Moving to a new country can be life-changing, especially if it’s somewhere that you don’t know the language or have a good understanding of their culture.
If you’re choosing to live or work in Spain, we think you’ve made a great decision and have plenty of sun, good food and friendly people to look forward to. But that doesn’t always mean that you’re going to settle in quickly.
Whether you’re studying and looking for Spanish homework help, or trying to figure out the best way to meet new people in your new country, here are some of our top tips for living and studying in Spain that we think everyone should know.
Practice your Spanish language skills before making the move
Moving to a new country when you don’t know the language can be tough, so we would always recommend trying to pick up a few basic phrases before you pack up your things.
Luckily, in Spain, the majority of people are able to speak English so you should always have a language in common. However, it’s always best—and more polite—if you’re able to converse with people in their own language.
There are plenty of apps that you can use to learn Spanish, like Duolingo or Babbel, that can make learning a new language fun and exciting. You could also enrol yourself in language classes in your home country to get a headstart on your Spanish.
Here are some common Spanish phrases to get you started:
- Hola = Hello
- Adiós = Goodbye
- Por favor = Please
- Gracias = Thank you
- Lo siento = Sorry
- Sí = Yes
- No = No
- Buenos días = Good morning
- Buenas tardes = Good afternoon
- Buenas noches = Good evening
- Hola, me llamo Juan = Hello, my name is John
- ¿Cómo estás? = How are you?
Immerse yourself in Spanish culture and explore the beautiful country
When you arrive in Spain, make the most of it! There’s so much to see and explore, so take time to get involved with Spanish culture and travel around as much as you can.
The great thing with Spain is that there are so many cities that are all totally unique, and you don’t have to travel too far to visit them all. If you’re planning to stay in Spain for a short period of time, we’d definitely recommend planning some of your weekend trips beforehand.
Here are some of the most common Spanish cities that we think everyone should visit while staying in Spain:
Make friends with the Spanish people
We all want to find people from our home country, especially when we’re making a move abroad, but spending all your time with people just like you isn’t always the best thing.
Being in a new country means you have the opportunity to meet a whole new group of people, who have completely different experiences to you Looking for—most of these are also people who you would have probably never have met in any other circumstances.
If you’re in University, try and make an effort to make friends with the Spanish students instead of just fellow internationals, and if you’re making the move to Spain permanently, look for local clubs and activity groups that you could join.
Who is going to know Spain better than the Spanish? Choosing to stay in your own bubble while abroad could be making you miss out on the opportunity to meet some really incredible people.
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Learn how to study smarter
Learning how to study smarter is a crucial skill for any college student to learn, and even more so when you’re moving to a new country for school.
Whether you’re studying for school or college, you want to be able to get the most out of the hours you’re putting in which doesn’t always mean that you have to work super hard.
Try studying in small chunks with frequent breaks to keep your mind working and functioning correctly, and balance this with getting a good night’s sleep (as much as you can) and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Learn how to find the balance between work and play
If you’re moving to Spain to study, there’s going to be a lot of distractions that will stop you from wanting to study all the time, but you need to try and figure out a way to balance your social life and academic life if you want to finish the year with the grades you want.
There’s always going to be events and activities on throughout the year, and although you may get some serious FOMO when you have to stay home to study for a test, remember that there are going to be plenty of other events throughout the year that you’ll be able to attend.
If you can find a good study pattern that works for you and allows you to study for your grades, but also enjoy your time in Spain, that’s the ideal situation.
Get yourself a planner, a great location for you to do your studying and exam writing and don’t let your grades slip just because you’re in a new exciting country.
It may mean that you have to learn to say “no” more, but remember that you’re only human and you have to set boundaries for yourself to get ahead in life—there’s also going to be plenty of other students doing the same thing, so don’t feel like you’re alone.
We hope that this article helped you with some of the basic tips that you need to follow in order to thrive when you move to Spain to live or study.
Moving abroad can be a scary thought, but by following a few simple tips, we’re sure that you’re going to have an unforgettable time.
Let us know if any of these tips worked for you, and if you think there are any that we missed in the article above, please let us know in the comments and we can try them out for ourselves!