±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!



We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Articles

Argentina > Articles

Argentina

5 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Argentina

  Posted Wednesday July 08, 2015 (19:02:38)
Image © Riomanso on Flickr
Image © Riomanso on Flickr

Argentina is known for its European character, with its capital of Buenos Aires often compared to the quintessentially European cities of Rome and Paris. But Argentina is equally admired for its traditional country lifestyle, and the gaucho, the Argentinian equivalent of the ‘cowboy’, is a still a popular icon.

For expats, Argentina is a destination that offers a relaxed pace of life, and where there are also other benefits such as affordable healthcare, good schools, and a warm, welcoming local community.

Nonetheless, moving to a different country can spring some surprises. Here are five things you should know about life in Argentina.

Language
English is not widely spoken everywhere in Argentina. In fact, outside of the major cities such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario, English is hardly used at all. Expats will find that some knowledge of Spanish goes a long way. The good thing about Argentina is that the local community greatly appreciates it when foreigners make an effort to communicate in Spanish. This can help foster relationships and help you integrate well into the society. It also allows you to communicate freely without worrying too much about pronunciation and arrangement of words. Avoid waiting until you can speak the language fluently; even the locals don’t speak Spanish the way it is in the books. So, even though a language barrier does exist in Argentina, it is fairly easy to get around.

Work
Expats should know that they can only work legally in Argentina if a company sponsors their visa and commits to a minimum of one year of work. There are many foreigners who omit this step and work as English tutors or in restaurants and cafés, but this does not adhere to the laws of the land. The good news is that qualified expats may not find it too difficult to get jobs, especially in the big cities, like Buenos Aires. Many international companies have their offices there and much of the city’s population consists of educated and trained professionals. There is also a requirement for native English teachers, although most full-time jobs require an advanced or bilingual level of Spanish.

Healthcare
Argentina provides high quality healthcare and the public hospitals provide free services. But be prepared to face long waiting lists at these facilities. If you want to visit a public hospital, you may have to wait with the crowd for hours before a doctor can see you. Some of the public hospitals may also not have modern equipment. Many expats prefer to use private healthcare. Private health insurance is easily available in the cities and the private medical facilities are of excellent quality. The costs are also lower, as compared to countries like the United States. The quality of medical care in a city like Buenos Aires is evident in the number of overseas visitors who come to the country mainly for medical procedures, such as plastic surgery.

Safety
Even in the big cities, Argentina does face the problem of thefts and robberies. It is important to exercise caution and protect your valuables. Tourist areas are where most of the pickpocketing takes place, so avoid such places if possible. In Buenos Aires, the La Boca area, a short distance away from the popular street, Caminito, is prone to petty theft. On the other hand, neighborhoods like Recoleta are known to be safe. The local police actively patrol the city streets, and the smaller Argentinian towns are known to be safer than the cities.

Food
Vegetarians and vegans moving to Argentina must come prepared. One of the characteristics of the country is the local population’s love of meat. The country ranks as one of the highest consumers of beef per capita. It is common to see the choicest cuts of meat displayed above barbeques in many restaurants. An asado, or Argentinian-style barbeque, is a popular event where people come together and basically celebrate their love of meat, because the meal mainly consists of different meat cuts grilled to perfection. But it is possible to find vegetarian food, too. There are some delicious Argentinian delicacies that are purely vegetarian, such as humitas, made with fresh corn and cheese. The famous empanada also comes in a variety of vegetarian varieties, as does locro, a local stew consisting of beans, corn and vegetables.

Have you moved to Argentina as an expat? What did you find surprising? Let us know in the comments.


 

  Printer Friendly Format
 


Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.