“The first thing that you realize in couple of days staying in Kuwait is that there are a lot of expats you get to meet from the moment you land to the time you settle into your new accommodations” says Allyson who is an American expat moved to Kuwait in early 2012 along with her husband and two children. Kuwait is a country with nearly 60% of its population being expats. Folks from all over the world have come to call this country their adopted home. Bangladesh, India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, American, England, Australia, Russia and many EU states too have citizens living, working or travelling in Kuwait.
As for negatives, Allyson dislikes the fact that people do not think twice before throwing out trash on the streets. She hates the fact that trash is littered in the hallways of the school she teaches at and the fact that the local culture does not promote picking up of trash. Some other things that nags her include the lack of greenery since the country is mostly a desert and the lack of beautification projects outside of the wealthier suburbs.
“The country on a whole is quite safe, even for women. Just remember to be dressed appropriately and never go for any revealing attire.” Allyson further adds that she felt Kuwait and most cities in the country had a tolerant attitude towards women as long as you understood their culture and dressing sense. Though, she has been victim to a few catcalls but nothing out of the ordinary considering she hails from New York.
“The cost of living is not high as long as you can adjust to the local cuisine and depend on groceries. However, the more western you venture in search of food, the more you have to spend. As for the locals, they do not prefer mixing with expats and tend to keep to themselves although, occasionally you will make a few Kuwaiti friends. Good part though is that there are plenty of clubs and associations for expats so it is an excellent way to interact and meet folks.”
As for working in the country, being a teacher Allyson did not have much issues although she did feel apprehensive when her passport was kept for nearly a month after her joining the school to process papers and get the work permits readied. However, now she feels much more at ease with the practices and cultural difference such as the sudden change in language, behaviour and sudden tea breaks.