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In retrospect, would you move again to Botswana?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Botswana, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Botswana so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!

Christine

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Botswana, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

The short answer is yes. Of course, this depends on your reasons for moving to Botswana. I moved with what little money we had, which ultimately had to support myself and my wife for the best part of 12 months. Those who move and have a job sorted will be better off financially.

The job market is tough and made even tougher as it's a "who you know" culture. My wife is Motswana and after two and half years of being back home, she is still searching. She managed to find a freelance job at her old employers, but the salary is poor and she gets no benefits other full-time staff members get.

So if I was doing it all again, I would try to establish a professional network before I arrived. Although it wouldn't necessarily solve the problem, it could help speed up meetings with those who could offer work opportunities.

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

Botswana is somewhat behind with various procedures and policies. They still rely heavily on paperwork, so anyone coming who will need to proceed permits and so on will need certified copies of all relevant paperwork. Bring at least 20 copies of each certified paperwork.

They've also introduced a policy that all foreign certifications (especially qualifications) are to be certified by the relevant institutions connected to the country of origin. So in my case, I would need the British High Commission to certify my qualifications... however, this comes at a cost. Whereas before the local police would certify them for free, the BHC charges the equivalent of £35 (P495) per certificate for 3 or 5 copies. I'm surprised the BHC doesn't charge an admission fee when you walk through the door.

You could try to reach out to your expat community before coming here. However, I've found the UK expat community quite closed off. I tried via this platform and LinkedIn and a couple of individuals kindly responded to communications, but the majority didn't. I don't know what it's like for other expat communities (South African, American, etc).

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Botswana so far?

I'm not sure I would say there's been any tangible benefits as such. As I say, I came and took a gamble. I came with the intention of setting up my own business, which I achieved, but I'm still trying to establish myself after 2 years. I'm actually very good at what I do and better than many of the locals in the same profession, but the "who you know" culture is king.

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