and Accommodation Issues
Housing is a
frequent bone of contention in the expatriate world
Housing can often be a real problem overseas, so you
might as well ask specifically about it - early in the
game. It isn't so
much of a problem if your employer does not provide it,
as you can find and get the quality of housing you
want. But when the employer provides it, sometimes you
will be stuck with a less than satisfactory situation.
And a big disappointment.
that need to provide housing want, of course, to spend
the minimum amount needed for your accommodation.
Ask employees already there if it is decent or not.
Employers will sometimes find a tiny closet for you to
live in - not concerned that you need to share that
small space with all the cockroaches that already live
there. The housing issue comes up often in East
rarely in the Middle East.
careful with shared housing. While it may be fun to
have a roommate - you can also end up with the roommate
from hell. Most people recommend that you not accept
shared housing. The author shared overseas housing twice - once was great
and I made a good friend. The other time was terrible
and I couldn't wait to get out.
"Western Style Housing"
Some employers will advertise that they provide Western-style housing. Don't trust it - sometimes that only
means it has a bathroom with a "throne" or seat toilet
versus a "squatter". You still need to
ask what they mean by "Western style".
Paying the Bills
at all possible, try to make sure that YOU pay the
bills. Some employers like to pay the bills, but then
don't give you a real accounting of the costs. Some
will greatly overcharge you. Ask current employees
specifically what "furnished" means.
Does that mean one wooden chair and a bed pad on the
floor? Or does it include a microwave oven, TV,
air-conditioning, washing machine, etc?
Demand Decent Housing
When having a problem with housing after you arrive, you can always ask your
employer, "Would you accept living here - like this?"
But, sadly, sometimes they would! Or they feel it
is just fine for you.
Don't demand a mansion, have reasonable expectations,
but do require something decent.
BTW, the author has, only twice in sixteen years, moved into a CLEAN
apartment. Much of the world cleans when they move in -
not out. Expect to move into a filthy apartment.
big deal - you can leave it dirty when you go!
It's just different - it's not wrong.