Some students had me tutor them at their workplace. Two students were psychoanalysts (Freud is still big in Brazil, however outdated and even funky he seems to North Americans), and I also started teaching the husband of one of the psychoanalysts. Those classes took place at their office. Two students were at CTBC, the local telephone company. I taught them on different days after their work day ended. A friend who owned a couple of language schools lent me his classrooms in the afternoon for some of my classes. He said I wasn’t really any competition for him.
I worked harder than ever before and was doing fairly well, but it was a tiresome routine, and I didn’t seem to be getting ahead very fast. I kept getting unexpected bills from utilities and from other sectors. One month we were contacted by the real estate agency we rented our house from and were told that we were past due and were going to be charged a massive late fee (and I mean massive, like half-again what we usually paid in rent). Apparently they had changed our due date when we moved from one house we rented from them to another, and they didn’t bother to point it out. Yes, we could have seen the new due date, had we read the fine print on page 17 of the contract.
That was the last straw. I was done with it. That month we started the paperwork to get immigrant visas to the U.S. for my wife and step-daughter.
There are only two ways I can see an American doing well in Brazil. Either have an outside source of income (retirement funds or mission support from the U.S.) or work there on assignment for a major international company that pays in dollars or euros. Teaching English is fine, just don’t count on it to support your household or to deal with the near daily “surprises” of the Brazilian bureaucratic system.
Read the complete series:
Teaching English in Uberlândia, Brazil (1-3)