We are delighted to welcome Edel Marie Urmaza to our Expat Life Interview Series. She is from the Philippines working as a Staff Nurse in Kuwait.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I am from Baguio City, Philippines.
Q: In which city and country are you living now? Did you move there alone or with a spouse/family?
A: I am living in Kuwait, and I moved here alone.
Q: How long have you lived there and how long are you planning to stay?
A: I’ve been here for almost five years now, and I don’t have any specific plans yet on how long I will stay here but definitely not for good.
Q: Why did you move and what do you do?
A: I moved here for work. I am recently employed as a staff nurse.
Q: Moving from the Philippines to Kuwait, what was your first impression?
A: My first impression was the difference in weather which would require an adjustment on my part.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Kuwait? What were some of your favorite experiences in Kuwait?
A: I like the coastal areas where you can enjoy the view while doing some exercises like jogging.
Q: What do you miss most about home?
A: I miss everything about home, especially the food that my mom usually cooks for me all the time. I miss home because there’s no place like home.
Q: What has been the greatest aspect of your expat experience so far? What are the adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life there?
A: The greatest aspect of my expat experience was the feeling of being responsible for myself and being independent. The fact that I need to do everything for myself like cooking, doing laundry and ironing my uniforms required adjustment.
Q: How would you rate the quality of life compared to your home country, in terms of cost of living, public transportation and healthcare system?
A: The quality of life is totally different, including the cultures and traditions since this is a Gulf country. Conservativism is well observed. The cost of living here is quite high. The healthcare system is not that appreciated, but the government provides assistance for the expats.
Q: What are the best things to do or places to visit in Kuwait?
A: I would recommend to explore the different kinds of restaurants, see the famous Kuwait Towers, and experience the desert safari.
Meeting people and making friends
Q: Tell us about your typical day as an expat in Kuwait.
A: Well, I came here for work so every day is a routine. It’s up to you on how you can make the ordinary day an extraordinary one.
Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends? Have you made friends with locals or do you mix mainly with other expats? Did you feel you fitted in culturally?
A: It was easy to meet people and make friends because I am a friendly person. It’s just a matter of who to give your trust. I have few friends who are locals, but mostly Filipinos. Somewhat I can say, I do fit in culturally.
Q: Did you have a problem getting a visa or work permit? Did you tackle the visa process yourself or go through an agency?
A: I did not experience any problem since I went thru an agency.
Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A: We live by ‘no work, no pay’. Nonetheless, we are well compensated.
Q: What are your tips or advice for anyone looking to live and work in Kuwait?
A: Stay strong. Be wise. Save money. Most importantly, always pray to God.
Thank you, Edel, for taking the time to be part of our Expat Life Interview Series! Though she is not a blogger, she will be happy to answer any questions you have about Kuwait. Just leave her a message in the comments below.
*All photos are the sole property of the author. They were provided and used with permission for this interview only. Any unauthorized use of these photos is prohibited.
The Expat Life Interview Series was created to know more about the country, not just from a traveler’s perspective. We hope to help others who are thinking of working abroad to know how it is to live and work with the locals. If you are living and working abroad even for only a few months or several years and would like to be featured on Wellington World Travels, please Contact Us so we can send you the questions and share your expat life experience.