What do expats in Moscow actually want?
Whilst the first six months of the year have seen a considerable exodus of expats from Moscow, there are still a lot of us here and maybe now is an even more important time to band together and see how we can all gain from the wealth of experience of living and working in Moscow.
This was an emotion also shared from one of our Spiritual leaders, Rev. Clive Fairclough from St. Andrewâs Church and during a discussion in early 2015 it was decided to make a combined survey of the expats living and working in Moscow. The results make interesting reading!
Whilst there were only 150 respondents to this first âWhat Moscow expats wantâ survey, the replies reflect a full cross section of our community, have provided considerable food for thought and have indicated the vast variations in the needs and requirements of the expat community! Slightly more men replied with the gents winning at 52% of the total and 86% indicated that they were âan expat living in Moscowâ.
54% are married, 14% in a relationship and 32% single
For employment, the following figures were revealed:
10% in Moscow as a dependant
13% Self Employed
4% Currently unemployed
Age of the respondents:-
How long have you lived in Russia?
0-3 years 42%
4-6 years 24%
7-10 years 9%
10+ years 25%When asked âHow well do you speak Russianâ the results where quiet evenly spread in the 3 categories:
The most popular Business and Social Clubs had a clear winner with the International Womenâs club at 21%. Other leading performers included the British Business Club at 15%, British Womenâs Club at 13%, the Moscow International Choir 11%, Russo-British Chamber of Commerce 11%.
When asked âWhat magazine and media do you use to learn about events in Moscowâ, the results were quite clear
Moscow Times 77%
Moscow expat Life 55%
Moscow In Your Pocket 21%
Do you think that Moscow needs more events for expats? A clear 61% voted yes while 39% feel that there are enough! Those voting yes were asked what type of event would you attend:
Community building 14%
Amongst the âotherâ replies where the following suggestions: inter-cultural awareness, music, more evening events for professional people, educational and business.
The Moscow expat community is a champion at assisting at community and charities with 44% indicating that they are actively involved!
When asked about the kind of charity/community that they volunteer for:
Church related 45%
International Charity 19%
Russian charity 19%
Your own community 14%
Those answering âNoâ to currently being involved in charities/communities were
asked what they would like to become involved in:
Children & young people 43%
Your community 27%
Social justice 23%
The aged 7%
On their religion 95% indicated Christian, 4% Jewish and 1% Mormon. It is also interesting to note that 40% indicate that they visit church each week further indicating that the churches and their communities in Moscow provide a valuable service to the expats living and working in Moscow.
To the best of our knowledge this was the first such survey conducted in Moscow and will become an annual tradition to further reflect the needs and requirements of our community despite high turnovers.
St. Andrews Centre
St Andrewâs Centre offers a Christian community primarily to English speaking expats. The aim of the survey was to discover how our church can contribute to quality of life of expats in Moscow. We believe that building relationships is the key to success particularly in an environment away from home. St Andrewâs is a community, which offers both a spiritual home and a place to meet new friends.
One of the main elements of St Andrewâs churchâs strategy is to promote fellowship by connecting people with events, helping them to find groups in which to belong. The survey has helped inform us what expats want. It will help us develop a more effective way of communicating who we are, what we do and how we can help expats in Moscow. The survey shows, very convincingly, that better communications for expats to meet each other is important. It has also highlighted that expats believe that volunteering is part of life in Moscow.
The survey indicated a desire for expats to explore their spiritual side. The church needs to respond to this by exploring options by forming small home groups and offer interactive ways of engaging with the gospel story. The church recognises that, on our individual life journeys, there are moments which we encounter that spiritual element of what it is to be human. We wish to help individuals to develop their spiritual side.