A Comprehensive Guide about Living in N'Djamena

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  • Martin Wieslinger

    It was a relief to realize that there are more expat families settling in Chad and to have someone to discuss 'culture shock' with.

Life in N'Djamena

Education in N’Djamena

Public schools in N’Djamena follow the same model as France’s education system. Lessons are taught in French and follow the European structure of six years of primary education followed by six years of secondary schooling. Education in N’Djamena and all throughout Chad is extremely challenged. Due to serious problems such as population dispersion, negative impact from civil wars, many families’ reluctance to send children to school and child marriage, the public schooling system is highly flawed. Despite secondary school being compulsory, only 68% of kids attend school over the age of 12. Of this number, over 70% attend school in N’Djamena.

The ideal solution for expat parents moving to N’Djamena is to choose an international school; these institutions are of an extremely high standard and do not suffer the same issues as public schools. Predominantly attended by the children of diplomats, company executives and non-governmental organization workers, the lessons are taught in English and follow a British or South African syllabus, with an American school calendar. One of the most popular examples is the American International School of N’Djamena.

Culture and Leisure

This character-filled city in the heart of Chad is home to many historic attractions and sights of cultural interest. In the very center of the city is the Grande Marche. This bustling market is always lively and full of color, great for any expats looking for a great way to get to know the locals, get stuck into N’Djamena culture and get some great bargains on freshly grown fruit and vegetables. Most minibuses have the Grand Marche as their terminal station, and it is easily accessible from all over the city.

Another wonderful way for foreigners to find out more about the rich history of N’Djamena is to visit the National Museum of Chad. This fascinating gallery houses ethnographic collections of pottery, musical instruments and art dating back thousands of years. There is also an exhibit of traditional tribal masks on display at this museum, which is considered to be the most insightful museum in the country.

Safety and Security

According to a report by the United Nations, there is a 15.8% homicide rate throughout the country of Chad, with much of the problem localized in the urban capital city. Most of the problems with violent crime are related to ethnic tensions between different tribal groups, and crime directed at expats is very rare.

The city itself is relatively safe, although expats, particularly women, should avoid walking alone at night. Foreigners are highly advised to avoid all of the regions bordering Lake Chad, to the north of N’Djamena. This entire region is extremely hostile, and anyone in the area is susceptible to being a victim of violent crime including terrorism. Although the capital city is much less dangerous than other parts of the country, there is an official travel warning placed on Chad and expats should be extra cautious when living in N’Djamena. The emergency number for the police is 17.

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  • Martin Wieslinger

    It was a relief to realize that there are more expat families settling in Chad and to have someone to discuss 'culture shock' with.

  • Helen Laidboe

    Moving to Chad as an expat spouse did made me worry. But through InterNations, I got to know other expat women here in town. Thanks!

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