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So, You Want to Live In Spain, Here’s a Few Things You Should Know First

A lot of people want to live in Spain. In this guide, we’ll discuss what it’s like to live and work in Spain as well as the cost of living, education, and healthcare.


Spain is one of the most recommended territories if you decide to live abroad. Due to its many advantages, it can be one of the best options to emigrate.


The Spanish cities, the many places of interest in Spain, and the culture of this country make it a coveted destination for foreigners looking for a change of scenery.


Spain has hundreds of curious facts that can serve to increase your desire to take a plane and spend some unforgettable years. For example, Spain has more than 8,000 kilometers of beaches, 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a lot of bars.


But beyond that, how is the process of relocating to Spain? After reading this, will you still want to live in Spain? Keep reading to find answers to common concerns about living in one of the most magical destinations in Europe.

PARK GÜELL, Barcelona, Spain, live in spain
Photo by Daniel Corneschi on Unsplash

So, what’s it like to live in Spain?

Life in Spain is so coveted that this is actually the main reason why so many foreigners arrive in the country. Obviously, to live in Spain means to live well. But what does this country offer for everyday life?


Well, it has a perfect balance of security, a prosperous economy, good quality of life indices, a great life expectancy with an average of 83 years, and both personal and professional growth.


In addition, moving to Spain is a great idea because the ‘Motherland’ has clean cities, with rapid urban growth, prestigious universities and, if you are qualified, you can find a job relatively easily. In addition, public transport in Spain is quite good, especially in Madrid, so you can easily get from one place to another.


Advantages of Living in Spain

There are many advantages that come with moving to Spain. With regard to the economy, insecurity rates in Spain continue to remain at a very low level, according to reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat.


Salaries in Spain are paid in euros, one of the most stable currencies in the world and the real estate market is completely diverse and full of opportunities.


When it comes to food they have an exquisite variety of typical dishes such as paella, Galician-style octopus, and Serrano ham that make your palate feel in its element. In Spain, people enjoy a great climate throughout the year, and the mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world.


And the list of advantages continues.


Spain ranks 1st in the ranking of healthiest countries in the world, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). It has a public health care system that is available to all residents of the country.


They are not so strict with their immigration laws, so it is easy to obtain a residence permit, even if you are not a citizen of the European Union. This is especially great if you’re a student.


Studying in Spain is ideal, since not only does it have prestigious universities, but it also has an exceptional offer in postgraduate courses, masters, specialization programs, and language courses. And if the above doesn’t sell you, they even have amazing nightlife. 

public transportation in Spain, Metro, live in spain

How much does it cost to live in Spain?

Knowing the cost of living in Spain is a good way to know if moving to this country is ideal for your budget. In this regard, it is currently the third cheapest country in Western Europe but is more expensive than in 63% of the countries in the world.


Compared to other countries within the EU, such as France or Germany, prices in Spain are generally lower. However, in large cities and tourist areas such as Ibiza or Marbella, the cost of living is much higher than in more remote areas such as towns or cities with a small population.


One of the points where you can see the differences between one area and another when living in Spain is in food, where you can save up to €2,000 a year buying the same products. Another essential good whose price is comparable or even higher than that of Europe is the electricity bill, the 5th most expensive in the EU and without the possibility of self-sufficiency.


If you plan to emigrate to Spain with your family, it is important that you take these details into account.


Is it easy to find work in Spain?

One of the most important considerations if you want to live in Spain is knowing whether or not you can work there. The labor market in Spain is not going through its best moment, with great instability and many temporary contracts.


If you want to live in Spain, you will get better job opportunities if you are highly qualified and also speak English and another foreign language.


The most demanded fields are positions related to engineering, tourism, or construction; On a temporary basis, it is possible for an expatriate in Spain to find work in the agricultural industry, although these types of jobs are quite unstable and do not usually pay very well.


A detail to keep in mind is that certain areas of Spain are bilingual and have their own local language. In public-facing positions, such as hospitality or tourism, you may find it difficult to get a job if you are not also fluent in that language.


How does the Spanish healthcare system work?

Spain has a universal public health system for all residents and legal immigrants. If you are a European citizen you can receive health care as long as you have a European health card. 


The Spanish health system is financed through direct Social Security taxes, although expatriates in Spain can also take out private health insurance. In public medical centers you will first be treated generally for minor illnesses and ailments and, if necessary, will refer you to a specialist if your problem requires more specific treatment.


If you decide to live in Spain from outside Europe, be sure you are prepared to cover private insurance.

Edificio Metropoli, Gran vía - Madrid, Spain, Madrid, España, buy a house in spain
Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash

Education in Spain

Before you live in Spain it’s important to understand the way the educational system works. Like many other European countries, education is free and compulsory from 6 to 16 years old.


In regions with co-official languages, such as Catalonia or Galicia, teaching can be given in the local language and not in Spanish, although this is not usual.


If you plan to emigrate to Spain with children, you should also know that there are 2 other school modalities in addition to the public one: concerted (private centers with partial public financing) and private (centers with a religious affiliation or international bilingual education centers).


Basic education is divided into primary (6-12 years) and secondary (12-16), both compulsory. If you want to continue towards the university, the idea is to study the 2 years of high school and take the entrance exam; if not, there is the option of Vocational Training (or FP) to learn a trade.


Before you choose to live in Spain it’s important to know that University there is not free, tuition fees range between €1,000 and €3,000, although it is possible in some cases to request a scholarship that covers part of the expenses.


Final Thoughts

If you really want to live in Spain it’s important to first take the above information into consideration. Will moving to Spain be easy on your budget? Will you be able to work, study, and find reasonable healthcare there? Hopefully, we’ve answered your questions above.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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