rio de janeiro

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The following pictures and information are provided to help employees who are considering an assignment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to see what it is like to live and work there.
Brazilians are proud to call Rio de Janeiro the "Marvelous City" because of its extraordinary natural beauty. With a population of approximately 6.5 million (as of October 2014), it is Rio de Janeiro State's capital and second largest city in Brazil. It is also home to many tourist attractions, including miles of beautiful beaches, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, and Carnival. More information about Rio de Janeiro sights and events can be found on the Guia do Rio website.
Rio's climate is tropical, with an average annual temperature range of 20° to 28° C (68° to 82° F). Summer is from December to March. During this season, there may be long periods of heavy rain, and temperatures can reach as high as 40° C (104° F). Winter, which is from June to September, is drier, and the average temperature is around 20° C (68° F).
Most expatriates coming to Rio will arrive via the Rio de Janeiro International Airport (GIG) - 20 km (13 miles) from downtown. The other major airport in Rio is Santos Dumont Airport (SDU), which has domestic flights only.

work environment

The main Chevron office is located in downtown Rio de Janeiro near the Candelária Cathedral, important landmark of the city. The building is located in one main street and is not marked with a sign or logo.

The building has 20 floors, 10 of which are occupied by Chevron. Approximately 400 people work at the Rio de Janeiro office (upstream and downstream operations). The office has an open cubicle environment, with a few offices provided for management. In some instances, cubicles are shared. Several meeting rooms are available on each floor.

The office hours are flexible from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Employees can choose the schedule that is most convenient to them based on these hours. Lunch is usually from noon to 1 p.m. The 9/80 schedule is not used.

On most floors, office amenities include a cafeteria area with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee machine. Snacks and fruits are provided for free. Mail services are available through the Chevron mail room, located on the 08th floor. Citibank ATM is available on ground floor.


Housing in Rio de Janeiro is limited due to safety and security conditions, as well as market availability. Chevron is committed to providing safe living conditions conducive to raising children and maintaining a quality family life.

Housing options for expatriates in Rio de Janeiro differ based on length of assignment.
Employees on a temporary expatriate assignment - usually from three months and up to two years - are housed in serviced (furnished) apartments. These apartments are generally in the South or West Zones (Ipanema, Leblon or Barra da Tijuca - Barra), depending on availability. Apartments in the South Zone area are typically older, smaller in size, and do not include access to amenities like a pool, sauna and sports courts. The South Zone is walking distance to commercial areas.

In general, pets are not accepted in this type of accommodation.

Employees on expatriate assignments longer than two years receive assistance from a relocation company and can live in either the South Zone or Barra da Tijuca. The decision as to where to live is usually based on personal needs, lifestyle preferences, proximity to work, schools, shopping and commercial areas. The length of commuting time to the office varies significantly by location and route - and should therefore be considered when housing is selected.

  • South Zone (Lagoa, Ipanema, Leblon, Jardim, Botanico and Urca): Only apartments are available in the South Zone - houses are not an option. Currently, there are more expatriates living in the South Zone than in Barra da Tijuca. However, because of the limited availability of apartments in the South Zone, more recent arrivals tend to live in Barra. Apartments in this area are typically older, smaller in size, and do not include access to amenities like a pool, sauna and sports courts. The South Zone is walking distance to commercial areas. 
  • West Zone (Barra da Tijuca): Both houses and apartments are available in Barra da Tijuca. Though the commute to the Chevron office is significantly longer (approximately one hour and a half) - this should be taken into consideration as the level of exposure to traffic conditions is much higher, especially due to the fact that expatriates are expected to drive - some expatriates choose to live in Barra da Tijuca because it has a greater market availability of apartments and houses than the South Zone. Apartments and homes in this area are typically newer, larger in size, and include access to more amenities, such as a pool, sauna and sports courts. Barra da Tijuca is not within walking distance to commercial areas. For most residents, a vehicle is required to travel locally around Barra.

Prior to lease agreement, Chevron routinely conducts detailed security and maintenance inspections for any prospective housing unit in both Barra da Tijuca and South Zone. Due to the age and quality of units, identifying an acceptable apartment in the South Zone may require a several month search, during which employees live in interim housing. Acceptable housing is more readily available in Barra, and so interim living stays are generally shorter for those deciding to live in this area. Contracts are standard and are negotiated by the relocation company with the assistance of the Chevron Brazil Legal department. Typically, lease agreements are for 30 - 48 months and can be renewed based on negotiations with the landlord. Chevron pays all costs related to the rental of housing in Rio (for example, rent and city tax), up to certain limits as established in the local expatriate policies.

After the lease agreement is signed by the employee, the landlord and a Chevron director, the Chevron Security department installs security equipment in all housing.

Expatriates on resident assignments bring or purchase their own furniture. Furniture rental is available as an interim solution until the household goods arrive. An allowance to rent furniture is provided and outlined in the local expatriate policies.

Pets are usually allowed in most long-term housing.

Employees on rotational assignments in Rio de Janeiro typically do not require housing facilities when they are on rotation as they are offshore. However, when housing is necessary, rotational employees are housed in serviced (furnished) apartments, similar to the temporary employees mentioned above.

Expatriates on resident assignments receive the assistance of a relocation company to set up home telephone, Internet and cable. Electricity, water and gas are usually already connected and the relocation company will transfer the bills to the employee's name.

All utilities are provided in the serviced apartments available to expatriates on temporary assignments.

Electrical outlets are 110V and 60Hz frequency and use 3-round-pin-type plugs.
Employees receive a company-provided mobile phone upon arrival to Rio de Janeiro. Several plan options and phones for family members are also available. Details are outlined in the local expatriate policies.

support services

Chevron approves several Rio de Janeiro schools; Generally, Chevron expatriates' children attend the American School of Rio de Janeiro (EARJ). A complete list of approved schools is available in the local expatriate policies.

the american school of rio de janeiro

The American School of Rio de Janeiro (EARJ) was established in 1937 to provide an academic program that was comparable in excellence to the curriculum found in superior schools in the United States.

The school is organized into three sections:

  • Lower School (preschool, kindergarten, and 1st through 5th grade)
  • Middle School (6th through 8th grade)
  • Upper School (9th through 12th grade)

Children take school transportation or get dropped off by the parents. The school year follows the typical North American school year, starting in August and ending in June.

A list of sports and extracurricular activities is available on the school's website.

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support services

This section includes information about medical care, transportation, household help, banking and security.

There are two recommended hospitals in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pró-Cardíaco
  • São Vicente

These hospitals can provide routine and emergency care. Both have bilingual support and accept Chevron's international medical plan in case of hospitalization and surgeries.

Home country insurance cards are not accepted in clinics and hospitals in Brazil. However Cigna established a partnership with Gama Saúde that will allow you to use its network provider without paying out-of-pocket. For further information please access Cigna Global Health Benefits (Cigna).

For medical care at any other facility, employees may be required to pay out-of-pocket and then request reimbursement from their international insurance provider.

Also, Expatriate Services can provide a list of fully bilingual doctors and specialists for non-emergencies, however, these doctors do not accept Chevron's international medical plan.

Bilingual dental services are available in the Rio de Janeiro area. Expatriates must pay for dental services out-of-pocket and then claim reimbursement from their international medical plan provider.
There are several drugstores throughout the city where employees can find prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Some expatriates hire household help on a daily or scheduled basis. The most common way of finding household help is through word of mouth from other expatriates or employees. Chevron and the relocation company do not provide recommendations, so expatriates usually get referrals from other employees. It is very important to interview and check references.

To assist expatriates with domestic-help issues, Brazil HR and Legal have developed instructions and templates which are available in Chevron's intranet, including receipt templates, hiring and termination paperwork, and social security contribution calculations.
Employees on expatriate assignment in Rio de Janeiro must open a local bank account to receive reimbursements and to pay utility bills. Expatriate Coordination can provide bank account manager's contacts for further details related to bank procedures.
As in all Chevron locations, safety and security in Rio de Janeiro is taken very seriously. Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city with many tourist attractions, but it has a very high level of street crime. Expatriates and their families should always maintain awareness of the environment and practice common sense at all times. For example, avoid wearing expensive or imitation jewelry and watches. Do not carry excessive amounts of cash. Pick pocketing and bag snatching are common in the main beach areas and in the central downtown business district around Largo da Carioca. For security reasons, expatriates and their families must use their company-provided car at all times, even for short distances. Avoid walking on the streets after dark, as they become more dangerous.

All visitors are required to attend a security briefing. Newly arrived expatriates and their families are given a thorough overview on security including company guidelines, necessary precautions, as well as other important topics applicable to the location. Also, to keep employees and families safe while living and working in Rio de Janeiro, Chevron provides bilingual emergency response service 24/7, through the company's Security department.

More information on security policies and announcements are posted and maintained on the Chevron Global Security page on the Chevron intranet.
Employees have access to the Chevron mail room, located on the 30th floor. Most employees use the Chevron office's mail room services for their postal needs, both domestic and international. Chevron pouch mail service is available to the United States with regular frequency.


A variety of local and imported food, clothing, furniture and household items is available in Rio de Janeiro.

Supermarkets in Rio de Janeiro carry many familiar brands and products, even though the packaging may look different. Fresh fruit (particularly tropical) is often available and reasonably priced. For groceries, there are a few supermarket options in the South Zone and Barra da Tijuca. Expatriates usually go to:

Zona Sul
Pão de Açúcar

A variety of food, clothing, furniture and household items is available in Rio de Janeiro.

The following are popular shopping malls and stores:

Barra Shopping / New York City Center
Shopping Leblon
Rio Design
Rio Sul
Casa Shopping

Additionally, international chains have stores in the city, such as Wal-Mart, Makro and Leroy Merlin (similar to Home Depot). Street shopping, with local vendors and small markets, is also common in areas like Ipanema.

recreational facilities

Comprehensive details of things to do and see in Rio de Janeiro can be found on the Guia do Rio website.

People in Rio de Janeiro love the outdoors. Jogging or biking by the beaches or lakes is very common. Lots of people also play sports at the beach, like volleyball.

Football (that is, American soccer) is the most popular sport, and people tend to gather in informal groups to play. Golf is limited to the golf clubs, which are usually expensive to join. Baseball is not common in Brazil.

Many people join gyms and health clubs, such as:


Public transportation such as taxi and metro is permitted. Expatriates can drive, and one company-assigned vehicle is provided for each family. Walking in company-approved locations is permitted.
The official language in Brazil is Portuguese. While some employees in the office speak English, a basic understanding of Portuguese is important for getting around the city. Chevron will pay for language instruction for employees and family members needing assistance. The local expatriate counselor will help expatriates find a local language instructor.
Local expatriate counselors can assist expatriates with the policies and procedures for importing pets to Rio de Janeiro. The employee should also consult the local expatriate policies on the Chevron intranet.

Because of the limited availability of serviced apartments that accept pets, expatriates on temporary assignments (less than two years) must contact the local expatriate counselor to make arrangements before beginning their assignment.
Rio de Janeiro is a casual city. Business attire is rarely seen outside of work hours or around the beachfront walkways. Casual dress is recommended outside of the office and will draw less attention.

While at work, business casual dress (no jacket and tie) is recommended. Jeans may be worn on Fridays.
There is a Chevron spouse community in Rio. Also, the local expatriate counselor can put expatriates in contact with community leaders before the family arrives, so that they can exchange information on a more personal level.