French Expat in Argentina - Interview With Sabine

Published: 30 Mar at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Argentina
Sabine A long-term expat and successful blogger, Sabine left France when she was barely 20 to live in the UK then Germany, Spain and now Argentina. A passionate fundraiser, she created her own portable marketing job after moving to Rosario in Argentina. Argentina wasn’t not really part of the plan but love made her move to South America and there has been no regret ever since, even if life is not always easy in the country of the Tango! Sabine has two expat blogs, Anywhere In The World - Sabine Panneau (see listing here) and Rosario Connection (see listing here)

Meet Sabine - French expat in Argentina
Meet Sabine - French expat in Argentina

Here's the interview with Sabine...


Where are you originally from?
I was born in France and until the age of 20 lived in a small town on Brittany’s Southern coast.

In which country and city are you living now?
I live in Rosario, Argentina’s 3rd largest city, some 300km from the capital city Buenos Aires.

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I moved to Rosario just over 3 years ago and I don’t know how long we will be living here. My boyfriend and I know that we will move again at some point but there is no definite plans just yet.

Why did you move and what do you do?
My partner and I moved to Argentina because he is Argentinean and had been living in Spain for many years. Back in 2009, he felt that it was time for him, personally and professionally, to go back to Argentina. Although we had only been together for a year and a half at that time, I was in love so I decided to follow him. While I was living in Spain, finding a decent job had been quite difficult so there was no hard feeling to just pack up and leave.

National Flag Memorial Rosario
National Flag Memorial Rosario
I am a Marketer and Fundraiser by trade but in Spain I wasn’t able to work in these fields, so why when I got to Argentina I decided to create my own portable job. I started creating a couple of blogs, and then I decided to study blogging in more details. I kind of became obsessed with online branding, social media marketing and turning my blog into a business that would allow me to make a living anywhere in the world. I spent a lot of time reading hundreds of websites and buying courses and ebooks (spent a bit of money as well). But it was all worth it as in March 2011, I decided that my blog “Anywhere in the World” would be the base of my business and that I would be helping other expats to do the same and fund their life abroad (visit www.sabinefep.com for more information). Since I managed to turn my passion for marketing into a business, I decided to help others to do so. It’s been nearly 2 years since I started and I haven’t looked back. I have been able to get online clients (other expats struggling with their blogs – travel writers /web designers / B&B owners, etc.) and as well local clients as a marketing consultant!

Did you bring family with you?
We do not have children yet so the move was fairly smooth... a couple of suitcases each! As we are expecting our first child, our next move will certainly a different adventure!

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
This was not my first experience of living abroad. Since the age of 20, I’ve lived abroad – London, Berlin and Valencia in Spain. I have now been a foreigner for over 15 years and I love it!

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
As this was not my first expatriation, I am used to it and I learnt how to make friends in different environments. Also for the first time, I moved abroad with someone who was from that country, so straight away I got to know many locals (My boyfriend’s friends and family).

In general, I socialise with people/couples where one is a foreigner and the other a local.
As I have been living outside of France for so long, I am always keen to meet French people wherever I live so that I can speak the language and keep in touch with my “Frenchness”! I am a member of the local French Institute (Alliance Française) and last year I even started volunteering with them to help them with their marketing. I organise monthly French-speaking expat meetings in Rosario (APEROsario) and I am also in touch with many of the English-speaking expats in Rosario. I created my blog: Rosario Connection (entirely in English) for people living or visiting Rosario as I realized that there was very little information in English about Rosario.

Rosario Connection
Rosario Connection
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Argentina is a vast country and very diverse on many levels: It is so huge that you are bound to find variants in the cultures, in mentalities, ways of speaking in each region. Each one of them has its own folklore, its own fiestas and traditions.
The Santa Fe region where is Rosario is a very agricultural area. In terms of landscape, it is not the best part of Argentina as it is mainly very large soy and corn fields and large cattle fields.
Crossing the Parana River, the Entre Rios region is little more diverse with a lot of thermal cities and on the other side of the Santa Fe region is the province of Cordoba with its beautiful low mountain range and amazing rivers.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
Argentineans certainly live at lower pace than many parts of Europe (more similar to Spain or Italy) which is really nice. People are really friendly with me being a foreigner and always have something to say about Europe or France.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
Compared to France, Argentina has a lower cost of living but compared to Spain, it is not cheaper. Some things can be surprisingly expensive in Argentina (including some basic food items such as dairy products, which are produced locally!)

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
One of the most annoying things about Argentina is the uncertainty about the future. I found it very hard to project myself in the future in Argentina. For instance, in the last 3 years we have experienced a very high inflation (approx 25% annually – although the official government figure is only 9% - but that another story!!!). So this has an impact on the overall poverty level which also sadly means an increase in violence in large cities across the country.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
I cannot just pick one, so I going to give you 2!

Firstly, I would recommend to learn Spanish either before the move or once here; Secondly, there is more to Argentina than Buenos Aires! Argentina is such a big country that you will certainly find your perfect spot depending on your interests: city life, culture, music, food, wine, nature, countryside, horses, mountain, beach, wildlife, etc....So if you are not sure about where to settle, don’t stay in Buenos Aires, visit other parts of the country and then decide.


Working on Rosario's riverside
Working on Rosario's riverside
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Stop dreaming, start doing! Try it first and then decide if you like it. Nothing is ever permanent.
  2. Seize the Day! Try to forget (just a little bit) about who and what you’ve left behind.
  3. Create your own portable job (around one of your passions or strengths) which will follow you everywhere.
  4. Network and socialize with locals and expats alike (take a class, organize your own meet up or language exchange evenings, join a gym or start a new sport, etc.) Don’t isolate yourself!
  5. Be open-minded and adapt to your new environment.


Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
As a long-term/Multi-expat, I am very keen to give a hand to other expats and help them finding a solution to their problems. Well, that is what I wanted to achieve with my blogs. Actually, I run 2 expat blogs, the first one, I mentioned previously is Rosario Connection. When I arrived in Rosario, I could not find any information in English about the city so after about 6 months, I decided to create the site and I try to add useful information for anyone who is visiting the city, studying here or moving here. A lot of the new expats in Rosario, get in touch with me and ask for advice as they have found me online. My second blog is Anywhere in the World and this is more of a professional blog where I help other expats to start their own online business and give advice on how to market their existing online business. I love being in contact with people all over the world and more than anything I love seeing their online projects taking shape. Slowly, I am specializing in online branding solutions for expats as I am convinced this is one of the keys to online success.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Get in touch with me on any of my sites and I’ll be happy to help!

Sabine blogs at http://www.sabinefep.com/ and Rosario Connectionwhich we recommend a quick visit to if you haven't been already. Anywhere In The World - Sabine Panneau and Rosario Connection have ExpatsBlog.com listings here and here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Sabine, please also drop her a quick comment below.

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