The Job Market in Buenos Aires: How is training yourself to speak English for a job interview different from speaking English in everyday life ?

This article is part of our section “inglés in company” which provides help for Argentine professionals working in English. Click here to know more abour our offers or workshops (Next workshops : Tuesdays 17 y 24 of April, “inglés en el entorno laboral”)

Do you feel comfortable speaking English in a relaxed atmosphere, or casual work conversation? That’s great! But don’t get confused… That doesn’t mean you are ready for a job interview in ENGLISH! Today we will talk precisely about these differences to help you land your next English-speaking job!

In the third quarter of 2017, Argentina had a 15,4% rate of employed looking for work (u.e. the percentage between the employeed population looking for a job and the economically active population), of which 12,1% are located in the Greater Buenos Area. Looking for a job in Buenos Aires is not something so uncommon. Let’s assume you are looking for a job yourself : you might have to train for a job interview in English as the number of jobs for English speaking professionals is growing in Buenos Aires.

We can assume it was an easy job to do your resume or CV in English (if you need some tips, here are good links of Infoempleo or The Entrepreneur – links in Spanish). You now know the vocabulary you used in your resume. You may feel ready to do the interview in English.

Why is it a mistaken thought many people have?
Why is English for interviews different?

There is a big difference between speaking English in a relaxed atmosphere, or casual work conversation – and speaking English while being at a job interview. Avoid making the mistake of thinking you are ready for a job interview because you are good at speaking English in informal settings.


  • Because the skills you will have to demonstrate, and thus the vocabulary, are not the same
  • Because the way to introduce things, concepts, ideas, are different in English than in Spanish.
  • Because you will need the confidence and attitude you would have in Spanish in English

Let’s break down these three ideas to see which area you should dig into to prepare yourself successfully:

1.The skills you will have to demonstrate – and thus the vocabulary- are not the same.

The HR and person conducting the interview will generally start by asking questions about yourself. The question “Tell me about yourself” can be a bit tricky because it’s easy to get lost into details “I went to school here, and I worked here for 2 years and there for 3 years”. Skip what’s not essential and try to talk in terms of skills learned. An example would be:

I went to school there – where I developed a strong capacity to teamwork. I further enhanced that skill while working at (name of the company). I was regularly working on projects involving international teams. However, in my second job, I developed other skills such as (name the skills). Today, I believe my profile is a mix of (name 3 essential skills/knowledge you have).

You might also be asked to conduct reflexion upon yourself with questions such as “What weakness can you convert into a strength?”. Think thoroughly of your weaknesses and strengths and how one can be turned into the other. For example, you might be inflexible sometimes -weakness- but that makes you an organized person capable of leading a group -strenght-. A very good reference on this topic of weakness-strenght conversion is this infographic.

Another question might be a reflection on your future : “Where do you see yourself in five years”. To answer that question, take the time to reflect on what you want to improve and for what work purpose. Don’t think it in terms of position but in terms of skills. It might be developing your management skills to be able to manage a team in the next years. Show your interlocutor that you want to learn and improve! The sky is the limit!

Finally, another type of question you might deal with is reflecting about you vs others. You might face questions such as “ What can you do better in this position that others can’t” or “How did you deal with past conflict situations with your bosses/colleagues”. Always think over it in term of positive outcomes and without criticizing others.

2. Because the way to introduce things, concepts, ideas, are different in English than in Spanish

In this paragraph, we wanted to emphasize what you have to do, absolutely have to do, in an interview in English. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do it in Spanish, but you might have to do it MORE in English 😉

First, stating that you’ve developed a skill without giving a supporting example will not make your point. For example; if you’ve learnt team management, you can give an example of a situation in which you had to take the lead. How did you do it and how did it result? A good way to make sure that you explain your thought through and in a relevant manner is to use the STAR method. The idea is to support your idea (“I learnt team management”) with an example structured in the way “Situation, Task, Action, Result”. An article that explains it thoroughly is this one (link in Spanish).

Secondly, try to use connectors and introduction words. Linking phrases together is nicer to hear and follow. For example, you could say : “I have 2 years of experience working in your sector. Furthermore/ On top of that, I believe I have the skills and attitude necessary to fit into the role and contribute to the thrive of the activity”. It give strength to your speech!

Finally, the salary topic. It might be sensitive and you might not want to talk about it during your first (or second interview). You can read on Glassdoor what people comment about the average salary. It will give you an idea of what to answer if the question comes up.

3. Because you will need the confidence and attitude you would have in Spanish in English

Well, for this one, it all comes down to one thing : practice, practice, practice.
We want to emphasize on this one, especially because group interviews get more and more common nowadays. What does it mean? That you’ll need the confidence to know you’ll be able to speak English in front of people – and maybe not just a HR.

What can you do at home to train ?
Wy is it worth it for you to train ?

No need to panic. It just takes practice.
How can we advise you to train beyond preparing your answers (following the advices we suggested above 😉 ) ?

Practice, practice, practice

In front of the mirror. With an English-speaking friend. If you want to practice with a native and you don’t have an English-speaking native friend, Conversation Exchange platforms are for you. This article lists some good ones!
However, to be honest, it will always be better to train face-to-face with a native. In lvstudio, that’s what we do in many different formats! Come for conversation class, take an individual class focusing on interview training or join one of our workshops!

Listen to podcasts

Below, we suggest some podcasts related to job interviews or the workplace in general:

> ESLPOD : Getting an interview (podcast)
> ESLPOD : Hiring for a Job (podcast)
> ESLPOD : Nervous at interview (podcast)

Any other suggestions? Let us know!

Record yourself

Record yourself with a camera while doing the interview. Watch it and notice your weak spots, where you have difficulties and why. Watch out your body language, which is as important as the spoken language. Here is a good article about it (link in Spanish). Try to correct your vocabulary/sentences when they seem too complicated and confusing. Make them shorter, clearer – and don’t forget to smile!

4. Do personality tests

Do some personality tests to know more about your work behavior. These tests will give you hints about your weaknesses and strengths at work, your way to deal with pressure and workload, how you communicate with others or your relationship to hierarchy. Of course, a free test on internet is never 100% accurate but it might give you some ideas, which you can develop with examples. By personalizing the analysis of your answers, you will get useful ideas to answer interviewers’ questions about yourself. Here are links to some well-known tests: DISC test or the MBTI test.

5. Do a worskhop

At lvstudio incompany, we propose some workshops for people looking for a job or employees looking for training in English. The ideas we proposed above will never be better than a face-to-face and personalized guidance! Our workshops leaders are native teachers with teaching and working experience, who will help you to be comfortable during the interview and to show the most out of your strenghts in English.
Want more info on our workshops? Click here!


  • Duración: 2 días, 4 horas en total
  • Dirección: Palermo

Workshop 1: Inglés en el entorno laboral
Días: Martes 17/04( 19.00hs-21.00hs), Martes 24/04: (19hs-21.00hs)
Precio: $700 (hasta el 01/04)

Workshop 2: Inglés para la búsqueda de trabajo
Días:Martes 08/05( 19.00hs-21.00hs), Martes 15/05: (19hs-21.00hs)
Precio: $600 (hasta el 22/04)

MORE INFO HERE! or send us an email at


Thanks a lot for taking the time to read! Do you have any other suggestions on how to train for an English-speaking interview? Let us know!

lvstudio in-company


TOEFL Speaking Section Tips Questions 1-3

Are you taking the TOEFL soon and worried about the speaking section? The speaking section is usually the most difficult part for students. There are basically 6 types of questions on the test; this week we will talk about the first three.

Question One:  The first question is the the most open and usually the easiest for my students. It involves a question about something specific to you, such as “Describe your best friend” or “a person who has inspired you”. You have 45 seconds to respond . I usually tell my students that if they run out of things to say after describing the person or thing, think of a personal detail like “I remember this one time…” It’s a lot easier to describe something that actually happened and you will probably feel more comfortable saying that than something invented.

Question Two:  Question 2 is similar to question one but in this case it asks for an opinion. It is usually an either /or question such as “which do you prefer?”  You are giving your opinion here so it is ok to choose sides. That doesn’t mean you can’t mention the positives and negatives of both options, however. Just keep in mind you have to express your opinion in 45 seconds. 

Question Three:  In question 3 you will read a campus-related situation and then listen to a discussion about that same topic. The question will ask you to describe the opinion of the speaker and their reasons for holding that opinion. They want the speaker’s opinion, not yours. You are simply reporting what they say. The important thing here is your note-taking skills. Brief, concise notes listing the points made by the speaker are essential. You have 60 seconds to briefly describe the text (maybe one or two sentences) and then convey the students opinion (usually 2-3 points).  It’s a good idea to brush up on campus vocabulary as there are a lot of specific vocabulary words that are not commonly used outside of campus life.

The testing centers often use small cubicles in a large room so there may be many other students within your range of hearing to distract you during the speaking section. Try to practice in an environment where you do not have perfect silence so you are prepared. It also a good a idea to practice with a native speaker to correct you. We will discuss questions 4-6 in a couple of weeks,. In the meantime, if you want to take an english course in Palermo with a native speaker, come visit our Spanish school in Buenos Aires at LV Studio.

Clases de Inglés in-company con Profesores Nativos

lv in company clases de ingés. clases de inglés in-company

No es una novedad decir que el inglés es el idioma de los negocios. En un mundo en donde el contexto empresarial se encuentra a nivel internacional es clara su vital importancia en cuanto a la competitividad e incluso la subsistencia de una empresa. 
Un buen nivel y manejo del inglés, el cual solía ser una ventaja competitiva, hoy en día se convierte en una necesidad básica para poder ser tomado en cuenta, así como el nivel estándar que se consideraba necesario, también se ha visto afectado. Muchos creen que un dominio general del idioma es suficiente, pero en la esfera empresarial, se requiere habilidades idiomáticas que permitan llevar a cabo negociaciones, influencias y demás herramientas que son necesarias adquirir si se quiere tener éxito a escala internacional.
Imagínese asistir a ferias de su sector, o conferencias, donde usted tiene la oportunidad de conectarse y reunirse con potenciales partners y clientes. Crear una networking de calidad y poder trabajar de la mano de diferentes empresas y profesionales en conjunto. El vago manejo del inglés y el conformismo, conlleva a no poder lograr la efectividad y demostrar la confianza con la que usted está acostumbrado a cerrar tratos y convenios. El inglés entonces, le permite abrir grandes puertas y expandir sus fronteras.

Hay ejemplos claros y tan cotidianos sobre el efecto de poseer un buen manejo del idioma que a veces uno pasa por alto. Por ejemplo, la mayoría de los software de gestión, marketing, y demás áreas de una empresa, se encuentran en inglés. Un verdadero dominio de la lengua nos permite sacar el mayor provecho a las mismas, alcanzando una productividad aún mayor a la experimentada.

Son miles las razones por las cuales una empresa debe capacitar a los miembros de su organización en los diferentes idiomas que resultan importantes en su actividad. El retorno de su inversión no es tan sencillo de medir, pero podrá estar seguro que cada puerta que se abre a nivel mundial está atado a la calidad de la comunicación que logre establecer. No pierda el tiempo y no regale su trabajo a la competencia. Manténgase actualizado y un paso adelante. 

En lv.incompany encontrás el partner que estás necesitando. Podrás obtener la capacitación en cualquier idioma que tu empresa necesite. Siempre con profesores nativos, asegurando un aprendizaje auténtico, práctico, actualizado y efectivo. Aprenderás sobre cómo se llevan a cabo las negociaciones en el país de interés, recomendaciones culturales y protocolares, herramientas de negociación y todo lo referido a las tareas que precises llevar a cabo en la lengua foránea. 

Consultanos por clases in-company, en nuestras instalaciones e incluso online. En nuestro sitio encontrás todos los beneficios que nuestro servicio, completamente a medida y personalizado, tiene para ofrecerte. Contamos además con servicios integrales como traducciones e interpretaciones, evaluación lingüística en procesos de reclutamiento, auditorías, edición y corrección de textos. Todo lo que tu empresa necesita para dar ese salto de calidad internacional es más simple de la mano de lv.incompany. 

Mirá los cursos in-company que tenemos para ofrecerte acá. 


¿Por qué elegirnos?

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 1

Nuestra metodología se basa en programas personalizados con énfasis en los conceptos de adaptabilidad y flexibilidad.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 2

Permitimos cambio de profesor, siempre dispuestos a encontrar el perfil idóneo para su organización.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 3

Trabajamos en forma conjunta con el Departamento de RRHH y Desarrollo Profesional permitiéndole controlar el retorno de su inversión (ROI).

LV In Company - modalidad de cursos

Contamos con modalidades tanto grupales (grupos reducidos) como individuales.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 5

Estructuramos los cursos según la disponibilidad horaria dispuesta por la empresa.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 6

Los cursos pueden dictarse in-company, en lvstudioonline, en un café a elección o realizar un mix de las opciones. Mapa con referencia de zonas y recargos aquí.

Conociendo la Comunidad lvstudio! Hoy: Ignacio

Conocé a Ignacio:

Estudiante de lvstudio.

Cada miembro de esta comunidad tiene su propia historia. Te presentamos a Ignacio, ex-estudiante de Inglés y un querido integrante  de nuestro Conversation Night de los jueves!

escuela de idiomas en Palermo

Decidí tomar clases de inglés en lvstudio porque quería prepararme para un viaje que estoy a punto de hacer. Había estudiado antes pero necesitaba refrescar y mejorar mi speaking. Creo que es importante para poder comunicarme y conocer gente nueva y por otro lado voy en búsqueda de oportunidades laborales así que realmente necesito contar con cierto nivel.

El curso me pareció excelente y estoy muy contento con los resultados, mi speaking mejoró muchísimo gracias a Jack y Chris que fueron los dos profesores que tuve. Me sentí muy cómodo en las clases y con el grupo que formamos, de hecho sigo viniendo a Conversation Night siempre que puedo.

Es la primera vez que aprendo con profesores nativos y me pareció mucho más interesante hacerlo con personas que lo hablan naturalmente y no forzado o formal. Necesitaba aprender el lenguaje que voy a utilizar con gente de mi edad y en mi viaje.

Conversation Night:

Me parece buenisima la idea y te da la posibilidad de conocer gente que está viajando y continuar practicando. Las clases son sobre temáticas muy divertidas. A mi me gusta mucho.

Recomiendo lvstudio!

Hay buena gente y es muy amigable. El staff me ayudo un montón y todos son muy copados. Están bien predispuestos siempre y los profesores son altamente recomendables.

Conociendo la Comunidad lvstudio! Hoy: Ludmila

Conocé a Ludmila:

Estudiante de lvstudio.

Cada miembro de esta comunidad tiene su propia historia. Te presentamos a Ludmila, estudiante de Inglés y una gran integrante  de nuestro Conversation Night de los jueves!

Este invierno decidí comenzar clases de inglés para perfeccionarme tanto por mi trabajo como por viajes en un futuro próximo. Quería estudiar con profesores nativos porque considero que no hay nada mejor que estudiar idiomas con profesores que lo enseñan desde su propia lengua materna. Escuchar hablar inglés todo el tiempo te empieza acostumbrar el oído, y estudiar con profesores nativos te enseña ciertas maneras de decir las cosas que solo se saben cuando se habla desde la lengua materna.

Estoy muy contenta con los resultados del curso intensivo de invierno que tomé,
me parece un excelente beneficio costo/calidad. Cumplió con mis expectativas ampliamente y por eso decidí anotarme al próximo curso. Ahora que tengo una base más sólida de la parte gramatical, espero poder desenvolverme mejor a nivel oral y aplicar los conocimientos ya aprendidos.

Conversation Night:
Me parece una forma muy divertida de aprender inglés y relacionarte con personas que tienen diferentes niveles de inglés o que están estudiando otros idiomas.

Recomiendo lvstudio!
Es el mejor lugar para divertirse mientras aprendes un idioma, además de tener excelentes profesores y tarifas muy accesibles.

Conversation Night – Clase de Conversación + Evento Social.

Practicá tu Inglés de forma divertida!


¿Cansado de estudiar inglés de libro? lvstudio te da la solución. Un encuentro semanal donde tendrás una clase de conversación de una hora seguido de un evento social dónde podrás seguir practicando tu inglés con extranjeros.

Conversation Night es una inicitiva que busca ayudarte a mejorar tu fluidez y recursos a la hora de hablar en inglés, como así también fomentar el intercambio cultural entre los estudiantes de lvstudio.

Practicá Inglés, pasala bien y conocé gente de diferentes culturas!


A Totally Biased Guide to the Best Pizza in Buenos Aires

Inside the pizza oven


That was the all caps lock love letter I received a few years ago after mentioning I wasn’t fond of Argentine pizza. Note to self: if you fuck with Argies and their pizza, they take it personally and may threaten your life.

_MG_1104Sorry Porteños, you will probably hate me and discredit anything I have to say since I know many of you think you have the best piksa in the world, but it’s much more common to find bad pizza in this city. I’m talking about all those Pizzerias los Hijos de Puta, serving an abundant layer of cheap plastic quesothat never seems to properly melt, flimsy can’t-get-it-up cardboard crustOlympic pools of oil, dried oregano-sprinkled canned tomato “sauce” CONSERVATIVELY spread atop, and a skimpy selection of stupid toppings (yeah… I’m looking at YOU palmitossalsa golf, huevo duro and ham rubber.)nastypizza
pizza1Fortunately, my hatred for the local corte has calmed, I’m able to accept Argentine style pizza in all its cheesy glory, and will honor a good pizza when merit is due. So, after lots of strenuous research, eating, crying, and lactose intolerant-induced stomach aches, I came up with a totally biased guide to my best pizza in Buenos Aires.

(And of course don’t miss my PIZZA CONMIGO episode on UN3TV)

SIAMO NEL FORNO – Costa Rica 5886, Palermo HollywoodIMG_1416
The pizzeria lowdown: I’d be a happier person if I ate Siamo Nel Forno at least once a week. This is true Neapolitan style pizza, with the certification to prove it. The space is homey, rustic, informal and the star of the room is the wood fire oven that blisters and scorches the beautiful pie a la vista.

All about the pizza: Super light fluffy dough, cooked for less than two minutes in the XXXhotXXX oven, and topped with fresh ingredients and great tomato sauce. I always order the Margherita – it’s a joy to eat and really never fails me. Ask for the spicy chili oil, and order with beer or wine depending what strikes your boozy liver.

ALBAMONTE – Av. Corrientes 6735, Chacarita_MG_1182
The pizzeria lowdown: It’s Chacarita’s bodegón pride and joy. Sometimes we all need that go-to family joint for good old fashioned Argentine comfort food. The menu is quite traditional – pastas, gramajo, tortillas, parrilla, milanesas, etc., and while most of the diners order the pizza as an appetizer before moving on to a main dish, I’m a strong proponent of making it the star of the show.

All about the pizza: Super thin crust, smothered in tomato sauce (ask for extra), and not drowning in prison cheese. Hot fatty tip: if you live in the barrio, pick up the pizza to go, bring it home, stick it under the broiler, and in a few minutes you have the provoleta-like cheese topping crust of perfection.

GÜERRIN – Av. Corrientes 1368, Centro_MG_0292
The pizzeria lowdown: The most popular pizzeria in the heart of Corrientes theater mania, Güerrin is arguably the city’s most beloved pizzeria. It even has a Wikipedia page. Pizza Fact: The wood fire oven at hasn’t turned off since 1932.

All about the pizza: I have a hate-love relationship with this pizza al molde. It’s definitely an Argentine style thick slice, but it’s where to go to get a dose of total porteña-ness: NAPOLITANA, eaten while standing and washed down with moscato.

LA MAS QUERIDA – Echeverría 1618, Belgrano_MG_1016
The pizzeria lowdown: Pizza on the grill should replace thick crust as the national pizza dish. I have such mad love for pizza a la parrilla, and even more love for my beloved La Más Querida. The small spot feels like a little restaurant hideaway in some beach town. Buby Van Asperen, a self proclaimed ex-hippie and master at sporting a Hawaiian shirt, opened La Más Querida in 2005 to bring a quality pizza a la parrilla with fun toppings.

All about the pizza: Super thin crust, piled with great toppings: artichokes, gruyere cheese, mushrooms, onions, brie, pesto, roasted vegetables and más. It even comes with spicy dipping sauces on the side.

LA MEZZETTA – Av. Álvarez Thomas 1321, Chacarita / Villa OrtuzarFugazzeta La Mezzetta
The pizzeria lowdown: Something about this dirty hole in the wall that brings both disgust and joy to my heart at the same time. It’s a classic standing room only space filled with an eclectic crew of all ages and incomes. I once saw a pizzero cleaning up trash with his bare hands before rolling empanada dough, but that only gives the masa more flavor.

All about the pizza: F-U-G-A-Z-Z-E-T-A! Argentina has the Cataratas del Iguazú, and Chacarita has the Cataratas de La Mezzetta, THE place to go for a greasy cheesy hangover fugazzeta cure. I channel my yearning for brunching on diner food and instead go for the second best: a dangerous slice of cheesyonion glooping fugazzeta.

MONZÚ PIZZERIA BAR – José Antonio Cabrera 3975, PalermoIMG_6314 copy 2The pizzeria lowdown: The Venezuelan owned pizzeria known for stuffed crust and creative topping combos is pretty much the best thing that happened to the other side of Scalabrini Ortiz.

All about the pizza: Dreams of papa aioli or albondigas and albahaca, Monzú has you covered. Hot tip: sometimes you may be surprised with chorizo inside the crust.

PIZZERIA FERREIRO – Angel Gallardo, Av. 1001, Caballito.

Ferreiro-Pizzeria-1024x768The pizzeria lowdown: A total barrio dive that’s been around for what seems like forever. It’s probably the best pizzeria in the ‘hood with a classic bodegón vibe. Ferreiro does delivery, but it’s much more recommendable to scarf pizza + beers in house.

All about the pizza: Pizza a la Piedra, yo! On GuíaOleo, some trusty reviewers said it was malo because: “La pizza a la piedra es una tapa de pan arabe tostado, de las peores pizzas que comí” “casi no se ve de tan finita que es. Para lo que cobran, debería ser mucho mas suculenta. Nunca vi una pizza tan fina. No vuelvo.”  Thin crust pizza, you say?! I’m in! And it’s a good crust, solid cheese and has that perfect crispy bite that still doesn’t fall apart. (Photo La Mejor Pizzeria)

1893 Pizzeria – Scalabrini Ortiz 701, Villa Crespo1893The pizzeria lowdown: A pioneer in the pizza a la parrilla world in Buenos Aires, Danilo Ferraz opened 1893 in 1994, and named it after the year his casona on Scalabrini Ortiz y Loyola was built. 1893 is the older sister of the popular pizzeria mini-chain Morelia, although you’ll almost always find Danilo behind the grill at this Villa Crespo corner.

All about the pizza: It’s a rectangular or half moon ultra thin cracker crust, topped with tomato sauce and cheese, and then grilled quickly on the parrilla. 1893 also plays with fancy toppings: smoked meats, pickled vegetables, and even has a Roner to sous vide ingredients. (Photo by 1893)

Honorable Mention: El Cuartito for history factor, Palacio de la Pizza because it’s the pizza palace, La Guitarrita for the Nuñez folk, Pin Pun because it’s a few blocks from my house, Angelín for its lots of sauce and no cheese pizza canchera and La Locanda for whenever pizza is on the menu.

And the next pizzerias on my list to visit: PARTENOPE in La Lucila and JESOLO in La Plata.


Wanna get schooled in everything and nothing you wanted to know about all the Argie styles of pizza? Head to The Latin Kitchen for the goods.


What is the difference between expatriates and immigrants?

libertyIn most people’s mind the word “expat” recalls images of luxury, shiny desks in multinational corporates and privileged lifestyles. On the other hand, when it comes about the term “immigrant”, we tend to think about dreams, hopes and cardboard suitcases. Two words, two deeply different concepts.

As someone who has been living in Asia for several years, I’ve always taken for granted that I was an expat. In Asia just looking Western immediately qualifies me as such from local people’s perspective.

In China most locals assume that all Westerners are beautiful, rich, smart and powerful. While in Hong Kong people are more used to foreign presence, you can still feel some respect and admiration towards the Western community. In Taiwan foreigners’ reputation is generally not that positive, as Taiwanese know that expats enjoy much better salaries and privileges than locals with fewer obligations.

In all these places though, Westerner equals expat.

Indeed in Asia the difference between expat and immigrant is purely based on race: Westerners are expats while dark-skinned people are immigrants. This mindset is very strong throughout East Asia because in countries such as China, Japan and Korea the local population is genetically very homogenous. For this reason, the concept of cultural identity corresponds to the concept of racial identity. For instance, in order to be considered Japanese you have to be born and raised in Japan in a Japanese family.Naturalization does not really exist.

The distinction between expat and immigrant gets more blurred in the West. In countries like US, UK and Australia the local population is genetically very heterogeneous, therefore the national identity is based on shared culture rather than race. If you were born a raised in the US you are American, whether you look Caucasian, Asian or Black. For this reason living in a Western country as a foreigner is very different from moving to Asia from Europe or the US.

The elements that determine a foreigner’s social status in the West are education, money, career and social network. For instance a French banker who is employed by a big corporate and moves to London for work is an expat. On the other hand, a Spanish construction worker who moves to the US willing to take any job in order to pursue a better future is an immigrant.

Are expat and immigrant two words that simply define a rich foreigner and poor foreigner? The issue is not that easy.

Some people think that the real distinction between expat and immigrant relies on where salaries and taxes are paid. The true expat would be hired by a company in his home country and then sent to a foreign branch of the company for a limited amount of time. In this case salaries and taxes would be paid in the expat’s home country. Differently, if a person was hired directly in a foreign country with a local contract, then we could call him an immigrant.

But what about those people with high-profile jobs who decide to move to a new country autonomously and get very high paying jobs at local companies? Are they to be considered immigrants as well?

Another school of thought defines the difference between expat and immigrant according to the length of stay. For instance, if the foreigner planned to stay in the host country only for a limited amount of time, then he would be an expat. Differently, if the foreigner had in mind to stay long-term, integrate with the local community and settle down in the new country, the he would be an immigrant.

In conclusion, it looks like the difference between expat and immigrant is actually very ambiguous and everyone has his own idea about it. While in some areas of the world the distinction is purely based on racial factors, in other regions the elements that determine which category you belong to are less precise. Everyone picks for himself the definition he feels comfortable with.

Source: Margherita Orsini at

Buenos Aires’ Metal Scene

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As I was strolling through the streets of Palermo one day, I saw a billboard advert which made me stop and stare. This rarely happens but the difference today was that the advert in question was promoting one of Brazils’ finest musical exports, Sepultura, whose heyday in the late 80s to 90s saw them churning out thrash/death Metal. Now, Sep may not be quite so well known in Argentina but in Brazil they’re very famous. I’ve been listening to them for 16 years and for one reason or another have never been able to see them play in London, my home city. The second I saw the advert, I knew I had to go. What’s more, is that it’s their 30th year anniversary. It seems that one of the first bands that got me into metal, who happen to be south American, are also going to be the first I see live in Buenos Aires and that’s a pretty special thing. After discovering this concert’s existence, I inadvertently began to discover other musical events which were happening in the city. In the space of about a month, there will have been five or so metal concerts. Some big (Sepultura, System of a Down) and some much more underground (Arkona). I had read that south America’s metal scene was pretty strong but it’s even more encouraging when you’re there and able to see the evidence for yourself! 


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Beer Hunting in Buenos Aires & Beyond

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The heat of the day gives way to the steam of the night in one of the world’s biggest, sexiest and most notorious cities. I am about half-drunk, just sober enough to stay safe, and I’m wantonly lost on a dangerous backstreet. The music spills out of the raucous neighborhood bars–incoherent rhythms stumbling across the sidewalks and into the street, bouncing harmlessly off each other like whiskey-soaked drunks too wasted to fight.   

That’s just my imagination, but I encourage you to daydream with me. Cue the Tango. In Argentina, it is mid-summer. Today’s forecast for Buenos Aires is mostly sunny with a high temperature of 82 degrees. Sounds nice, eh?

Our friend Tim is a fully deputized Washington Beer Blog Correspondent. Tim is currently on assignment in Argentina. I am guessing that his adventures don’t match my imagination. Tim is on vacation and is generously reporting to us about what kind of beer he finds as he bounces around the country between Buenos Aires and Mendoza. In a country where wine reigns supreme, Tim has managed to find some craft beer – cerveza artesenal, as the locals call it.

The brewery at Buller Brewing.


“I knew about Buller Brewing and sought them out,” says Tim via email. “I went to one of their pubs – the one right across the street from the Recoleta Cemetery, where Evita is buried.”

If there is a craft beer revolution happening in Argentina, and that is a big if, Buller Brewing started it. In operation for more than a decade, Buller Brewing operates two gastropubs in Buenos Aires: one near the famous cemetery and the other downtown. They are slick, urban establishments that morph into lively night clubs after dark. According to our reporter, Buller Brewing is not exactly like your cute, little neighborhood pub. After all, Buenos Aires makes Seattle look like a sleepy little one-horse town.

The beer lineup at Buller Brewing includes Light Lager, Blonde Ale, Honey Ale, IPA and Stout. Tim reports that the beers are serviceable but nothing like he is used to drinking at home (Seattle). That is, he’s not complaining. “Honey Ale is a big deal here in Argentina. It’s basically a blond ale with a sweet taste. Also, the IPAs here taste like malt and not hops.”

Antares – A chain of apparently swanky brewpubs.

One more beer stop in Buenos Aires: Cerveza Atresenal Antares. Located in the Palermo neighborhood, this is one of several Antares locations in Argentina (at least a dozen). Again, this place is urbane, big and swanky. Unless something was lost in translation, the company’s main brewery is in Mar del Plata, where it produces beer for both domestic and export markets. Each location in Argentina has its own brewery, which comes complete with the individual brewer’s creative flair. Antares is not exactly small, but it is crafty and produces a full compliment of beer styles ranging from Kolsch to Stout. Yes, and a honey beer.

But it is not all about the big city. And my imagination runs wild again.

A dirty little kid with a big smile is totally unaware that I’m watching as he uses a stick to push a tireless bicycle wheel down the dusty street. Across the way, a group of more dirty kids chase a half-flat soccer ball and a cloud of dust around a vacant lot. I walk into a place that looks like it might be a bar. Everyone stares. I struggle to remember the words, knowing that a few precious phrases are essential for my survival. “Disculpe, señor, necesito una cerveza, por favor.” The beer is barely cold, it is closer to tepid, and the glass is dirty. Everything is perfect. Muchas gracias.

Ah, I can dream.

Tim tells us about the next stop.  “The next brewery, we just happened to stumble upon,” Tim explains. “We found Cerveza Artesanal Pirca along the roadside in an area called Colonia Suiza as we approached the city of Mendoza. It’s on the other side of the county, up against the foothills of the Andes. Pirca has a rustic beer garden and taproom.”

The beer selection at Cerveza Artesanal Pirca was simple: a Rubio, a Rojo, and a Negro (blond, red, and black). Again, Tim describes the beers as adequate, but given how far away from home he is, they are welcomed and refreshing.

Tim’s travel companions – Gigi and Marcus.

We’ve turned Tim loose now. Maybe we will hear more from him. We hope not. Just go have fun, Tim. Leave us to our daydreaming.


Photos by Tim West