Croatia’s Foreign Seasonal Workers from Ukraine Praise Zadar

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac writes on the 22nd of August, 2019, while many young and even older Croatian citizens continue to leave the country in search of a better economic situation abroad, troubled but beautiful Croatia is also a promised land for some.

Two such workers are Valentyna Tereshchenko, a 24-year-old Ukrainian from Cherkasy, and her friend Olha Valchuk, 23, also a Ukrainian citizen from Dnipro. The two girls arrived in the Dalmatian city of Zadar hungry for work and got a job at a local cafe.

”Your economic situation is better than ours back in Ukraine, so my friend and I decided to come and work in Croatia this summer. The first arrival was my mother Katarina, who got a job at a hotel near the city, and then her sister Anna, who decided to go to Zagreb.

We came here through an agency and I can tell you now that we didn’t regret it. I’ve also worked in Malta, Greece and Cyprus, and although the salary was the best in Malta, after paying for the accommodation, I would have less than I do here in Zadar, so I can say without hesitation that your country ”sits the best” with me. The job is good, the people are lovely, both the colleagues and the customers, and I really can’t complain. And Zadar is beautiful. Admittedly, I must admit that I’ve had little time to visit it because I work in the afternoon and sleep in the mornings, but what I’ve seen, I really like, Valentyna told local paper Zadarski list.

There’s a similar story to be heard from Olha.

”I’m satisfied, everything suits me and I’m very glad that I came here. The job is good, I have no qualms, and everything else is good, too. I don’t get much time to go around town, but I saw the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun, and that, as I heard, is one of the most interesting things you have to offer. We work a lot so there’s not so much free time, so our rhythm is: sleeping until late, going shopping, and then going to work. We cook at home and unlike Cyprus where it was difficult to find all the foods we’re used to back in Ukraine, here, from what I’ve seen, you have a great choice of food,” said Olha, or Olga in Croatian.

The two girls are proud to point out that they have learned a few Croatian words as well.

”We have many similar words, and as it’s common for us in Ukraine that almost everyone speaks Russian, knowing multiple languages ​​makes it easier for us to communicate. In addition to our language, Valentyna and I speak both English and Turkish, which we perfected in Cyprus, so when we add Russian into the mix, then we have the tool for adapting in a foreign world is ready,” the girls laugh.

Valentyna adds that Poland was the  promised land the youth of the country, given that the majority of them from Ukraine were going to work there, but for the two of them, Poland wasn’t in their plans.

”Poland is a conservative country, and we’re hearing about that more and more and we don’t like it. In addition, there’s a strong industry there and our friends there work mostly in factories, and we weren’t interested in that. We like your company, which fortunately is still more liberal than it is in Poland. We are young and want to hang out with open young people, and feel free, so our choice is Croatia before Poland,” concluded the girls.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more on Croatia’s foreign workers and Croatian tourism.


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