Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any other comments?

I don't want to sound overly dramatic and scare anyone off. I really think this country has a lot of potential and it's what you make of it. I'm not the kind of person that thrives in hardship so it's been harder for me. Many others are living their life to the fullest here. You just have to know yourself and put in the effort to be happy. - Jul 2023

Before coming to Dhaka, I honestly believed that I could be happy anywhere. Not anymore. Bangladesh will test your optimism and challenge your faith in humanity. I cried more times in my two years in Dhaka than I have in any two-year time period since infancy. If you can see past the full dose of human misery that you will encounter every day, you might realize that this is one of those places where the work that you do matters. You literally can make a positive difference in someone's life every day. I can't say that I enjoyed my time in Dhaka, but I also think that I'm a better person for having had the experience. - Dec 2021

Dhaka is a city where you can do anything: paint the embassy walls, run a kids camp, organize a charity run. Make the most of it! - Sep 2021

Nope. - Jun 2019

My personal take: avoid a tour in Dhaka. While the differentials are high, they simply aren't high enough to justify losing two years of your life. You'll never get the time back, your service here won't be rewarded with anything special, and there are so many other, more interesting places to work. If you want high differentials, go to Pakistan. The quality of life there is infinitely better, you'll have far more freedom, and you'll make more money on top of that! - Apr 2017

I am departing in two months and will really miss this place. The charm far outweighs the challenges. It's probably a place I would never otherwise have visited. But I'm so glad I had a chance to live here. I've made some lifelong friends in Dhaka. - Apr 2013

Bangladesh is about the size of Wisconsin with aprox 160 million people. The poverty and despair is immense. Prepare yourself to see sad things and impoverished people and many orphans. There is great need in Bangladesh, but it also has many beautiful qualities. Set your expectations realistically, or low, and you can have a nice tour here. - Aug 2011

Don't come. Seriously. - Feb 2011

I thought that it would be a really tough place to live at first, but it was not nearly as bad when I got here. - Jan 2011

It is not politically correct to say that a place is difficult for expatriates because we live a privileged existence. But Dhaka is the most difficult assignment for living that many in the foreign service/diplomatic/development community will ever experience -- even if they will never say that out loud. - Jan 2011

This was a tour where my work at the embassy overwhelmed every aspect of my life. The office I worked in had a number of capacity issues, severe understaffing, and a crushing workload. All of these things overshadowed what might have been an interesting cultural journey. While I learned a lot and it has helped my career to have worked in such an exceptionally challenging environment, I wish I had more time to smell the flowers, so to speak. To simply walk the streets with the families all decked out in red during the Bengali New Year, etc. instead of being cooped up in the office, exhausted and stressed out on an almost continuous basis. Do some legwork to find out what kind of team you will work with. I knew many people who had jobs in the embassy that allowed them to work a lot less than I did, so this scenario will not apply to everyone, but it may apply to some, so do your homework if at all possible. - Oct 2010

Most of the expats who come to Bangladesh and do not do well are those that come with a preconceived notion and only wish to fulfill it once they get here. The culture truly is a warm culture, and there is great food -- if you like it spicey. - Apr 2010

Sometimes stating the objective facts about Dhaka sounds like negativity, but by and large I am very happy to be here. I would say the traffic is the biggest problem I face--when going a mile takes a half-hour, leaving home starts to get less appealing. - Oct 2009

You can have a nice life in Dhaka if you so choose. The cost of goods and services are inexpensive, and most of the Bengalis are gracious and warm. - Aug 2009

Dhaka is a hard city to live in and it is easy to feel cooped up. I think more than two years would be difficult. - Mar 2009

Good luck to you!! - Nov 2008

If you can dream it it can be done here. Seriously. There seems to be a way to get anything made or accomplished here as long as you are very patient and know the right place to go. - Feb 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More