Has anyone moved to spain to live for a year or two?

Im thinking about doing some travelling and would love to live in spain for a while and maybe pick up some of the language. Im fed up with life over here at the moment and have just had a great holiday there. Has anyone ever done this? Just packed there things and gone for it? Im a young guy and not too sure want i want for the future career wise so i figure i have nothing to lose. Id love to know if anyone does this and how it was? What kind of jobs you did and how you did it? Did you flat share, rent an apartment, get yourself a job before you went or found one once you got there? THANKS!!


Even if you havnt just randomly lived in spain for a year or so and live there on a more permanent basis, id love to hear from you guys.

6 Answers

  • Judith
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think you should go for it. But I also think you should do some planning though so you get the most out of your adventure. I spent a summer in Spain - 3 months several years ago; was on Tenerife working at the University for 4 months this year and vacation there quite frequently.

    1. Consider a formal study of Spanish. If you are from outside the EU you can get a visa to be in Spain for an extended period of time if you go to study the language in a qualified program, EU people can just go there with no visa. I would go to a nearby University where you live and find out if the Spanish Department can recommend a good language school in Spain. I would go for a full-time course, meaning at least 4-6 hours a day - 5 days a week, of Spanish classes. That way you will learn Spanish in a more systematic and quicker way. Also you will meet friends. (Non-EU folk only can be there on 3-month tourist visas unless they apply for a longer visa. Most need PROOF of acceptance into a language program before the visa is granted from your home country. There are short term classes too, like Berlitz, that offer courses on a monthly basis.)

    2. You could go to Spain on a 1-2 year AU PAIR contract! Yes, guys can do that too! I live in Scandinavia now, and one of the ladies in my circle of friends had a male au pair! Au pairs usually take care of children and/or do light house work. There are also au pairs that take care of elderly people while their adult children are at work.

    3. You could just travel and stay in youth hostels. And/or you could take the 6 week El Camino - St James Walk in Northern Spain (starts in France and ends in Santiago de la Compostela). You stay at Pilgrim Hostels along the way. Earn a lot of money BEFORE you go to Spain so you have something to live on. You could work Monday to Friday at one job and then Saturday and Sunday at another job. Get a book like: Lets Go Spain. There you will learn about cheaper hotles and other bargins.

    I recommend you need at least 2 weeks in Barcelona; 1 week in Madrid, a couple of days in: Toledo; Segovia, Salamaca; Granada, Cordoba; Valencia, Santiago de la Compostela. And there is the Beach!

    4. Jobs are hard to get in Spain these days. The unemployment rate is over 20%. There are lots of young people unable to get jobs, even with a University education. The only thing I can think of is that you look into companies where you live now who are in the tourist industry serving people from your country that go to Spain. Like here we have Star Tour, Apollo, Thomas Cook and Ving that are Charter companies offering charter flights and hotels in Spain (Alicante, Mallorca and the Canary Islands). They need people to get the tourists on the buses and to their hotels, etc. Perhaps your country has Charter Companies. You get hired, take their short course, and then start working!

    5. Housing: Youth hostels, a language school might be able to help you, the Guide books have cheaper hotels, go to your local charter company and see if they have LONG-TERM rates! I know I can stay on Cypress for 3-4 months only a few thousand dollars in the winter off-season months, including airfare!

    6. Are you a bar-tender? There still seemed to be bar-tending jobs the last time I was in Tenerife last winter- spring for 4 months on business. I've also heard that Alicante and Mallorca in the summer hire bar-tenders and waitors from EU countries.

    Have a great adventure!

    Source(s): Me. My life.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Where is "over here"? It helps to know.

    Here's the facts: getting a work visa (depending on your citizenship, you may need one) is near impossible. Without one, you can't work. If you're from an EU country, and don't need a visa, getting a job is near impossible. Because work is extremely scarce, and people THERE can't find work! Especially if they aren't "sure what they want for a future career".

    It's not really as simple as that. There was a time when it was, but it isn't anymore.

    Randomness just doesn't work well, anymore.

    Good luck with that.

    Oh, and "picking up some of the language" isn't going to happen, either. You'd better take some courses BEFORE you go, or you're going to wind up ripped off.

    @wife: I have heard what "picking up" a language sounds like. Sorry. You were likely NOT FLUENT after a year of "picking up" the language. However, I was referring to the fact that it takes time to learn a language well enough to work in the country in question. And "picking up" a language works tons better if the person has some courses, FIRST.

    Also, your friends all moved there when the economy was much better than it is today. What this person wants to do is not terribly likely in the current climate. Everyone else who has answered moved WITH JOBS LINED UP. They didn't just "casually" pick up work while traveling. The odds of doing so in this economy are REALLY low.

  • 8 years ago

    I did it, but I had a job lined up, so it was a different situation. You don't say where you're coming from, but pretty much anywhere outside the EU you need a visa if you plan stay longer than 90 days OR work. You may need to have a job lined up to get a work visa, I'm not sure. Unemployment in Spain is also over 20% now, and most openings are going to Spanish nationals. I don't mean to be down on your idea, but you'll need to plan ahead if you need to get work there. One option is to investigate teaching English. That's big business over there. It can be a great experience, too, just traveling for a while.

  • guiri
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Yes. I did. I got a really good job with a multinational company and went. Rented at first until I found a really nice place that had been on the market for years.

    Seem to be happily stuck in Spain.

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  • 8 years ago

    I moved there with my family when i was 11 and know of plenty of families and friends that have just "packed up" looking for a new life and new adventures. It doesn't have to be as complicated as you think.

    I would suggest the Mediterranean coast, Costa Blanca/Del Sol areas, they have some of the prettiest towns in Spain and the social life is fantastic for any age. They also have a high English Tourist/Permanent population this makes it easier for new comers to get jobs at local bars/shops where they are wanting staff that speak English.

    Summer is a great time to head to Spain, from April onwards bars and shops hire a lot of extra staff and Ive never found it hard to get a job in a beach bar etc..

    I would enquirer about apartments before you go, this way you wont be left stranded in a hotel for weeks, you never know what could happen so having the security of a place ready for you is always nice.

    here is a helpful website which helped me when i moved to Javea, its a great place (im 23 by the way) very lively (especially in summer!) its normally quite easy to get a bar job here as in summer 10 extra beach bars are opened in Javea alone all wanting staff. The agent i dealt with was so friendly and helped me find a lovely (but affordable, since these places can be really expensive especially in summer) place to rent. its best if you call for rentals that's how i got a cheaper place.

    Good Luck



    DART: you most certainly can "pick up the language" I was almost fluent within a year from working in a bar since you have to speak to other members of staff and customers. You'd be surprised how quick you can pick things up when you interact with people.

    DART: I know how the climate is there since my family are still there and my friends and I go back every summer (most of us moved back to England for Uni) but during the holidays we just "pick up" and leave for Spain again and yes land in jobs EVERY TIME all 8 of us! yes of course some courses could be helpful I never said they wouldn't but you can "pick it up" and yes a job lined up would be ideal but if you have enough savings to go and manage without a job for a month (to give yourself time to search) then you can just go. I kept saying SUMMER is the best time to get a job, winter is much harder but not impossible.

    I was in fact basically fluent when I left (and I didn't learn it from school as I went to an English school) I learnt it from working but I know tons of children who are sent straight to Spanish school without knowing a word of Spanish and they "picked it up" since that's all you can do when the teachers aren't speaking to you in English. If you truly live in Spain there is no WAY you haven't heard of English kids going to Spanish school and "picking it up" within 6months.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Yep, I did it 7 years ago. Still here now.

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