8 Things to Adjust after moving to spain

Things to Adjust After Moving to Spain

Living abroad brings a new perspective to your life; the dynamic of cultural experience is much deeper than just spending a short period. I began to consider moving to a city where it is suitable for multicultural kids after having my two daughters. I knew Barcelona would be an excellent place for us to embrace multiculturalism and diversity. Most importantly, to help my biracial children develop self-identity by understanding and respecting differences. Undoubtedly, moving abroad is a significant decision for any family. Planning a brand new chapter overseas is exciting. However, moving to Spain with children requires much planning and effort.

Moving to Spain is an exciting adventure but also comes with its share of challenges. As a family, the process of adaptation can be both rewarding and demanding. Here are several aspects to consider when adjusting to life in Spain:

1. Languages

One of the most fundamental adjustments when moving to Spain is the language barrier. The official languages of Catalonia are Catalan and Spanish, and fluency in one or both is essential for effective communication. While English is widely spoken in Barcelona, it’s crucial to learn the local languages for a deeper and more integrated experience. Consider enrolling yourself and your children in language courses to accelerate the language learning process.

2. Food Cultures

Change in food culture is another apparent adjustment you’ll have to make after moving to Spain. Missing the flavors and culinary traditions of your home country is common when moving abroad. When you first arrive in Spain, everything seems exciting and novel, but over time, food culture shock may set in. To address this, explore international markets or restaurants in Barcelona that offer familiar dishes from your homeland. You can also take this opportunity to learn how to cook Spanish cuisine and discover new favorites.

3. Active Hours

Spain operates on a different schedule compared to Taiwan. Businesses often have a siesta in the afternoon, extending the workday into the evening. Adapting to this schedule, especially for your children, may take time. Plan your daily routine accordingly, ensuring your kids get adequate rest despite the later bedtime.

4. Change in Pace

Spain generally has a slower pace of life compared to Taiwan. While this can be enjoyable in many respects, it can also be frustrating when dealing with bureaucracy and administrative tasks. Patience and understanding are key to navigating these situations and accepting that efficiency can vary in different aspects of daily life.

5. Rebuild the Support System

Moving to Spain may mean leaving behind a close support system of family and friends. To ease this transition, actively seek out local relatives, make new friends, and engage with the community. As a multicultural family, look for groups and organizations that share your background or interests. Building relationships takes time and effort, but it’s an essential part of feeling at home in a new country.

6. Transportation

Choosing not to buy a car in Barcelona can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly decision. Public transportation is convenient and widely available, but grocery shopping without a car might require some planning. Consider online shopping for bulk purchases and enjoy the experience of shopping at local supermarkets when feasible. It’s a different lifestyle, but it can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

7. Weather

Adapting to the weather in Barcelona can be relatively easy compared to other aspects of moving. The climate in Taiwan is tropical, while Barcelona experiences more moderate temperatures. Make sure your family is equipped for the different seasons with appropriate clothing. Enjoy the pleasant weather in Barcelona and explore outdoor activities year-round.

8. Safety

Safety is a top concern when moving to a new country. While both Taiwan and Barcelona have relatively low crime rates, it’s important to be aware of the unique safety challenges in your new environment. In Barcelona, pickpocketing can be a concern, so always keep an eye on your belongings and use anti-theft measures, such as money belts and secure bags. Encourage your children to be vigilant as well.

9. Education System

Understanding the education system in Spain is crucial if you have school-age children. Spain offers both public and private education, and the curriculum may differ from what you’re used to. Research the local schools, their curricula, and consider your options. Language can also be a factor, as Catalan is often the medium of instruction in Catalonia.

10. Healthcare

Familiarize yourself with the healthcare system in Spain. It is renowned for its quality, but there may be differences in terms of access and services compared to what you’re accustomed to in Taiwan. Ensure that you and your family have adequate health insurance coverage and know how to access medical care when needed.

11. Cultural Sensitivity

Spain has its own cultural norms and customs. It’s important to be culturally sensitive and respectful. Encourage your children to learn about and appreciate the local culture and traditions. Participate in local festivities and events to embrace the cultural richness of your new home.

Moving to Spain is a significant life change, especially when children are involved. Adapting to a new culture, language, and lifestyle can be both exciting and challenging. By focusing on the key areas of adjustment, such as language, food culture, daily routines, building a support system, and understanding the education and healthcare systems, you can help your family transition smoothly and embrace the multicultural experience that Spain offers. It’s important to be patient, open-minded, and proactive in creating a fulfilling life in your new home. As you navigate these adjustments, you’ll find that living in Spain brings a unique perspective to your family’s life and creates lasting memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

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