The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked sovereign state in Eastern Europe covering 33,846 km² of land. Moldova declared itself independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and adopted its constitution in 1994.
Of its estimated population of 3.5 million in 2014, around 75% identify as Moldovan, with Ukrainians, Russians, Romanians, and Gaguaz the next largest groups. Although the expatriate community in Moldova is not as large as other countries, the developing economy is encouraging more expats to move to Moldova.
The official language of Moldova is Romanian, however many of its inhabitants also speak Russian or Ukrainian, sometimes as their first language. There is an ongoing debate in Moldova about the existence and status of the Moldovan language; however, Romanian remains the official language at this time.
As an expatriate moving to Moldova you would be advised to learn some Romanian, as many people, especially in rural areas, do not speak English.
Although Moldova has a total of 12 airports, only seven of these have paved runways and are capable of accommodating major commercial planes. The country's main airport, Chişinău International Airport, has international flights to and from 20 different countries, and so is the primary point of entry for expatriates and their families moving to Moldova.
The only other IATA listed airport in Moldova is Bălți International Airport, which also has international arrivals and departures, although on a less frequent basis than Chişinău.
As it is a landlocked country, it is not possible to move your belongings to Moldova via ship. Therefore many expatriates ship items to Ukraine or Romania, and then drive them over the border into Moldova.
Living in Moldova means adjusting to a moderate Continental climate, and its close proximity to the Black Sea means it has mild, sunny weather almost all year round.
Summers in Moldova are traditionally very long, lasting from May to September, and have an average temperature of around 20°C, but in some cases it can reach up to 41.5°C.
The winter months are milder — January is the coldest month at around -4°C — with very little precipitation. What precipitation Moldova does get is usually concentrated in October and November.