Discussion of Tallinn
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Clean and quiet. There's almost no corruption, everything is done online, so the terms of considerations of applications/petitions are short. The life is calm. It is hard to earn a lot, but IT specialist won't be poor. Many people move to Western Europe for a big payday. There are some political arguments between the Russians and the Estonians regarding official attitude towards the history of WW2 and existing discrimination against Russians (Russian language is not the second state language even though Russians constitute 30% of the total population in Estonia and 50% of Tallin's population; such an attitude towards the second biggest ethnic group in the country is unthinkable; most Russians have initially been cut from citizenship).
Proximity to the sea: Clean beaches within the city limits, a maximum of 30 minutes by public transport.
The population is diverse. Two ethnic groups - Estonians and Russians - live here. They interact but do not constitute a single nation. Mentality is more calm than in Russia (same for Estonians and local Russians). Life is more unhurried.
Coastal climate - the same as in St. Petersburg. White nights included.
There are some difficulties with education in Russian (schools are in Estonian, higher education is in Estonian (at least last years), secondary education may be found in both languages. The quality strongly depends on the university. Tartu university and top schools give a good education. Tallinn polytechnic university is worse.
Medicine is good, and is almost free if you have a Haigekassa (health insurance), but there may be queues of up to 3 months to rare experts. Almost all doctors speak Russian or have Russian-speaking assistants. There's a large number of good equipment, analysis, tomography and x-raying are done fast. It is possible to pay and be treated without queues. Ambulance and emergency departments in hospitals work well.
Tallinn is actually bilingual, around 70-80 per cent of its population speak Russian, so it is possible to live here speaking only Russian. Almost all local authorities accept applications and questionnaires in Russian. Estonian language is close to Finnish, but is not like other European languages. It may take a year or two to learn Estonian from scratch in order to pass a test for residence permit or citizenship. There are many courses, sometimes the cost of learning is reimbursed after obtaining a residence permit or citizenship.
The cost of owning a car is small, there plenty of cheap used cars from Europe. There are no traffic jams, especially in comparison to Moscow or St. Petersburg. Drivers are very careful, pedestrians can cross the streets on green light without looking around. Maximum allowed speed in the city is 50 km/h. There are many road signs and traffic lights, they are well located, marks that show the direction of movement are very informative. Traffic striping is updated once in a year. The quality of the road surface is relatively poor. Repairs are carried out on a regular basis, but lorries and public transport (as well as studded tires) spoil the road again and again. Public transport (trams, buses, trolleys) goes according to a timetable that may be found in the Internet. Those who are registered in the city may use public transport free of charge. It takes around 1.5 hours to cross the city. You may buy around 600 liters of 95 gasoline for an average salary. There's no vehicle tax, excise duty only.
Travelling abroad: Schengen Area.
Something is cheaper than is Russia, something is more expensive. IT specialist can afford everything.
30-50% of jobs are available if you do not speak Estonian. For an IT specialist English is more important, wages are different. A specialist may easily earn as much as 1000 - 2000 euro. It's very easy to find a job with lower salary. It is also very easy to start your own business because the legislation is clear. There's no direct income tax, personal income tax is higher than in Russia.
Rent is constantly growing, two bedroom apartment costs 250-350 euro per month, plus utility payments (additional 50 euro in summer, 150euro in winter). If you want to buy a flat, three bedroom apartment costs around 60-80 thousand euro.
Depending on the district. Of course, in some districts your car may be damaged, in other ones it is possible to take part in a fight or be robbed. There are some districts with many drunkards. But in general the crime rate is low and you can feel safe in the streets even at night.
For every taste. Girls are more beautiful than in Europe and dress tastefully. However they mostly go by cars, there aren't so many of them in the streets and public transport.
Internet and Wi-Fi are everywhere. Cable Internet, ADSL etc. are very fast and cheap.
The economy is heavily dependent on the world market and the local real estate market. Inflation rate is small.
Just come here - everyone is welcoming.
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