A lot of advice needed


Aug 12, 2018
Hi All,

I just joined this forum and am hoping for quite a lot of advice. So please, advise away!

1. Quilmes (the "city" just outside BA, not the beer). Any information on what it's like as a place to live. Any info on how long it takes to get up to BA from there? When I searched online it seemed to me that the time is about 1.5 hours but they mentioned something like 30-40 minutes in my job interview. Not sure if I misunderstood something or am searching incorrectly.

2. I'm in the interview process for a job and I'm trying to get an idea of the reality of life in Argentina (I would be in Quilmes). The people I've been interviewing with have been quite upfront about some of the downsides so it's not like I have completely rose tinted glasses but I'm just looking for more feedback/opinions/information. I read another thread on here when someone posted a similar situation (well different details but trying to decide whether to take a job in BA) and he got loads of interesting feedback. Some of it was applicable to my situation and has given me things to think about. So here's the basic details.

* My accommodation (furnished - but I understand I need to clarify exactly what that covers) and utilities are paid for.
* Medical insurance for myself and husband is covered (inside Argentina only).

On top of this I'd be getting roughly 55000 pesos a month (after tax). This is paid in pesos and adjusted once or twice a year for inflation (inflation is obviously one of the big worries and part of why I'm posting here). A small part of it is calculated in sterling and then changed into pesos (so that bit is protected against inflation) but mostly it's just straight pesos.

Basically I'm after opinions on whether or not taking this job (if I'm offered it - I'm still interviewing so it's certainly not a certainty that I'll even be offered it) would be a good idea. Now clearly I understand this is a highly subjective question but all opinions are welcome because the more information I have the better.

A bit more background for context. It would be my husband and I (no kids, no pets, no complicating factors). I'm mid 40s. Lived/worked in many countries over the last 20 years (Asia, UK, Australia, Eastern Europe) but never even visited South America so it's going to be a steep learning curve (which is what I'm excited by - I love new adventures). My husband will be working remotely so his salary won't be affected by any fluctuations in currency etc.

I speak about 20 words of Spanish but I'd hope to rectify that.

Opinions, advice, things I should ask my prospective employer about? All contributions appreciated!
On the weekends it takes 1.5 hours by public transportation and 30-40 minutes if you have your own car. Not sure how long it takes during the week.

Are you interviewing at the brewery?
Unless there is some family reason, or the job says you MUST live in Quilmes, I wouldnt choose it. There are parts of it that are pleasant lower middle class, parts of it a bit rougher and poorer, and rural fringes that are funky, with roosters in the yard. But in general, its a place pretty much every teen who grows up there cant wait to leave. I would consider living in someplace like Barracas, on the south side of the city proper, pretty close to Quilmes, but much more Buenos Aires City in its mood and street life. The standard advice to ANYONE moving to BA applies- you need to visit the neighborhoods, in person, before committing to a long term rental. You may find an area of Quilmes you like, and only go to Capital Federal once or twice a month, or you may be the kind of person it would drive nuts in 15 minutes. Or, you might prefer a sleepy, slightly more upscale, southern suburb, where you could get a small freestanding house with a yard- someplace like Banfield or Temperly, which would be a short, easy commute to Quilmes. But only you can decide, and you have to breathe the air first, get a feel for the differences. I have a friend who has a house with a pool and garden in Temperly, she loves it and its much cheaper than inner city neighborhoods- but she takes the private mini-bus into the centro, and it takes here an hour or so each way.
As an experience for a year or so, go for it. Long term? Give it a swerve.
Go for it. It will be a life changing experience. 55,000 plus paid accommodation and insurance sounds decent to me for a decent lifestyle..
Thanks all. Not a brewery job, I'm a teacher. The school is in Quilmes. I think I'd pretty much have to live there because I don't want a long commute and I don't want to have a car. And in fact I might not get an option.

Thanks for those times Mindy, that matches what I thought looking online - so it's a lot further than what I had hoped.

Thanks for the details Ries. That's handy to know. I probably won't have the option to visit places before I decide (I'm not 100% sure of that but generally in my line of work the accommodation is just there when you arrive) but I'll find out more information if they do offer me the job (we're still in the discussion phase).

Churchill the contract would be two years with the option to renew. I generally end up staying in countries around 5 years but there's no requirement to sign a second contract so I always think of it as not being too big a deal since 2 years goes really fast and of course as a teacher I'm on holidays for a fairly big chunk of those 2 years.

Ceviche thanks for the feedback on the amounts. I thought it seemed ok but it's nice to hear someone else say it does as well. I certainly won't get rich but as long as I'm not losing money and I'm enjoying the experience then I figure it's all ok. I've had friends take jobs in schools and then they end up spending more than they earn. That's a situation I don't wish to find myself in. I enjoy teaching but not enough to pay to do it!
St. Georges? Quilmes will be like living in a small town in the country side, in a lot of ways. It will be a very authentic Argentine experience- just not the Buenos Aires experience. But you can take the train to the Constitucion station and then take the subte, to visit the city. Frankly, I would probably go to La Plata for entertainment as well- its closer to Quilmes, and as a university town, there are cool little restaurants, interesting coffee shops, indie bands, and art shows. Plus, great museums and parks.
Yes, St George’s. Authentic Argentine sounds quite pleasant. We’re not the most exciting of people so not living somewhere super happening doesn’t sound too awful. I like your description Ríes. Although of course my imaginings and the reality are probably not exactly in tune.

Does anyone know what the food situation is like in Quilmes? Are there decent size supermarkets? Markets for fruit/veg? We’re vegetarians (I know, I know... maybe not the best dietary habit to have in Argentina!) and so access to all the basic ingredients is going to be important. We’ve also been shockingly spoiled - this move would be coming from 5 years in Bulgaria which was amazingly (and surprisingly) great for vegetarians.
We are facing an hiper inflation situation so, very soon the usd is going to be 40 pesos but your salary is still going to be 55.000 pesos. I wouldn’t move to another country unlesss the salary is in usd.
I understand your point (and trust me it’s a concern for me too) but I’ve spent almost 20 years working internationally and I’ve never had a salary in US dollars. In nearly every case my salary has been in local currency and I’ve taken the risk of that (although I’m not American so I’m not converting any savings to USD).

While I want to make ok money and I certainly don’t want to go into debt for a job, living internationally is my lifestyle and it’s about the chance to live different places and experience different things. Teachers generally don’t end up rich but if you do what I do you end up with a pretty sweet deal on holidays and visas.

And it helps that I genuinely enjoy the work.