Living in Vanuatu as an Expat
need to know about Vanuatu country,
before you decide to move here.
Vanuatu is located in the South Pacific Ocean and it is a Pacific Island
country. Vanuatu has been chosen as the happiest place on earth,
twice! It really is a unique country full of friendly people, peace,
diversity, and natural beauty. What more can you ask for? Also, many people claim that Vanuatu is a country of
contrasts. On one side, you have the metropolitan and touristy Port Vila, on the other, you have mystery and
However, this place is still not overcrowded and corrupted by tourists, which
makes it a perfect getaway. It is a
place for a new start. That is mostly why many people are living in Vanuatu after all. So, if you are interested in
learning what life looks like in this place, keep on reading.
There are many reasons why Vanuatu was voted twice
as 'the happiest place
on earth', not the least the Melanesian people hospitality
and laidback lifestyle.
Living in Port Vila
Port Vila is
the most metropolitan and most developed part of Vanuatu. Most expats live there. Other rural areas of the country
are not so easy to get accustomed to. So, if you are planning to move and start living in Vanuatu as an expat, call a moving agency
like number1movers.ca and
try to find a property located somewhere in the developed part of Port Vila.
The real estate market is growing, so that should not be a problem.
Also, be prepared to live differently. There probably won't be as many amenities as back home. However, since tourism is
developing rapidly, now you can see many cruise ships, resorts, and high-end facilities in Vanuatu. You will not be
missing bars and restaurants either, as new ones are opening daily. And, what is most important is that
Vanuatu is a very
safe country and a large number of retirees that have settled here can confirm that.
Housing and Living Conditions
As previously mentioned, housing and living conditions largely depend on where you
are located. After all, this is a country that just started developing, so do not expect a metropolitan area yet.
If you plan on living in Port Vila (Efate island) or Luganvile (Santo island), you will have access to 24-hour electricity, telephones, water supply,
internet, restaurants, and public transport systems. Moreover, there is no chance of feeling lonely since
there are many expat communities which you can meet at local restaurants and bars.
However, if you want a quiet island life, and decide to move elsewhere, you will
not have anything mentioned previously. You can only dream of electricity, internet, and phones, and you will have
to rely on rainwater for water supply.
Vanuatu resorts and other accommodation places
offer many luxury facilities.
But if you are living in Vanuatu as an expat, you will have to choose
long-term accommodation options, such as houses and
dotting the hills around Port Vila city.
Working in Vanuatu
Getting started in Vanuatu is not going to be easy. Be prepared for having a lot
of difficulties when starting a business here. However, that is never long-lasting. The best chances of succeeding
are in Port Vila. It would be best if you started working on smaller positions related to tourism.
There is always a need for work in hotels, beach resorts and everything related to
tourism. Also, as the country is growing and the process of upgrading
rural areas will be going on for quite some time, it can be easy to find a
job in construction and infrastructure.
Education in Vanuatu
Bear in mind that as an expat living in Vanuatu with children, you might encounter
some difficulties. There are no free public schools in Port Vila or anywhere else. Most Vanuatu children attend
only primary school. So, you will not see any secondary schools here. The
only option for your children is the Port Vila International School which provides expats with great education
based on the curriculum from Australian schools.
However, that school lasts only until grade ten. After that, many families decide
to send their children to board schools in Australia or New Zealand to finish their education. And when it comes to
higher education, there is only one university in Vanuatu, the University
of the South Pacific in Port Vila.
If you are moving to Vanuatu with your family and
you will have to consider
educational options in this country,
or send them to boarding schools in Australia or New Zealand.
Language and Culture
The country has 3 official languages: English, French, and Bislama. Knowing the basics of the
Bislama language is necessary, as not all Vanuatu people speak English and French. Also, you should do some
researching about the culture before you decide that living in Vanuatu is the right thing for you. The customs and
culture are quite different from what you are used to.
For example, dress-standards are really
conservative. Exposing skin is seen as a bad thing, especially during
their traditional events. Moreover, if you plan on visiting local beaches, you must wear shorts and a t-shirt while
swimming. In resort areas, the situation is different. Resort areas are for tourists, but if you want to live as
locals do, you must fit in with their culture.
Crystal Clear Waters of the South Pacific
Well, it is a known fact that blue, crystal clear water is the thing that attracts
tourist and expats in
Vanuatu. It is so mesmerizing and inviting that you simply cannot resist
it. Besides swimming and enjoying the atmosphere, you can also take part in many water activities as well. The most
popular activity is scuba
diving. Especially wreck diving
off of Santo Island to see the SS President
Coolidge, which is the largest wreck dive in the world. And
besides diving, you can also enjoy fishing, surfing, water ball walking, jet rides, tube rides, ocean kayaking, and
basically anything that comes to your mind.
Of course, if you are living in Vanuatu as an
expat, many of the holiday options
are closer at hand, such as hoping over to an island via
ferry for a sumptuous meal
or fun day activities, like you can find on Hideaway island just off Mele
Dining and Having Fun
In Vanuatu, there
are many resorts where you can really do anything. There are no
customs and dress codes to follow, so you can really enjoy yourself. Many resorts include big private beaches which
offer many interesting activities like local cooking classes, massages, dance lessons, etc. And, if you do not want
to spend the entire day at the resort, you can visit some of the country
clubs or golf
Also, if you have a chance, it would be a good idea to visit locals and enjoy
their festivities which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. And, when
it comes to food, Vanuatu takes it seriously. You can try their unique fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood,
and local beef, but also something different like foie gras, escargot, and really appetizing desserts.