Living in Tunisia?

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Living in Tunisia

Living in Tunisia has its advantages and disadvantages: therefore it is important to get well prepared to a completely new lifestyle well in advance. Check out our Expat Guide to learn more about healthcare, transportation, as well as safety and security in Tunisia!

Healthcare in Tunisia

Though Tunisia is a thriving, forward-looking society, its health-care system does not yet match that of most western countries. Also, expats from western countries should take note that the vast majority of staff in most public hospitals will not speak fluent English, and so communicating in French or Arabic will be the only option. Public hospitals are often overcrowded and have low quality equipment.

As you have to pay for treatment in hospitals, it is strongly advised that anybody living in Tunisia takes out some solid private health insurance. At private clinics, it is much easier to find English speaking physicians and the quality of specialized facilities will be much higher. 

Transportation in Tunisia

While the built-up areas of Tunis, Sfax, and Sousse all boast well paved roads, the same cannot be said for many smaller towns or the rural parts of the country. Step away from the more populated areas and expect to find extremely hazardous driving conditions, animals on the road, and no lights once the sun goes down. If you are planning any kind of road trip through desert areas, be sure you notify the authorities in advance. 

On busier roads, defensive driving is a must. You should also note that the Tunisian police are pretty unpredictable when it comes to pulling people over. Just make sure you comply, whether you think you did something wrong or not. You can drive on an international license or exchange your national license for a local one if you are residing in Tunisia for a longer amount of time.

The national bus services are often a better way to get around, however. They are available both within cities and between cities, and are all very comfortable and cheap. 

Safety and Security in Tunisia

If you are staying outside of Tunisia's resorts and tourist hotspots, it is advisable to be cautious. For foreigners that live in Tunisia, the main risks are theft-related — i.e. pick pocketing and mugging. Female expats should be careful with their handbags and purses, while men should be careful with where they flash their wallets.

Unfortunately, street harassment of females is a problem in Tunisia. Though there are no religious restrictions on how women dress, clothing that shows a lot of skin can attract negative attention. Another problem is kidnapping, a crime that targets both natives and expats. The best advice is to stick to the busy areas, where there is generally a noticeably high police presence.

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