Living in Algeria Guide

Living in Algeria Guide

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 13, 2020

Summary: Expats, global nomads and retirees living in Algeria talk about meeting other expats, befriending locals, the local culture, diversity in Algeria, international schools, crime and more.

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People living in Algeria share their experiences making friends, adjusting to the culture, what expat life is like in Algeria, healthcare in Algeria and more.

What Expats Appreciate about Their New Culture

We asked expats in Algeria what they appreciated about their new culture. Here's what they had to say:

"Weather is great ... You can live and eat very well in Algeria if you have your own home and a job. It's a beautiful country and there are some amazing places to visit," said one expat living in Algiers, Algeria.

"Family stick together strongly, and acceptance here is high between family members. Doesn't matter how troublemaker you are, or how bad is your personality, or how strange is your idea, your family especially parents will always love you, accept you, and support you unconditionally," mentioned another expat in Algeria.

"I love the people, my husband's family that is. They are warm, generous and wonderful. I love their food, couscous and Arabic food," commented one expat who made the move to Algeria.

"Learning that I am so lucky to have the things I have. Not wasting food. Being kinder to people and not being so selfish. Taking on board that in society women and men each have a role and this is very important for marriage ( i was such an independant feminist in the past...)," remarked another expat living in Algiers, Algeria.

"Well after working for the British Government for 15 years being able to sit back and enjoy life now with my children is great. I can work if I want to but have decided to be a housewife instead - something that I would never have done while living in London," added another expat in Algeria.

The Most Challenging Aspects of Living in Algeria

Then, we asked expats in Algeria what was most challenging about their new culture. They replied:

"Understanding that my logic does not apply. People here are very emotional. Everything becomes very dramatic very quickly and then settles down even quicker whilst my head is still spinning. People are very friendly and welcoming when you are visiting they are less happy for you to stay around indefinitely," said one expat living in Algiers, Algeria.

"One time my mother-in-law's fridge broke down and she cried so hard that I thought someone died in the family. When I found out the actual reason, I scolded my husband for not reassuring her that we will buy her a new fridge immediately. My husband told me it is not the money it is the availability. I was shocked that you cannot just go out and buy one and get it delivered to your house. My husband told me it could be weeks of waiting before a new one is available. So I guess it's things like this that we tend to take for granted that is most challenging," mentioned another expat in Algeria.

"Lack of safety ie electrics, windons on 6th floor that fully open, wires coming out of plug sockets and connecting to street electric viva wires from your window. The metality of the middle aged me here... will ingore women, cut you up on the road then beep at you like its your fault! The lack of children groups and support for parents. How close family life is," commented one expat who made the move to Algeria.

"Being the only one from my country here. Getting people to understand my meaning behind my words. Finding someone that thinks like I do," remarked another expat living in Blida, Algeria.

International Schools in Algeria

"DO NOT GO TO THIS DAMN SCHOOL ! Admin sucks, Teachers are all hypocrite and education is extremely low. Cantine is filthy . Classmates are all immature and nobody respects one another, My 15 year old son completely changed in the bad way after only 1 year of experience," said one expat whose children attend ElKalimat school in Algeirs.

"Save your money and don't send your child or children here they will be scared for life with the way in which they are taught and treated," added another expat with kids at El Kalimat School in Bouzerrah.

"at no point in the last year have I come across one lesson that incorporated a teaching resource. The children are not encouraged to explore their surroundings for science, they take no field trips for lessons on nature, the teachers do not use any aids besides a white board. The children are required to take down notes the entire day for all subjects concerned and that is the only way that lessons are taught. There is no interactive or stimulating teaching provided at all. In terms of training and professional development for the teachers, I have counted over thirty incidents where the teacher used incorrect English, ranging from spelling errors and poor sentence construction, to tense errors and misuse of punctuation marks, and thats just in the last month!!! the children for PE play table tennis with no tables, soccer with no goal posts, most of the lessons they run up and down between cones. The school has a sports day with races run on a paved area that spans no more than 20meters in length. The children practise for two or three days before and are not presented with any medals etc for first place. Truth be told, running 20 meters hardly counts as a race to begin with. There are no music lesson provided, and arts and craft lessons have thus far rotated between drawing and colouring in a house, or making a card for the teacher- that's it! The pupils have yet to make anything in the design and technology class. The ICT teacher quit at the end of last year so the form teacher has taken over these lessons, the result is that the pupils have almost no hands on computer based training which is crucial. The french teacher cannot speak more than two words of English which makes for an extremely difficult learning experience for pupils in all grades! the only method of assessment in the last year has been formal written tests. No other method of assessment is employed- observation, oral examinations, stimulated role play, portfolio, assignments, group work, etc. Completely off all the above topics, I would like to further add that the school provides no -speech contests -concerts or recitals -awards ceremonies -year end functions When I approached the school last year regarding why the young pupils were subjected to the same long hours as 16 and 17 year olds, I was told that El-Kalimat had the same hours as all Algerian schools, which was true. I accepted this at the time. However, at the beginning of this schooling year, the Algerian public schools drastically reduced their schooling hours. When I enquired about the hours this year, I was told that they would remain unchanged as El Kalimat was an International School and was unaffected by the Algerian schooling hours. The long hours were necessary to complete a very "burdening" Cambridge syllabus! As you can very clearly see, the administration changes reasons as and when they wish to suit their purposes. The parents have no say in these matters and are not allowed to question any further. The fact that Headmistress Miss Hadi only arrives at school at 11am (at the very earliest) on any given school day could be a contributing factor to the poor manner in which the school operates," commented one expat when asked about El Kalimat School in Bouzzareh.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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