thinking of moving to Funchal, ? about work etc...

edited December 1969 in General
Hello. I am considering coming to Funchal to live and work. I am wondering if it is realistic or not. I am an experienced English teacher with a BA and CELTA certificate, and I am also a rolfer and craniosacral therapist. I have 12 years experience as a rolfer.

I'm a Canadian man who has been living in Sao Paulo for six months, and I speak some Portuguese, although of course it's Brazilian Portuguese.

What do you think? I would love to live on your beautiful island, offer my services to the people, and become part of the community there?

Are there possibilities for me there?
Is it possible to get a work visa?
Would there be a market for my services?
How is the cost of living?

Best to all,


  • There is an English school here together with another for adults, but not sure about employment. As regards your other skills, there are countless clinics and physio's, all offering the type of service you would do.Remember also that Madeiran people do not have much wealth either.
    I believe that if you come from a non EU country you can only stay for the duration of a holiday period, you would need to take advise from the Portugese embassy regards that.
    The cost of living , relative to the wage structure here, is high, eg apartments usually cost around 300 euros upwards, food cost is reasonable services are reasonable but the average wage is only around 500 - 600 euros per month.There is no social security payments available to top up salaries so usually both parents will work and family members see to the children.
  • Thanks for your help with my question. Sobering.....I'm not surprised about the cost of living. One good thing however is the prevelance of therapists there. This is a good thing. It means people are conscious of alternative therapies, and therapy in general, which makes it much easier to build a business there. Especially if there's no one else doing my work (rolfing) which is likely the case. But I'll see how my searches go....
  • Can you explain to us readers what rolfing is?
  • I think it,s like golfing but where do you put the flag? ron how we doing for that drink?
  • Hi Ron and Alan,
    Thanks for asking....

    Rolfing, aka Structural Integration is a form of deep tissue body education developed by a woman in New York, named Dr. Ida Rolf, in the 1950's and 60's, which makes your body straighter, taller, and lighter. It can be quite dramatic in it's ability to change the whole body.

    But probably the best way to learn about it is to google "rolfing" or "structural integration", and you can also check out my website:

    Best to all,
  • I just visited your web sit and Rolfing sounds good and most of the population here could could do with it. People are very traditional unless you have tv coverage and a full page ad in the newspaper for a week.You be better off doing something else that ends in "ing" like cabbing.
  • Don't be a spoilsport RON. Anything that can make you straighter, taller and lighter can't be too bad. Sadly it doesn't mention younger or perhaps I'm just
  • Rolfing is quite wonderful and a great treatment for chronic pain, and i've no doubt people there would love it.

    Ron, don't let a little dose of "traditional" scare you. Traditional means "afraid of something new" right?

    O.K. well keep your eyes open. You might see me some time or another....
  • Though it sounds like something that is popular in the states, like someone said earlier, people in Madeira don't have a lot of money and are pretty conservative as far as trying new things. You would probably be better off contracting with the Hotels in Funchal to see if tourists would be interested.

    Though there is people moving to Maderia, there are more people leaving. Reason being the locals find making a living on their island very tough. Many immigrate to greener pastures.

    But who is to say you can't give it a try?
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