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Interview with Sandy B – a Scottish expat in Libya

Updated 26 Aug 2010

Sandy is a Scottish IT professional and is currently on his first time expat experience. While he is enjoying his experience, he is finding the lack of work-life balance in Libya challenging. 

For more on life in the country, check out our Expat Arrivals Libya country guide

About Sandy

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: Scotland

Q: Where are you living now?

A:  Tripoli, Dahra, city center

Q: How long you have you lived in Libya?

A:  Nine months

Q: Did you move with a spouse/children?

A:  Yes

Q: Why did you move; what do you do?

A:  Moved for work, IT for the Oil and Gas sector. 

About Tripoli

Q: What do you enjoy most about Tripoli, how’s the quality of life?

A:  The weather and the people, very good quality of life. 

Q: Any negatives? What do you miss most about home?

A:  Bars and decent eateries.

Q: Is Tripoli safe?

A:  Relatively, bag snatching and burglaries aside.

About living in Libya

Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in Tripoli as an expat?

A:  Janzour, it offers the best value for money.

Q: How do you rate the standard of accommodation?

A:  Mine is good, but for my colleagues in Regatta it is not so good.

Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?

A:  Petrol and bread are very cheap, the rest just slightly cheaper than the UK, but the quality of fresh produce here is much better.

Q: What are the locals like; do you mix mainly with other expats?

A:  Locals to me as a man are great, I socialise with both expats and locals.

Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends?

A:  Very easy.

About working in Libya

Q: Did you have a problem getting a work visa/permit?

A:  Took a long time, but my company did it for me.

Q: What’s the economic climate like in Tripoli, is there plenty of work?

A:  Difficult to judge, lots of illegal immigrants who are unemployed.

Q: How does the work culture differ from home?

A:  It is much slower-paced.

Q: Did a relocation company help you with your move?

A:  No.

Family and children

Q: Did your spouse or partner have problems adjusting to their new home?

A:  Not at all, she adjusted easier than I did.

Q: How would you rate the healthcare?

A:  Not great, any major illness and you are going to have to go back home to get it dealt with, even a broken bone.

And finally…

Q: Is there any other advice you like to offer new expat arrivals?

A:  Have patience out here, nothing happens quickly, apart from the driving.

~ Interviewed August 2010 

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