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My Story in Brazil

 
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shaner



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 47
Location: Medellin, Colombia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: My Story in Brazil Reply with quote

I have noticed there is not a lot of information about job search. I thought I should tell my story.

I went to Brazil 4 years ago. I landed in Forteleza and did my best to find a job, but it was soooooo difficult. The mentality of the people there is only beach and party. I had a good time, but almost went broke. I then flew down to Sao Paulo and travelled to Belo. I had come at a bad time in Belo, but man......what a beautiful city. I was forced to return to Sao Paulo. I found work just by knocking on doors, but it was difficult and frustrating to get my foot in the door.

Finally, I got things rolling, met some cool Candadian friends and strated making money. I was doing okay, but Sao Paulo just about drove me batty. I had a good time though, BRazillians are so wonderful. I ate like a pig, drank like a fish and met a lot of beautiful ladies.

I left S.P. with a smile on my face and a lot of stress due to the city. I would go back in a minute if I could get out of S.P. for the weekends.
S.P. is the best place to get work, but the craziest place to work.
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johnnymo



Joined: 18 Sep 2004
Posts: 10
Location: scotland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:17 am    Post subject: you are correct..... Reply with quote

I know what you mean.......i have been here for two years, doing the dance!!!!

Cheers.
J.
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Looking for my place



Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Portland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any opinions about living in Curitibia?
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Don Lorenzo



Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking for my place wrote:
Any opinions about living in Curitibia?


I was in Curitiba 2 months ago and I enjoyed it a lot there. Very clean, safe city. The bus system is very efficient, locals say one of the best in the world. It was indeed first class service. The city is charming, small enough to literally walk to many places (but you need a very confy pair of walking shoes!!!I learned that the hard way Sad ). It's also a city with a lot of variety to keep you busy with tons of things to do and some cool places to go to at night. Locals are a bit cold compared to the rest of Brasil, but still nice enough if you make an effort to approach them.

Rent for an appartment shouldn't be that expensive, in the neighborhood of 500 reais I would estimate. As to finding work there, no idea. I'd be also interested as Curitiba is a city I enjoyed and it's safe, clean and nice.
It's also highly believed in Brasil that Curitiba enjoys and boasts the best quaity of life of all the Brasilian capitals.

Can any of you who've already been or made it to Brasil to share with the rest of us, your experiences in terms of getting an appartment and the challenges faced in finding a job there? That would be very interesting and appreciated. And another tips/experiences and advices to pass along to those who are considering Brasil would be truly appreciated. Smile
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Don Lorenzo



Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:07 am    Post subject: Re: My Story in Brazil Reply with quote

shaner wrote:
I have noticed there is not a lot of information about job search. I thought I should tell my story.

I went to Brazil 4 years ago. I landed in Forteleza and did my best to find a job, but it was soooooo difficult. The mentality of the people there is only beach and party. I had a good time, but almost went broke. I then flew down to Sao Paulo and travelled to Belo. I had come at a bad time in Belo, but man......what a beautiful city. I was forced to return to Sao Paulo. I found work just by knocking on doors, but it was difficult and frustrating to get my foot in the door.

Finally, I got things rolling, met some cool Candadian friends and strated making money. I was doing okay, but Sao Paulo just about drove me batty. I had a good time though, BRazillians are so wonderful. I ate like a pig, drank like a fish and met a lot of beautiful ladies.

I left S.P. with a smile on my face and a lot of stress due to the city. I would go back in a minute if I could get out of S.P. for the weekends.
S.P. is the best place to get work, but the craziest place to work.


I'd be really interested in hearing your experiences about Fortaleza and BH as those are 2 cities I'm considering for my Brasil experience.

Valeu. Smile
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 761
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MY BRAZIL EXPERIENCE:

I was looking for work in Santiago Chile, and getting frustrated with that city, the conservative nature of the people, the fact I was bored there within a week, the fact the Spanish was so different from everywhere else in the Spanish-speaking world, and the fact that the best jobs in Santiago only paid $10/hour - and the best ones that did pay that told me it would have been better if I hadn't went to Chile on my own - I should have applied from my home country to process a visa properly to work there!

THEN...I met an English Teacher who had just come in from Sao Paulo Brazil. He said he had been working at LINGUATEC in SAO PAULO. In addition, the hostel clerk (before I even met this English teacher) told me that I was young and wanted to enjoy life and have fun, I should just get on a bus directly for Brazil and look for ESL work there. Then I met a few Brazilians at the hostel, some of the coolest people I'd ever met. The American ESL teacher from Sao Paulo told me he'd contact Linguatec and tell them about me, etc.

About a week later I arrived in Sao Paulo and got a job there the same day! When I told them I didn't know anything about where to live or find a place, the prior roommates of the other teacher let me stay there for a week and offered to show me around. I ended up in a Pension House just down the street from them, living in a large house with about 30 other Brazilians. I rented one of the bedrooms in the large house and shared the room with a Brazilian guy. My rent was something like $125/month for that. Showers were down the hall. I lived in Pinherios in Sao Paulo, which was bordering Jardins (which was a very wealthy and safe and very centrally located part of Sao Paulo - and also a hot nightlife area of the city - so loved that aspect of it).

Linguatec paid me 15 reals (pegged to the US$ - so $15) to teach a 90-minute class. I could only teach a maximum of 3 - 90 minute classes a day. It was structured to be around 6:30am before people went to work, then another around noon time, then another after people got out of work (6pm or so). Unfortunately, most of those time slots were unavailable and things changed quickly. So, at most, I was only able to teach maybe around 9-12 hours a week. In other words, I struggled financially. To be fair, I could have searched out other work contracts. But I was also content with the status quo and just barely getting by enough to continue with it. I was also enjoying my life quite a bit and didn't want to disrupt it with too much work - which ultimately effected me for not being able to stay longer either in the end.

One of the problems that occurred to me was that as it grew close to Christmas and New Years and Carnival, then the enrollment of students just dropped off significantly, so I wasn't getting hardly any work whatsoever. So after 3 months in Sao Paulo, I decided I'd try my luck in Rio de Jainero from New Years until Carnival. I kept in touch with a French traveler I'd met earlier (we met in Argentina during my week visit there after Chile and before Brazil). So the French guy and I got an apartment in Copocabana for $350/month. It was one bedroom, so we took turns using the bedroom while the other would sleep on the couch for awhile. Eventually he left, and then I just rented out the living room to two Norwegian guys and used the bedroom for myself. In RIO however, there was also a Linguatec, but they didn't have work for me right away. So instead of checking back with them regularly, I just gave up on them entirely, figuring the entire country was on Holiday until Carnival - I was probably party right and party later I found out wrong. After two months in Rio, I went back to Sao Paulo to look for work again.

I went back to Linguatec and learned that the Rio Linguatec did have some classes for me, but couldn't contact me, and I hadn't checked up again to know. So made a mistake there. Once back in Sao Paulo, I moved into the same pension as before, but I was using credit cards for money, and moved into a 6-bed room with 5 other Brazilians for about $75/month. I also became frustrated that everytime I went to teach somewhere, I'd spend about $2 going to a workplace and back (we taught at individual corporations all over Sao Paulo), plus I'd spend another $3-5 on food and water each time I went out somewhere. So that $15 I'd make for that 90 minutes seem to disappear just by the sake of having to go there. In addition to that, Brazil only gives 6 months out of any 12 months for Americans to stay in Brazil. So it was essential that I'd leave Brazil for the next six months before I could come back.

----

All in all, I had an amazing time. I struggled quite a bit financially, but a lot of was I didn't bust my balls filling up my schedule, and never quite went from holiday-mode to full-time work-my-ass-off mode.

Now that has all happened, would I go back and try again? Yes, I would, but I'd love to try Northeast Brazil. I'd like to try any of those little cities up there - Maceio, Sao Luis, Natal, Fortaleza, etc. Don't know if they'd pay that much, but I really love Brazilian people and Brazil.
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sahbii



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 13
Location: TAS

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaner..
how are ya mate.
I'm looking at teaching in Brasil, but also Colombia..
You are in Colombia, are you not? working?
dya reckon you could provide a little summary of how it's going for you there in the Colombia forum?
-Compared to Brasil?
-Living cost/lifestyle?
-Professionality,schooling/education style?


cheers

Alex
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Evanzinho



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught in Rio de Janeiro in 2004, and then again briefly in 2005, and wanted to give my story.

I went to Brasil about a year after I graduated from college. I was working a typical white-collar, entry level job in the States and decided that I didn't want to waste my early 20's sitting in an office all day long, Monday-Friday (and some weekends!) and decided to quit and go somewhere to teach English. I remember ESL recruiters from Korea had set up a booth at my University's career fair, although I had no desire to go to Asia. I had wanted to go to Brasil, and so I searched for teaching ESL in Rio on the web, and found a couple of TEFL courses in Brasil. Since I had never taught before, I thought it would be a good idea to take a course. I decided on the 130-hour TEFL course at Bridge Linguatec, located in Centro.

Once in Rio, I stayed with a host family through the school for the first month, which was nice as it helped me learn some Portuguese and experience living with a local family. The TEFL course was fairly demanding, but my class and I still found time to party almost every night! This experience taught me that Rio de Janeiro may be one of the WORST places in the world to try to study, as there are just too many distactions.

After completing my TEFL course (yes I passed, although I could have put much more effort into it if I hadn't been living in Rio!) I got an apartment in Copacabana with another TEFLer and soon got a job teaching at a school in Ipanema. I was paid R16 an hour, and the school also compensated me for my transportation costs for taking the bus to different locations for classes. My students were all upscale; for example, I taught a business English course at Deloittle, an executive at Oracle, as well as a judge and her lawyer husband at their condo in Ipanema. A lot of my students were near fluent, and those were usually my favorite classes because they were so easy; I essentially got paid for sitting and chit chatting with them for an hour or two.

Since I was teaching in Rio, I also taught some smoking hot women. I had a mother-daughter class at their apartment in Ipamena, and the daughter was a little fox! The mother was ok too, but she was an attorney and had quite an attitude, as a lot of the rich people in Brasil seem to have. I also taught an aerobics instructor at her apartment in Lagoa, whose husband was always out of town on business. Looking back I still kick myself for not making a move on her, as I could tell her marriage was not going well and she seemed to like me, but I didn't end up doing anything. Maybe for the better, who knows.

Every now and then, my school would run a promotion with a local gym, where if someone signed up for membership, they got free English lessons. These were more tedious courses to teach because the student's didn't speak as much English, so my lessons were more basic (exercises conjugating verbs, for example). Again, since a lot of my students were coming from the gym, I had pretty girls dressed in aerobics clothes coming to class. As you can now tell, I didn't choose to teach in Brasil for the money!

Looking back on it, my school was pretty good, they set me up with a decent workload; I even had a couple Saturday classes at one point. Because of this, I never got into teaching privates, although the opportunity is there if you network, and I knew one guy who charged R50 an hour to certain wealthy students. But if you're into making money, Brasil is not the place to go to teach, you're be better off in Asia I think.

I used up the full six months on my tourist visa, and enjoyed myself so much I went back to Brasil in 2005. I worked in Rio for a little while but I ended up going to the Northeast and doing some traveling. I looked for jobs in Fortaleza but I couldn't find anything. I did meet an American in the city of Sao Luis who was making decent money teaching privates, but it seemed like he had the entire town to himself!

I'd love to go back to Brasil someday, but it's difficult to make decent money teaching ESL. Education is not valued as much in Latin America as opposed to other places in the world, and in Rio, it's even more difficult to make a living because of all the holidays; the entire month of July is winter vacation, and then December to February, Christmas to Carnival, many students take time off from classes. So you must save money the other months to compensate for all the down time. Also, I can't tell you how many students of mine would cancel their classes with me; if it was within 24 hours of the class, I loved it, since I still got paid, but if it was beyond 24 hours, that was lost income for me. More beach time though!

Hopefully I can contribute more to the Brasil thread, and I hope others post as well about their teaching experiences. I am especially interested in hearing from those who have taught outside the major cities, since it is not reported on very much.
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Travel Zen



Joined: 02 Sep 2004
Posts: 634
Location: Good old Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.

Sounds so nice. I'd like to know about he racism there. How bad/good is it?
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 761
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Travel Zen wrote:
Wow.

Sounds so nice. I'd like to know about he racism there. How bad/good is it?

It's completely different. Really different.

I taught business English in Sao Paulo. When I was going in and out of corporate business establishments it was very clear that the whiter your skin, the more employable you were. The darker you were, the less employable you were to be working in an office building. One particular Brazilian I taught had all the African features (hair texture, facial features, etc.) but had pale Rev. Wright type skin. He told me a multiple of times he was so thankful he was with lighter skin to be employed in the company. The moment you stepped out of the corporate buildings, then you'd see all kinds of homeless absolutely everywhere - they could be any color. But in the corporate world, I saw pretty much all white. That was a shock.

Another thing they did when I went to Rio de Jainero, is that police would routinely go through the beaches and comb out anyone who looked fravela-like (i.e. usually black or just really poor, which was again usually black.), and throw them on a police bus, and bus them back to their fravelas (so as to not bother the tourists).

HOWEVER, socially in the bars and clubs and beach and such. There wasn't any of the he's white, and he's black kind of thing. People hungout with just about anyone regardless of skin color or race. So many people were so many mixes, it was also quite common to have brothers and sisters and family members to look of a different race, but be of the same family. Dating was the same way, there didn't appear to have the same issues like North America. I don't recall seeing a bunch of ALL black guys or ALL white guys separated socially, etc.
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Manaus



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Racism Reply with quote

Wow, Tiger Beer. You hit the nail on the head! Your description is quite accurate, in my eyes.
My husband is a dark skinned Brazilian from Manaus, Amazonas, and it is quite evident that he is part Native American. However, he had been called "negao" (big black guy) all of his life because he's considered black in Brazil. He even called himself that.

Now we live in the U.S. and no one would ever consider him black since he does not seem to be of African descent.
It's almost funny because my step dad is black (African American) and he's lighter than my husband.

It is so TRUE that the lighter you are the more employable you are - how true is that.
My husband came home one night (while we were still living in Brazil) with some pictures to attach to his resume and I remember thinking how much lighter he looked in those pictures. It was done on purpose - so as to be more desirable for work. It's such a shame.
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EyesOnBrazil



Joined: 05 Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting, Evanzinho.

Thanks for including the name of the school where you completed your course. Perhaps I saw you around town, lol, I was living in Rio in 2005...although not teaching, just being a bum (ie, extended vacation).

In any event, hopefully you are still around the forum, cause I'm looking to follow in your footsteps more or less.

Cheers, mate
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ggoldblatt



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:15 am    Post subject: My time in Sao Paulo Reply with quote

There is work in Sao Paulo. I arrived in January, when it was summer vacation and classes were out- but during that time I applied to some ads online and in the "Folha De Sao Paulo", the NY Times of the city, and got plenty of job offers. I did have a TESOL certificate and previous experience in Japan. After Carnival I had a pretty busy schedule, but it was all private lessons at different locations (mostly businesses), earning anywhere from R30-50 per hour. So, I spent most of my day riding around on the SP transportation system (which really started to wear me out after a while). I would come home a little frazzled, but I think in my best month I made R1600, about $1000 under the table. By the time my tourist visa ran out, I had at least saved enough to buy my $1000 plane ticket home. Really, if you have some Portuguese under your belt (or at least very good Spanish) and don't show up in December when summer starts, you shouldn't have any trouble getting work and earning. But, personally, Sao Paulo is just a big financial center and not the nicest or prettiest city in Brazil. You will get the paid the best though!
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