Moscow is the world’s costliest city

Thinking of moving to another world capital? A new report compiled by the human resources consultancy Mercer suggests you need to think carefully about how costly it is in other parts of the world. Surprisingly, Mercer ranks Moscow as the world's costliest city, with London a close second. This is bad news for students wanting to study in the Russian and English capitals. Mercer gathers information on 143 cities around the globe. Its annual survey measures and compares the costs of more than 200 items, including rent, transportation, food, clothes, household goods and entertainment. This data is invaluable for companies wishing to open offices in far-off lands. A Mercer spokeswoman said: "As companies continue to send employees on expatriate assignments, they must closely monitor changes in the cost of living."

A major theme of the latest survey is how currency movements have changed the rankings of different cities. Mercer stated: "There have been some significant changes in the rankings since last year….These are primarily due to exchange rate fluctuations - in particular the weakening of the U.S. dollar and the strengthening of the euro." Last year, London was ranked fifth, but due to a weak dollar, it has risen three places. Seoul was the third-placed city, followed by Tokyo and Hong Kong, both down a place from last year. Asuncion was the cheapest city for expats for the fifth year in a row. The world’s most expensive apartments are in Tokyo and the most affordable are in Johannesburg. The dearest fast food is in Copenhagen. Zimbabwe’s Harare dropped off the list this year due to its rates of hyperinflation.

WARM-UPS

1. LIVING COSTS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about the cost of living where you live. Are you happy with it? Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.
moving / world capitals / human resources / Moscow / bad news / rent / data / currency / exchange rates / US dollar / expatriates / fast food / hyperinflation


Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. COST OF LIVING: In pairs / groups, talk about the cost of these things in your town:
  • rent
  • transportation
  • food
  • English lessons
  • telephone bills
  • entry to museums
  • clothes
  • water


4. CITY LIFE: In pairs / groups, give a score for the items below -  what is most important to you about city life? 10 = a must; 1 = no need for it/them
  1. _____  safety
  2. _____  good public transportation
  3. _____  affordable accommodation
  4. _____  parks and trees
  5. _____  no car zones
  6. _____  good refuse collection
  7. _____  near an airport
  8. _____  sports facilities


5. I’M AN EXPAT: Your partner will choose a new city for you to live in (from another part of the world). Walk around the class and talk to the other “expats” about your cities.

6. MOSCOW: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with Moscow. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

7. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think living in expensive cities is better than living in the boring, cheap countryside. Students B think the opposite. Change partners often. Share your findings.

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (t) or false (f):

1. Moscow is the world’s costliest city for human resource companies.

2. Students might not be able to afford to study and live in London.

3. An international price comparison was made between 143 cities.

4. Expatriates need to write assignments before living overseas.

5. Changes in exchange rates made cities more expensive to live in.

6.The dollar has become weaker and the euro stronger recently.

7. Asuncion was the cheapest city for the fifth consecutive year.

8. The world’s most expensive fast food is in Copenhagen.



2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:
a. moving reasonably priced
b. ranks keep an eye on
c. invaluable considerable
d. expatriate precious
e. monitor changes
f. significant relocating
g. primarily running
h. fluctuations emigrant
i. in a row is placed
j. affordable for the most part


3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):
a. A new report compiled off lands
b. London a close assignments
c. This data is invaluable due to its rates of hyperinflation
d. open offices in far- fluctuations
e. send employees on expatriate for companies
f. currency movements have changed in a row
g. exchange rate by the human resources consultancy
h. down a the rankings of different cities
i. for the fifth year second
j. Harare dropped off the list this year place from last year

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Thinking of moving to another world A new report compiled by the human resources Mercer suggests you need to think carefully about how it is in other parts of the world. Surprisingly, Mercer ranks Moscow as the world's costliest city, with London a close . This is bad news for students wanting to study in the Russian and English capitals. Mercer gathers information on 143 cities around the globe. Its annual survey measures and the costs of more than 200 items, including rent, transportation, food, clothes, household goods and entertainment. This data is for companies wishing to open offices in far-off . A Mercer spokeswoman said: "As companies continue to send employees on expatriate assignments, they must monitor changes in the cost of living."

 

 

second
closely
consultancy
invaluable
capital
compares
costly
lands

A theme of the latest survey is how currency movements have changed the of different cities. Mercer stated: "There have been some significant changes in the rankings since last year….These are due to exchange rate - in particular the weakening of the U.S. dollar and the strengthening of the euro." Last year, London was ranked fifth, but due to a weak dollar, it has risen three places. Seoul was the third-placed city, followed by Tokyo and Hong Kong, both down a place from last year. Asuncion was the cheapest city for for the fifth year in a row. The world’s most expensive apartments are in Tokyo and the most are in Johannesburg. The fast food is in Copenhagen. Zimbabwe’s Harare off the list this year due to its rates of hyperinflation.

 

 

fluctuations
dearest
rankings
affordable
dropped
major
expats
primarily



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