Girl studying for 3/5 months in Tunis

Lorenza

New Member
#1
Hello everyone,

I'm an Italian 22 year old girl studying Arabic. I am going to stay in Tunis for 3/5 months to attend a school and improve my Arabic skills. I have never been to an Arab country before and I am really excited about it, but I really need a piece of advice since I am coming to Tunis alone and I am a girl... Will it be safe to visit the city by myself, properly dressed of course (showing no legs nor shoulders)? Any advice about Tunis, where to go, what to do, what to do not, best area of the city to live in? I am going to stay for one month in a rented apartment in Cité les Jardins, does some body know about this area of Tunis? Last question, I was thinking about getting a Tunisian number for my cellphone, what's the best mobile operator company?


Thank you very much!
 

lulabex

Active Member
#2
hi,

First, Welcome to Tunisia !
I understand that it will be your first time in an "arab'' country but Tunisia is closer to Europe than to the ''arab'' world so no need to worry about the way you dress or do you hair !!! we are not Saudi Arabia, okay?
Tunis is a big city, you will enjoy the restaurants, the coffee places, the night life especially in La Marsa, La Goulette, Gammart...As long as you don't break any laws, you are fine just like in Italy !
i don't know the area you mentioned but i El Menzah 1, 6, 9 are good places, Soukra too but a little bit far from Tunis down town !
You can get orange number !
 

Lorenza

New Member
#3
Hi lulabex, thanks for your reply and advice! Thanks for reassuring me about safety and 'dress code', I have been hearing Mixed opinions about that, some people say that I can dress as I would here, others that I should be more covered - I'm really uncomfortable in the hot weather and in summer I am used to wearing sleeveless shirts and short dresses/pants... So will this be okay in Tunis or could people 'get the wrong idea' about me especially since I am a girl alone? What a about the beach, is it okay to wear a bikini? Sorry if my questions sound silly!!!!

The area where my apartment is Located is near the metro stations of Palestine - Jardins - el Khedra.

Also, what about public transportation? Are the metro/buses/trams efficient and safe? Or is it best to just use the taxi?

Thank you again and hope I don't sound too naive!!! :)
 

lulabex

Active Member
#4
okay if i tell you it is perfectly fine to wear whatever you want, would you please believe me !! i find it a little bit "shocking" that there are still some people thinking Tunisia is Iran or some retarted golf country !! bikinis are fine on our beaches, we see topless Italian women sunbathing on the beach every summer !
Oh i don't like that area.. it is not dangerous though !
i personally only take taxis in Tunis because i don't like the metro and the buses (because they are usually crowded)

Your welcome !
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Hi Lorenza,

Will you be sharing with other students as I find it a bit strange they put you in an apartment on your own in a strange place.

The area itself is not a bad area but its not the best area what I mean is its built up and very central so you do have to consider you safety not that its dangerous but you don't want to advertise that you are a young foreign girl on your own.

It would be best all round for you to have some orientation/friends whilst you are there as Tunis is a bit like the USA in that you have to get cars out to the fun places and they are not all in a zone so to speak.... social lives are often based in cars and driving about.

If your with friends you can dress how you like but you don't often see mini skirts etc its not forbidden.....you just get a bit harassed which i think happens in Italy also if you young and good looking.

Infact i would take the same steps as they say to UK/US visitors to italy...

http://www.reidsitaly.com/planning/safety/women.html

Tips for women traveling in
  • A single woman, or a group made up solely of women, will get approached far more often than a man or mixed group.
  • Dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention, and wear dark shades to avoid eye contact (direct eye contact seems to translate as "come molest me” to some lotharios).
  • Women’s lib notwithstanding, women seen without men are targeted more often by thieves, so be extra careful.
  • Take all the major steps to avoid pickpockets and purse-snatchers: wear a moneybelt; carry a security purse with slash-proof straps, sides, and bottom; wear thief-foiling clothing; and take all appropriate precautions on overnight train rides. » more
  • Take your hint from local women and stride confidently and purposefully down the street, those sunglasses firmly in place. (Imagining you are Audrey Hepburn helps.) Ignore any comments, catcalls, and wolf whistles, refuse to engage the harassers in so much as eye contact, and firmly fend off all courtiers.
  • On trains, sit with other women or families. Avoid empty train compartments, because then your companions can choose you instead of the other way around. Instead, find a couchette with five nuns and one empty seat and ask if you can join them.
  • If you find yourself molested on a city bus or other crowded place, tell the transgressor firmly “No!” and “Alt!” (international-ese for “stop”) and proceed to pinch, scratch, elbow, kick, punch, and so forth to further discourage him. Also, enlist the aid of a nearby local woman to noisily chastise the offending would-be Casanova and perhaps whap him with her purse.
  • If you feel truly threatened, scream Polizia! as loudly as you can. At heart, Italians truly are lovers, not fighters, and most will beat a hasty retreat.
- See more at: http://www.reidsitaly.com/planning/safety/women.html#sthash.vfEaauCW.dpuf
 

Lorenza

New Member
#6
Hi kris, thank you too for your kind reply.

I found the apartment via AirBnb cause I wanted a 'reliable' source, since I couldn't see the house directly before booking it (I am still in Italy); so in booking the apartment I simply checked that it was not too far away from my school and that comments from previous hosts were good. The first 3 weeks I am going to be there alone, then I plan on moving out and finding a shared apartment with other students from my school (Bourguiba Institut)... Since I am going to attend Bourguiba 5 hours every day I don't think making friends and meeting people to visit the city with will be hard, in fact my concerns opening this thread were about the first 4/5 days of January in which I will be alone in Tunis since the school is not started yet, and of course I will need to get out in the city and adjust by myself. In Italy, especially in Milan which is my city, if you don't get yourself in trouble in bad areas of the city late at night nobody harrasses you and nobody really cares what you look or dress like -- but surely when you are born and you lived all your life in a city and you know it perfectly, you have a different percepition of things :) so the same I think can be said for Tunis or other cities. Reading your advice was really helpful, thank you!

P.s. My school is Located in Avenue de la liberté, any advice on where to look for my next apartment? Thanks!
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#7
My advice would be stay with your friends and have a great time partying.

I remember when my wife was a student they had so much fun, a huge flat near the cafes etc.
 

Med_Gh

New Member
#8
first of all happy new year for everyone in this forum :)
ciao Lorenza :) benvenuti a Tunisi :)
for the location, you can look for an apartment in "Lafayette" it is very close to Bourguiba school where you will study moreover it is also close to Tunis down town , true it can be a little bit more expansive but if you find some room mates it will be more easier to manage ,
public transport : you will use the metro (number 2 ) it isn't expansive,
if not it is exactly the same as you said about Milan, you have to know where to go , when and with whom,
again Welcome Tunisia :)
 
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