Question: I'm considering a job in Tehran. I have a husband and two 9 year old boys. Just wondering if I'm completely insane or am I offering my family a great cultural experience?
Also, can you give me an idea of costs? Accom will be included, how much is it to live and travel within the country?
Answer: Surely, it will be a great cultural experience for you. The most important thing is that you will be exposed to a totally new culture with a totally different standard from yours. The culture shock can be really big but Iranian hospitality may compensate for it. One of the things that you must also consider is the Tehran streets and its crazy drivers. It can be very challenging. If you have been to Cairo or Delhi and you managed to like them, you won’t have any problem with Tehran.
Here is a comparison of the current living costs between Tehran and London:
To accommodate in a normal apt. with 2 bedrooms in north of Tehran you should pay about $1500-2000.
Transportation is cheaper in Tehran. An underground ride costs less than 10cents, a bus ride costs about 10cents, taxi is also cheap comparing to London, petrol is about 40cent/lt in Iran (free-market), purchasing a car in Tehran is expensive but using it (petrol, parking, ...) is cheap. Transportation is cheaper in Iran without considering special offers for cheap flight options in the UK.
Food & drink cost about the same in Tehran and London. But in Iran alcoholic drink and some foods such as pork is not halal so during a year you should avoid those.
Entertainment is cheaper in Tehran, but it's limited to Cinema, Eating out and Traveling. For cinema you should pay about 2$ and about 10-20$ per person for eating out at middle class restaurant.
Hotel prices are almost the same in Iran and the UK.
There are some international schools in Tehran for your kids. You may get more info about this from your embassy in Tehran.
Currently, many goods and services in Iran are subsidized but there was an act passed by the parliament to remove these subsidies in 5 years starting from the coming Iranian Year, Mar 2010, so costs are expected to soar.
Check the cheapest Iran tours at http://www.uppersia.com/Iran-tours