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An Expat Talks about Moving to Barcelona, Spain, Report 24813 | Expat Exchange
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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Barcelona, Spain

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Barcelona

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No

Balcells Group LawyersBalcells Group Lawyers
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With over 40 years of professional experience, Balcells Group provides legal advice on immigration, business, real estate, and tax. They help individuals, companies, investors, students, entrepreneurs, highly-qualified professionals, digital nomads, and more, to enjoy successful law processes in Spain by guiding their clients every step of the way. They speak Spanish, English, Catalan and Russian.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Balcells Group LawyersBalcells Group Lawyers

With over 40 years of professional experience, Balcells Group provides legal advice on immigration, business, real estate, and tax. They help individuals, companies, investors, students, entrepreneurs, highly-qualified professionals, digital nomads, and more, to enjoy successful law processes in Spain by guiding their clients every step of the way. They speak Spanish, English, Catalan and Russian.
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

Yes. I learned it many years before but had not used it in a very long tome. It is very useful to get a dictionary with pictures of every day words.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No

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Take the hassle out of buying property in Spain! Expat Estate is a bespoke buyer advisory firm helping foreign nationals purchase property in Spain. Providing end-to-end services from property search and acquisition to legals, mortgage broking, property management and support with Golden Visas, Expat Estate takes the stress out of home ownership in Spain.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

I had expected handy men and workers to be more customer service oriented. Everything takes a lot longer to do here but people don't seem to be bent out of shape about it.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Yes, I feel like I went through these changes and I expect to go through them again when I move to a new place.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Until one gets their own group of friends it is a very lonely time. Having moved prior, I knew that the most important thing for me was to find friends ASAP. So I joined women's groups and volunteered at school. That helped a lot as there were many people in the same boat as me.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Some of the things that frustrated me are now what I appreciate. I enjoy the conversation I have with the people at the fruit store or the post office while I am waiting in line. I like the reliance on our own two feet and not using the car. I appreciate that the family is VERY important and everyone takes off Sunday to spend time with them.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Dealing with governmental bureaus, immigration, visas etc.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Let's just say, don't assume you are the only ones who speak English.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Take your time, make new friends and enjoy the moment!

Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

Balcells Group provides immigration, business, legal, and tax advice to individuals, companies, investors, students, entrepreneurs, highly-qualified professionals, digital nomads, and more. They speak English, Spanish, Catalan, and Russian.
Learn More

Balcells Group LawyersBalcells Group Lawyers

Balcells Group provides immigration, business, legal, and tax advice to individuals, companies, investors, students, entrepreneurs, highly-qualified professionals, digital nomads, and more. They speak English, Spanish, Catalan, and Russian.
Learn More

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