Barcelona is “the” city where life is good. Whether students, young people who work there, families, all find in this city, a joy of life, to work, to meet people, friends and to have fun.
This is a special spot in Spain for those who aim to be fluent in Spanish and choose to stay during months taking classes and just being another inhabitant of the country. If you are interested in linguistic stays, we advise you to do some research about schools. Pay attention to Expanish language school in Barcelona which has plenty of cool options about courses.
Besides it is well known that immersion programs are the best deal when it comes to learning a language, how is it really the life as a student in Barcelona?
How to settle in Barcelona
Several factors will make you decide on a neighborhood to live. You need to consider your needs: who you are traveling with? Are you going to work and study? Where?
It all depends on your group travel composition, but it’s obvious that you have to try not to spend too much time in transport for going to the school and work, it would be a loss of quality of life.
- Gracia: It is best to be close to your job and school, and prefer those places near authentic neighborhoods like Gracia, surrounded by shops, quiet and central.
- Barcelonetta is a neighborhood closer to the sea, more popular, but fun to live.
- Then there is the district of Sarria which is more eccentric but with pedestrian streets, not far from high schools. It’s a pretty artist district with plenty of workshops.
- Then comes the district of Pedralbes, where there are schools but it is also the most expensive area in Barcelona.
- Another choice is to live near Sitges, which is near the airport to the south, and where the beach and Summer vibes are amazing.
Traffic is a real matter in Barcelona, so avoid getting too far out of the way, getting miles to work, or spending too much time on the metro. You will gain in quality of life. Chloé, a student that has spent 6 months in Barcelona shares her experience: “I settled north of Barcelona in San Cugat because my Spanish school was nearby and I was very close to Barcelona by public transport, so going to my part-time job was not a great deal.”
Can you work in Barcelona?
On this point they were all unanimous: it is said that it is difficult for people to find work and yet Barcelona seems so open, and economically so dynamic!
Some tips: speaking Spanish, in addition to Catalan, English is a plus. Do not apply only to English companies because these companies that establish themselves have the objective of hiring premises. It is better to turn to Spanish structures. There you will have more success.
Be sure to get all your paperwork ready before leaving since particular permissions are needed according to your nationality.
Chloé, a first hand experience
Chloé is a 26-years-old french student that found in her time in Spain an unforgettable experience. In order to perfectionate her Spanish, she has chosen Barcelona to study and do temporary work in a restaurant.
Her approach to the Spanish language was a little shy at first, but she learned how to manage and her weekly classes were a great help:
“Language is a big obstacle. However, it is not a language that is completely unknown to me since I studied it for several years in high school. But I could not keep a long conversation before.
This is an opportunity for me to speak only Spanish for 3 hours a week and relearn the basic rules to form sentences. It works pretty well for me!”
One last thing that caught Chloé’s attention: the food. She knew that obviously, she would not find the same products as in France in supermarkets. Especially supermarkets like Mercadona and Bonpreu, which are the cheapest brands. Logic! Yet she was frustrated and sad to have lost: cheese, bread, pastries, sweets, cakes.
And then, recently, Chloé discovered El Corte Inglés – where she could find a lot of food substantially similar to France.
Chloé decided to stay longer in Barcelona and keep practicing not only language but a way of living:
“In the end, they are just a little everyday things. But when we are deprived of all our bearings, it is important to create new ones. For my part, I feel much better in my mind and in my life in Barcelona.
I also cling to the professional projects that allow me to have a goal and create my new life around them. I am building a new life in this beautiful city of Barcelona. I know that there are many things to live in and a multitude of places to discover. It’s a new life full of excitement.
I really like my new life between intensive week work, and beach and shopping on the weekends.”