Are you moving to a new country like Brazil? What to do?
Hi Dinah, how are you these days? I just bumped on your Facebook page seeing that you moved to France, nice! Hope you’ll enjoy France to its fullest.
My cousin (my closest relative considering that I don’t have siblings) is moving to Brazil, somewhere close to Sao PaUlo. He would like to know what he can do over there. I was thinking to recommend him to start teaching English, maybe at a language center or something like this? Do you have any idea, or what can I ask you, what advice could you give to a person who’s moving to Brazil and looking for work to live in there?
Julius from Romania
MOVING TO BRAZIL
I moved to Brazil in 2015 for an English teaching job in Vitoria.
To live in Brazil was a huge dream and a big risk, so to speak. I got lucky that while staying in New York, I found the job online and decided to move without hesitations.
I was also lucky to have been guided by my boss and second mama, Dora. She has helped me in many ways than one with my big move into her tropical country without hassles.
I have said this before, that Brazil is definitely my most favorite expat life ever. I loved every moment and every experience. Since I lived in Vitoria, I can only say these advises basing from my life there.
Yes, I have been to Sao Paulo twice for a short visit, I don’t think I have grasped the way of life from there.
With that being said, I can only advise from the life I experienced— in general, in Brazil.
What to do in Brazil?
Brazil’s social culture is open, yet exclusive. My advise is to find one person that you can talk with and hang out with, and gradually, that person can start introducing you to his social network. It is quite hard to make friends in a big way, so by having a few friends who can gradually network you, is the way to go.
When you finally made friends, take your time to go out with them. If they invited you for a beer and barbecue party, don’t say no. Always say YES because this is one of the most fun times and most relax time you can ever do with them.
Quite on the contrary, the market in English teaching is limited. Although there are several English language schools around the country, the job is taken by locals. So unless you applied for a teaching job in a private school, like I did, this career may not be even a good end for you.
Looking for jobs as an expat can be a bit tricky. Unless you have the right papers to stay in the country, you can’t apply for anything. And being able to speak and understand Portuguese, is a big plus. I suppose you can look for jobs in a newspaper or some Brazilian websites online.
Just as any move you can make to any country, make sure to familiarize your surroundings. The first thing I did when I moved to Brazil was walked around my neighborhood to figure out where the supermarket is, the bus stops, the police station, the pharmacy, the school, and the shopping mall. Make sure you know your surroundings first before anything else.
Follow all the bureaucratic rules in the country. It is a pain in the ass to comply them but you really have to. The first thing you need is to get your CPF number. This is basically your other “identification card” that you will need whenever you shop, go to a doctor, or have any form of appointments.
The cost of living in Brazil varies from where you live. My friend who lives in Sao Paulo said it is quite a pricey city to live in, compared from other cities around the country. Just make sure that you are aware of how much you will spend on your monthly bills, so that you will have an idea of how much you need to earn.
Safety in the country? I’ve been asked this question several times, in fact even before moving to Brazil, I received a lot of “unsolicited” advises that I need to be careful. And the thing is, these people have never lived in Brazil, so how do they know better?! As for me, I’m happy to report that on my almost four years in the country— I even did solo travel in some parts, I didn’t encounter any kind of trouble or pick-pocketing nightmares. I believe it’s all about how you present yourself or how you keep yourself safe. I’m an adventurous one, but I don’t go extreme. When I travel alone, I make sure that I go back to my hotel no longer than 10PM and I’m always mindful of my belongings.
Brazilian people complain about the hardships they have in their country, but I have always told my friends that they have a better transport system (traveling by bus in other parts of Brazil is a great way to do a budget travel), they have a better health insurance program (I miss going to my weekly acupuncture treatment), their beauty industry “pampering” is cheaper (I miss having my eyebrows trimmed) and they do things more efficiently in the world of today’s high-tech apps. (I am still dumbfounded that my bank in Paris don’t have a phone app.) So remind them whenever they complain— that they do better than any other first-world or third-world nations, despite their government’s corrupt history.
Lastly, have an open-mind. You need to understand that once you move in a country foreign to you— you have to accept and adjust to their culture. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Stop complaining if things don’t happen your way. You have to remember, they are the ones who have been living there, so you can’t change them. Stop comparing the good from your country that is not adapted in their country. You might as well just go back from where you came from. Seriously!
So open your mind, embrace every moment, and enjoy your new Brazilian life!