Friday, 24 February 2012

The Cost of Living is Going Up

It should come as no surprise that the cost of living is going up. After all, inflation happens. Yet the problem with Peru is that it IS a third world country. You either have to fight the idiots on the combis or get a crazy taxi or your own car. There's no middle ground.
  • Housing costs are going up and that bubble's going to burst soon.
  • Transport fares are on the rise as well.
  • Food is getting more expensive.
  • Seems like the only thing that's not going up is salaries.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the dollar's buying power is slipping away while the sol is getting strong. I hear people moaning and groaning about this a lot. While I understand that the dropping dollar is problematic, I think that people in Peru need to move away from the dollar and have more faith in their own currency.

Historically, the sol has had lots of issues. After all, this is the nuevo sol, the old sol is worthless. You had to bring bucketfuls of sols just to buy milk in the 90s. However, times have changed. If people in Peru want the sol to remain strong, they need to start saving in their own currency. The dollar may be the official currency of Ecuador, but it's not in Peru.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll get you cheaper prices. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.



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Monday, 20 February 2012

30 Days to Move Abroad

If you're thinking of moving abroad you're probably feeling daunted about everything that has to be done, from packing to visas to finding a job. 30 Days to Move Abroad makes moving overseas a breeze.

Their guide is chocked full of information. You'll find tips on what to pack and what to leave behind. Learning the language, budgeting, and finding a job is also covered. Of course, you'll want to travel in country so they discuss driving tips as well. If you're going with your family, you'll find their section on bringing children and pet particularly useful.  You'll also learn what documents you should bring with you and who to contact in case something goes wrong.

Written by a team of expats in Portugal, 30 Days to Move Abroad is exactly what you need to take the stress and anxiety out of moving abroad. Included in their guide is the A-Z of Moving Abroad, which covers how to choose the right country, setting up a business, buying foreign property, your children's education, and much more.

Everything you need to know about moving abroad can be found in this book. They also offer a 60 day money back guarantee, so you've got nothing to lose. Click here to go to 30 Days to Move Abroad and in a month from now you could be living in your dream destination.



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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Naturalised Peruvians on the Rise

More and more people are getting Peruvian citizenship. I remember when I got mine a couple years ago, people questioned me about it. My motivates weren't the best, but some of the people had been in Peru for much longer than I had and swore that they'd never get citizenship, but things changed.

It should go without saying that if you're going to become Peruvian you should learn Spanish. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll get you cheaper prices. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

When I was in the naturalisation office I had to deal with people who told me I HAD to change my name, yet a friend of mine didn't. Actually, no man I know has had to change their name, seems like only women do. In addition, everyone there was there because they were Peruvians born abroad and were trying to get citizenship. This was back in 2008. Now I've been told things have changed.

Once you become Peruvian, you'll have to assimilate to the Peruvian culture, so if you don't know enough about it, I highly recommend studying up on it.





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Friday, 17 February 2012

I Teach English Online

Teaching English online is a great way to earn extra money from the comfort of your own home. John Buchanan has written How to Teach English Online and Get Money.

He'll take you through each step and show you how to start and maintain your very own online teaching business. Teaching English online is extremely popular and this is proven by all the online teaching adverts out there. The problem with that is that you have to deal with a middleman and they take a cut of your earnings. However, by setting up your own school you can avoid the middlemen and keep all the profits. 

Online English teachers usually make between $15 and $30 an hour. The best part is that you don't have to waste time or money commuting to work. Teaching online allows you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.

You'll get valuable information, such as a checklist of what you need to do, conversation questions to ask students, vocabulary words to teach students, how to attract students, how to get students via youtube, and more. Whether you want to make a little extra cash by teaching online or are ready to make it a full time job, click here to go to I Teach English Online.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly even though you are teaching English online. You can explain grammar easily, translate a difficult word, and make students more comfortable. If you're looking to learn Spanish, the two programmes I recommend are Synergy Spanish and Fluent in 3 Months.



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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Lack of Libraries Leads to Low Literacy

I didn't miss food so much as I missed libraries when I lived in Peru. I guess I was spoiled to grow up near one of the best libraries in the state. Peruvian libraries just can't hold a candle to US ones. In an early post I wrote about the low literacy rates in Peru and how the government was fighting against illiteracy, but in my opinion, is making some big mistakes.

First off, I used to live across the street from the National Library. One day I decided to go visit and I didn't even get to see one book. Getting into the building is hard enough due to the lack of signs and security guards asking you what you're doing (Um, trying to get books?). So I went into a massive hall and went to the desk and asked to go in. Nope, I was refused entry. (Remind me again WHY I pay taxes if I can't even use the library). They said that I needed two reference letters and a letter from my university saying I was studying. There were fees, but since I was technically a student, I was exempt.

I couldn't believe it! Sometimes Peruvian culture really ticks me off.

To make things worse, I later found out that you couldn't even TAKE the books out of the library. Kind of defeats the point of a LENDING library, doesn't it?

Needless to say, I left, extremely pissed off, yet completely understanding why so many Peruvians are illiterate.

So I decided to go to Britanico and ICPNA and buy a membership to their libraries. I never actually used the Britanico one, but I did use the ICPNA one: I wasn't impressed.

You could borrow 2 (TWO: whoop-dee-doo) books and they had to be returned in prestine condition. I was slapped with a 30 soles fine and banned for two months when one of the pages bent on a 40 year old book. Seriously? I'd hate to think of the poor kids who check out kids' books. To make things worse, I had joined so I could research for my thesis and none of the books I needed could be checked out. Of course there was no copy machine either; you had to request copies: max of 10 and it took 2 days to get them. Again: seriously?! Oh, and you had to check your bags, they were so afraid you'd steal something.

And don't get me started on the toilets there. No soap and no TP was the norm. I went to complain once, it was a Saturday morning. I was told that the kids from the children's classes must have used up all the soap and TP for the day. They weren't allowed to use more than the quota for the day. Once again: seriously?! That's gross. Peru's not exactly a clean country, I can't believe they don't care about all the germs that would get on their precious 40 year old books.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll help you complain. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Britanico's library is supposed to be nicer. I know it's bigger since I had a tour. Though I lived farther away. I guess there's always a next time!




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Thursday, 9 February 2012

For Better or For Worse: Peruvian Education


My husband has recently told me he wants our daughter to study in Peru for 3 to 5 years. I nearly fell off my chair when he said that. Before he said if we had kids, he wanted them to go to Peru for 6 months to experience the culture. 6 months in one thing, 5 years is another. I have issues with Peruvian culture and schooling is one of them.

Now, I'm not getting on my high horse and saying that I want our daughter to study in the US either.

However, education in Peru is a bit of a nightmare. Private schools are ok-ish, though high grades are handed out like candy. I was told to change Bs to As, since my students were in therapy and a B would "undo everything the therapist had done".  When I refused to change the grades, the homeroom teacher changed them for me. Nice.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll allow you to talk to the other teachers. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Public education in is horrid, especially after the results came out a couple years ago saying the average teacher in the public schools knew just as much as a fifth grader did. The way they care for schools is atrocious. Graffiti, overgrow school yards with weeds, rotting buildings, broken windows, and unhinged gates are just a couple of examples that I saw at the school on Benavides: in Miraflores to boot!

Alan gave 25 schools money to fix things and there were banners proclaiming all this. Though if you took into account the amount he gave and the number of schools, it came out to about $3000 per school. Not much, even in Peru.

Hopefully things will change, though it's going to take a while. One thing I know for sure, is that students who study at home are a heck of a lot smarter than those who go to school. No matter where that school is located.



The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Synergy Spanish

Think you need to study for years to get by in Spanish? Synergy Spanish disagrees. Traditional ways of learning languages don't work. It all boils down to grammar. Something that both students and teachers hate.

Sitting in a classroom and memorising verb conjugations just doesn't cut it in the real world. Traditional methods put way too much emphasis on getting the grammar correct and totally ignore the way that people naturally learn a language. Marcus Santamaria (in the picture on the left) has put together Synergy Spanish based on his years of language teaching experience.

By starting with 138 words, you'll begin to branch out and be speaking Spanish before you know it. Phrases can be built to form sentences and thousands
of phrases can be learnt based on the initial 138 words. For example, learning the cognates helps since many English words that end in "ify" can be changed into Spanish by changing the "ify" to "ificar". Marcus has divided these words into 30 categories and you can learn over 3000 Spanish words this way. Synergy Spanish is divided into 5 sections.

  • Talking about yourself. Instead of memorising useless vocabulary like animals, he starts you out by having you talk about yourself.
  • Sentences starters and sentence builders use the knowledge you have from the 138 words he starts you off with.
  • You'll learn useful words and phrases related to travel so that when you go to a Spanish speaking country things won't get lost in translation.
  • Speaking to groups of people is next.
  • You will learn to communicate in any situation. By learning Spanish naturally you won't be stuck trying to conjugate verbs or translate from English to Spanish.

Marcus created this course based on his experience as an English teacher and Spanish student. He has made learning Spanish fun and easy so that you can start learning today. If you have any questions, you can even email him. Take a look at the course Marcus Santamaria created: Synergy Spanish.



The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Housing Prices are on the Rise in Peru

If you're looking to rent or own a place in Peru you're in for a shock as prices are going through the roof. You'd think they'd learn from other people's mistakes: mainly the US. However, they haven't. Things are going well now for people as mortgages are easier to get and owners are charging high rents.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll get you cheaper prices.  If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

The bubble's going to burst though. Maybe not right away, but give it a couple years and it will. My advice: pay off your mortgage. Save the rent you're getting from your tenants if you're renting your place out. Things will get tough in a couple years and this is partly due to the fact that more and more places are being listed in dollars rather than soles.



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