Algiers, Algeria Report of what it's like to live there - 10/25/21
Personal Experiences from Algiers, Algeria
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
I have previously lived in Asia.
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
US. It is currently near impossible to get home due to Algeria not having regular flight due to COVID (for over a year).
3. What years did you live here?
4. How long have you lived here?
About two years.
5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
In my opinion, housing in Algeria could be better. Apartments lack light and outdoor space. It was very hard, especially with COVID restrictions.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Fresh produce is good and in abundance. Imported items are expensive.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
More liquids in consumables.
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Not too many restaurants, especially during my time, most places had been closed.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Very easy to find decent help.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
Embassy gym was very basic.
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Yes, Arabic helps a lot, so does French.
6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Would be very hard.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Local uber service.
2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
Nothing new as accidents are very common.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Slow internet everywhere.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?
A few good vets available.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
Plenty of options from what I see.
2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Conservative for women.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Seems to be quite safe, however due to COVID was mostly homebound.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
I would not risk it in Algeria, most people are medevaced.
3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?
4. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?
Yes, with COVID Algeria had become a hardship post, as unlike other countries, there the airport was totally shut down. It was basically and still is from what I hear a hardship post without any benefits as travel has still not resumed.
In country movement is restricted as well.
5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Weather is the best thing about Algeria.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Due to COVID not much interaction with any other expats.
2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
Americans tend to socialize with each other only at each other's homes.
3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
People with younger kids seem to be doing better, as they are homebound regardless of restrictions.
4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
I would guess no as it is a very conservative country.
5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Unfortunately this was a hardship post.
6. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
Can't think of any.
Words of Wisdom:
1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?
Not an easy country to live in. The movement restrictions and not able to leave the country, in my opinion, would merit another R&R or a higher differential. If I had known I think I would have bid on a hardship post instead of Algeria.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
Desire to travel.