If you’re thinking about moving to Brazil you’re probably a little crazy, but that’s ok. You’ll need to be at least a little crazy to make it in Brazil.
Brazil is unlike any other country in the world and expats in Brazil face unique challenges that you won’t find elsewhere. Even if you’ve lived abroad in other countries for extended periods of time, there is a sharp learning curve you’ll face when living in Brazil. The more you prepare beforehand, the easier your life will be when you arrive.
Start by reading is How to Successfully Move Abroad as it will give you a better idea of what it takes to make a successful move to a place like Brazil.
Regardless of what you plan on doing in Brazil, there are two things that you need to have in order to get the most out of your time here.
1. Making Local friends
The reason why Brazil is so special is because of the unique approach to life that Brazilians have. If you spend time in Brazil without having any Brazilian friends then you’re missing out on the biggest reason for being here.
It is advised that you try to make friends with Brazilians online before you move to Brazil, that way you can instantly get plugged into a social circle when you arrive.
There are a lot of Facebook groups you can join to find Brazilians who want to do a language exchange with you. There’s also probably a group for Brazilians in your city. Try searching for “brasileiros + [your city]” and you’ll find one.
With regards to any professional activities that you plan on doing, you’ll want to connect with other foreigners, as they can better prepare you for the bureaucratic hassles that you’re soon to face.
If you’re going to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro you should join Internations, which has a sizable expat network that you can join and participate in.
2. Learning Portuguese
English is not widely spoken in Brazil, and unless you’re only planning on being in Brazil for a few days you should start learning Portuguese.
Check out the quick start guide on learning Portuguese for more resources.
The best way to prepare for the move is to read about the experiences of foreigners who have come before you. A handful of foreigners have written books about their experiences living in Brazil.
The Brazilian Dream: How I left my Finance Job in London and became an Entrepreneur in Brazil
Trying To Understand Brazilian Culture: Memoir of a Brit in São Paulo
Reality Check: Life in Brazil through the eyes of a foreigner
Dealing With Brazilian Bureaucracy
Brazil’s bureaucracy is legendary for being horrible. Everything you try to do is going to take longer than you think it will. Here are just a few posts to get you started.
- How to Get a Brazilian Tourist Visa
- The 10 Commandments of Traveling by Bus in Brazil
- How to Get a Brazilian Student Visa
- How to Register a CPF in Belo Horizonte
- How to find short term apartments in Brazil
Other resources you should know about are Kevin Porter’s Live in Brazil blog, which has a ton of in depth information about Brazil.
There is also Gringoes.com which has been around for a long time and has a lot of useful information.