Calabar, or the Canaan city, used to be called Atakpa because of the Jukun language. Part of southeastern Nigeria, Calabar has a population approaching 400,000. Living in Calabar can feel new and exciting, with its diverse people, rich history, grand architecture, and beautiful surroundings. The Old Duke town church was established by Presbyterian missionaries, and is a good first place to stop to learn a little bit about life in Calabar. The Calabar Museum can teach you everything else you need to know about the area, and it's based in the former residence of the colonial Governor. This reflects the turbulent history of the region, and the history of slavery. As an expat, living in Calabar can be confusing at first, that's why InterNations has a website dedicated to putting expatriates from all over the world in touch with one another. The community can interact with each other, share their stories of living abroad, and make life easier for people who might be having a hard time away from home.
Get trustworthy advice and local insights from fellow members in our Nigeria expat forums.
Before you set off, you should make some serious plans that will help you go about moving to Calabar. Reading through the numerous forum posts on the InterNations website, from expats just like yourself, will give you a strong idea of the plans you need to set in motion before you go. Learn about the visas and permits you need to make the move, about storage situations for leaving your old belongings behind, and learn firsthand about the psychological and physical pressures that you might have to endure. Moving to Calabar or any other foreign city can be hard, but the InterNations community will make it easier.
Working as an expat in Calabar can contain quite a lot of perks, but there are some possible downsides, too. The Expat Magazine, a collection of articles written by expats and the InterNations in-house staff, details all the ups and downs of working abroad. As an expat you will improve your language skills, you can build up respect amongst your colleagues in your native country and maybe eventually earn a promotion. On your return you'll have an amazing addition to your CV - you'll be unstoppable in your career development after a successful stay abroad. If you aren't already working in Calabar as part of a work placement, you might want to start a business or become self-employed. The Expat Magazine articles on being self-employed as an expat will help you to put together a business plan, work out whether it's financially possible or not, and ultimately settle in to life as an expatriate working in Calabar.