Do I need a visa to enter / reside in Albania?
The need for a visa is dependent on the country from which you are coming. All internationals coming for an extended period of time will need to acquire a residency permit. This is needed within 90 days of arrival. GDQ will provide staff with specifics concerning the documents needed prior to arrival.
How important is it for me to learn Albanian?
It is possible to function in Albania with a minimal knowledge of Albanian. Your world will be limited, however, to staff at the school and other internationals you may meet in Tirana. Albanians, themselves, have a gift for languages, and you will meet Albanians with varying levels of multiple languages such as English, Italian, Greek, French, German, and Spanish. The more Albanian you can acquire, the more you will be able to immerse yourself into the culture.
Does GDQ provide housing for their staff?
No, GDQ does not have designated housing for our staff. Someone within the GDQ community, however, will help you find a furnished place to live, help you secure a housing contract (needed for a residency permit), and help you locate items you may want to purchase to furnish your home. Many of our staff live in the same neighborhood. Singles may choose to live alone or, if available, live with another person.
How do staff travel to and from school? Around the city? Around Albania?
Transportation is varied. Some staff have purchased a bicycle here in Tirana, others walk, while some take the bus or a taxi. Navigating the city, itself, entails walking or traveling by bus or taxi. Should you want to travel outside of Tirana, busses and 10-passenger vans are located in various places throughout the city.
Are there churches where I can worship without knowing the Albanian language?
Yes. There are several churches in Tirana that staff attend, each slightly different in Evangelical style and means of translation.
What immunizations, if any, are recommended for those living in Albania?
Internationals residing in Albania should have up-to-date childhood vaccinations as well as Hepatitis A and B vaccines and a Tetanus (Tdap) booster. If a person was not vaccinated for Tuberculosis (BCG) as a child/infant, he/she should also have a TB screening (Mantoux test). Please note that health professionals in Albania recommend these vaccines. They are not required.
What type of medical care is available?
Family care / general practice health services are available through the ABC Family Health Center — http://www.abchealth.org/ Local hospitals are equipped to provide surgical and emergency care. Both Hygeia Hospital and the American Hospital are private hospitals with high quality care: