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Curiosities or stories from an expat

So what about being an expat in Barcelona? A warning for expats-to-be ;-)

Since 20 years by now (2014) I have been loving and visiting this city. I studied Spanish here, left, came back to work here, left, came back to work here …. left again! Came back again! And work here … So this is the third time. A Catalan friend of mine once said: Barcelona is such a great city – but you just can’t live in it! It is like other amazing cities in the world a busy, noisy and competitive place. Appartment rental is expensive, salaries are low. There is something called crisis going on … or is it already over? You never know. It seems as if companies always have some good reasons to keep giving you short term contracts or to lower your salary. The labor market is big and so there is always enough people willing to do the job.

So if you think of moving to Barcelona, be realistic. You might be sharing appartment because your salary won’t be enough to pay for rent and a living. Most of the expat jobs are jobs where languages are required. If you consider working as a Helpdesk agent, Customer Service Representative, Language teacher and the like, you will be able to find a job fast. Otherwise you might spend months and months looking for a job that pays you somehow decently.

There are so many companies and jobs out there, I cannot generalize and do not want to keep you from giving it a shot! After all, here is my third round … my first job was in a Translation Agency and I was sharing appartment. Back then in 1997, life in Barcelona was much cheaper and I could enjoy it more. The second time I started working as a Helpdesk agent but it was a nightmare and then left for a job I found back home in my country. This time I am working in the Tour Operator industry. To give you an idea: the rent I am paying is half of what I earn (don’t want to live like a student anymore!) … so much about the “quality of life in the South”!  Sunshine won’t pay your salary, after all!

If you are strong and willing enough to go through the odds of finding a job and an appartment in Barcelona, don’t go thinking that it will be an eternal vacation, having tapas and cocktails all the time. You might be working harder and longer for less.

There are definitely reasons to go for it – and you will find those reasons on my blog. I am sharing with you my favorite places, my best experiences and all the knowledge I have gathered about this city in 20 years. Enjoy seeing Barcelona from my point of view! Benvinguts (welcome in Catalan).


About caribbeanislandhopper

Discovery and beyond


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