Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Have decided i WILL move to Spain in the next 5 years, and have started researching (and saving).

Have two kids that are currently 2 and 9. Decided on local school for youngest but as my eldest will be in comp by the time we move I've decided an international school is best.

I am really undecided on where though, i didnt fancy mainland Spain, but the long term rents, work prospects and schooling are greater. Very keen on the Canaries (Lanzarote, Tenerife or Gran Canaria which are where the international schools are).

So am after recommendations on schools - either mainland or canaries - and just some general advice in my early stages of research on my 'it is happening within 5 years plan'c:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,055 Posts
The Canary islands are a fantastic place to live and bring up a family, providing you have an income, if not you will struggle, unemployment is high here, 37% especially for young people.

Maybe within your 5 year period things will perhaps get better, we can but hope.


I live on the small unknown island of El Hierro, no point in you researching us there are only 5 English and maybe a Scot living here, However I visit the other islands, more so Tenerife and Gran Canaria, either would fit your bill, I personally prefer Gran Canaria, Las Palmas suits me best, and there are some very interesting British and American school there,

Anyway good luck with your plans, if I can help, just shout, I have been in the Canaries quite some time now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, a few years of saving especially for the school fees will take a slight burden off us.

I have searched high and low for rentals and written down all the estate agents for the islands i can find. My budget for accommodation is no more than 500 euros pm, added bonus of communal pool, large terrace and nearish the beach are a bonus (quite easy to find in mainland).

What is your advice on the accommodation front as there doesnt appear to be that many realters online. Would i be better off renting anywhere for a few weeks, couple of months and searching whilst actually on the island i choose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,055 Posts
How about a Welsh lady who works for an Estate Agent in Las Palmas Laura might be able to point you in the right direction.

https://www.facebook.com/laspalmasproperty?fref=ts,

Your budget for rent is probably just enough for an apartment, but not in a tourist area and probably not with a pool, but hang on who needs the expense of a pool, we have a warm Atlantic Ocean here……...:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
All four of you need to make your top priority - learning Spanish. Unless you want to live amidst a load of whinging expats who you wish had stayed at home in Skegness or Brighton or wherever because they can't live without English food and moan that the trouble with "abroad" is the food, there are too many foreigners and they don't speak English.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Learning spanish goes without saying (or maybe not). We have a few years to try and become fluent so hopefully ill not be a problem, at best we are keen to learn so we have that going for us.

My inlaws live on the mainland so can get help from them too.

So not really a top priority for us, learning spanish would be more of an enjoyable hobbie than a regimented task.

Currently researching jobs for my husband, far more doors open to him than me as my skills are more specific and probably only available in major cities of mainland spain. But he is in a bit of a crux on what career oath to choose having recently been made voluntary redundant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,369 Posts
All four of you need to make your top priority - learning Spanish. Unless you want to live amidst a load of whinging expats who you wish had stayed at home in Skegness or Brighton or wherever because they can't live without English food and moan that the trouble with "abroad" is the food, there are too many foreigners and they don't speak English.
Where on earth do you meet all these 'whingeing non-Spanish-speaking' expats, Baldy?
I don't have a single British immigrant friend who doesn't either speak fluent Spanish - and I mean 'fluent' - or who isn't taking lessons and taking learning Spanish very seriously.
I don't know anyone who moans about the food or lack of English food either.
I don't know anyone who moans, really. We're all happy.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
Where on earth do you meet all these 'whingeing non-Spanish-speaking' expats, Baldy?
I don't have a single British immigrant friend who doesn't either speak fluent Spanish - and I mean 'fluent' - or who isn't taking lessons and taking learning Spanish very seriously.
I don't know anyone who moans about the food or lack of English food either.
I don't know anyone who moans, really. We're all happy.:)
received information from others who are themselves, and live in the enclaves of, whingeing expats. As for moans about the lack of English (or American) foods we have had them on the EF in the Spanish and even more so in the French branch, although quite why anyone in his/her right mind would hanker after Mac'n'cheez beats me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
Where on earth do you meet all these 'whingeing non-Spanish-speaking' expats, Baldy?
I don't have a single British immigrant friend who doesn't either speak fluent Spanish - and I mean 'fluent' - or who isn't taking lessons and taking learning Spanish very seriously.
I don't know anyone who moans about the food or lack of English food either.
I don't know anyone who moans, really. We're all happy.:)
I stand by what I said about making learning Spanish a top priority. When they are here, as with most of us, it becomes an urgency, driven by the fact that you need to go to this or that shop to get something or engage a builder or carry out any of a hundred and one everyday transactions, but when in England and having to speak Spanish is not important because you are using English for everyday things, one has to apply some effort to get down to learning Spanish especially if, in the meantime, there are other things (such as work, school, going to a dance, etc.) to occupy one's time.

There are Brits (in particular) who try to do their best by rewriting the English/Spanish dictionary because so many words share the same root (many -ar verbs have the same basic root as English verbs that have a conjugation that involves an -ate ending and can easily be converted using Spanglish into a fair approximation of the correct Spanish or at least well enough to convey the meaning, e.g. educate = educar, etc.) However that can cause many slip-ups as was discovered by a rather slender young English lady who went into the local store and seeing some nice peaches applied the above English/Spanish logic and said "yo necesito dos pechos" If you don't know why everybody else in the shop burst out laughing - look it up under the context (de mujer).
 
G

·
Learning spanish goes without saying (or maybe not). We have a few years to try and become fluent so hopefully ill not be a problem, at best we are keen to learn so we have that going for us.

My inlaws live on the mainland so can get help from them too.

So not really a top priority for us, learning spanish would be more of an enjoyable hobbie than a regimented task.

Currently researching jobs for my husband, far more doors open to him than me as my skills are more specific and probably only available in major cities of mainland spain. But he is in a bit of a crux on what career oath to choose having recently been made voluntary redundant.
Learning Spanish and the regional languages are a must - you will not find work if you don't speak Spanish to a very high level.

If you really want to learn Spanish try http://www.duolingo.com and register yourself at the Adult learning evening lessons back in UK - They are not expensive.

If you come to Spain without the language you will just spend all of your savings and will not find work. Unless your coming to Spain with a very large amount of money forget it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will certainly learn spanish, im just saying to me its an obvious thing you would have to do, along with taking a bikini, so doesnt need as much thought and planning as all the other stuff - school, job, work etc.

To me it goes wthout saying if you plan to move long term to a foreign country you would learn the lingo, but i guess there are many that dont because they live in areas where speaking spanish is not a requirement.

Having just returned from Fuetueventura my two year old keeps saying Hola, so hes defo on board with learning another language :)

Anyway, pretending we're already fluent, where can i find government type jobs, our equivalent of the public sector, prisons, police, military etc based in Canaries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
I will certainly learn spanish, im just saying to me its an obvious thing you would have to do, along with taking a bikini, so doesnt need as much thought and planning as all the other stuff - school, job, work etc.

To me it goes wthout saying if you plan to move long term to a foreign country you would learn the lingo, but i guess there are many that dont because they live in areas where speaking spanish is not a requirement.

Having just returned from Fuetueventura my two year old keeps saying Hola, so hes defo on board with learning another language :)

Anyway, pretending we're already fluent, where can i find government type jobs, our equivalent of the public sector, prisons, police, military etc based in Canaries.
For any public sector employment you have to do oposiciones. If you pass you get put on a list for a job, often temporary, anywhere. A bit like the UK Civil Service from about 50-60 years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For any public sector employment you have to do oposiciones. If you pass you get put on a list for a job, often temporary, anywhere. A bit like the UK Civil Service from about 50-60 years ago.
ThaNk you so much for that, have looked on the site and exactly the type of thing i was after.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Depending on where you are there seems to be not much problem getting English or American food. I think Burger King has shares in Estepona Ayuntamiento - it's everywhere including all over the tourist train!! Not sure it's what any of us or the locals need - more comida basura! Do not underestimate the effort involved in learning a language - it is my life's work (French Spanish and Italian as well as English) and you need to put LOTS of hours in and spend time in the country to become even competent never mind fluent. All the best of luck and planning is a great idea - fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Thanks for the response, a few years of saving especially for the school fees will take a slight burden off us.

I have searched high and low for rentals and written down all the estate agents for the islands i can find. My budget for accommodation is no more than 500 euros pm, added bonus of communal pool, large terrace and nearish the beach are a bonus (quite easy to find in mainland).

What is your advice on the accommodation front as there doesnt appear to be that many realters online. Would i be better off renting anywhere for a few weeks, couple of months and searching whilst actually on the island i choose.
It is good that you are planning far ahead, but timing could still be a problem.

First it seems this move all hinges on employment - possible for both of you? Hopefully, things will have improved a lot by the time you move, because at the moment it would be extremely hard for two non fluent Spanish speakers to gain any employment, let alone secure, well paid employment to fund International School.

Moving a 13- 14yr old to a new school, in a new country would be a very big upset just as exam preparation begins. Perhaps the move should take place in the next year or two, or not until after that one has finished school. Of course, if you wait until the eldest has finished school, the younger will also be of an age to need International school and face a difficult move at the wrong time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,394 Posts
A five year plan in a way is a great way to be looking at things. On the other hand, it's almost impossible to plan 5 years ahead, especially I would say, in a country like Spain which has been hit harder than most by the recession and is in the euro zone.
We can only hope that the appalling unemployment figures will improve and not only that - that they will eventually yield jobs with decent contracts and conditions, something which is not currently happening.
Government jobs are accessed by doing public exams as Baldi has told you. They are notriously difficult to pass and once you have passed you need to be allocated a place. OH is a teacher in a state school and he is Spanish. He has done the exam probably a dozen times, has been top of the list for many years and still has not been given a permanent place. This means that he can be moved to a different school every year (although he can and has spent up to 3 years in a school) and of course is paid less. He has nearly always been given work, but there have been a couple of years where he didn't get work right at the beginning of the school year. Other teachers have to move around from province to province and tis is the same set up for many civil servant jobs. I'm not trying to put you off, just tell the reality of it all.
As far as learning Spanish is concerned, this also is not an easy task. In five years, if you are constant and are good language learners you should get to a reasonable level, but like all skills, the reality of putting it into practice is very different from the theory. I would recommend classes backed up by language courses over the years for two to six weeks somewhere in Spain. It's unlikely that you will gain sufficient fluency to be able to work in Spanish without having lived in the country for a while (only my opinon of course).
The area where you're most likely to be able to plan is in the children's education and you're right in thinking that an International or British school is probably the best option for an older child. Here is a list of British schools in Spain evaluated by the British Council
http://www.britishcouncil.es/sites/britishcouncil.es/files/british-council-list-of-british-schools-2015_0.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It is good that you are planning far ahead, but timing could still be a problem.

First it seems this move all hinges on employment - possible for both of you? Hopefully, things will have improved a lot by the time you move, because at the moment it would be extremely hard for two non fluent Spanish speakers to gain any employment, let alone secure, well paid employment to fund International School.

Moving a 13- 14yr old to a new school, in a new country would be a very big upset just as exam preparation begins. Perhaps the move should take place in the next year or two, or not until after that one has finished school. Of course, if you wait until the eldest has finished school, the younger will also be of an age to need International school and face a difficult move at the wrong time.

Not sure where the burger king comment came from by the previous poster ... Dont get me wrong i have one on occassion, more of a nandos girl though to be fair!

Anyways ... We will both require employment (one of us full time the other part time) but as far as fees, set up costs, and possibly 6 months to a years rent would all be saved up for now in the planning phase, as i understand job prospects are dim so unreliable source of income.

We will hopefully have rental income on our UK property as well.

As for moving around for my eldest, shes a padbrat so more than used to it, think she enjoys moving to new places more than i do.

5 years is too long, so after some calculations with the house 3 years is do able, and my eldest would be in yr 8 or 9 then, and certainly coukd hack a move then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
Not sure where the burger king comment came from by the previous poster ... Dont get me wrong i have one on occassion, more of a nandos girl though to be fair!

Anyways ... We will both require employment (one of us full time the other part time) but as far as fees, set up costs, and possibly 6 months to a years rent would all be saved up for now in the planning phase, as i understand job prospects are dim so unreliable source of income.

We will hopefully have rental income on our UK property as well.

As for moving around for my eldest, shes a padbrat so more than used to it, think she enjoys moving to new places more than i do.

5 years is too long, so after some calculations with the house 3 years is do able, and my eldest would be in yr 8 or 9 then, and certainly coukd hack a move then.
As you seem to fully understand, a lot of research and planning has to go into making a successful move to a foreign country, especially one where not only is the language different but so are all the administration, the legal, the justice and electoral systems, utility supplies and billing, etc. etc., we even drive on a different side of the road (that's the easy bit, you just wait to see what they teach in driving schools about roundabouts! :eek:).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Im used to being the foreigner, as im welsh lol. Im a pro at moving and planning though, Having to secure employment at a drop of a hat doesnt scare me, im pretty adaptable, only downside with spain is the current unemployment rates. No tinted glasses on as far as thats concerned, but a few years to follow it and know where the jobs are will certainly help.

The learning of spanish is of course important, but as i am more than keen to learn, i dont find it daunting, and there are so many outlets to learn like online or colleges (i did start a level spanish in college) that there is no excuse for not getting into it.

I want to move more than anything, choosing which route to go down is hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
Im used to being the foreigner, as im welsh lol. Im a pro at moving and planning though, Having to secure employment at a drop of a hat doesnt scare me, im pretty adaptable, only downside with spain is the current unemployment rates. No tinted glasses on as far as thats concerned, but a few years to follow it and know where the jobs are will certainly help.

The learning of spanish is of course important, but as i am more than keen to learn, i dont find it daunting, and there are so many outlets to learn like online or colleges (i did start a level spanish in college) that there is no excuse for not getting into it.

I want to move more than anything, choosing which route to go down is hard.
Prynhawn da. Croeso i Sbaen.

You might want to consider that genetically the Welsh Y chromosome (your father, grandfathers, etc.) has strong links to the Basques in Northern Spain.

Before you ask, I lived in Trawsfynydd (behind Harlech) in Gwynedd and my Spanish is far better than my extremely limited Welsh.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top