As requested by one of my readers, I am starting with interviews of people who have lived or are living in Brazil. The questions are all the same, but you are welcome to submit new ones.
Here goes interview 1.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself (name, nationality, occupation, country of residence, etc.)
My name is Iulia Balteanu, I am Romanian, I graduated Economics but as a profession I chose to be a Mathematics, Romanian and English teacher. I lived in Brazil for 2 ½ years.
2. When and why did you decide to move to Brazil?
I decided to move to Brazil in March of 2010 because I always wanted to learn the most beautiful language which is Portuguese and because there are lots of opportunities in the fast growing Brazil.
3. What were your thoughts on Brazil before you actually moved here?
The cliché ones: samba, amazing beach resorts, dark skinned people and not too developed cities… But the reality is totally different and amazing!!!
4. What were your first impressions (good and bad)?
At first, the dimensions of Brazil scared me as well as the image of the homeless people and the huge development of the cities and the good infrastructure. And after I discovered the best asset Brazil has, its people and their huge hearts and great hospitality.
5. Which have been the most positive and negative experiences in Brazil?
The most positive: the people who are really helping the foreigners to adapt to their culture and to find a job, place to stay, learn Portuguese etc. and their acceptance of strangers.
The most negative: the big number of homeless people and robberies in the centers of the cities.
6. What is your advice to foreigners who are thinking of moving to Brazil?
To be prepared for everything, especially delays, unorganized meetings, to give a lot of time to the authorities in order to register their papers but to have patience because in Brazil everything gets solved delayed but in a magic way! J
Working in Brazil
7. How did you find or look for work in Brazil? (On site, internet, etc.)
Internet and networking. It helps a lot to have recommendations in order to get hired.
8. What was your level of Portuguese when you moved to Brazil and what language difficulties did you have when you arrived?
My Portuguese was level 0 but I was speaking Spanish so it took me 3 months to learn the language at a basic to intermediate level. But I am a native speaker of Romanian which is a Latin language, which helped me a lot.
9. What were the challenges you faced regarding finding a job?
It is very hard to find a job without knowing somebody and having a network…
10.How did you distinguish yourself from other Brazilian candidates for the position?
I distinguished myself through punctuality, hard-work, willingness to work in a serious manner, and the credibility given by the fact that I am a European citizen, fact that I find very unfair towards the Brazilian candidates.
11.What advice would you give any European that is looking for a job in Brazil?
To ask everybody, but everybody about job opportunities in its company.
12.How did you legally work in Brazil and did you run into any problems during your working visa application?
I didn’t work legally because is very hard for a company to hire foreigners.
13.What was your overall experience working in Brazil?
The overall experience was good because the Brazilians are very nice and empathetic and never happened not to get paid and stuff like this. The working laws are very advantageous for the employees too.
14. How did you make friends in Brazil? (Online, bars, etc.)
In Brazil you make friends everywhere! At work, school, bars, clubs, in front of the building, bus station, even in the Botecos. J They are very friendly and they love to speak to foreigners due to their curiosity about other countries.
15.Tell us about good and bad experiences you had making friends or acquaintances in Brazil.
Good: Everybody is inviting you in their homes, beach houses, parties etc. Is very easy to make friends and that’s how I got to know lots of wonderful places like Rio, Atibaia, Litoral Norte de Sao Paulo, Campinas, Interior de Sao Paulo etc.