Spain is a destination preferred by a lot of people who enjoy life. In that warm country, food tastes better, days are longer, and nights are sizzling, with fun and vibrant nightlife.
Before deciding on living in a place where streets, buildings and the whole atmosphere absorb the heat of the burning sun, it is advisable to acquaint yourself with some specifics. With good preparation, moving there can happen without any unwanted surprises.
Do we need to know Spanish?
When you move to Spain, you will engage in a new culture, and meet cheerful, ardent people who you would like to become closer to. In order to achieve better communication and to fit in, you would need to get familiar with the language.
If you don’t know the local language, it is advisable that you sign up for a course before you move to the country. After you get settled, keep improving your knowledge. This will help you with finding a job with a higher income, and also with renting or buying a place to live and dealing with all subsequent administration work.
Spanish could be quite diverse across the different regions in Spain. It’s the national language, but there are the so-called varieties – Catalan, Galician, Basque and Valencian. Get familiar with them. In your education, set your direction towards learning the dialect that locals in the part of Spain you have chosen use. This would help you avoid judgment from the local community that cares a lot about its language.
Think about a place to live
Finding a place to live in Spain could be quite difficult. It is a good idea to trust a professional agent who speaks Spanish and English excellently. They will help you get smoothly around the stumbling blocks that may appear on your way to renting or buying a home.
At the beginning, you could go with renting, just until you get to know the city and it becomes a comfort zone. Apartment prices in bigger cities are relatively affordable in areas with slow human traffic. It would be a lot more convenient if you chose the location of your home according to your new workplace. Get a place which is close to a market so you always have fresh products.
What should we expect from the working environment?
The average wage in the country is around €2710, and it varies across sectors and cities, as well as according to your experience. EU and EEA citizens have the right to live and work in Spain. For UK citizens, the requirements for residency and employment are different, as they are for other foreigners. They are related to an additional visa application.
Check out the latest requirements for obtaining all the necessary permits before moving, and research your options for Golden Visa and Non-Lucrative Visa.
The working day in Spain is longer than the usual in Europe. It ends around 8 or 9 p.m. This prolongment is compensated by long lunch breaks, which last for 2 hours or more. They are the perfect time for delicious food, a peaceful atmosphere and acquainting. Thanks to the little “escape” from the working day, your dinner will be put off for 2 hours. Most restaurants work till late and they are filled with people who have fun loudly, way past bedtime.
Moving to Spain with children
Moving with children can go more smoothly with some preparation. You should, beforehand, do research on the entertainments around the city, and should seek other parents’ input. Interesting family activities will help your children accept Spain as their new home. Visit places where they can form new friendships before school starts.
Spanish educational system gives the opportunity of studying in a state, private or international school. State schools are affordable but they teach in Spanish there, and it could be quite different across regions (in Catalonia, they teach in Catalan). Little children adapt more easily and they would be able to grasp the local language quickly.
If your children are teenagers and they don’t know Spanish very well, you could send them to an international or a private school.
Most international schools offer education in English with additional studying of Spanish as a foreign language. Your children would be able to communicate with their schoolmates in English and start new friendships quite quickly, and wouldn’t feel isolated. Private schools in Spain offer high quality education and have advanced infrastructure and technological equipment. Remember that certain compulsory exams have to be taken when applying to school. They define a student’s level of academic and language preparation.
Moving to Spain with a pet
Before you decide on moving to Spain with your pet, you need to know the requirements of the country on the matter. Get all of your animal’s important papers ready, diligently and in time. All pets need to have an ID microchip that complies with the ISO 11784 standard or with Annex A to ISO 11785. Additionally, AVID 9 and AVID 10 are also accepted in Spain. Most breeds must be vaccinated for rabies after their microchip has been placed. Vaccination is valid up to 21 days after administration.
Some pets, like birds, fish, reptiles, need to fulfill additional requirements upon entering Spain, which you need to research. Dog breeds, like Rottweiler, Brazillian Mastiff, Dogo Argentino and others, can’t live legally in Spain. Get familiar with these specifics.
Driver’s license when moving to Spain
Driving in Spain with a foreign driver’s license is legal for the first 6 months if you’re a citizen of a non-EU country. This holds for licenses issued in the UK as well. If your country of origin is within the EU and EEA, your document is valid for 2 years.
While you are using your foreign license, you need to carry an official translation of it at all times, or an International Driving Permit (IDP). IDP is a paper that presents a translation of your driver’s license in different languages, including Spanish. After the periods mentioned above expire, you need to renew your license, and there are various requirements related to the papers you submit in the process.
The legal minimum age for driving in Spain is 18 years old. Nobody under this age is allowed to drive, even if they have a license issued in another country.
Importing and subsequent registering of your personal vehicle in Spain is connected to several mandatory steps, like passing a roadworthiness test. Get familiar with all requirements and documents concerning your vehicle’s registration.
Don’t forget about your health insurance
The healthcare system in Spain is accommodated to the need of all citizens and is one of the finest in the world. The Spanish National Healthcare System offers free care and covers up to 75% of some treatments of all citizens registered in it.
We recommend you obtain a social security number, which comes with some conditions.
The TSI healthcare card is recognised all over Spain and with it, you can receive treatment by specialists in hospitals, as well as home treatment. The card covers between 40 and 60 percent of prescribed medication costs. Prescription fee in drug stores is paid separately, at the purchase of the medication.
There is an option for private health insurance, which is usually chosen by immigrants in Spain, who do not have a European Health Insurance Card, and by those who don’t comply with the requirements for public insurance. Private insurance is affordable and offers a wide choice of packages created according to your needs. You could get insurance for a longer period of time and take advantage of the option to choose specialists who know English, while you are still adapting.
Nature and locations
Spain is a large country and the climate varies across different regions. While in the Northern part it is more temperate, down South, it could definitely get very hot in the summer. Midday heat is the main reason for the famous siesta that has become a routine in Spanish people’s lives. In the afternoons, all restaurants, stores and administration offices have flexible working hours that you will have to accept.
You need to take climate into consideration when choosing an area. Summer will definitely be more enjoyable if you pick a city close to water. If you’re more of a winter sports kind of person, then the Pyrenees will be welcoming with their cold and snow. You could add them to your list of places you must visit.
Spain offers amazing sightseeing, and internal transport is affordable and with well-planned routes throughout the whole country.
Movega Removals will help you move to Spain
The key to moving to Spain without any trouble is in choosing a reliable company to transport your belongings. Movega Removals pays attention to every detail and cares about the results. Trust our professional team to move your possessions to any part of Europe.