Help! Moving to BA from US this month

#1
Ok so as the time grows nearer, I am feeling more and more
unprepared. My spanish is weak at best, I was planning on finding a
place on craigslist but after reading, this might not be the best idea,
and I know absolutely no one. I'm 21, a recent college grad (BA in
English and BFA in Film), planning on staying for at least 6 months and
need a contact (someone experienced or in a similar situation). I'm a
photographer, am obsessed with art and music and want to explore this
dimension of BA. Anyone like me? Can anyone help?
A few questions:I
was thinking of staying at a hostel while i search for long term
accomodations. Are there any alternatives? Will it take longer to find
a place than I want to stay at a hostel? Whats the best way of getting money from an american bank account for use in BA? Where can i go to meet people like me? What are some good organizations where I can do volunteer work?Is there anyone who could perhaps act as a guide for me for a couple of days? I can make it worth your while.Just need some support... anything helps.
Thank you thank you and thank you.Sam.
 
#2
I'm 26 and moved here from Chicago a couple months ago. Try not to sweat it!!

Stay at Hostel Suites Obelisco... very clean and safe.

Craigslist worked just fine for me. I found a great, safe room in an apartment in Recoleta within 3 days of arriving.

There are tons of volunteer stuff. Check out www.idealist.org

Bring some cash with you, but u're gonna have to use your ATM. If you get a Washington Mutual account, you won't get hit with bank fees on the US end of things. You can usually only withdrawal 300 - 600 pesos per time, so u just have to keep doing it over and over til you get your desired amount. Again, that would be VERY expensive if your home bank charged you $5 fee every time. WAMU does not do this...

Good luck!
 
#4
rich- this is invaluable advice. thank you so much. I think confidence is key as well. grazie- I have been in contact with a group of local photographers via flickr and whatsupbuenosaires.com. Besides this, I've bought a plane ticket, been reading about experiences, and studying spanish since I decided to make this move earlier this year. Mostly, I've been reading the guides on this site in regards to argentinian rental protocol and visa loopholes. I've been researching hotels (hard to gauge on the internet because of locations and honest opinions), comparing prices for rentals and researching neighborhoods. Palmero initially sounded appealing but I don't want to get into that flashy scene. I'm now considering San Telmo and Recoleta. Beyond this, I've been selling my things and saving money.Am I missing anything crucial that could make my immediate arrival backfire? What are import taxes like if I leave a box for my family to send down after I find a place? (have my camera equipment that I don't want to lug around or leave in a hostel)
Whats a good way to get around for someone who needs to find a place and doesn't know their way around? Subway/bus passes?
 

CABJ

Active Member
#6
"samtcam" said:
rich- this is invaluable advice. thank you so much. I think confidence is key as well.
grazie- I have been in contact with a group of local photographers via flickr and whatsupbuenosaires.com. Besides this, I've bought a plane ticket, been reading about experiences, and studying spanish since I decided to make this move earlier this year. Mostly, I've been reading the guides on this site in regards to argentinian rental protocol and visa loopholes. I've been researching hotels (hard to gauge on the internet because of locations and honest opinions), comparing prices for rentals and researching neighborhoods. Palmero initially sounded appealing but I don't want to get into that flashy scene. I'm now considering San Telmo and Recoleta. Beyond this, I've been selling my things and saving money.
Am I missing anything crucial that could make my immediate arrival backfire?
What are import taxes like if I leave a box for my family to send down after I find a place? (have my camera equipment that I don't want to lug around or leave in a hostel)

Whats a good way to get around for someone who needs to find a place and doesn't know their way around? Subway/bus passes?
If you can take your stuff with you you should probally do that because it´s going to suck going through customs
You probally only need a few days in a hostel as you are serious looking for an appartment(I would say 1-2 max) and you can leave your stuff for a few days in a safe in for example the busstation Retiro or maybe they have some in Aeroparque or somewhere else as well
You can get a subtepass but you cant get a similar card for the bus so that means that you have to keep on looking for small change, like most others who live here
 

Fishface

Active Member
#7
samtcam, suggest you use Reynolds Propiedades and rent an apartment for a couple of weeks with 24 security so you can find your feet and bring your camera gear with you. Reynolds are more expensive than most but are straight - which is important.
don't rush anything or your movements - thats how mistakes are made and your gear gets swiped.
 
#8
"Fishface" said:
samtcam, suggest you use Reynolds Propiedades and rent an apartment for a couple of weeks with 24 security so you can find your feet and bring your camera gear with you. Reynolds are more expensive than most but are straight - which is important.
Let me back that up: Reynolds is straight.
 
#9
"samtcam" said:
I've been reading the guides on this site in regards to argentinian rental protocol and visa loopholes.......Palmero initially sounded appealing but I don't want to get into that flashy scene. I'm now considering San Telmo and Recoleta.
What are import taxes like if I leave a box for my family to send down after I find a place? (have my camera equipment that I don't want to lug around or leave in a hostel)
Whats a good way to get around for someone who needs to find a place and doesn't know their way around? Subway/bus passes?
Reynolds Properties also has a great section on their website: http://www.argentinahomes.com/living_in_argentina/I found this site just prior to my first visit to Buenos Aires. I wasn't "moving here" at that point, though I stayed and now have Argentine residency. The descriptions of the neighborhoods are accurate and informative, but there is no substitute for discovering them in person.Palermo is huge and does have a few quiet streets (though not many, thanks to the buses). Only a small percentage of Palermo would be considered "flashy" by most visitors or even its residents . Much smaller Recoleta, however, is considered by some to be snobby, but that has not been my experience (compared to "snobs" in other "world class" cities). I spent several months exploring the streets of Palermo and Recoleta (mostly on foot) before "setteling" in Recoleta in 2006. I have not regretted that decision. San Telmo has its own (older and more rustic) character, and is far less "cosmopolitan" than Palermo and Recoleta.

If you rent a temporary apartment within four blocks of Linea D of the Subway (in Palermo and Recoleta) you will be able to easily explore many interesting areas. You will discover a great difference in the "quality" of these areas depending on which side of Linea D/Av Santa Fe they are located. You will find a lot of apartments available for temporary rent in Recloeta, but they will be more expensive. The only two parts of Recoleta I would avoid includes all of the area between Av Santa Fe and Cordoba as well as the Las Herras/Pueyrredon "corner" (near Plaza General Mitre).
If you ship things like a camera or electronics (that you can bing into the country duty free on the plane), you will end up waiting in line at customs to pay hefty import duties....money much better spent on your first apartment. I found an apartment on Craigslist and it was great, but others have posted here about less desirable results. Most hostels have private lockers. Bring your own lock and don't worry too much about it.
Regarding obtaining funds from your bank account; you can use ATM's here, but many of us are only able to withdraw $300 pesos per transaction, resulting in excessive fees as the transactions add up. Charles Schwab and Washington Mutual apparently do not charge ATM fees, though local fees may still apply. You can also use major credit cards here, but there is usually a 2% conversion charge.
 
#10
Wow. Thank you all for your responses, I feel much better prepared. I checked out Reynolds but I am a little late. Everything that would accommodate me is booked. I do however love the idea of a weekly rental above a hostel. Does anyone have any more resources similar to that?