[ENGLISH] Student Visa: How to find a place to rent in Salvador-BA

If you want to come to Brazil on a student visa and have no idea where to start, this post would be a great place to get to know more about the possibilities. Now that you already read that other text, we can move on to the next step of your adventure: How to find a place to live in the capital of Bahia, the biggest state in the northeast of Brazil.

Here in Salvador, not many people speak English so it makes it harder for someone that wants to find a good place to rent without being exploited by what I call the "gringo-hunters" (aka: people that want to find a way to take as much money as possible from unware gringos). So I brought a couple of suggestions that may help you with that.

1. Find a place close to the university

This is important because you surely don't want to live too far from UFBA. As a gringo, taking the bus can be a risky and difficult thing to do in the city. I recommend that you find a place in the following neighbourhoods: Barra, Federação, Ondina, Rio Vermelho, Amaralina, Campo Grande or Graça.

Marked with a red brush you can see where this places are (minus Graça) and the blue X shows where the university is
These are probably expensive places to live in, but also close to the university so you may save some money with transportation. In my opinion, if you like the night life, either Rio Vermelho, Ondina, Amaralina or Barra would be your place. If you enjoy the beach and shopping mall, choose Barra. The two other places are good because they're close to the university and not so much of a dangerous neighbourhood.

2. Go to groups like "UFBA Intercâmbio" on Facebook

In this group you will find other people that speak English and can help you find a place to rent. But, more important than that, you'll find people offering to share places with whoever is interested. "Is it safe, Carla?". Well, it kinda is. Of course it would be good if you checked the Facebook profile of the person first and tried to have a couple conversations to make sure it's not a scam or anything.

Check if they have personal pictures on their profiles and maybe ask to see the place they're renting on Skype.

The most recent option broadcasted in the group
As you can see in this image above, you can find a place to rent for R$ 375 reais + water, power and internet. At the end, it will be around R$ 500 (US$ 127) for a room. Of course, this is a cheap option for someone that would prefer to spend money partying hard or travelling about wild, but if you're the type that prefers to have your own place, the next option might be the best for you.

3. Look for a place to rent in OLX

This website can help you a lot, but since it's in portuguese, it can be a pain as well. Follow the colours in the picture bellow and I will try to explain what everything means:

the website inside
In blue: how many bedrooms there are in the appartment.
In green: how much it will cost you for the security and to use the common areas such as the pool, gym, etc. You have to pay for it even if you don't use the common areas.
In yellow: the price of the rent.
In red: the place where the appartment is located; make sure it's one of the neighbourhoods I mentioned on the first item.

In this example, at the end, you would pay the amount of R$1.740 (437 dollars). But that would not include electricity, water or internet. Another thing you should pay attention to when trying to find a place in OXL is that you need a place that's mobiliado (aka: furnitured), so look carefully at the pictures and try to find out either by contacting the responsible (using the box that will appear on the right) or using Google Translator to translate the text that will follow the pictures.

Of course, you will always need to translate this text because, for example, in this other place here, the text says that this price includes power, water and internet. So this would be a great deal for someone that wants to live on their own!

4. Try alternative websites

I just found a new website called VivaReal and they have lots of nice places as well. In the pannel on the left, you can also change the specifications and find what suits you and your pocket better. Be careful with places that seem to be too cheap! They're probably rents just for the day. That's what "Diário" means.

You can find different websites by searching "Apartamentos para alugar em Salvador" on Google. Then use google translator to find the best options for you! If you need help translating something, look for me on my blog's Facebook page and I will be there for you, ok? :D
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