Spain is considered one of the best places in the world to relocate to for expatriates with children and for good reason. Not only is Spain the preferred destination for retired expatriates, but also more and more younger families are making the transition to find a more suitable career with less working hours, sunny and warm weather and a better, safer lifestyle for them and their children.
Undoubtedly, moving to another country is not a simple thing. You have to decide also the way of moving and for Spain you have three possibilities: by sea, truck or air. Yet, through the help of reliable international removal services, all the moving stress can be reduced so that you can focus on the emotional well-being of your family. This is why you should choose a company that is specialised in international removals to Spain such as Blissmoving and rely on advices and support of someone who really knows his stuff.
And what can you expect from Spain? It can surely provide a safe and comfortable environment where the kids can get a better education in the public, private or semi-private school system. In the private system, international schools in particular are always a good choice for younger children who will have the opportunity to get involved in a diverse, cross-cultural environment where they can make friends fast and learn to get along with kids of different nationalities - an experience that will serve them well in the future and that is bound to give them a broader outlook on life in general, in an increasingly more globalized and racially interconnected world.
One of the main considerations for parents who wish to relocate is the proximity of the school their children will be attending, as international schools are often located on the outskirts of towns unless you move to bigger and more cosmopolitan cities like Madrid and Barcelona. So considering the right housing options and the parents’ job location is always a prerogative in order to avoid spending hours driving your kids to school and back. For UK expatriates another option (if you want to save money) is Spanish State schools, which are free for EU citizens and children can be admitted immediately without waiting for a resident’s permit.
It may also be worthwhile to register your children at a local language school where they can learn Spanish (or Catalan) so as to better integrate into the local environment, and children learn faster at a younger age so for children below the age of ten that is also something parents should consider.
Always remember that a family move abroad is a major decision that has enormous repercussions for children on an emotional level, so their participation must also be included when making plans for the move; explaining to them the advantages of moving to a new country and why it is necessary for their welfare and their education will relieve their stress and make them more accepting and responsive. Taking a family trip to Spain to visit the various locations of your choice is a great way for your kids to learn what to expect and why living there is the best decision for all parties concerned.
Websites dedicate to expats like Kids in Barcelona and MumAbroad Spain offer valuable services to help kids integrate into the culture and make new friends and to help parents to find valuable information and to get to know other expat families.
Child safety is a number one concern for Spanish families and this is demonstrated also by the low crime rate in Spain, where children can run around in the plazas of their local neighbourhood without parents having to worry about child-snatching or abuse - a major problem in the US and the UK. Streets are safer too, complemented by the friendly and laid back atmosphere of the towns, and without the fear of drunken and violent behaviour of teenagers that can be expected in neighbourhoods in the US or the UK. This is another reason why there are a lot of outdoor activities provided for children.
The climate is one of the best in the Mediterranean with plenty of sunshine all-year round - so if living in the UK, in particular, is taking a toll due to its cold and depressing climate, this is another advantage of living in Spain. Take your children to local restaurants, events and festivals to acquaint them with the lifestyle and the customs, and visit your local neighbours for advice because it is easy to befriend Spanish families since they also have their kids’ best interests at heart.
- Article written in collaboration with HJ.