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A Practical Guide to the Way of Life in Benin

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  • Jaromir Novy

    There's only a small expat circle here in Cotonou, but this gave me the chance to say hello to everyone on InterNations!

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Life in Benin

Healthcare in Benin

Since 2004, the Beninese government has undertaken major work to revamp the public healthcare system by improving facilities, increasing health education, and introducing private sector care. However, despite this effort, the public healthcare system in Benin is poor, and expatriates living in Benin are advised to use the private medical system. However, the private system is usually only available in cities, and in some cases you are still recommended to travel outside the country for major treatments.

All expats living in Benin are advised to take out comprehensive private healthcare insurance that covers treatment in other countries, as this may be necessary. In addition, you are advised to stock up on any required prescription medicine before travelling to the country, as whilst living in Benin you will notice that the pharmacies are understocked with even the most common medicines.

Education in Benin

Benin has had a free public school system since 2007, when it abolished school fees and opened up enrolment to all citizens. However, as French is the language of instruction and the public system is underfunded and overcrowded, most foreigners living in Benin send their children to private international schools instead.

Benin currently has a handful of international schools, all of which are located in Cotonou, the largest city, including the International Christian School of Benin, QSI International School of Benin, and the Trinity Montessori School. Benin has one major university, the National University of Benin, which has ten different institutions spread out across the country, including The University of Parakou (UNIPAR) and The School of Applied Economics and Management (ENEAM).

Transportation in Benin

As a developing country, Benin does not have a transportation network of the same size or standard as many western nations. Benin’s road network has 6,787 km of highway, of which 1,357 km are paved, with the paved roads mainly located in the major cities and urban areas. If you are traveling to a remote rural location, expatriates are advised to drive a 4×4 as the roads can be treacherous; furthermore, in the wet seasons roads liable to flooding are sometimes unusable, even in the cities.

The railway network in Benin has 578 km (359 mi) of single track, 1,000 mm meter gauge railway. However, it does not have any direct links to other nations, even in the surrounding West African region. There is one international airport and one major seaport, both of which are located in Cotonou, the largest city in Benin.

Hello Again, It has been a while!!! Happy new year to all our members (new and old) and we are delighted to welcome you guys again for the first event of 2020. Unfortunately, due to busy schedules we
Hello guys!!! First of all we would like to thank everyone who showed up at the last meeting. We hope you made meaningful meetings and enjoyed it. The holidays are around the corner so we decided to
Hello guys, We are back!!! Well, when we all meet together our welcoming party will be complete. So InterNations Cotonou took a long break due to various reasons and as many of you have requested it,
Let's go to the beach! Put on your swimsuits for an afternoon swim at El Dorado Beach Club. For those who have already been there, you obviously know that it's next to the best beach to swim in Coto

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Our Global Partners

  • Jaromir Novy

    There's only a small expat circle here in Cotonou, but this gave me the chance to say hello to everyone on InterNations!

  • Jessica Johnson-Hanevolt

    Before I came here as an expat, I only knew Benin as home of actor Djimon Honsou. But now Cotonou & InterNations is my home too.

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