Home Spain Forum Spain Guide Moving to Spain Real Estate Healthcare in Spain
Spain
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
AGS Worldwide Movers

Barcelona >

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Barcelona, Spain


La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

One expat who lives in Barcelona experienced very little culture shock when she moved there. She suggests that when you are open and sincerely interested in the people you meet and their way of life, you'll almost always have a great experience.

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

Expats living in Spain interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Spain interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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?

I learned enough Spanish to get by with, and I keep learning.

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

No, not at all

Moving to Spain

Moving to Spain soon? AGS Worldwide Movers is a leader in the international moving industry. Their experience and expertise allows them to guarantee their clients the best quality moving services. Get a moving quote today.

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

To start with, there was none. As time went on I found out Spaniards have a different way of looking at punctuality. Nothing else negative to report.

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?

I don't think I ever went through any culture shock. Most people I met were very friendly and helpful. Particularly employees of City Council and similar places were nice, they spoke slowly for me and explained things properly. If it was culture shock it was definitely a positive one.

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.

I still try to be punctual, but I accept the fact that Spaniards don't handle appointments and the beginning of meetings the same way I do.

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

Friendliness, willingness to help, tortilla, gazpacho and sangria.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Spaniards, like most people from Southern Europe, love loud music, even late at night. I'm more a quiet person.

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

I wouldn't know. There may have been some.

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

I think culture shock is a different name for lack of information and too many or wrong expectations. It's all about how people interact with each other. If you walk up to somebody and show you are interested in them and their way of life, you will nearly always have a wonderful experience.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

Comments about this Report

guest
Nov 5, 2014 05:34

Although I do not live in Barcelona proper (we are in a town in Barcelona province) I completely agree with the writer of this expat report on culture shock. My experience mirrors hers in that 99% of the people my husband and I have dealt with have been helpful and friendly. The only shock has been the cost of utilities and clothing. Not much you can do about the charge for electricity, gas and water; however, once you learn when and where to shop for other items (clothing, household goods, etc., you can control your costs.

guest
Apr 27, 2015 04:10

Thank you for your comments. I agree lack of information and uncertainty certainly can create culture shock. Are you on a temporary assignment or do you plan to live here permanently? Since I am a recently retired expat, I was wondering if your experience is different.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Spain from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-BarcelonaAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Barcelona, Spain

One expat who lives in Barcelona experienced very little culture shock when she moved there. She suggests that when you are open and sincerely interested in the people you meet and their way of life, you'll almost always have a great experience.

One expat who lives in Barcelona experienced very little culture shock when she moved there. She suggests that when you are open and sincerely interested in the people you meet and their way of life,...

10-Tips-for-Living-in-SpainExpat Spain: 10 Tips for Living in Spain

With it's warm culture, thriving cities and beautiful countryside, expats agree that Spain has it all. Expats share their tips and experiences living in Spain.

With it's warm culture, thriving cities and beautiful countryside, expats agree that Spain has it all. Expats share their tips and experiences living in Spain....

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Barcelona5 Tips for Living in Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region where some citizens are fighting for their independence from Spain. Barcelona is a beautiful city that's rich in history and architecture with a thriving nightlife scene.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region where some citizens are fighting for their independence from Spain. Barcelona is a beautiful city that's rich in history and architecture with a thrivi...

International-Schools-in-BarcelonaInternational Schools in Barcelona, Spain

Families moving to Barcelona have a number of great schools to consider. There are several American and British schools plus foreign children are allowed to attend public school. In this article we highlight several of the more popular English schools and expats' advice with regard to public vs. private English schools.

Families moving to Barcelona have a number of great schools to consider. There are several American and British schools plus foreign children are allowed to attend public school. In this article we ...

12-Expats-Talk-About-What-Its-Like-Moving-to-Spain12 Expats Talk About What It's Like Moving to Spain

Expats in Spain share their experiences moving to Spain. From what to bring to learning Spanish, culture shock to finding a flat.
Expats in Spain share their experiences moving to Spain. From what to bring to learning Spanish, culture shock to finding a flat. ...

Spain Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal