Expats in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Hello all, I will be moving to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk soon and am trying to get in touch with any expats. I know it's a long shot, not too many foreigners in this part of Russia... but hey, who knows. So if you live in the area (local or expat) please send me a message. It would be nice to find some people to hangout with before getting there. :)

Best Wishes.

Hey Mark!
My name is Elvir and I just moved there. Are you all settled in?


Sorry it took me so long to respond to you! I do not get on this website very often..... But I am back in the USA right now. I would love to meet with you when I get back to Sakhalin. Are you enjoying it over there?

I don't check the posts that often either! :) I'm still settling in, just too busy at work to start enjoying Sakhalin.
Let me know whenever you are back from the States. I hope you enjoyed the holidays!
Take care.

Hello guys,

I will be moving to Yuzhno in April for a year or so, for work. I have a choice to stay in apartment in town (Rubin) or outside, close to the expat colony area (Strawberry Hills, etc.). Any suggestions? Transport is provided by company. Any tips on moving or living in Yuzhno? My first time in Russia.



Hi Matt! Welcome to this part of the world :) i am sure you will enjoy Yuzhno, it's a small, simple town and the people are very nice. I live in Strawberry Hills, and the expat community is really helpful for me. There is also the Strawberry Hills hotel right there as well, and a grocery store within a walking distance. Both options are good, depends on what you are looking for. The good thing about being in town is that you're close to everything. Rubin has a lot of expats living in it so you won't find a hard time connecting with people either, but from what i have heard, the appartments are somewhat small. April is the end of the snow season, so make sure you have your heelstops with you! a good set of DVDs will also help, not much of English channels here :) Good luck!

Hi Elvir,

Great to get a reply so quick! Your earlier post says you don't check very often:)

Yes, I was refering to the hotel in Stawberry Hills. Looks good on the website and nice rooms. I am actually hoping to reduce my visit to the bars when I get to Sakhalin, so this could be a better option than staying in town with the 'rowdy' crowd:).

I read that there is a big mall in Strawberry Hills. Is it any good? Any supermarket inside? Walking distance from the hotel?

Are they strict about bringing DVDs (copies) or food stuff into Russia?

Sorry to ask so many questions. 


I don't, but it's getting pretty active here :)
The mall (City Mall) is a 3 minute drive from Strawberry Hills, it has everything you might need (except some electrical appliances for some reason). I don't believe they are strict about food and DVDs, i brought some and it was no problem.


Really appreciate your feedback. This has helped a lot. I'll drop a note when I arrive there, unless I think of more things to ask. Take care and have a good weekend!



One question - during winter, based on what you have seen so far, has there been any occasion where you have not been able to get to town/work from Starberry Hills due to heavy snow?

I'd hate to lose any work days as I will be on day rates, so no work, no pay:)


Hi Matt.
Yes we did have these cases before, but it usually takes one day after the storm to clear the roads. It is usually the same for downtown, and could be longer if you were not living in the main streets (Mira or Lenin Streets). Storms happen maybe 4-5 times during winter.
hope this helps!


Thanks for the precise reply. I suppose it is getting less cold now. I also hope the situation with Ukraine get resolved without impacting the foreign oil & gas operations there.


Sorry Elvir,

One more question. Do they have ATM machines with Cirrus or PLUS which allows cash withdrawals from overseas accounts? 

Btw, my email is ***. Maybe easier to communicate outside this site.


My name is Sam and wife Sepideh and I just moved to Yuzhno a month ago.  We also have an apartment in Strawberry Hills just down the street from the Hotel.  It is a very nice area and so far we are getting settled in just fine - still finding our way around. 

It would be nice to meet other expats in the area that are here or coming, so let me know when you arrive and perhaps we can share what we have learned about the area with you.



Thank you for the note. I'm still trying to decide where to stay. Sounds like Strawberry Hills is highly recommended.

Was there anything you wish you had  brought with you to Yuzhno?


We have been able to find just about everything.  There are a particular brand of cigars that we can't get but are finding substitutes.  You may want to bring a few of your favorite things like toothpaste and deodorant, if you are used to a particular brand.

We did ship a fair amount of household things from home just so we did not have to buy all the little things when we got here, but you might want to bring a few extra transformers to go from 220 to 110 volts.  They are cheaper in the US, but again, most everything is available.


Does anyone know of a place to find second hand appliances in Yuzhno-Sakhalin?  I was interested in buying an extra freezer or refridgerator freezer if I could get something second hand.


Sam, thank you for the useful feedback.

Did you look at other places before deciding on Strawberry Hills?


Our company had some apartments in the center of town that we looked at, however they were small apartments in large apartment buildings which were built probably 20+ years ago.   They insides had been remodeled and were not bad, but we found the Strawberry Hills area to have new, modern, more western style design.

That being said it would be nice to live in town, and there are some nice areas around Lenin Street with new looking apartment buildings (at least from the outside).  That area also has a  lot of shops, restaurants, and bars as well.  If you will be relying on public transportation or taxi, it might be more convenient to live in an area like that.


Hi Mark :)
Are you still in Sakhalin?
I spent a couple of years working in Moscow as a governess.
I'll be off to the island of Sakhalin from Taiwan at the end of June for work as a governess.
I'll be staying in Zima Highlands-would love to connect with others working in the area :D


I might soon come to Sakhalin with my family. Could anybody tell me if there are some black people based there?


Moderated by Bhavna 5 years ago
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Hello, is it possible to get a Job out there?

Wood Group is hiring in Yuzhno.

jrb64 wrote:

Wood Group is hiring in Yuzhno.

Could you offer a detailed explanation, couldnt find anything on the website. My email is *** Thanks

Moderated by Bhavna 5 years ago
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We may be moving to Sakhalin soon and I was hoping I can get answers to a few questions before pursing the offer. We have a child going into first grade and a 1 year old. I am looking to stay in a 4 bedroom house, what are my options for houses in a great neighborhood? For schools, I do see Sakhalin international school online, is this the only English speaking private school? Is it easy to enroll a child or is there a wait list? What are my options for English speaking preschools?  Also, what locations would be best to look for housing? I have seen Zima highland and strawberry hills, but don't see detailed information on the houses. Are these developments restricted to specific companies? Also, is it easy to get around? Would I need to bring a huge supply of things my kids like (food, cereal, medicine, etc). Is a Facebook page for Sakhalin Expats? I see one with just 40 members, but doesn't seem like there is an activity on that page. Looking forward to your responses. Thanks in advance.

I can not say that I will or was on Sakhalin, but I read a lot about him. All experiences on account of separation from civilization, the need for food, clothing and food are unnecessary. This is a completely civilized but cool part of Russia. For me it's cold. The weather there is more often rainy than sunny and clear. Everything on the demi-island is delivered from the mainland. In general, not so bad, as this can be judged. I'm planning not to be very far from this place. Not far by the standards of the territory of Russia. We are planning a tour from St. Petersburg to Beijing shortly.  I want to see a lot of nationalities and the color of nature, which populates the whole way by train to this place. There must be a wonderful trip that I learned from friends. The places that we visit already looked here and it remains now only to see them live. And do not worry about Sakhalin. It's normal there.

Thanks for your response

Did you ever got a reply to your questions. I am also considering moving to Sakhalin on an expat assignment but have questions about my child who is in 8th grade. It seems there is no high school in Sakhalin.

I never got any reply to my questions. I think it's because the post is so old. I had to send a message through someone that works in shell in Sakhalin to have some of my questions answered. Did you look through Sakhalin International School's website? We move December so I unfortunately wouldn't have an answer till then. That's the only international school available. Unfortunately, the only dedicated Facebook group to expats in Sakhalin isn't active and you will not find answers as well. My husband goes Monday, I can have him ask around, if it's not too late.

Thank you for your prompt response. I didn't get any answer yet. I also joined the Facebook group but there's no activities going on there. Sakhalin International School only goes up to 7th grade and all effort to find out what happens after that failed. I called to speak to the principal of the school but he was busy when I called. I just want to make sure my daughter, who is in 8th grade will be able to go to school. If there is no school for her, I will turn down the opportunity. If you are able to get any information about this, please let me know. By the way, where are you moving from? Thanks

We are presently in Baku, Azerbaijan. I hope you find answers and I'll have my husband check for you once he gets to Sakhalin. I should update Tuesday or Wednesday.

Did find the school already? https://m.facebook.com/pages/Gimnasia-1 … 9472044863 Is the Facebook page for high school in Sakhalin, I was told it's quite big and have both English and Russian classes. I hope this is helpful.

never mind. That's a sports school and there are no high schools he says.

Thanks. No longer moving

Hello there, I'm a Russian student, 19 y.o., temporary working at Strawberry Hills hotel as a administrator. I've been searching for new meets for communicating and having a party time. :)
I'm studying at polytechnical college (Oil and gas drilling technic-technician - fourth year)
I've been learning english for a few years (intermediate).

hello. Are you in Sakhalin already?

Hey everyone,
My name is Vlad, and I started to study English not so long ago.
I know that a lot of foreigners live and work in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and I think it's great, because this small city can be a little more international.
I would like to try practice with native English speakers or some foreigners who speak English really perfect (I feel it will be all expats who work in oil and gas industry, or another structures :))
My purpose is break my language barrier, increase my Vocab, improve skills: speaking and listening, and become multicultural person.
If it sounds good for someone of local foreigners, please give me feedback.
I'm promising to endeavour, be a good conversationalist :)

Good morning mate , how is going, seems your English is great, to improve your English , watch English movie, stay connected with ppl who speaks English well and read English story book, this will help you a lot, never give up what you want to achieve  in life, take care have a great day. From Chelyabinsk region , paul maliakal.

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