Outpost Sakhalin provide comprehensive general and non-legally binding information.  Please consult your HR advisor for all your employment related or contractual inquiries.

The website contains geographical information as well as details about the weather, seasons and many more interesting facts about living here and what to bring to make life comfortable.  The content on the website is based upon the gathered personal experiences of expatriate families. Neither Shell International B.V., nor any of  its affiliates make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein or otherwise provided and accept no responsibility or liability, in contract, in tort, or otherwise, should the information be found to be inaccurate or incomplete in any respect. Neither Shell International B.V., nor any of its affiliates is responsible or liable for any use that might be made of the information contained herein.

Sakhalin Outpost services are provided by volunteers and we intended to assist and advise about general matters connected with the posting. 

Prior to your arrival our Meet & Greet team will assign a 'greeter' who will contact you and can answer questions you have. The greeter will also provide a basic food package and a more comprehensive information package in your assigned accommodation before you arrive.  After arrival your greeter will make contact with you to arrange a shopping trip and invite spouses to our weekly Coffee & Networking morning.  Outpost will further assist as far as possible during your settling in phase in Yuzhno.

Will white goods and furniture be provided?

Yes, white goods are provided.  An American style fridge/freezer is supplied in most housing together with a cooker, dishwasher, washing and drying machine.  

Furniture is provided throughout the house and the beds are usually comfortable, however, you will need to check with your Transfer Agent about the size and style of your housing and the beds in that particular housing as well what freight you are allowed to bring .

All the housing have window coverings; this might be blinds and not necessarily curtains.

Can I buy winter clothing and sports equipment?

Yes.  There is now a very good selection of excellent brand name clothing for skiing - both downhill and cross country.  There is also a good selection of downhill skies, boards, boots (less so in large foot sizes), gloves, hats, goggles, helmets, thermal underwear, hand and foot warmer pads.  There is a lively cross country skiing community locally and several sport shops supply the skis; classic and skating (from basic to advanced), boots, poles and wax.  Ice skating equipment (including ice hockey) and sledges are also available.

There is a small ice skating rink in Zima, the downhill slopes are within 20 minutes drive and there are several places locally offering prepared cross country tracks.  The downhill area is under development and new runs are being opened every year.

In the summer the more popular sports are hiking, fishing and cycling and the sport shops put their winter equipment away and bring out the bikes, helmets and clothing appropriate to the season.

We do have tennis courts and squash courts on the Zima premises, but there is not a lot of tennis or squash equipment to be bought on the island.

At the moment there is a golf driving range around 25 minutes from Zima.  It is advisable to bring golfing equipment.

In general; if you are proficient and well experienced in your sport we would still recommend you purchase and bring your preferred brand and specialised equipment with you. 

Can I buy fresh meat, fish and vegetables?

Yes. There are several supermarkets which supply your general grocery needs.   Supply can be a little erratic and seasonally dependent, but there is a surprisingly good variety of fruit and vegetables here and getting better all the time.  

What type of electrical plug is used?

The electricity here is 220 V / 50 Hz. The accommodation has European style two pin round sockets. You should bring suitable adapters with you if your appliances are non European or British.  These are not available in Sakhalin.

Please note bayonet fitting bulbs are not available on Sakhalin.

If you have small children is it useful to bring the safety socket covers.

Can I use  debit/credit cards here?

Yes, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in both shops and restaurants, but you should bring sufficient Russian rubles in cash to cover the first month to six weeks before your bank account is established.  You can get rubles from many ATMs using your Non Russian bank card, however your bank might be adding charges every time you use it.  

What is the school like?

An international school is located on the Zima camp.  It is called Sakhalin International School, and the website is:  Sakhalin International School follows the English curriculum for Literacy and Maths and the International Primary Curriculum (‎) for all other subjects in Primary, and the International Middle Years Curriculum ( in Middle Years.

Children can start in playgroup at the age at 2 – 3 and the school offers education up to Middle Years; ie age 11 – 13.  In 2015, the school was accredited at the level of Mastering in the quality of the learning it offered through the IPC

Can I use dollars or other currencies?

The only currency accepted in Sakhalin is Russian rubles.  Please ensure that you bring a bank card that is open for Russia for use at the ATM until a Russian bank account is established.  Cash machines dispense dollars and rubles, but only rubles are used in Sakhalin.

What documents should I bring?

As well as your passport, copies and extra photos, you should bring marriage and birth certificates (originals as well as extra copies).  Birth certificates are required if you need the Sakhalin Energy office to prepare a Letter of Invitation (LOI) for a Visa.  Do not pack these important documents in your sea freight.

Depending on nationality, requirements for drivers licence differ. Some nationalities need a notarized certified Russian translation of their drivers licence. Some nationalities need to obtain an International Driving License. 

IMPORTANT:  Ensure your passport is valid for minimum 6 months beyond your final departure date.  This is particularly important for children as you cannot get a passport renewed from Sakhalin and you would need to return to base country to renew a child's passport.  Additionally, the Russian Visa is only valid with one passport and does not continue with a new passport.  A new visa will have to be obtained too - which can take several months and would be at your personal cost.

What should I pack to come?

Each house / apartment has a loan kit consisting of towels, bed linen and kitchen equipment. These items can be returned to Housing when your airfreight or container arrives.

It is useful to bring a few large size bath towels as the loan towels are very small and you may only get one per person. The Russian bedding is also different so it is useful to bring your own bedding and linen. 

The loan kitchen equipment is minimal - 1 of each piece of cutlery, 1 plate, bowl and cup per person.  Some extra kitchen implements, including a small & medium saucepan and frying pan might be useful to bring.  Please be aware Outpost has a small selection of kitchen ware for loan.

Outpost Sakhalin

Office hours: Wednesday: 10:30-12:00
Languages: English, Dutch, French, Norwegian, Mandarin, Tagalog, Bahasa and some German, Hakka & Cantonese
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