The French community in Brazil is estimated at 30,000 people. About half of them are said to reside in the state of Sao Paulo, followed by the state of Rio de Janeiro. Since March 2018, it is also possible for the French to make a PVT in Brazil (working holiday visa). We have gathered some tips to prepare your expatriation in Brazil and to understand your future daily life on the spot.
Schooling in Brazil
The Brazilian school system is divided into four levels.
- Up to the age of 6, children are educated in daycare through what is known as “child education”.
- They then follow a “fundamental education” from 6 to 14 years old.
- “Average education” corresponds to the high school level in France, from 15 to 18 years old. It ends with ENEM, the Brazilian equivalent of the French baccalaureate.
- Admission to the university is by competition, called “Vestibular”.
5 French-programmed establishments are listed by the French Embassy in Brazil. The high schools of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are contracted to AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad).
As an indication, the tuition fees of the French high school in Rio de Janeiro amount to 9240 euros per year until the fifth grade. These prices increase to 9560 euros per year from the 3rd to the senior year.
If you wish to pursue university studies in Brazil, certain formalities will have to be completed. In particular, you will be asked to master Portuguese. Your language level will need to be certified by an exam called Celpe-Bras. You will also need to take the Vestibular (entrance exams) for the university concerned.
Whether you register directly with the Brazilian university, or participate in a study exchange, you will need a visa and obtain student health insurance for Brazil.
Staying in Brazil
Some features are generally observable for rental housing in Brazil. The lease is usually signed for 30 months for the unfurnished and 6 to 12 months for the furnished. The deposit costs at least one month’s rent, and a person close to you will also have to apply for bail. Charges may or may not be included in the rent, so be sure to ask the landlord or agent.
The various charges that can be added to the rent are:
- The IPTU (Imposto sobre a propriedade predial e territorial urbana) or property tax
- Condominio, a co-ownership tax that funds common spaces. This is higher in secure or new residences.
- Current charges: water, gas, electricity.
- The phone, the internet, the television
- Furniture: Be sure to calculate your installation costs before choosing an unfurnished home.
To find your accommodation, opt for word of mouth or direct contact if you are already there. Otherwise, the internet and real estate agencies are at your disposal.
Good to know: in Brazil you only pay real estate agents if they find your home.
Hygienes and eating habits in Brazil
No hygiene problems in restaurants and shops. But avoid food bought in markets. Tap water is not safe to drink. Prefer bottled water, local brand: Caxambu, Sao Laurenco, Petromolis, Minalba, Indaia, Lindoya, Santa Monica, Santa Clara, Serra Branca, Santa Claudia, Minagua…
Choosing health insurance in Brazil
As an expatriate, you will no longer be covered by the health and pension system of the French plan and therefore lose your rights to Medicare. As a precaution, it is essential to take out good expatriate health insurance for your expatriation in Brazil. Indeed, as the Brazilian public sector remains insufficient, expatriates use the private sector (enjoying a better quality of care thanks to the advanced techniques of practitioners, at the same level as the quality of the most developed countries) which explains the high cost of medical expenses.
The expatriate health insurance offered by Mondassur meets the many criteria of minimum medical coverage. Expats are guaranteed to be well covered all over the world and in Brazil. Don’t hesitate to compare the different international medical insurances. Mondassur offers you to study with you your current medical coverage and the various possible insurances for you according to your budget and your needs.
You can compare here our offers ofexpat insurance to the 1st euro for your expatriation in Brazil.