Spain is home to nearly 47 million people. There are a few things you need to be mindful of before you pack your bags so you don’t stick out like a tourist.
Moving is one thing, but moving to a different country is a whole other level.
In addition to getting all the proper paperwork filled out, you have to decide exactly where you want to live and how you’re going to afford it all.
Overwhelmed? For a less stressful move, read our quick guide for 5 things to know before moving to Spain.
Study up on Your Spanish
Before you make the move, break out those Spanish flashcards and download a language learning app. Sure you’ll pick up on some Spanish when you are living there, but it’s best to know a few key phrases and words to help you out when you first get there.
Nearly 60% of Spanish locals don’t speak any English, so avoid future frustration by putting in some study hours now.
Secure a Job Before Moving
Unless you have a cushy amount of savings to live off of, you are going to need to get a job. To make your transition into Spain less stressful, try to secure a job before your move.
When it comes to the Spain job market, employers prioritize hiring locals over foreigners. Foreigners typically are only hired for jobs listed on the shortage occupation list.
Alternatively, you can work a remote and/or freelance job while in Spain. Some remote jobs you can do while living in Spain include freelance writer, photographer, or website designer.
There Are Plenty of Neighborhoods to Choose From
There are many cities in Spain to choose from. Each one has its own vibe and benefits. Here are some of the best places to live in Spain for ex-pats:
Each of these cities offers something different; some cities are quieter than others and some are closer to the water. Before you start your housing search, do your research.
Finding an Apartment Takes Patience
While you can find an apartment completely online, it’s probably best if you wait until you are in the country so you can see listings in person.
For your first few weeks, you can plan to stay in an Airbnb while you look for an apartment. To start your search, you can browse sites like choosemarbella.com.
Spain Has Delicious Cuisine, But Be Prepared for Different Meal Times
One of the easiest ways to take in Spanish culture is through the food. Get ready for Spanish dishes like paella, jamòn, and gazpacho.
However, the local schedule for eating times is very different than that of the states. For example, Breakfast happens before 9:30 am, lunch is usually around 2 or 4 pm, and dinner isn’t served until 10 or 11 pm. In between mealtimes, most Spaniards have a snack.
The culture around meals is also different. America thrives on multitasking during mealtimes, whether that’s eating lunch at your desk or dinner in front of the TV. In Spain, the main focus of the meal is the food and the people you eat with.
Moving to Spain Requires Research
Moving can be stressful, especially when you’re moving to a whole new country. If you take the time before moving to Spain to learn some of the language, research the neighborhoods, secure a job, and read up on the culture, you’ll be just fine.
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