With a population of almost 1.5 million people, Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine. It is situated in the far northeast of the country, close to the border with Russia. It was the original capital of the Ukranian Soviet Socialist Republic and is still known today as “The First Capital” of Ukraine. It remains a major center of Ukranian industry, science and transport and is also a leading educational city, with no less than 30 higher education establishments and 60 scientific institutions. It is also a leading cultural center, with many museums, theaters and libraries that expats living in Kharkiv should not leave unexplored. It is a handsome city, with the impressive Freedom Square, which is reckoned to be the 12th largest city square in the world. The city also boasts some impressive architecture, such as the Annunciation Cathedral, with its distinctive 80-meter-tall bell tower and the Derzhprom Building, a constructivist structure used as a symbol of modernity in some noted Sergei Eisenstein's films. Joining the InterNations online community is a great way for new expatriates in Kharkiv to come to grips with this large and exciting city.
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Expats moving to Kharkiv should not have any problems getting there. Kharkiv is an important transport hub in Ukraine and has good road connections and a major railway station with regular trains to major cities throughout the country. The local “elektrichkas” network of electrified trains provides excellent transport to nearby villages and towns. Kharkiv International Airport operates daily flights to Moscow and Kiev and regular connections with Istanbul, Vienna and other European centers. The local transport system furthermore includes an impressive three-line metro system and there is also an extensive tram and bus system. Kharkiv is one of the most important centers for education in Eastern Europe and many academic expats in Kharkiv work at one of the local universities. Such educated expatriates are typical of the InterNations online community and connecting with them on the discussion boards and forums is an excellent for networking and socializing.
Kharkiv was once the most important industrial city in Ukraine and the third biggest in the entire Soviet Union. The local industry was concentrated in the defense sector, but it has since evolved to include many high-tech, electronic, machine building and instrument making companies. The city is also a major producer of aircraft and agricultural machinery. It can be difficult to get to grips with such a diverse city, or with life in any foreign city, for that matter, which makes it even more important for a new expatriate in Kharkiv to join InterNations and begin to benefit from the first-hand knowledge of their peers. Expat Magazine provides an additional source of information on how to flourish in the expatriate life.