Sao Paulo, Brazil Report of what it's like to live there - 01/17/12

Personal Experiences from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil 01/17/12

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

no, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Panama City

View All Answers


2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Atlanta, 9 hours

View All Answers


3. How long have you lived here?

2 years

View All Answers


4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, military, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

US Consulate

View All Answers


Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

All kinds. Mostly apartments, some houses for families. Apartments can be large for families--best are some compounds with playgrounds, tennis, pools. Commute time varies from 10-15 minutes to 40 minutes.

View All Answers


2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

All available but all expensive--we do get a COLA that helps, but that is the shocking thing about the monthly budget

View All Answers


3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Children's clothes, peanut butter, chocolate chips, books

View All Answers


4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc., more expensive than the US

View All Answers


5. What kinds of organic, vegetarian and allergy-friendly foods are available, such as organic produce, gluten-free products, meat substitutes for vegetarians, etc?

Many people order things online. There is definitely some of this available.

View All Answers


6. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

nothing too bad

View All Answers


Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO

View All Answers


2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Pretty expensive--about $600 or more a month for full-time help.

View All Answers


3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes

View All Answers


4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Most use ATM card everywhere, or cash, or credit--

View All Answers


5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes--Calvary International in English has a website--Catholic English available at Chapel School on Sundays--Catholic mass in Portuguese--large Jewish community

View All Answers


6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

TV yes--NET is expensive per month--prepare yourself--a package with internet is $200 a month

View All Answers


7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Helps a lot--definitely learn this as it will make your stay so much better

View All Answers


8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

It is a Latin American city with limitations

View All Answers


Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Taxis called by phone are safe--a bit expensive

View All Answers


2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any car would work

View All Answers


Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

see above

View All Answers


2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Easy to figure out--can bring a universal type phone from US and buy the chip here

View All Answers


Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

View All Answers


2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

yes

View All Answers


2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

work is stylish and business at the same timepublic is pretty open to whatever

View All Answers


Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

must stay alert, vigilant when leaving home in car or walking--crime is an issue that should always be in the back of your mind

View All Answers


2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Excellent medical care.

View All Answers


3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

unhealthy but during dry season mostly

View All Answers


4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Never gets too cold, but there is a winter June-August. Really nice summer, spring, fall

View All Answers


Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Overall very good reports--Graded is competitive but very rich in resources.

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

Some great accommodations have been made for some of my friends' children at the preschool level.

View All Answers


3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

My kids went to preschool--lots of options both in English and Portuguese.

View All Answers


4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes--Brazilians love kids and there are lots of opportunities for them

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

large

View All Answers


2. Morale among expats:

pretty high--you have to have a good attitude and look for the beauty in the city--it is not always apparent at first glance, but there is a great deal of culture

View All Answers


3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

picnics, parties at homes, movies, restaurants

View All Answers


4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes, all. We love it here--not all do, but you have to dive in and make a Brazilian friend. Once you find a way to link with Brazilians, you will love their culture and warmth.

View All Answers


5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Yes

View All Answers


6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

No

View All Answers


7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

strong sense of community with Brazilians not found in other posts

View All Answers


8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Beaches not far from Sao Paulo--1-3 hours gets you to a great beach.

View All Answers


9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

View All Answers


10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

friendly people

View All Answers


11. Can you save money?

No

View All Answers


Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

YES. I have loved this post.

View All Answers


2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

carb-free diet---you will live on pao de queijo!

View All Answers


3. But don't forget your:

Portuguese--it will help you make Brazilian friends and that is all you need here

View All Answers


4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

View All Answers


5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

View All Answers


6. Do you have any other comments?

Just give Sao Paulo a chance. Once you get into the city and get to know some people, you will see how wonderful it is.

View All Answers


}

Subscribe to our newsletter


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More