When I landed in Moscow one month and a half ago, I wasn't part of any expatiate forums, I had never looked for blogs talking about Russia and I wasn't a member of any community for expatriates.
The first day I arrived, I had to search for a flat and I started looking around on the net for advices, helpful websites, ... . Across my researches I found some interesting blogs, forums and websites to look for informations. During these last weeks I also came across several communities for expatriates, some of them well-developed worldwide and in Russia, some of them only in Russia and others well-developed worldwide but not so much in Russia.
There are also many groups of interests on every social networks concerning Russia or more specifically Moscow (Facebook, LinkedIn, ...).
Through this article I want to share with you the websites or groups that I consider interesting. I invite you to share your "good" links as well in the comments. This list is of course non exhaustive and some people might disagree with the choice of some websites, but I'll let you judge by yourself !!
First an overview of the different websites aiming to promote blogs written by expats or expats communities:
http://www.blogexpat.com/ : blog portal for expatriates and people living abroad. Anyone can register its blog and share it on this website, you can search by country or city.
Blog Expat is only for blogs but it's linked to the site http://www.easyexpat.com/ that is more a "guide for expatriates", you can become a member and post in the forum, you'll also find some useful informations about each country.
A similar site to Easy Expat is http://www.expat-blog.com : "the living abroad participative website, by expatriates".
For the French speaking people there is also http://www.expatunited.com/ It's another website that aims to gather expatriates together, with the slogan "be expat, be united"!
There is also http://expat.ru/ The virtual community for English-speaking expats and Russians, I already talked about it if you need to look for a flatmate or to rent a flat. While I'm on the flat sharing topic, I found two more websites that can help, http://moscow.craigslist.org/ and http://www.easyroommate.ru/.
Another great site according to me is http://www.internations.org: "expatriate community from expats for expats". There are regular events where you can meet other expatriates or Russians, I was at their last event on Thursday (14th April) and there was more than 200 persons, it was very nice! I really recommend you to become a member wherever you are, since it's a worldwide community!
InterNations is for people from all around the world, but you can also find specific organizations for each community. For example http://www.ufe.org/ for the French community, I didn't look for other countries but it should be easy to find.
I'm sure you can find other interesting websites, but it's all for today! I will of course share any new "discovery"!
I just want to add a few words on hubs and groups that you can find on Facebook or LinkedIn. In some cases when you join, you will have to wait for an agreement, it's usually to prevent the "pollution" of the group by robots or users that have nothing to do with it. But within 24 hours you usually get accepted (so far so good!!).
I'm gonna share here some of the groups I belong to on LinkedIn and Facebook, up to you to join!
- Expat.ru : Moscow's online community for expats & visitors
- Expats in Moscow
- Moscow Expats
- Moscow Mania
I'm sure there are other interesting groups on these social networks but I don't know all of them!! So it's now up to you to share your favorite groups or websites!!