Moving abroad is an exciting concept, a new fresh start in a different and exciting place, there are so many reasons to consider making a move abroad.
Whether you’re moving abroad to retire, for work, better education for your children, to be with family or just because you want a new adventure, living in a different country lets you experience it in a totally different way.
However, when living abroad not only will you get all the exciting benefits of your new home country but you’ll also have to be prepared to endure the negatives that may come alongside them.
If you’re thinking of moving to Spain it’s important to be aware of the ups and downs you may experience when living in the sunny European country. So, here’s what to expect.
Good cost of living
In comparison to many other cities in the world such as London, Paris and New York, cities in Spain including Madrid and Barcelona, enjoy a high quality of life for a lot less money. In fact, everywhere in Spain is pretty reasonably priced with apartments and the general cost of living falling well within the average salaries for most positions.
The weather will be great
Spain’s climate is much milder than most countries in Northern Europe and so be prepared to enjoy sunny days for at least half of the year. Of course, it has a winter too and winters can get chilly and are often wet but the amount of sunshine throughout the year outweighs this and gives you plenty of time to relax on the many beautiful beaches that Spain has to offer. There’s almost 5,000 kilometres of coastline in Spain, so if you’re a fan of the beach, you’ll be a fan of life in Spain.
It’s easy to open a bank account
It may come as a surprise but it’s easier to open a non-resident account in Spain than it is to open a resident account which means as an expat you’ll have no trouble sorting out a bank account when arriving in Spain. However, you will find that non-resident accounts aren’t as flexible and don’t come with as many benefits as resident accounts.
It has one of the best healthcare systems
As an expat in Spain, you’ll have full access to the Spanish National Health System which is universal and is known for being one of the best in the world. If you’re working in Spain or you’re over the retirement age you are entitled to treatment and the SNS covers most procedures free of charge. You can opt to pay for private healthcare but Spain prides itself on its equal healthcare systems with many top doctors practising within the public system.
It has a high unemployment rate
Spain was hit very hard by the economic crisis and because of this, the unemployment rate in Spain remains high. If you’re moving to Spain and hoping to find a job you may want to bear this in mind as it could be more difficult than anticipated.
Their schedule is very different
Spaniards are very laid back and relaxed and life in Spain moves slowly. Often Morning stretches into late afternoon and Spaniards tend to eat dinner a lot later than us Brits meaning restaurants don’t open until late. There’s also afternoon siestas to contend with and many small businesses may shut for a period of time. It can often be hard for newcomers to adjust to this lifestyle, if you’re used to a fast-paced life and like to get things done it could be frustrating.
There’s lots of paperwork
When it comes to moving to Spain, it’s known for its red tape and bureaucracy. There are lots of forms to be filled out and even the simplest of things often requires many trips to the Town Hall and lots of photocopies of forms, especially if you’re moving from outside of the EU. It can take time and patience but it should by no means put you off if you’re set on moving to the Kingdom of Spain.