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Living in Serbia
A practical guide to the way of life in Serbia
Thanks to its location, Serbia is both geographically and culturally “in-between”: this implies a diverse mixture of cultures and a strategic position when it comes to trade and business. In this article, you can read up on local services and facilities, from education to healthcare and more.
Life in Serbia
Transportation in Serbia
Due to its strategic trade location in Europe, Serbia’s road network is one of the best in the region. However, whilst the motorways and major roads will be in very good condition, smaller, local roads may be somewhat more difficult to drive.
You can use the country’s over 40,800 km of roads with an International Driving Permit for six months, but thereafter you will need to apply for a local license. Expatriates moving to Serbia should also be aware that the speed limits of 60 km/h in urban areas and 120 km/h on motorways are strictly enforced.
Public transport in Serbia is also very good. The country has an extensive train network that connects the cities and some rural areas with the rest of the country. As it is situated nearby to lots of European countries, you can also take direct and indirect trains across Europe as far as Turkey, Germany, and Switzerland.
Although the railway network was at one time more primitive than some other European countries, the Serbian government approved a full modernization plan in 2010 to bring it up to scratch. There is also a large intercity bus and coach network, as well as water transport available on the Danube and Sava rivers.
Education in Serbia
Like many other Central and Southeastern European countries, Serbia’s education system provides free, compulsory education from the ages of six to 15. This is undertaken at a primary school, and thereafter students can continue their education at a secondary school until they are 19. It is then that they can enter higher education, which can consist of college, university, art school, or a vocational college.
As an expatriate, your children will be entitled to full use of the local public school system while living in Serbia, although if you prefer there are a number of international schools and colleges that offer lessons in English or other languages. Many of these are located in the capital city, Belgrade, including the International School of Belgrade and the British International School, to name but a few examples.
Healthcare in Serbia
Healthcare in Serbia is state operated, and is funded by the collection of mandatory health insurance from its citizens. As an expatriate living and working in Serbia, you will be entitled to use this healthcare system provided you are working and are playing the necessary insurance contributions. However, depending on your country origin, you may encounter extra fees.
Many of the doctors and nurses in the bigger cities do speak English, but it is vital that you check before you make an appointment. There is also a large network of private hospitals and doctors, which can provide a better level of care. However, due to the fact that many hospitals are lacking in medical supplies and equipment, many expatriates prefer to visit other nearby countries with better healthcare facilities for major treatments or operations.
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