Canadian Expat in Buenos Aires - Interview With Angelina

Published: 15 Nov at 11 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Argentina
Angelina Khoo never imagined that stepping into a Latin dance cafe with $10 in hand to pay for a lesson in Argentine tango would result in a brush with buenos aires. But Buenos Aires called her name and in sept 2009 she set foot on Argentine soil for the very first time on a 6 mth cultural exchange program to teach english. However the city had other plans for her and just as her 6 months was finishing up the doors opened up to teach English at a local church. From there her fling with the city would turn into a lifelong relationship that deepens everyday! Angelina blogs at her site called Making the Same Difference (see listing here)

Making the Same Difference

Here's the interview with Angelina...

Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Canada.

In which country and city are you living now?
I am living in Buenos, Aires Argentina

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I have been coming here since Sept 2009 and am staying indefinitely.

Why did you move and what do you do?
I moved because I need a life change and a place where I can start my life all over again. I am a writer, sometimes teach ESL, and am involved in social work with my church

Did you bring family with you?
No family, I came all by myself.

Making the Same DifferenceHow did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
The transition to living in a foreign country has had some really great moments, some challenging moments but at the end of the day its all so rewarding if you are willing to tackle the challenges. I had to get used to people with a completely different mentality, way of life, culture, language

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
On my first trip I got to know people through the church. And they are a really supportive loving community so I got integrated quite quickly. As a result, for my first trip all I really knew were Argentines. It was only on later trips that I began to network with the expat community.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Every neighbourhood has something special to it. One of my favorite places to hang out even years later is El Ateneo, one of the most unique book stores in the world that was once a theatre and then got converted into a massive book store.

Making the Same DifferenceWhat do you enjoy most about living here?
I enjoy the relaxed life style, how family relationships and community is so important and there is a good work life balance. I love how strong the expat community is here and they are here to to support you and make you feel at home away from home.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
The cost of living in Buenos Aires is miles cheaper than the west coast of Canada which is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. $3000 would last me about a month there but over here it would last me several months if I spend carefully.

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
As of recent there is alot of political and economical tension. This can be a really intense city to live in and you have to be prepared for change minute by minute hour by hour.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Definitely get some spanish under your belt if you intend to move here. Once here network as much as you can with both the expat and the Argentine community. Networking in Buenos Aires is the key to survival and opens doors to opportunity.

Making the Same DifferenceWhat has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The level of inflation is unbelievable. The rate is 29% making it one of the most inflated countries in the world. Weekly the prices go up. Also the food is mediocre....I have to read food blogs to find out where to find decent food to eat.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Learn spanish
  2. Network.
  3. Read the blogs of other expats to know what is going on in the city as well as it will help you find good place to eat.
  4. Explore the different neighbourhoods and get to know their flavors and history
  5. Be prepared for change day in day out.

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My blog "Making the Same Difference" covers many different topics. Sometimes I am writing and explaining the political scene, sometimes I am telling stories from my life, other times I am writing on making and maintaining cross cultural relationships. I create content that is meant not just for fellow expats to enjoy but also for people outside Argentina that know nothing about life in Buenos Aires but are interested.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
I can be contacted through email tango2themoo{at}gmail{dot}com or twitter @tango2themoon and I have a public Facebook page

Angelina blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Making the Same Difference has an listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Angelina, please also drop her a quick comment below.
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