Spain is a nation rich with history and culture. Many people from neighboring countries move there to live out their twilight years. After all, sunny Spain offers a nicer climate than the wet and dreary British Isles, for instance!
But it’s not just the soon-to-be retired that move out to Spain. A lot of younger individuals opt for a more laid-back lifestyle in the Iberian peninsula. If you are ready to live the dream, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about living and working in Spain.
Photo Credit: 8mm & Other Stuff (Flickr)
Learning the language
As you have no problem reading this blog post, I will assume that you have an excellent grasp of the English language. The trouble is; most people in Spain only speak Spanish!
If you plan to live and work in a tourist area such as Benidorm, you will find that most people speak English. In fact, most people might hail from the United Kingdom! But if you want to live and work in some other part of Spain, having no grasp of Spanish will make your life hard!
Regardless of where you go, I recommend learning Spanish. You are bound to find Spanish tutors in your home country. To be honest, you will learn a lot more Spanish once you live in Spain. They say it’s easier to learn a language when you have no choice, but to speak it every day.
Do you come from a Spanish-speaking country like Mexico or Colombia? If so, you will find it easier than most to get to grips with Spanish in Spain.
There are some differences between Spain’s Spanish and the Spanish spoken in other places.
Working in Spain
As a foreigner, you shouldn’t have any issues getting a job in Spain. The qualifications that you have earnt from other countries are, usually, recognizable in Spain.
The Spanish are quite accepting of foreign workers and will do their best to welcome you into their country. It’s worth noting that the salaries paid in Spain are lower than in other European nations. But the cost of living is also lower too.
Normal working hours include a “siesta. It is a two or three-hour break that workers have during the middle of the day to escape the heat from the sun. The only downside to that is your working hours get extended into the evening. Still, it’s a good way to break up the day!
Spain only allows people to work there if they have valid NIE numbers. They are the equivalent of social security numbers.
Living in Spain
As with any country, there are affordable and expensive areas to live. It’s worth doing some online research to find out where are reasonable places to live. If you move to a coastal or tourist area, expect to pay a lot for rent or accommodation.
Spanish taxpayers pay into a social security fund that offers free healthcare. But I recommend taking out private medical insurance as the free care isn’t as good as say the NHS system in the United Kingdom.
Good luck with your move to Spain; I hope it works out for you!