6 April 2017

Angelina Khoo - Expat in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Angelina Khoo - Expat in Buenos Aires, Argentina

We’ve had the chance to talk to Angelina Khoo, 36, a Canadian expat who has moved to Argentina alone. Ms. Khoo who has lived there for two years, now works as an English teacher. 

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I was born in Malaysia and when I was 6 yrs. old my family moved to Canada. So I grew up on the west coast of Canada.


Q: What made you move out of Canada?

A: I was working at a call centre and I badly needed a change. I had been starting to take Argentine tango lessons from a local studio. A lot of dancers go to Buenos Aires so that was what inspired me to go to Buenos Aires.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: I am back in North America. I was living back and forth between Canada and Argentina from 2009 until 2013.


Q: How long have you been living in Argentina?

A: All the time added up together of how long I stayed in Buenos Aires would equate to two yrs.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: When I lived in Buenos Aires I rented a room in people’s houses.


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: Argentines are very open and love to talk to anyone who is willing to have conversations with them.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Argentina? How did you manage to find a social circle there?  

A: There is a strong expat community in Buenos Aires so we all got to know each other well and we would see each other at social events. The expat community is extremely supportive of one another.


Q: How does the cost of living in Argentina compare to your home?


  • Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: 3 dollars.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: 10-15 dollars

  • Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: 60 dollars or more.

  • Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: Argentina is a wine producer so you can get wine as cheap as 10 USD or as pricey as you are willing to pay.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Argentina is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: Free healthcare for both expats and local Argentines.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in Canada or Argentina? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: I never secured health insurance while I was abroad in Argentina.


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: Living in a country that doesn’t speak a single word of English.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Argentina?

A: Buenos Aires is an amazing city, intense, complex. There is something magical about it that seduces you with its charms. One of the biggest challenges is that things can change every day. I can get up in the morning and hear that there is a flashflood, a strike, and the whole city has shut down. You never know what to expect day to day. But on a more positive side, the city taught me to think on my feet. I got plenty of exercise in creative problem solving.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?

A: There are so many things to do that I don’t even know where to begin. Of course most people make a visit to Eva Perons grave at the Recoleta cemetary. But beyond that there are parks, museums and so much more. Tango lessons might not be a bad idea!


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: Montreal is my very next destination.


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?

A: Argentina is a very challenging country to live in if you have no knowledge of Spanish so my advice is to get some Spanish lessons before you go or make a plan to take Spanish while you are there.

Also note that Argentina is a country where inflation is high. Prices can change weekly on any and every product.


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Argentina?

A: www.pickupthefork.com is a great website regarding restaurants, food and where to eat. And I have my own blog that I started about life in Argentina www.tango2themoon.com.