Immigrants moving to Serbia will be welcomed by one of the most culturally diverse countries in Europe. Most of Serbia’s small immigrant communities are located in the capital Belgrade and are composed of diplomats or people working for international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
The country’s unemployment rate is high, and a large number of highly educated Serbs take time off every year in search of a better standard of living abroad. It is generally not recommended that expatriates move to Serbia without pre-determined work.
For foreigners living in Serbia, safety is not a major issue. Belgrade is relatively peaceful, and although political demonstrations are common, they rarely become violent. In Belgrade, street crime may be a problem, but it is on par with other European cities, so foreigners should be as cautious as going home. Foreigners should avoid traveling to areas near the Kosovo border, which are known to be volatile.
Serbs are conservative, so the social life of Serbian expats is low-key. However, Belgrade has many interesting restaurants where foreigners can indulge in various international cuisines.
English is widely used as a second language, but Serbian is the official language of the country. Many foreigners living in Serbia hire translators to assist them in the workplace. Learning Serbian and having a basic understanding of the Cyrillic alphabet will also help foreigners navigate their daily activities.
Serbia’s healthcare standards are not as good as other Western European or North American countries. When choosing hospitals and doctors, foreigners should be cautious. Serbian doctors are well-trained and usually speak English well, but medical supplies are limited. Some hospitals may not have the necessary equipment to perform more complicated procedures. In many cases, foreigners will travel to another country to receive professional care.
There are many international schools in Belgrade that serve immigrant families from the United States, Britain and Germany. However, the number of places is limited and the waiting list is very long, so many parents choose to send their children to boarding schools elsewhere in Europe.
Serbia is not the preferred destination for many expats, and limited infrastructure can frustrate newcomers. However, the situation is gradually improving, and it is hoped that Serbia will soon join the European Union, which will unleash the country’s potential.
Tagged Serbia, Serbian Immigration, Immigration to Serbia