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Hello, I am South African and would like to relocate to Portugal. I am currently working as a qualified personal trainer and PILATES/fitness instructor with international working experience onboard cruise ships. I also have a degree in Graphic design/layout and photography (qualified in Cape Town from Cape Peninsula University of Technology). I am English speaking and starting with my basic Portugese.

My research has pointed out that there is more English speaking communities in the South (Algarve/Faro) and in Lisboa. Is there any resident South Africans or any other expat members willing to share some guidedance and advise on how economically viable this objective is. If so, how do I go about finding employment in the fitness/sports/leisure/health and lifestyle or hospitality industries and setlling in Portugal?

I have come accross no reference in my research this far, to gyms or fitness centres, yet the Portugese population is very much sports orientated. Does anyone know where I can find access or references to the sports/leisure/health and fitness industry in Portugal (specifically in Lisboa and Algarve, Faro or Alentejo)?

I am also seeking info about the pros and cons of living there and where to find the best info/reference for any paperwork and visums I need to complete before moving there? Any references and guidedance will be much appreciated.

Thank You xxxx ;)
 

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Hi Janita, sorry can't help you much on visa regulations, your best bet is to go to the PT consulate in C.T. Check also on the internet for consulado geral de portugal they give quite a bit of info. I have a PT passport and HD has a german one so we didn't have any problems getting here. I must tell you though that bureaucracy is rampant in this country. If you come and intend to settle here here is some info:
Driver's licence- Portugal has an agreement with SA you can drive here on your SA licence for up to one year then you have to exchange. To do this, you will need a certificate from the SA consulate here stating that your SA driver's licence is a valid and true one. BUT the consulate will not give you that certificate unless you have another certificate from the department of transport in Pretoria stating that your licence is real!!!!!. It took me about 4 months to get that first certificate so you better start now. If you are interested I will send you a pm with the contact details, email etc in Pretoria. The consulate here was very nice, they gave me the second certificate within 24 hours.
Pilates- I have a friend here (german) who is a qualified physiotherapist/ fitness and Pilates instructor. She works on a ad hoc basis, she had to do a lot of advertising to begin with and she also works for a fancy hotel outside Cascais in their wellness centre. What about russian kettle bells? You could start a studio here using those, check on the internet to see if there is anything here to do with kettle bells. The owner of the kettle bells business in RSA actually lives just outside CT in Sommerset West, you can do a course with her and come with some specific qualifications.
Graphic design- Not too much info, at the moment PT is going through a bad crisis with 10% unemployment you would have to do a lot of foot work here.
Yes, Lisbon and Algarve have the biggest concentration of expats, check on the internet for The Algarve news which I think is edited by a Safa, that will also give you a feel for expact news also what adverts appear there.
It's a big step that you want to take, you must remember that you will not have a source of income for quite a few months, may I suggest that you visit the country for a few weeks before making your decision. If you come and decide to return to SA it will have been a costly project. I myself have not fully adjusted to this place (and I speak the lingo) and many a tear has dropped thinking about what I left behind. Also check Omostra's entries, somewhere he gives a site with lots of info on settling in PT.
Good luck, say hello to Blouberg for me.
Nelinha
 

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Hello Nelinha, THANK YOU for taking time to reply to my inquiry. Yes please send me a pm with the contact details AND/OR emailaddress in Pretoria so I can get the certificate sorted with Department of Transport in Pretoria. Also I will appreciate if you have contact details or references for the lady in Somerset West who has the business for the kettle bells. Also...if your German physiotheraphist/Pilates instructor friend would not mind to correspond with me ...I would like to chat with her too. Does she speak English?

Well, I am on my way to Cape Town. Will be there by 15 March. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN for replying. Take care and I will say "hello" to Blouberg for you shortly!

Janita
 
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