Cyprus is an island divided in two, with Greek Cypriots living in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north. What we know as the Republic of Cyprus is the Greek part in the south, while the north is the “independent” state of the Turkish Republic of Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey). Nicosia itself is divided into two parts. One half of the city is in the south of Greece, while the other half is in the north of Turkey.
The island is basically a city. The total population is a little more than one million, it is difficult to find a building with more than five floors.
Summer is extremely hot and can also be humid, with temperatures well over 30 °C in July and August, and usually in June and September as well. Winters, on the other hand, are mild, and no snow falls except in the mountains.
Although there are theater performances, galleries and various other initiatives, Cyprus still lacks a true year-round cultural life.
The people are friendly although they have lost, in part, the true original hospitality they had a few decades ago, especially in the cities, although they are still very helpful.Although Cypriots are very friendly, it is difficult for foreigners to form close friendships with them.
As well as being open and friendly, Cypriots are extremely laid back and love to have a good chat. Therefore, times become extremely variable: “tomorrow” can mean “within a week”, or even “next month”.The Cypriots are Mediterranean in character, and this is also reflected in their work culture: they are more relaxed and less stressed than the European average.
The island is small and everyone knows everyone. The local culture is still based on direct human relations, everyone knows everything, who you are, where you live and what you do.
Although English is very popular, you should make an effort to learn the language (government-funded Greek courses are almost free), and then you will find that people’s attitudes change completely and it is much easier to build relationships.
The sectors where it is easier to find employment in Cyprus are:
- Financial services (accountants, auditors, brokers, foreign exchange dealers, etc.), financial services are an important sector for Cyprus with a large number of employees and with many non-Cypriot clients and workers. Financial services are concentrated in Limassol and Nicosia
- Tourism sector (hotels, restaurants, etc.) is the other major industry on the island. Cyprus is highly dependent on tourism, and the tourism industry also attracts many foreign workers, and although there are various employment opportunities, wages are generally low. Foreign language skills are required for many of the seasonal jobs in the tourism sector (Russian, Greek and English are the most sought-after languages)
- Public services is another important sector in which many Cypriots work. Unlike financial services or tourism, this sector employs almost exclusively Cypriots
Cypriots are used to working with foreigners, so the use of English is widespread and on average, there is a good work-life balance.
Living and working in Cyprus pros and cons
Living in Cyprus, pros
- Excellent climate, hot summers and mild winters
- Very beautiful nature, sandy beaches, blue sea and mountains
- Friendly people
- High security and low crime rate
- Low cost of living
Living in Cyprus, cons
- Inadequate public transportation
- Double price system for locals and foreigners
- Closed attitude to various issues (homosexuality, church, politics, etc.)
- Low wages
Living and working in Cyprus, conclusion
Life in Cyprus is extremely relaxed and very pleasant, especially in summer. With good weather and incredibly beautiful beaches. People are friendly and food is an important part of the culture of the people. Here you do not eat to live, you live to eat. The quality of life is good, life is easy and the distances are short.
In winter it can be a bit boring and monotonous, but that depends on the kind of lifestyle you are looking for.
If you want more information about working in Cyprus, I recommend you to read the article: Jobs in Cyprus