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An Expat Talks about Living in Drama, Greece

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Drama

How long have you lived there?

14 months

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Northern Greece is extremely restricted in terms of Clubs and Associations. If you speak the language it is a little easier to meet people, I have been involved in charity work which I found in Drama's Government offices.

I would recommend joining a Gym or local Swimming Pool.

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Expats living in Greece interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Being 1/2 English, 1/2 Greek and having blonde hair, I stick out like a sore thumb! I believe most people, especially the young accept my cultural differences, although they are particularly condeming of the English tourists who have changed the images of the Greek Islands and see the English as tarts!

For a small town there is a lot of foreigners, in particular English, Russian, Bulgarian etc I seem to be accepted more readily than those from just over the borders. A word of advice, if you're American, beware there is a strong anti-bush/USA feeling amongst these people.

In general I am accepted, however Drama is very backward and set in it's ways. People seem to want to shut out the rest of the world. Very few people travel abroad and therefore to see a foreigner is a novelty.

Greeks are always right! This includes their religion, culture and beliefs! But it is good fun persuading them otherwise.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

The main industries are Winneries and Marble extraction.

I am an English Teacher employed by a Private language School - everyone is learning English!To do this I had to go through a full medical. However, if I wanted to teach privately or in a company I have to pass greek exams (I don't speak Greek yet so a little difficult)and go through a lengthy process of getting my degree validated by the Government, the whole country is a mass of red tape which can be extremely frustrating.

The area is fairly run down and jobs are few and far between. Native Greeks with 2 or even 3 degrees are struggling to find work.

Most people opt to take exams to enter the confusing public sector for work.

I haven't tried to find work other than teaching, which is relatively easy to find, but poorly paid.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Family is the most important thing to the Greeks which is nice as the family are becoming less important in many countries.

Some Greeks work very hard as life here can be tough as the salaries are very low and the change to the euro affected many people in a negative way. However, the Public Sector seems to where to work for an easy life.

Socialising is extremely important to people here and the Greeks do not stop talking, which often sounds like they are arguing as conversations are often loud and seemingly aggressive. Coffee, coffee, coffee! The bars are busy from morning to night, mostly with young people drinking the national favorite. It is also nice to go out on a Saturday night and not see drunken louts on the streets, as you do in the UK,

Sport is not so important in this country and it's impossible to find Clubs to join. However they are strong football fans (especially after the Euro) and they also like beach volleyball and basketball.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Learn Greek before you come! Make sure you bring your sense of humour with you and plenty of patience. Die your hair dark brown and get a good tan so you blend in. But come, it's a cool country and the weather is perfect!

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