People from all over the world come to live in Barcelona and Kakdoma Barcelona relocation assistants help them to settle-in here. Why do they like Barcelona? What is so good and attractive for people here? We are pleased to present you some opinions about the experience of living in Barcelona.
Experience of local Personal Assistants
the city of opportunities
“We are Marc from Barcelona and Marina from Lithuania, working as personal assistants at Kakdoma Barcelona. After travelling and living abroad, we decided to move to Barcelona and we really enjoy the life here. Why not to enjoy: the days are full of sunlight, the food is of the best quality, everything is relatively close, the variety of services, there is enough entertainment for everyone’s taste and Barcelona is really well located. It is the city of opportunities for those who see them.
We saw that many people coming to visit Barcelona, fall in love with it and decide to move here. We also saw many difficulties and a cultural shock they meet with, that’s why we decided to turn the relocation to Barcelona process into a stress-free and luxury experience. You can feel like home in Barcelona from the first day you come here.
When you come to live to a new country, you feel like a child, have a lot to discover by yourself, and, the child starts walking faster and better if there is somebody helping him to make his first few steps.”
Experience of Swiss businessman
the highest quality of life
The Swiss architect Gus Wüstemann has lived and worked in Zurich, Mumbai, London, Sydney, New York and Barcelona.
“Work is important, but so is your private life, and Barcelona has the highest quality of life in the entire world,” he insists. Fourteen years ago, Wüstemann moved to the Catalan capital with his family. From Monday to Thursday he works at his studio in Zurich, and the rest of the time he spends in Barcelona, where he also has a studio. Read more about his experience.
Experience of Londoner
Sam Cookney says: “I put together a plan that allowed me to live in Barcelona, heading back to the office in London several times a month, and even save a little money, in return for exchanging my shared apartment on the outskirts of London for a two-bedroomed place in the center of Barcelona.
The choice of Barcelona was not a hard one. I spent a year here a decade ago, and since then have returned several times on holiday. It is still my favorite city in the world, and I didn’t give it a second thought when the idea came to me. I now know a few people here, but this is a friendly city and I think it is pretty easy to make friends here. For me, Barcelona has everything: sea, mountains, history, culture, food, nightlife, and I love the place.
I thought that the traveling would be tough, but the truth is that everything has gone well without any problems. In fact, a lot of people have told me that they would like to do something similar themselves, given the current situation in London. I don’t know how long I will continue living like this, but for the moment, I am enjoying myself and having a great time. Read more.
Experience of kazakh entrepreneurs
The climate, the culture, the way of life
Kazakh Tair Assimov, IT engineer and founder of two startups, who was born in Almaty and educated in Helsinki, decided to sell his house in Finland and move to Barcelona, without ever having set foot there. He wanted to escape all those Scandinavian winters, and everything he read about the Spanish city online suggested it would fit the bill perfectly. “The climate, the culture, the way of life,” says Assimov, listing his reasons for choosing the Catalan capital. He convinced his wife Olessya, enrolled his daughter in an international school and made the leap in 2013. “We have never regretted our decision – only that we didn’t make it earlier.” Read more.
Experience of Swiss psychologist
It’s the perfect city
Regula Stammbach, a qualified organisational psychologist moved to Barcelona after 10 years in Frankfurt. The couple put together a list that included Nice, Rome, Genoa and the Catalan capital. They individually put together a list of pros and cons for each city and Barcelona came out top.
“It’s the perfect city: the culture, the climate, the sea, the food, and the lifestyle, which is both modern and classic,” says Stammbach. Back in 2014, the Swiss woman was running a leadership consultancy for businesses while her husband headed up a marketing firm. That year they moved to Castelldefels, near Barcelona’s El Prat airport and they have lived there ever since. “I travel every week to see my clients in Switzerland and around the rest of Europe,” Stammbach explains.
Experience of Frenchman
the way people in Spain look at life
Emmanuel Duriez, a 48-year-old Frenchman who specializes in helping companies in crisis. Duriez came to Spain in 2009 as the director of the Spanish office of French industry supply firm Metalco. He was tasked with restructuring the company and six years later he had made the business profitable again. When head office offered him a job back at home, he turned it down. “I already feel more Spanish than French. I like the way people in Spain look at life,” he says. Emmanuel admits that his love affair with the city lies in the small details. “Sometimes we don’t give it enough credit but having blue skies nearly every day helps you be happy.”
Quality of life in Barcelona
Quality of life has become a driver of economic development, according to Mateu Hernández, director of the independent, not-for-profit association Barcelona Global (BG). Hernández believes cities around the world are now engaged in a fight to attract the best global talent and factors such as weather and cultural life are key.
Some 56% of foreigners living in Spain decided to move to the country in search of a better quality of life and 74% believe they have achieved this, according to the latest HSBC Expat Explorer Survey.
HSBC spoke to nearly 27,000 expats in 190 countries and found that Spain has the second-best rating for quality of life, behind only Switzerland.
Appealing to investors
Spain’s reputation for its high quality of life also affects investment decisions. “Talent attracts capital much more than capital attracts talent,” says Hernández. The CEO of BG argues that whereas investment used to follow natural resources and energy supplies it now goes where good professionals are to be found. For him, Nestlé’s Digital Services Unit, a global digital hub in Barcelona, is an example of that.
“Barcelona was chosen because it’s considered a highly attractive city in terms of attracting digital talent,” says Jelena Trajkovic Karamata, director of the Nestlé center. The Swiss company wasn’t just thinking of people already based in the city, but also Barcelona’s ability to attract people from all over the world. Half of the 55 people who work at the digital hub come from overseas and 17 different countries are represented.
In a similar way, when Amazon decided to set up its technical hub for Europe in Madrid, it wasn’t just thinking about local staff. “Madrid has two clear advantages: high-quality staff and conditions that attract international talent,” says the company’s PR director for Spain, Adam Sedó. The executive explains that the firm held recruitment events outside of Spain to put together its Madrid team. Those events were held in locations with “good technical universities,” with the last two taking place in Singapore and Buenos Aires.
Seventy percent of Amazon’s technical team in Madrid is made up of Spanish engineers while the remainder come from overseas, according to Sedó.
Earning less, living better
But foreign professionals aren’t just thinking about sun and sand when they choose where to live, says Manuel Clavel from international headhunter Talengo, which specializes in finding top executives for the Spanish job market. Other key factors in the decision include a city’s economic development, the professional opportunities on offer, the quality of education and the existence of business schools, and international links.
Spain is highly rated among foreign executives, Clavel says. “There are lots of international executives who have come to Spain on assignment and then don’t want to go back to their countries,” says the headhunter.
The quality of life offered by Barcelona is unbeatable. It is a safe city, there is talent, very good infrastructure and communications, a really diverse cultural scene, the food is fantastic, you’ve got the sea and the mountains nearby, and the sun is always shining. It’s the perfect combination. And the rent, while expensive to Spaniards, still feels affordable to foreigners.
Poor English skills
One of the problems that the international community always brings up is poor English skills. “English is present at research centers, at business schools, at multinationals, but not in everyday life. And there are few international schools around: there is an elite selection that executives can afford, but not professionals, entrepreneurs or researchers.” Hernández believes that Barcelona should follow Amsterdam’s example and create English-language schools for the international community.
“We have identified that in terms of paperwork, taxes, and education for international families, Barcelona is not up to their expectations, and we run the risk of losing the opportunity of being a global city,” says Hernández. “Barcelona is attractive to them, but city agencies are not well prepared, and we Barcelona natives are sometimes not sufficiently welcoming.”
Information source: El País