Living in Sao Paolo
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Nov 25, 2012 5:50 AM Last Post By: amobr82
Jan 21, 2010 1:19 PM
Living in Sao PaoloHi
My boyfriend and I are teachers and we have an interview for a school in Sao Paolo. The contract would be for two years.
Can anyone shed any light on what its like to live there? Any information on cost of living, things to do, safety, city life, cost of flights to other South American locations etc would be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Jan 21, 2010 3:44 PM
1Wow, what a question!
I have been offered work in Sao Paulo three times and have always turned it down because of my kids which made it very complicated.
As they are all now away at university I have another opportunity coming up in about a year and may well take it.
Sao Paulo has over 30 million people living in the greater megalopolis. Many areas are very poor and rather dangerous.
If you are not well travelled and have no Portuguese or gift for languages I would think it might be unmanageable. Its a little hard to explain Sao Paulo if you havent experienced it.
Make sure your pay allows you to live in a reasonable neighborhood with good access to your work.
Cost of living is quite high.
Safety and security is always an issue.
Flights in SA are quite expensive compared to economy airlines in NA or the continent.
Having said all that I am seriously considring 18 months there.
As far as city life, culture, restaurants, concerts, shows etc it has a lot to offer.
Unfortunately the coast is not that quick or easy to get to and the weather sucks.
A big move, keep your eyes open, read a lot, and get a lot of opinions.
Jan 21, 2010 4:16 PM
2Yeah it would totally depend on what neighborhood you'd be living/working in. It's an absurdly large city with all the pros and cons of other big cities. Definitely nice areas and plenty of nightlife/music/restaurants/culture etc. Some Portuguese would be a must. And no, knowing Spanish doesn't cut it.
Jan 21, 2010 5:36 PM
3Cons: It's huge (almost all towers, residential and commercial), polluted (smog) and congested, very expensive to live decently.....with major traffic jams to the beach on the weekend (most people who can belong to walled athletic clubs with pools in the city)....and not particularly "Brazilian" IMO.
Pros: It's the most international place in Brazil, with all the urban goodies (clubs, restaurants, bookstores), plus the best sorveterias in the world.
You couldn't pay me enough to live there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I don't even much like visiting the friends I have there.)
Jan 21, 2010 8:06 PM
4There is not an easy answer to this question because it is hard to answer without knowing your priorities. VIZCACHAS has it right.
SP is very compelling for certain kinds of people. You have to like giant cities, not mind traffic - be able to put up with lots of small inconveniences. It is a city that goes 24 hours-a-day and there is always somewhere to go eat or someplace to go for entertainment. Everyone leaves every weekend and the city is like a ghost town - a good time to get around. You really would want to live close to your employment to avoid the nightmare commutes (they make LA look like Fargo). SP is a great hub to explore the rest of Latin America and especially Brasil. The lifestyle is not so hard or serious as the US although Paulistas have the reputation of working long hours. I could live there but my wife hated the place.
I didn't find SP so expensive but it is expensive for Brasil - like any big city the prices are higher for everything (like NY).
Do your research - boa sorte.
Jan 22, 2010 3:39 AM
5Pretty much everything you seek can be found here: http://www.gringoes.com/default.asp
excellent ex-pat site out of São Paulo
Jan 22, 2010 3:58 AM
6Wow thanks everyone!
I guess we have to weigh up the fact that we have access to Brazil, SA and of course the fun in SP against the day to day grind of traffic and smog.
On Saturday we have a skype conversation/interview with the head teacher and so thanks to you lot we will definatly ask about money, location and if they help with learning Portugese.
We live in El Salvador at the moment so maybe not such a leap....? The great thing (there are many) is we can very easily get away at the weekends.
We are living for the weekend people - is it easy to get away? What is there to do at the weekends?
Jan 22, 2010 8:39 AM
7If you stay in the city in the weekends you may find many things to do ... parks, shopping malls, concerts, shows, museums, etc ... If you join a club you can go swimming or practice other sports ...
Out of town you may drive down the sierra to the beaches ... the closest beach town is Santos ... from ther you can drive along the coast south or north and visit different beaches from urban to paradisic beaches.
Nearby São Paulo, going to the inner land, you can visit cities by the mountains or drive to the west, the are many tourist towns and resorts in São Paulo, and also protected areas with forests. Roads and highways are the best in Brazil.
Nov 24, 2012 9:44 PM
8I am doing research on possible research opportunities in Sao Paulo. I have found an organization I may connect with, which is located in Grajau. What would be the closest, safest neighborhood one could seek housing in so as to be able to get to Grajau without super long commuting time. Thank you!
Nov 25, 2012 5:50 AM
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