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Moving to Kazakhstan

The Costs of Moving to Kazakhstan

6246445368_b4cfc05493_zA friend of mine sent me a job posting for a university library in Astana, Kazakhstan as a joke. My initial reaction was, “Too weird, even for me.” I was feeling ready to move on from my current job in Vancouver and I had always wanted to work internationally but I didn’t know anything about Kazakhstan.

As time went on, and no job postings caught my interest, I continued to think about the position in Kazakhstan. I watched the episode of The Long Way Round where Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman trekked across the country on their motorcycles and ate a sheep’s head and horse meat. I read articles like Astana: The world’s weirdest capital city. Somewhere between learning about fermented camel milk and buildings that look like eggs, I was sold.

Instinct told me that this was not a highly applied-to position, and so I wanted to be sure I was serious about the prospect of moving to Kazakhstan before sending my application. I was proven correct when I received an interview even after waiting two months to apply, then had three Skype interviews. Everyone seemed friendly and the position sounded interesting — academic library work had always seemed boring to me, but even the day-to-day tasks in any post-Soviet library are an adventure. I accepted.

My boss later told me that there were multiple applications and it’s pleasing to think that the offer was actually on merit, however true that may or may not be.

The breakdown of my expenses in moving to Kazakhstan does not include items such as the two years’ worth of makeup, clothing, and other items purchased that I would have normally bought over time back home. All prices in Canadian dollars:

$85: criminal record check.

$45: I wasn’t sure how many notarized copies of my degree I needed so I got two to be safe. It turns out I only needed one copy but it was only an extra $10 to get the second. I would’ve asked one of my co-workers at the time, who is a lawyer, to do the certification for me, but I hadn’t given my notice at that point.

1865 Photo Syr-dar'inskaia oblast'. Kyshlak Ikan adobe walls and buildings of the village of Ikan (Staryy Ikan) with men on camels in foreground. Location: Kazakhstan
Home (Historic Photos)
  • 1865 Photo Syr-dar inskaia oblast . Kyshlak Ikan adobe walls and buildings of the village of Ikan (Staryy Ikan) with men on camels in foreground. Location: Kazakhstan
  • Photograph size: 8 x 10
  • Historic Photograph
  • Archival Quality Reproduction
  • Ready to Frame
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