• 6 Oct

    2014

    Expat Interview: Johannesburg - Living in the City of Gold

    Posted by Stephen Whitfield

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    Planning on relocating to South Africa?

    The experienced team of international health insurance advisors at Medibroker help expats all over the world find the right healthcare plan for them, and our clients trust us to work in their best interest. This means we make an effort to get to know our clients' needs. Here, we asked Indian expat Namrata about the reasons she moved to South Africa and how she feels about her life there. Read on to find out about  life as an expat in South Africa.

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    What was the reason for you becoming an expat?
    Well, becoming an expat came upon us rather suddenly. We had no plans to move outside of India really but then a good work opportunity came up for my husband and we decided to explore it! In no time, we found ourselves in the Rainbow nation!

    What was the most difficult aspect of the transition?

    South Africa is an easy country to settle into given the lack of language barriers (English is widely spoken here), the large Indian population, the availability of Indian groceries, and the warm South Africans. However, what is most difficult to get used to here, especially in Joburg, are the high security walls and the electric fences! You feel perpetually boxed in. It's pretty daunting for the first few weeks but then you get used to it.

    What's been the most rewarding aspect of becoming an expat?

    The opportunity to meet and work with new people - a diverse, multi-racial, multi-lingual community. Expats everywhere I suppose get a chance to learn about new cultures and traditions, a new way of life. This is a really great experience I would say. Being an expat teaches one a great deal.

    If you could change one thing about your experience what would it be?

    The labour laws in South Africa are really rigid. As a result, most expats who have followed their spouses here find it very difficult to obtain a work permit. Without this, working here is impossible. This has been the most stressful aspect of my move - the inability to work. If I could, I would most definitely change that!

    LOL! For people outside of Africa, just living in Africa sounds like an adventure! And they aren't very wrong to be honest. We have been making the most of our stay in SA and exploring as much as possible. Although not adventures in the real sense, we are definitely looking forward to visiting the Victoria Falls in Zim, Gorilla trekking in Uganda and visiting the Serengeti in Tanzania!

    What advice would you give to someone thinking of making the move?

    Speak to as many people as you can, before you move. By this I mean people who are actually living in SA - not the ones who may have left in the 90's! Things have changed a lot over the years. Don't believe everything you read about Joburg online! It is a difficult city but it's a great place to live. My friends jokingly call me the brand ambassador (unofficial of course!) of Jozi!

    Has this glimpse of life as an expat in South Africa inspired you? One of the most important things that anybody planning a move overseas needs to think about is medical insurance. To find a plan that covers you for medical and healthcare in South Africa or any other part of the world, contact Medibroker today. You can call us on +44 (0) 191 270 3034 or email Customer.services@medibroker.com

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