth). I was in Kazakhstan until I was about 32 weeks pregnant. As it was not a complicated pregnancy there were no issues with me remaining until close to my due date. I returned to Kazakhstan when my baby was 2 months old (and would've come earlier if visa paper work was ready). I feel we have had excellent care here (medically as well as support from the expat community). My children love it here and my older two have no memory of living anywhere else and view it as 'home'. There are definitely struggles (food can be an issue in my part of Kaz, it can be very difficult to get fresh produce for example), supplies, weather and travel are all more of a challenge here. I do believe you get out what you put into a situation. In the summer it is very hot here and it can be hard to be outside during the day, so we make games inside (and usually travel for 2-3 weeks to break up the summer). If anyone in your family has any medical concerns then that would be a reason to NOT come (as it can be difficult to find quailty care or any specialists). My middle child has recently been diagnosed with several food allergies and we are having to travel out of country for speicalist appointments for example. I hope this little bit of information helps!

shannywade
2/14/2015 01:54 EST

We have lived in Kazakhstan for almost 4 years now and we're only required to have an AIDS test before our initial move. Might be different for people that work with children.

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