Questions About Expat Buenos Aires, Answered
I received some questions from a reader, so here are the answers for everyone:
1) What do you love and hate most about your decision to live in BA?
I love the people. In my experience they have been friendly, welcoming, fun and interesting.
I love walking around the city – it is never boring and the architecture is phenomenal.
I love the cheap, fresh produce, and lack of extremism about food. People eat what they want, but keep things in moderation.
I love the language, to me it sounds musical like Italian. It is fun to learn and speak.
I love nighttime in Buenos Aires – this is a nocturnal city, and I think you have to be a night owl to really appreciate it.
I hate that the city is so overcrowded and that feeling of constantly fighting for space, whether it be on the subway, the sidewalk or an elevator.
I dislike the strong humidity, which makes winter bite and summer almost unbearable. Plus it does nothing for my hair.
I miss my friends, I miss my car, I miss central heating and it is hard feeling like an outsider sometimes. If I think too much about what I’m missing at home, I get homesick.
I hate that I always have to check my change for counterfeit bills, and that prices are constantly changing and inflating.
2) What area north of the city is closest (and safest) to the city life?
I would definitely recommend Belgrano. It is still technically in the city, but far enough away from downtown to give you some breathing room. It is an upscale and safer side of town, with many nice restaurants, shops and a university.
3) What is your opinion about living there?
Living here is not always easy. In fact this winter has been rather difficult. That being said, I think that living here is something really special. Buenos Aires opened my eyes to an entire new reality.
In some ways, life here is really raw – from the large amount of severely impoverished homeless people, the super corrupt government, terrifying traffic and excessive pollution. But if you focus on the positive you will find so many reasons to love Buenos Aires – the gorgeous architecture, numerous things to do and see, a more relaxed and less consumer oriented style of life, affordable social services (hiring a housekeeper, nanny or nurse is common), rich traditions and a joie de vivre!
And Buenos Aires is really just one city in an enormous country. As a country, Argentina boasts Welsh port towns famous for whale watching, enormous glaciers, butterfly infested mammoth waterfalls and the most southern tip of the world, the jetting off point for Antarctica.
Even with all its problems, I still think Buenos Aires is the coolest place I have ever lived.
4) Are there schools there that will impress us for our kids (private I am sure, but that is fine)?
Yes absolutely, there are many private and English speaking schools in Buenos Aires.
5) Do you know if Argentine College Degrees transfer if someone moves to the US after their degree?
In my opinion Argentine Universities are well reputed. Some of my English students studied here and then went on to pursue higher degrees at American graduate schools like MIT. Universidad de Buenos Aires is the most popular school in the city. It has many different programs, and it is completely free.