A Practical Guide to the Way of Life in Mozambique

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    Thanks to InterNations, I have now made some new friends, who taught me a lot about the expat experience in Maputo.

Life in Mozambique

Education in Mozambique

Expats looking to live in Mozambique should be warned about the country’s public education system. It is organized into three sections: primary school, which is provided by the state and is compulsory; secondary school, which is subject to an academic entrance exam and fees; and higher education.

Expatriates living in Mozambique will probably want to send their children to an international school, as the public system is poorly funded, overfilled, and lacking in teachers.

The main international schools in Mozambique are The American International School of Mozambique, Maputo International School MIS, and the Aga Khan Academy, all located in Maputo.

Mozambique also has a number of universities, including the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and the Universidade Pedagógica. Almost all universities are based in Maputo.

Healthcare in Mozambique

The healthcare in Mozambique is not of the same standard as in many European and North American countries. In urban areas, particularly in the capital city Maputo, the standard is better, but many expatriates living in Mozambique tend to take out private health insurance and seek treatment for serious issues in nearby South Africa, which has a much higher standard of care.

Medicine can be scarce, so if you require any prescription medicines it is advisable to stock up on them before you arrive in the country. Many of the doctors will speak English in the urban areas and in private facilities, but be prepared for some difficulties in communication if you don’t speak Portuguese.

It is strongly advised that expatriates living in Mozambique take out comprehensive health insurance packages to avoid incurring large costs. You may have to pay upfront for treatment, but your insurance should then reimburse you.

You are also advised to take preventive malaria medication and protect themselves from mosquito bites, as the disease is endemic in Mozambique, particularly in the rainy season, and effects over half of all children in the country.

Transportation in Mozambique

Mozambique has 30,400 km of highways, 5,685 km of which are paved and would be suitable for traditional cars. Most of these are situated around the capital city, Maputo, and other large urban areas.

If you are travelling outside of urban areas, then it would be advisable to drive a 4X4, as smaller vehicles would not be suitable for the unpaved roads. Mozambique also has 3,123 km of railways, which many natives and expatriates use to travel long distances across the country. Some of the urban areas may have bus networks, and private minicabs are a fixture in all of the cities.

If you wish to drive, you will be able to use your international license to do so, but for stays of more than 90 days, you must get a Mozambican license.

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