Living in Argentina promises a fulfilling life in a beautiful, diverse, and culturally rich country. It is the second-largest country in South America and the 8thlargest in the world. It is divided into four main parts: the Pampas, a flat area of land in the center; Patagonia; a large area of expanse in the south; the subtropical North, and the Andes mountain range.
Argentina is notorious for its European influences, and its capital city, Buenos Aries, is often compared to European cities like Paris and Rome. It is also well known for its countryside and the traditional life and values of the gauchos, Argentinean cowboys who, to this day, play an important role in the Argentinean culture.
Argentina as an expat destination
Argentina is increasingly becoming a popular expatriate destination, and it is particularly appealing to retirees, who are searching for a more relaxed lifestyle in a pleasant environment.
Health services in Argentina are good, especially compared with those on offer in other countries within South America. There is both public and private healthcare available for expatriates, and most hospitals can offer highly qualified healthcare professionals, many of whom have studied overseas. Private healthcare here is also low in price when compared to other expatriate destinations.
All public schools adhere to a standard national curriculum set by the Argentine National Council of Education. However, many expatriates living in Argentina enroll their children in private educational institutions, as it is generally acknowledged that the standard of education is higher in such schools.
Cost of living in Argentina
Argentina has developed a reputation for being one of the cheapest places in South America in which to live. According to the Mercer World Wide cost of living survey 2012, Buenos Aires made the region’s biggest jump up the list from 159 to 121, following strong inflation, which considerably increased the cost of goods and increased accommodation cost.
However, expats paid in Euros, pounds, or dollars will have a very comfortable standard of life here. Our international relocation guide to living in Buenos Aires contains a detailed run-down on the prices you can expect to pay for everyday goods and services in this city, from childcare, cleaning services, and owning a car through to the cost of a meal or a cinema ticket. Everything you need to know is included.
The official language of Argentina is Spanish, and this language is used throughout the country. Buenos Aries has its own city, slang that is referred to as “Lunfardo.” English is widely spoken throughout the country, especially within business circles, and it is a mandatory subject in all state schools.
Argentina lies south of the equator, meaning that its seasons are the reverse of those experienced in Europe and North America. Summer in Buenos Aires occurs during January and February, and during this time, the weather is hot and humid. Winter, on the other hand, can be damp and chilly. Rain falls throughout the year in Argentina and ranges from between 100 cm per year (39 inches) in Buenos Aires to less than 50 cm (20 inches) in Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes.
Expat job and career opportunities
During the recent economic crisis, many local Argentineans lost their jobs and- while the situation is slowly improving- this means that there is a lack of job opportunities for expatriates living in Argentina.
People who can speak fluent Spanish will have a much higher chance of gaining employment while living in Argentina, providing they are prepared to work for relatively low salaries compared to that they can earn in western countries.
Many expatriates living in Argentina find work as English teachers as a foreign language, and there are always jobs available for native English speakers. Jobs can also be regularly found within the tourist industry.
Key facts every expat should know about Argentina
- The majority of rental properties will require that you pay your monthly rent in USD, often in cash. Expats who wish to enter into a long-term rental agreement will need a “garantia”; someone who lives and owns a business in Argentina who is prepared to guarantee that all rent payments will be made. If you cannot find a guarantor, you may be required to make all rental payments in advance. This can be risky and expensive.
- Always ensure that you have access to cash and small change. The majority of places will only accept cash payment, and there is a distinct lack of small change throughout Argentina; if you do not have coins in your possession, you may not be able to board the bus or pay for a taxi.
- If you are a foreigner, you are expected to pay cash in full for purchasing real estate.
- Expatriates who generate an income abroad are not required to pay tax when they transfer the funds into Argentina.
- Many employers will tell you that you do not need a work visa to work for them. This is untrue. Legally employers are required to register you as an employee but fail to do so because it incurs additional costs for the company in tax and social security. The Argentinean government has recently started to clamp down this and now fine both the company and the individual if a worker hasn’t been registered.
Expat International Relocation Guide
Expat Info Desk currently has a city guide available for living in Buenos Aires. This exhaustive guide contains everything you need to know about relocating to this Argentinean city and will assist you to:
- relocate efficiently and effectively with minimum stress.
- Settle into your new life quickly and easily and find the help and assistance you need when you need it.
- Identify areas to live in that suit your lifestyle and budget.
- Find the right places to meet like-minded people.
- Find schools that are suitable for your children and their learning needs.
- Ensure that your family gets the most of their experiences abroad.
- Prepare for the new culture in advance and avoid any cultural traps.
- Deal with any transition challenges.
- Cut through red tape and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.
Unlike a book, the guide is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that the information is accurate and reliable. Because the guides are written by real expats who live and work in Buenos Aries, you can be assured that you are accessing the information you need as written by people who really are in the know.