1 August 2016

Etienne Beauregard - Expat in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Etienne Beauregard - Expat in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Etienne Beauregard is a 44-year-old Internship coordinator. She is an expat in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Beauregard is originally Montreal, Canada, he relocated to Brazil because his wife wanted to complete an MBA in Sao Paulo. “Brazil has always been on our radar, a fascinating country, very diverse and dynamic,” Mr. Beauregard said. He added that because his wife has Portuguese parents, Brazil was an obvious choice since she can speak and write in Portuguese. Presently, Mr. Beauregard, his wife and his three children have been living in Brazil for two years and a half.

Mr. Beauregard noted that his most difficult experience as an expat living in Brazil involved dealing with the needed formalities, paperwork and documentation. “The Policia federal is very particular and not always foreigner friendly,” he said, describing the process as long and complicated. He noted that he decided to handle the paperwork without outside help, which turned out to be unwise. “If we had to do it again, we would hire someone to help us out!” Mr. Beauregard said.

Expats who are making preparations to relocate overseas may feel discouraged when they face a difficult bureaucracy, which can make formalities such as filing documents and collecting the needed paperwork take longer than necessary. As noted by Mr. Beauregard, hiring some additional assistance when it comes to processing important documents can be of great help. For expats, it is best to consider getting professional relocation services which can handle VISA processing requirements. Additionally, hiring professional immigration services can help expats handle immigration laws and policies of the country they are interested in relocating to.

Find out more about Etienne Beauregard’s experiences in Brazil in his full interview below.


Q: Where are you originally from?

A: Montreal, Canada

Q: What made you move out of your home country?

A: My wife (who is very smart and from Portuguese parents) wanted to do an MBA here in São Paulo

Q: Where are you living now?

A: São Paulo, Brazil

Q: How long have you been living in Brazil?

A: 2 years and a half

Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Brazil has always been on our radar, a fascinating country, very diverse and dynamic. Since my wife already spoke and wrote Portuguese, it was an obvious choice.

Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Brazil?

A: Getting through the process of getting all the papers and documentation here. The Policia federal is very particular and not always foreigner friendly.

Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance was particularly difficult in your host country? What was your experience with these?

A: It’s mostly long and complicated; we decided to do it without outside help, wrong idea! Brazil has plenty of competent people who do that for a living, if we had to do it again, we would hire someone to help us out!

Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: With my family (3 kids) 


Q: How are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle? 

A: They love it; they don’t want to go back to Canada!

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

A: Yes and no. I guess in the beginning you feel a bit lonely, but the kids help out a lot since they get invited to friend’s house and afterwards, we get to meet the parents and build a social circle. We were lucky to meet great people very fast, Expats and Brazilians.

Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: São Paulo is a great city, but without Portuguese it’s very difficult to really enjoy it. I strongly suggest learning some Portuguese before coming to Brazil. The city has a lot to offer, we live walking distance from the school, which is very cool especially with the intense traffic here. 

Q: How does the cost of living in Brazil compared to your home?

A: A cup of coffee is cheaper; a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is cheaper, a meal in an expensive restaurant costs about the same. A bottle of wine is more expensive, but a pack of cigarettes is cheaper.

Q: How do you find the local culture and people in your host country?

A: Very nice, very open.

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

A: Great weather, you can drink beer in the street (you get arrested in Montreal if you do that!) many opportunities, great country to visit and great sites! Negative, pollution, traffic, sense of insecurity.

Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes?

A: Yes, but we try to make the best out of our stay here in Brazil.

Q: How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Skype and beer!


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

A: We would like to go live in Europe in the next few years.

Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: I think it’s harder for the grand-parents who stayed behind and miss their grand-children.

Q: What tips can you give other expats living in Brazil?

A: Don’t complain all the time and get involved with Brazilians. My kids and my wife are now involved with the boy scouts and it’s a great way to meet normal people!  


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about your host country?

A: No.