Living in Ethiopia as an expat

There are many expats working in Ethiopia, the pay is quite good, the standard of living is high and it is a relatively safe country. Most expats live and work in the capital, Addis Ababa, and while they say that the cost of living is relatively low and you can save as an expat, the healthcare leaves much to be desired.

Interesting Facts About Ethiopia

Are you new in or moving to Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is a country that sits landlocked in East Africa. According to many scientists this is the birth place of Humanity and the modern man. The oldest human fossil, ‘Lucy’, is believed to have existed over three million years ago and was found in Ethiopia.

The country of Ethiopia is a bright and vibrant country decorated in rich traditions of various tribes and cultural.  There are so many interesting things about this gem of Africa!

You become 7 years younger in Ethiopia
This is because it is currently around 2008 in Ethiopia. They are about 7.5 years behind the western calendar.  Ethiopia is the only country in the world to have 13 months in a year. The 13th month has only five days, or six in a leap year Ethiopians also celebrate New Year in September, meaning that they are currently only a couple of weeks into the year 2008, whilst we near the end of 2015.

English and Arabic are spoken widely here
This is great for any expats thinking of moving their as there are also over 80 different languages spoken here.  Amongst all the different tribes many languages have developed but the most widely spoken of these are Oromo and Amharic. Ethiopia’s national language is Amharic.

International Schools in Ethiopia

International Community School of Addis Ababa 
The International Community School of Addis Ababa (ICS) is an independent, non-profit, coeducational school, which offers an educational program form pre-kindergarten through to grade 12 for students of all nationalities. The school was founded in 1966 and serves approximately 430 students from over 55 countries. The Middle States Association of Colleges and School accredit the school.
Curriculum: US
Address: Mauritania Road, Addis Ababa
Tel: +251-11 3 711544
Fax: +251-11 3 710722
Email: info@icsaddis.edu.et
Website: www.icsaddis.edu.et

Bingham Academy
Bingham Academy is an international Christian school located in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Our vision is to provide quality Christian education within a multicultural community, developing students of integrity who can change the world for God’s glory.
Curriculum: K-12 Cambridge International Curriculum
Address: Kolfe Keranio, Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 2791791
Email: office@binghamacademy.net
Website: binghamacademy.net

Visa Information


Visas are required for all visitors to Ethiopia with the exception of Kenyan and Djibouti nationals.

Tourist visa
Tourist visa, can be issued valid up to three months on arrival at Bole International Airport for nationals and residents of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Democratic people’s Republic of Korea (northern Korea), Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (south Korea), the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

NOTE: Eritreans nationals shall not be issued a visa on Arrival. They must obtain an entry visa prior to their departure to Ethiopia.

Work Permit
A work permit can be obtained from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Ethiopia. It is relatively easy to obtain a work permit, and the cost of one is the same regardless of where you are employed. It is also possible to arrive in Ethiopia on a business visa, and to convert it to a work permit once you are in the country.

Angola Upapa Falls