Dealing with homesickness in Russia

Hello everyone,

Being an expat in Russia can turn out to be a wonderful human, social or professional adventure... with potential moments of nostalgia and homesickness along the way.

What are your personal tips to prevent homesickness?

How do you deal with such feelings?

Are there shops or stores offering products from your home country in Russia? Or maybe venues with music and ambiance from your homeland?

Thanks for sharing your experience,


Privet Priscilla,

I think getting rid of boredom is totally up to you. I found Russia to be very friendly and always ready to give something new, everyday. Most of the times, language could be a huge barrier but still it's lot of fun to try and speak the way you know it! I reckon Just get out of your nest and explore.

First off, make new friends. It's very very easy to make friends who speak English. A good place to start would be English speaking clubs. They love inviting foreigners! even in some clubs your entry would be free!!! night clubs are good to shake off your laziness & overcome boredom but probably not best for making new friends. Never go alone there.

If you like sports, like me, go out and do lot of sporting activities. This way you will make lot of new friends which will lead to lot of healthy activities. Join & participate in different social media groups like,, couchsurfing, facebook, etc.

Another idea would be to team up with some friends and visit small towns on golden ring (vladimir, suzdal, etc.). It will freshen up your mind. Big time.

Good luck and happy exploring.


Priscilla :

...personal tips...

1) To be friendly: Hello = Privet; Thank you = Spasibo.
2) To think what are you looking for: a lot of different entertainments are available in Russia.
3) You can find almost all of products as well as cuisine available.
4) Enjoy and relax :)

If you need any support regarding Russia and Russians just let me know.
Efim (Russian).

You are all right, but I think it easier to integrate than in many countries.   Russians really like to communicate with native English speakers.

Dobryy den' Priscilla,

When I first came to Russia I had moments of homesickness, I think it's a normal process of adjusting to a new environment. Choosing to be honest Russia ain't the USA, it's different in many ways but that is what makes it so special. Of course we have many of the same stores, malls, and even cars yet when you look a little closer the subtle differences start to appear. If I was to be bold I'd say that if one plans on spending a long period of time in Russia it's important to understand the "Russian Soul". Trust me it doesn't come easy for foreigners especially Americans who are ferociously independent. Russian aren't the Borg, but the collective mindset here is part of who they are. If you want to be comfortable here one needs to explore this and at least have an understanding and respect for it.

Crimean Coastline

Occasionally I have my moments of missing such things as Ben and Jerry's ice cream, but having a homemade sorbet in Crimea will bet it every time. The other thing that is tough in Russia is finding quality clothing but I suspect that is why many Russians love making their yearly visits to places like Turkey and Cyprus. How's the saying go, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Plan every once in a while to escape the city madness and head to one of these destinations and you will understand why.

Finally if you are an expat that means that you are one of two things, retired or working here. Get a job, it beats boredom and if you are retiring here (good luck) buy a country home or dacha. Russians love gardening maybe you will too.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

Steve (An American Expat)

Very good post Steve.     Finding the soul is very important.    Would be nice to meet native speakers in Novosibirsk.  They are few and far between.

Hello Vanya,

Oh, thank you. I must admit I'm still in the process of understanding, suspect it's a never ending quest. It's seems odd that Novosibirsk doesn't have any native English speakers, it's the hub of commerce for Siberia, do English business men travel through your home city? After you posted your comment I have been investigating Novosibirsk, what a wonderful city. I'd love to visit. Please feel free to converse I'm very open to communicating.



There are some, of course, (mainly students and some American 'Missionaries' which cause conflict in our city) but very few British people, which are the people Russians really like to meet to perfect their English.  I know of perhaps one or two.    Yes, Novosibirsk is a great and friendly city with work opportunities for many.  I am happy to talk!


I understand the missionary thing, spent a few years in Utah. The Mormon missionaries are relentless but that's normal for them. Anyway, I'm not a Brit but I've lived in several different places in the US so my English is a bit different than most Americans. I am considering putting together two day English/Business seminars for those who are interested, do you think that this is something that might be of interest in Novosibirsk?


I think so.  There are many companies in Novosibirsk who might be interested.  Philip Morris is one of the biggest companies.

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