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Expats moving to the sprawling, crowded and extremely cosmopolitan city of São Paulo may initially find settling in a challenge. At first, the sheer enormity and seeming chaos can be overwhelming. That said, most expats find that the city's diversity of ethnicities and cultures helps to ease their transition into life in Brazil.
Living in São Paulo as an expat
As an important commercial and industrial centre, the city is home to almost every major Brazilian industry. Job opportunities in São Paulo have attracted immigrants and expats from all around the globe. The city, therefore, has a distinct international feel to it. Japanese, Arab, European and American immigrants have all added their unique flavours to the cultural melting pot in this Brazilian city and have contributed to the welcoming environment it offers expats.
Cost of living in São Paulo
The cost of living in the city is high by local standards. Expats relocating to São Paulo need to ensure that their salary is sufficient, particularly if earning in the local currency. Accommodation and schooling will likely be an expat’s biggest expenses. Earning in a foreign currency, such as the US Dollar, will allow more purchasing power.
Expat families and children
The majority of expats choose to send their children to one of the many exclusive international schools scattered around the city. These schools are often located in expensive areas, so expats will have to plan their accommodation accordingly. Although there is a lack of adequate government healthcare, those with private health insurance can enjoy the excellent level of care offered by the city’s many private healthcare centres.
Expats living in São Paulo will be perfectly situated to enjoy the best that life in Brazil has to offer. Just outside the city lie mountains and rainforests that are perfect for hiking and weekend getaways, while the magnificent beaches and picturesque seaside towns of the coast are only a few hours’ drive away. The city also boasts an excellent nightlife scene, with restaurants, clubs and bars dotting its streets and plenty of recreational and social activities to choose from.
Climate in São Paulo
Classified as a humid subtropical region, São Paulo's climate is enjoyably mild. Summers are long and humid though still pleasant, while winters are short and cool with partial cloud cover. Rainfall occurs throughout the year.
"Although huge, noisy and very busy, São Paulo has its charm. I enjoy the endless options of pastimes, culture and restaurants. I have built my life here around my neighbourhood and that is definitely the way to maintain a good quality of life." Read more about Dona's experiences in São Paulo in her interview with Expat Arrivals.
Are you an expat living in Sao Paulo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sao Paulo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
For anyone starting a new life abroad, ensuring access to good quality healthcare is essential. Cigna Global are specialists in providing international health plans for expats, ensuring you have access to quality care and support whenever you need it. Cigna’s health plans can be tailored exactly to meet the individual needs of you and your family.
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