Relocation with EPAM: From Togliatti to Prague
How did your story with EPAM begin?
I first heard about EPAM when I studied at university. I joined the company becuase it was common knowledge that EPAM had a lot of opportunities to grow as a Software Engineer and many offices around the world to relocate? I have worked for EPAM in Togliatti, Russia for almost two and a half years before relocating to Prague in August 2018.
What made you consider relocation?
I had been thinking about moving to a European country as one of my friends from a previous job relocated to Czech Republic. I heard a lot of stories and saw beautiful photos of Prague, but I had never been there before, so I was really interested. Then I found out that EPAM opened an office in Prague and I started to investigate. I researched a lot of information about Czech Republic on EPAM’s portals and I attended a special webinar conducted by EPAM about Czech Republic as well. For the job I wanted, I needed to reach D3 senior level and B2 in English. After I reached those levels, I asked my resource manager to create an Internal Mobility request and the rest was history.
For relocation from CIS to Czech Republic, Ukraine is the “interchange station”. Tell us about your experience in Ukraine.
I have lived in Kiev for three and half months. I did not know that I had to go through Kiev during relocation. When the global mobility specialist explained it to me, I realized that I could start working on the project much earlier. After my relocation to Kiev and interaction with locals, I realized it’s a great place to live. Even the language barrier was not a problem.
At EPAM Kiev, I met colleagues, HR managers and I found friends. We often went for walks and ate together. Everyone was really friendly there. It was easy to get used to another EPAM office as well. For me, EPAM is similar in all locations. I worked in Togliatti where the office is not so big. In Kiev, the office is almost 40 times bigger, but all the processes are similar. I knew what HR’s role was and who could answer my questions. It was very easy to join the Kiev team and later on the Prague team.
How do you feel about Prague so far?
For me, Prague became an interesting place to live because of its culture. As I see it, it is rather close to Russian culture. I’ve spent only two weeks in Prague. Currently, I am still living in the apartment provided by EPAM. Prague is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Life in Prague is so calm and quiet. If you are a modern person of the 21st century, it’s easy to find your way around pretty quickly, buy groceries, use public transport, etc. The only thing I realized is that it would be more convenient to speak Czech, so I can better understand the city. So far, I haven’t needed to know a lot of Czech because almost everyone can speak English and some people can even speak Russian. I haven’t had to take out my book with key Czech phrases that I carry in my backpack. My team is pretty good as well. We have lunch together every day and we plan team building activities after work. They invited me to a board game evening as well. The only problem I’ve faced here so far is that one time I forgot to beep my card on the way out, so I couldn’t get back into the office (laughs).
Is there anything you’d recommend to people considering relocation?
Visit Prague before relocating. Why? Because I think Prague is a beautiful place even for vacation and you can simplify the relocation process by understanding how different services works, for example, public transportation. Also it’s reasonable to have more research. Learning Czech is convenient as well. I have already started watching YouTube courses.
Are you interested in being relocated to Prague? Then apply now!