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Why are Ukrainian women seeking foreign husbands?
There are many reasons a Ukrainian woman may choose to join an agency.  Men may have the mistaken idea that it is simply to leave the country and live abroad.  This is not necessarily true.  In fact, if given the choice many women would prefer to stay in their home country.  After all, it is a risk to leave jobs, homes, friends, family, and everything familiar to move to a foreign county.  In order to commit to doing so, a woman must really believe in the man and the relationship.  She must be willing to put her faith and hope for the future in his hands, and she must be willing to change everything in her life in order to do so. Our ladies are often highly educated, sincere women who have had bad experiences with men in Ukraine.  If they did not believe that they could find a better and more stable partner elsewhere, they would not seek it.  Women who join an agency such as ours are hoping to find what they were unsuccessful in finding thus far — a man who will love them, treat them with respect, and build a life together with them. It is difficult to make generalizations, but for most Ukrainian women family is of utmost importance. Does economics enter into the equation?  Certainly.  A woman in any country would seek stability for the future, but that does not mean a woman is only thinking of money.  She is placing her future for herself and her family in the hands of a man from a foreign country.  It is important to remember that. For that matter, what do women in your own country seek?  We imagine you would not have to travel further than the local bar to come a across women who are primarily seeking financial gain.  There are good and bad people everywhere.  We believe that Ukrainian women are exceptional, but we are somewhat biased. When you are questioning what women are seeking, ask yourself the same question. If the answer is “a real, genuine lady with a lot to offer in a relationship,” then you are on the right path.
Are the women serious about marriage?
Indeed they are, and in our 18 years of experience we have had many success stories.  Is everything always sunshine and roses?  Of course not.  Relationships in any country in the world have their up and down moments.  We are not psychiatrists or psychologists, but we think that the important thing is that two people share mutual feelings and respect, and that they are willing to work together to make a life together.  We believe that is universal.
Do the women know English?
Many women study English in school, but skills with English vary greatly.  If a foreign language is not practiced regularly with someone who speaks it, skills may atrophy rather quickly.  But we have seen many women have great success learning or relearning English.
Do the women pay for your services?
The women in our agency are never charged for services.
Is it true that some women are paid to join an agency?
It is definitely not true for our agency. It may be true at some large agencies.  We have heard of “chat scams” where attractive women are paid to come in at certain hours and talk to any man who is interested in chatting, even though the women may have absolutely no interest in meeting or marrying a foreign man.  Similar letter writing scams exist also.  That is why, regardless of which agency you choose, we recommend that you carefully review them before committing any money.
What about sending gifts or money to a woman?
We strongly recommend you do not send money to a woman you have not met.  It sends an inappropriate message. If you are just beginning correspondence, you should not feel required to send a gift.  Some men feel it shows their sincere interest, and that may be the case.  Any woman appreciates a genuine gesture.  Generally we recommend you wait until you have had some good communication before sending a gift.
Can you assist with gift delivery, or make recommendations?
Of course.  We will help in whatever ways we can.
Do I need to speak Russian or Ukrainian?
Russian and Ukrainian languages can be quite difficult for an English speaking person to learn, but it is not impossible. It is not a requirement to know either language.  It is, however, advantageous to know some basics.  It can assist you not only in your communication later, but also in your travels.  A woman may also be impressed if you have made a little effort to learn a few basic words or phrases. There are electronic translators, online translators, or applications for iPhones or other portable devices that can very helpful with basic translation.  Do not, however, depend upon them for any complex communication.  It may turn out to be mildly incorrect, significantly confusing, or indecipherable.  It also may be accidentally humorous, or even insulting.  Some clients have found electronic translation to be very valuable when traveling, especially to communicate basic concerns or questions with non-English speakers. For a humorous example, see below: “Hello Raven Haired Beauty!” Electronic Translation:  “Привет Ворон волосатая Красота!” Actual meaning in Russian:  “Hello Crow, a Hairy Beauty!” Fortunately the woman in question was not offended, and found it to be very funny.
What is an acceptable age difference?
The simple answer is whatever is acceptable to the two people involved. We have seen successful marriages with a variety of age differences, and there are failures within all ranges of age difference as well.  It is not a sole determining factor for success. Every circumstance is unique, so it is impossible to say.  But ask yourself important questions. What are your expectations? Will your life goals be similar? Is your goal solely to have a beautiful young woman on your arm, or are you serious about a real relationship?  Something based strictly on physical attributes most often does not succeed.  This should not be a surprise to anyone. A successful relationship is based upon many factors.  If you remember this, you will be far more likely to succeed in the long-term.
Your letter translations seem higher than other options I have seen. Why?
Many agencies take the approach of luring in a potential customer with low rates for letter translation.  But as in all things, one gets what one pays for.  Some agencies function as letter writing mills.  The more letters translated, the more money involved.  Charge a lower rate, do a poorer job, make money based upon volume.  The woman you are writing may or may not really be communicating with you.  If not, then the less expensive translations are fantasies anyway, so what have you really gained?  It certainly has not moved you forward in your quest. We have university degrees in foreign language and years of experience.  Our translations are accurate, and the letters from the ladies are real, written by them.  We think the value in that is immeasurable.
What should I write in a letter?
Your first letter should include basic information about yourself.  For example, physical characteristics, age, etc.  What are a few of your interests?  Have you been married before?  Do you have children?  Why have you chosen to contact this particular woman? You do not need to write a book or dissertation.  One page is generally adequate.  Mention something about yourself that may be interesting or unusual. This may seem to be obvious, but it is worth stating regardless: Be a gentleman.  You are trying to impress the woman you are writing.
How many women should I correspond with?
Some men find a woman, communicate with her, and wish to meet only her.  This may or may not work.  Correspondence, Skype chat sessions, etc., are good ways to get to know someone.  But it simply is not the same as meeting in person. It is wise to communicate with several women.  It will increase your chances of success when you travel to meet someone. We do not recommend communicating with more than 5 women.  It is very challenging to build rapport with such a large number, and it is difficult to spend enough time with them when you visit to ascertain where there is mutual interest and who would be best to pursue further.
Can I communicate directly with the women?
In some cases this is possible.  If a woman has a computer and Internet access, and she knows English well enough to do so, then after some initial agency communication it can be done.  More women have computers and Internet access than they did 10 years ago, but there are still a fair number who write their letters by hand and deliver them to us.  In fact, we have forwarded photos of the hand written letters at times to clients who have expressed interest in seeing them.
Why does it sometimes take so long for a woman to respond?
Life in Ukraine may be very different than what you are accustomed to.  Many of the women work long hours, travel on public transportation to and from work, or perhaps walk to work.  They may have family commitments, house chores, etc.  Even something simple such as grocery shopping is not easily accomplished, as the women either have to walk or take public transportation to do so.  Additionally, sometimes they are writing letters by hand, which of course is far more time intensive than writing on a computer.
Why do you charge an “up front” fee for a visit?
Many agencies charge “per meeting” or “introduction” fees.  They charge by the hour for interpretation.  When you begin to add these and other fees together, you can see that the cost spirals upward quickly. We work closely with our clients when they visit.  We are not “watching the clock” and charging by the minute.  We charge a reasonable fee to work with our clients during their stay and to help them with their various needs, not only interpretation, but answering questions, assistance with shopping for food and necessities, etc.  We focus upon the value of our services overall.
Where would I be staying?
We have a very fine, comfortable, safe, and centrally located apartment that we often rent to our clients.  We highly recommend it.
Can I make my own arrangements for an apartment?
Of course, if you wish, you can make your own arrangements for an apartment.  We do, however, say “caveat emptor.”  We have seen some clients be quite unimpressed with apartments that are not as they appeared in photos, do not have reliable hot water, have uncomfortable furniture and / or sleeping arrangements, are in questionably safe locations, etc.  Also, if you are far from our agency location, then time and money are lost commuting back and forth to meetings.
Can you recommend a hotel?
We could, but will not.  Hotels are generally expensive and provide questionable accommodations.  While a woman may be happy to meet you at your apartment, meeting you at a hotel is a very different story.  There are negative connotations, and we will leave it at that.
How soon should I travel after corresponding?
Generally 2 to 4 months after starting correspondence it is a good idea to meet.  Mutual interest is often at its peak at this time.  We would not recommend waiting longer than 6 months.  Too many times too many women have seen men delay and delay, and then perhaps not come at all.  The women in our agency are serious, and we hope you are as well.
How many women can I meet?
It is largely dependent upon the schedules of the women you have been communicating with.  Most work, have family commitments, etc. If for some reason you do not find chemistry with any of the women you communicate with, we can introduce you to other women in our agency as well.  The number you can meet per day is largely dependent upon scheduling.  Most of the women work, some have children, family commitments, etc.  Most first meetings last 1 to 2 hours, and multiple meetings may seem exciting, but it can be very taxing as well.  Meeting more than 3 or 4 women in a day can be challenging.  This is not a scenario where speed dating works.  One is better off taking time to get to know the women.
Do I need a visa to visit Ukraine?
Citizens of the following countries can visit Ukraine without a visa on short-term tourist, business or private travel of up to 90 days: USA, Canada, Japan, EU nations, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Vatican, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Mongolia, Lithuania and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (except Turkmenistan) This means that you may enter the country with just your passport and stay for up to 90 days within any six month period. If you are not from one of the countries listed above or are coming to Ukraine for a longer period of time, you will need to get a Ukrainian visa.
Travel Tips From Clients:
One of our recent clients has provided some tips for fellow travelers from the USA. 1)     Consider carrying a money belt.  This belt appears to be a regular belt but with a hidden zipper.  It is a way to carry additional cash, or emergency funds, with relative safety. 2)     Contact your credit card company prior to leaving to notify them of your travel. 3)     ATM’s may or may not work well for you.  Many places do not accept credit cards.  Bringing enough cash is wise. 4)     Carry your wallet in a secure way.  One way may be in your front pocket or a zippered pocket that is difficult to access. 5)     Exchange some dollars or Euros for Grivnas (Ukrainian currency) at the airport in Kiev.  $100 should be enough to deal with any immediate necessities. 6)     Internal (domestic) restrictions on luggage may differ from international restrictions.  Current weight limits for Aerosvit are 1 checked bag at 20 kg (44 lbs.) and 1 carry-on at 6 kg (13.2 lbs.)  Going above this limit may incur significant (several hundred dollars or more) additional charges, and those charges must be paid in Ukrainian currency. 7)     Some form of electronic translator may be of assistance to you.  There are portable units that may be purchased if you search online prior to your trip.  Some devices, such as iPhones, may also have electronic translation applications that may be useful 8)     Register your travel dates with the US Embassy.  This is recommended for all USA travelers.  The website is located here: 9)     Make a color photocopy (or 2 copies) of your passport.  If your passport is lost, a color copy will greatly assist you in getting a new passport through the US Embassy in Kiev. 10)   Your USA cell phone will not work in Ukraine.  There are several online sites where you may purchase an unlocked phone that will work in many countries (including Ukraine).  These sites may also rent a phone to you.  Another option is to allow us to assist you in acquiring a phone and SIM card once you reach Chernovtsy. 11)   If you fly through Amsterdam and must stay overnight, Citizen M hotel (within walking distance of the airport) is strongly recommended by one of our clients.  The rooms are soundproof, prices are reasonable, and there are not taxi costs or shuttles that you must plan for.  The website is located here: 12)   If you must stay in Kiev and wish to be near the airport, an acceptable (but with minimal conveniences) room may be found at the hotel within walking distance of the terminals.  The website is located here: 13)   To pack appropriate for the weather, long-range forecasts may be found here: 14)   When you bring cash from the USA, try to acquire new bills.  Sometimes bills with tears, ink markings, or other damage may not be accepted for exchange. This information should help to simplify your travel and enhance your experience.
What should I expect regarding food and drinks?
If your concern is “can I drink the water,” we recommend that foreign travelers stick with bottled water. Juice, milk, coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcoholic drinks are readily available. Concerning food, there are many options in Ukraine, and some very fine restaurants and cafes in Chernovtsy.  There is traditional Ukrainian cuisine, which we recommend that you try during your stay, and many other options, including American fare.
What about local travel?
There is no subway in Chernovtsy, but there are buses.  Walking is a fine option in many cases.  Taxi service is a reasonable cost and readily available.  There is also train service between cities.
Should I worry about personal safety and crime?
We have had many visitors over the past 15 years, and problems are rare.  That does not mean that you should not use caution.  Just as in the USA, UK, or other countries, crime exists.  Take normal precautions.  Do not flaunt wealth.  Do not leave belongings unattended.  Do not pack gold or jewelry in checked baggage.  Do not travel alone at night in places you are unfamiliar with.  Late night bars and discos always have risk associated with them in any city in Ukraine, as well as in most other countries.  You may find that prices are higher when someone recognizes that you are a foreigner.  When traveling or shopping with us, that will not be an issue.