Becoming an expat, my experience

October 18th 2022

My name is Cleo, I am Italian, from Napoli and I first came to Barcelona in 2019 for an entry level Recruitment job here in Talent, company where I still work nowadays and where I grew professionally (today I am the manager of the international team). I always dreamed to move to Barcelona for the beauty of the city, the opportunities that it offers, and the amazing weather and I couldn’t be happier when I got the opportunity to come!

I found the Talent experience in EuropeLanguagesJobs, an international portal very common here in Spain. Since I moved here, I have been giving advice to my friends who wanted to relocate here and as suggestion I told them to always check this web site, as well as Infojobs and Linkedin as well as facebook groups!

Apart from the work related experience, which has been very positive (I’ve also received 2more offers before accepting and choosing Talent), my experience as an expact has been and is being, overall, positive. Since I came here, the people I’ve met has been always very supportive when I was requesting support in the search of an apartment and documentation. Of course, I have to say that I felt a bit lost and overwhelmed when I had to request for the NIE, but I had the luck that my company and colleagues I met, guided me in this bureaucracy journey! Also, regarding the apartment, the prices tend to be high for living alone but I would suggest everyone who just move to Barcelona to share an apartment and rent a room for 400-500€ which is also a way of meeting people 😉 I love Barcelona!  it’s such a cosmopolitan city. There are so many different cultures living here, which means you get to meet people from all over the world, which I find fascinating. This is also greatly reflected in the restaurant scene, as there are so many different cuisines and always new places to discover – I am forever adding to my list of new restaurants to try.

I love that there is always so much to do. Barcelona is definitely a city where you will never get bored. There is often some kind of event happening, many places to go for a walk, a bar on every corner and so on. I also love that you’ve got the option to go to the beach or head to the mountains – it’s the best of both worlds.

Finally, I love the weather. Barcelona is a city with the perfect mix of not too hot in the summer, but not too cold in the winter. For me, it’s just right.

What would I say to people who wants to move here? I often get a lot of questions from people asking me about the language situation in Barcelona. Whilst it’s true that Catalan is the official language, this shouldn’t put people off from moving here. Everyone speaks Spanish and a lot of people can also communicate in English too. Learning some phrases in Catalan might be polite, but it’s definitely not necessary for living here.

I’d also tell people not to worry if they don’t speak Spanish. Yes, it will help you massively, but I’ve also had friends that have moved to Barcelona without speaking a word of Spanish, and they managed to get by just fine and found jobs with no problems! Obviously, if you’re looking to move here in the long term, then learning Spanish would be recommendable, but if you’re just looking to study abroad for a while, or take a gap year, you will be able to get by in English and I think this is important for people to hear. I think there is a big misconception when people say you need to learn the language in order to survive, and I think this puts a lot of people off from moving abroad. Barcelona is a very touristy city, so a great number of people will speak English.

To sum up, my only advice is to come here and get fascinated every day by every corner, art, music, tapas, people and landscape that this amazing city offers us!

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