How to adjust to life as a Brazilian in the UK

13.07.16
3 minute read
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Making the trip from Brazil to the UK is a popular move.

In fact, it's estimated that there are some 60,000 Brazilians currently residing in the UK. It's a 9,000 km journey - and some of the differences run much deeper than the dodgy British weather.

So, we grabbed some Brazilian TransferWise customers and team members for a chat to find out what their biggest surprises were when they moved to the UK.

From seasons to smiles - here are some obstacles you'll meet as a Brazilian in the UK:


The weather

London in the rain

It’s a cliche, but it’s true.

In the UK the Brits celebrate the summer. But for them, summer is normally a couple of weeks in July. At about 25 degrees celsius. And the rest of the times it’s pretty grey.

Also, the rain is rubbish. In Brazil, when it rains, it really rains. Britain just has something they like to call 'drizzle'. It’s like the clouds can’t be bothered.


London is awesome

london culture

While we have our complaints about the weather, culturally London is amazing.

Spend an hour walking the streets and you’ll hear many languages, be able to sample foods from all over the world - and the museums, theatres and live music venues are all amazing.

There are many neighbourhoods, and all have their own unique feel. If you’re a hipster - head East, if you like smart London - head West!


The Food

burger

Missing a feijoada, a coxinha, a pão de queijo or goiabada? Fancy a drink of guaraná or a proper caipirinha?

Unless you’re in a big city, don’t expect to find much Brazilian cuisine. But - European food is awesome - from Italian to Turkish - make sure you give everything a try.

If you're in London, check out some of the amazing street food markets - Borough Market, Whitecross Street and Broadway Market are all worth a visit. Whitecross Street market has a great Brazilian stall.

And if you have a favourite secret spot to find Brazilian food in Europe, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them in here.


Seasons

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In Brazil you could roughly define the seasons as ‘wet summer’ and ‘dry summer’.

Europe has all four. Expect freezing winters (depending on how far North you venture), green sunny springs, a poor attempt at summer - and then a lot of rain in the Autumn. If you're lucky, you might get some snow in winter - but you'll have to head for the hills.

Also, don’t be surprised when the daylight hours get super short in winter - they make up for it with long days in the summer with it staying light well into the evening.


Football

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Britain is the birthplace of football. They love it. If you mention the beautiful game, expect to be grilled on who you support.

It’s a shame they're rubbish at it. But don’t tell them we told you that - and definitely don’t mention the Euros (they got knocked out by Iceland).


Opening a bank account in the UK

bank card

The biggest pet hate of all of those we asked.

"You can't open a bank account without an address. You can't get an address without a bank account." Banks make you jump through plenty of hoops when getting setup in the UK.

If you've just moved (or plan to), check out our one-stop guide to opening a bank account in the UK.


A touchy subject

holding hands

Playfully poking someone or touching them on the arm when communicating may come second nature to many Brazilians.

Yet the last time many Brits received a poke from a friend was when it was a feature on Facebook. Unless you are already close to someone, touching is best kept to a minimum.


See Europe (by train)

train travel europe

Many people don't realise how great travel is across Europe. In fact, from London, you can see a lot of it by... by train.

There's a direct line from London to Paris - and from there you can get almost anywhere. It's a great way to see Europe, and it's often a lot cheaper than flying.


Sending money home?

Don't get stung by hidden bank charges or dodgy exchange rates.

Sending or receiving money from abroad? TransferWise is the fast, fair new way - this is how it works:

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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