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Living in Ivory Coast

A practical guide to the way of life in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is home to approximately 24 million people. Located on the coast of West Africa, together with its tropical rainforest climate, the country is famous for its coffee beans. Living in Ivory Coast can be an amazing experience. Check out our guide for more information.

Life in Ivory Coast

Education in Ivory Coast

The public education system in Ivory Coast is way behind that of many Western countries. It is underfunded and overcrowded, and illiteracy remains a large problem, particularly amongst women.

There is free education for children between the ages of five and 15, and the curriculum is taught in French, although many children do not attend school. Many expatriates living in Ivory Coast send their children to an international school, where they can be taught in English.

The most notable in the country are the International Community School of Abidjan, Morning Glory International School, and the Private Preparatory School — these are all located in Abidjan, the largest city. Ivory Coast has two universities, the Université de Cocody in Abidjan and the Université de Bouaké in Bouaké. 

Healthcare in Ivory Coast

Although the government had previously abolished the free, public healthcare system due to political unrest, it announced at the start of 2015 that it would be re-introducing a public healthcare scheme for all residents. It will be funded by the collection of mandatory health insurance, which will be added on top of any income tax at a flat rate of 1,000 XOF per person.

As an expatriate living in Ivory Coast, you will be entitled to use this free healthcare system, as long as you are paying the right contributions. However, the standard of care and facilities is poor, especially outside of the major cities. So many expatriates living in Ivory Coast take out private healthcare insurance, and travel to nearby countries with better facilities for major or delicate treatment. Expatriates are advised to stock up on any prescription medicines before moving there, as they can be hard to find and you may experience long waiting times for appointments.

Transportation in Ivory Coast

Expatriates living in Ivory Coast will be able to make use of the country’s transportation system. The road network covers around 55,000 km, but only one tenth of those roads are paved, many of which are situated in and around the urban areas.

Outside of the major cities, it is advised that expatriates drive a 4 x 4 or off-road vehicle, as the roads are not suitable for regular cars. The roads are often heavily congested, so road accidents are commonplace. There are also frequent police and military checkpoints on the roads.

You will need to obtain an international driving permit to drive legally in Ivory Coast. The public transportation system, although better in urban areas, is not of the same standard as many Western countries. The country’s rail network, which has 660 km of track, has links to nearby countries, including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: December 02, 2021
Moving to

Moving to Ivory Coast

Temperatures vary throughout Ivory Coast. It is convenient to enter the country by air for expats and the Trans-West...

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Working in Ivory Coast

Expats could find employment opportunities in agricultural and service sector. Work permits for Ivory Coast are issue...

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Join Our Exciting Events in Ivory Coast

Once we've helped you move to Ivory Coast, we can make you feel at home by introducing you to other expats who have already settled and are part of our Ivory Coast Community. Attend our monthly events and activities in Ivory Coast and get to know like-minded expats in real life.

InterNations Abidjan Official Event @ Jardyland

Start date Dec 3, 2021, 6:30 PM

Attendees 50

Boulay Beach Resort Outing

Start date Dec 11, 2021, 10:30 AM

Attendees 4

Boulay Beach Resort Outing

Start date Dec 11, 2021, 10:30 AM

Attendees 4

Boulay Beach Resort Outing

Start date Dec 11, 2021, 10:30 AM

Attendees 4

Top Cities in Ivory Coast


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