A question that has likely crossed your mind this week is, whether you should move to Iran or not. Well, you’re not alone. To help those wrestling with this decision we brought in Katya, the woman behind ‘Stranger In Tehran’. For ten years or so, this Russian-born lady has been using her platform to collect her experiences of Iran and to help others learn more about the place. For this episode David, our host, and Katya join forces to answer the question, how do I move to Iran? Listen here to learn more.
Questions we get answers to during this episode
- What should I know before moving to Iran?
- How long does it take to learn Persian (Farsi)?
- Who is Katya, the Russian traveller who is living in Iran?
- Do I need to convert to Islam if I marry a Muslim Iranian?
- As a woman, how should I dress when visiting or living in Iran?
- Do Iranians really expect me to wear pyjamas when I visit them?
- What advice do you have for British nationals who want to move to Iran?
- How do I move to Iran?
- Do Iranians randomly propose to you on the streets?
- Why do Iranians do that clicky thing with their mouth?
Top 10 things to know before visiting or moving to Iran
If for whatever reason you’re thinking of moving to Iran, there are many things that you should consider. Firstly, consider checking through a great many other resources before you check our list below, such as this guide or the helpful website Living In Tehran. Aside from that, we’ve put a helpful list below, to help prepare you for a big move, or a short visit:
- Iran is a predominantly Muslim nation and you must respect the related laws
- You will need to follow dress-codes — differs for men and women
- English is used in written form around Iran, such as signs and menus
- You cannot use international credit cards in Iran, but can get a debit card
- The weather in Iran can vary wildly in different places, e.g. it snows in Tehran
- Dual nationality is not recognised for Iranians in Iran
- Social protocol (“taarof“) is complex, get familiar with it to save face
- Iran’s official currency is Rials, but Iranians say Tomans (1 Toman = 10 Rials)
- Iran observes its own calendar — the weeks start Saturday and end Friday
- Avoid physical interactions with the opposite gender
How to follow Katya — ‘Stranger In Tehran’ — online?
Katya is very active online, helping foreigners see a different side of Iran as well as helping them learn Persian (Farsi). So be sure to follow Katya, or Stranger in Tehran on Instagram here. Be sure to also check out her website, www.strangerintehran.com, where you can read her blog, learn Persian and get helpful tips on traveling in Iran.
Translation of Persian (Farsi) words used during the episode
|“Tsk” (clicking sound)||“No”|
|Taarof:||The term for Iranian social protocol|
|Chaaadoor:||A style of Islamic dress/cover for woman|
|Zanet chetoreh?:||“How’s your wife?” – yeah, try not to ask this question|
|Kaaghaz baazi:||“Paper play” – a term meaning excessive bureaucracy|
|Kaart e Melli:||“National Card” – essential ID for Iranians|
|Paarty:||Meaning, to have connections|
|Gorboneat beram:||“I’ll sacrifice myself for you”- a term use by an Iranian OG|
|Chaakerim:||“I am your paid servant” – a term use by an Iranian OG|
|Salaamat bashid||“Be in good health” – polite response to being wished well|
Picture credit: photography of Katya, by ‘Stranger In Tehran’.