Brazil is a country that has a lot to offer international visitors, and when you are relaxing on the beaches of Rio or exploring the beautiful Amazon region, there is no doubt that it is a country which has a lot of things going for it. The economy in Brazil proved to be strong and resilient through the economic problems after 2008, although its growth has slowed recently, but there are still plenty of jobs and roles where expats living in the country can make a good living. The cities are vibrant and interesting places to live, however, there are also problems in the country, and the inequality between rich and poor is one of many challenges that can face those emigrating to Brazil.
Finding Accommodation In Brazil
One of the most unusual aspects of life in Brazil is that there is a very high rate of home ownership, and the price of property in the cities has meant that rental prices are particularly challenging for those looking for a place to live in the country without wanting to commit to buying a property. This is particularly a problem in the biggest cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo, where the majority of expats moving to the country will begin their Brazilian adventure. Most people won't want to purchase a property before moving to the country, so you will need to do your groundwork before moving to the country.
It is worth noting that those looking to arrange rentals in advance may have to go through a rental agency, which can mean that you will need a hefty deposit. Alternatively, you can book a temporary rental when you arrive, and then look to arrange a private rental during that early period in Brazil.
If you are planning on moving to Brazil, then it is as important to start learning Portuguese as soon as possible, even if you already have a good level of spoken Spanish. Many people underestimate the difference when it comes to learning Portuguese having already learned Spanish, and the fact that so much of the communication comes from body language and tone also makes it a little more difficult for those who are used to speaking using words alone. However, make the effort to learn the basics and speak to as many people as possible and you will soon have enough to get by.
One of the plus points of Brazilian Portuguese is that the grammar rules are much looser than those of traditional Portuguese, so not being grammatically correct will not be as much of a problem when you are communicating with Brazilians.
Socializing In Brazil
Another challenge that many people who move to Brazil will find is that many Brazilians tend to move in the same social circles, and it can be more difficult than you would expect to make friends with native Brazilians in the country. This means that many people will be socializing with other expats as they tend to be more open and friendly than many Brazilians, who can be cliquey and unsure about making friends with people from different backgrounds and social cultures.
However, there are plenty of ways in which you can socialize, by joining clubs and associations that allow you to pursue your interests, or simply by joining one of the expat clubs in the country. These tend to be found mainly in the big cities of the country. Socializing with colleagues is another way to make friends in the country.
Safety And Security
Another of the difficult things that many people will find is that it is normal to take security and safety precautions on a regular basis, and because of the issues of crime and drugs in many areas, many people will use the steps that can be taken to help reduce the risks for expats in the country. Naturally there are some cities that are more dangerous than others, and in some cities the elite live in gated communities so they can remain safe from threat. For expats that can't afford such measures, trying to blend in and avoid appearing flashy or loud is a technique many people will use.
However, one of the positive aspects to come from the country hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 is that the authorities have really tried to deal with the safety issue. Whether this proves to be a permanent improvement or simply a lull, it is a positive sign for the moment.
The Cost Of Living In Brazil
Another surprising feature of life in Brazil is that most people will expect to find it to be a relatively cheap place to live, but in reality, it can often prove to be quite the opposite for many expats. Because most people moving to Brazil end up living in the cities, they end up renting their homes and finding somewhere in a good area of the city can be very expensive. The costs for groceries and other daily expenses can also be quite high, meaning that while many people do exist on very small wages in the country, this is not usually the case for expats moving to Brazil.