There are many international residents living and working in Barcelona, many of whom came on a one-way ticket to “spend some time here,” and who have now made Barcelona their permanent home. This also includes student residents, and short term residents who live here for a few months or years.
If you’re moving to Barcelona you will find all the information you need in this section. Some people will be moving to Barcelona for work, whilst for others finding a job in Barcelona will be a top priority. Barcelona is an international city, and there are job opportunities for speakers of many languages, although of course a high level of Spanish and Catalan opens many more doors. Look out for job adverts in local newspapers, online, and through specialised recruitment agencies.
On arrival you’ll need to sort out some paperwork. The first thing to do would be to register with the local authorities and get a NIE number and residency permit. If you’re coming to work in Barcelona you’ll also need to get a social security number. The final piece of essential paperwork is the empadronamiento, which simply means registering the address where you are currently living with the local town hall. With this in hand you are then entitled to register with your local medical practice and have access to free healthcare.
New residents in Barcelona will be keen to explore the city, meet people in Barcelona, and either learn, improve or perfect their Spanish and Catalan language skills. Although this may initially seem like a daunting prospect, simply by living here and keeping your eyes and ears open you are already well on your way towards that coveted fluency! Language exchanges are popular, and there are various ways you can meet someone with which to practice your language skills. Organised meetup groups connect speakers of English and other languages with native Spanish and Catalan speakers who want to learn your language. There are countless other social groups in Barcelona, which are centred on hobbies and activities, social events and parties, and networking groups – as a foreigner it’s easy to meeting people in Barcelona. So easy, in fact, that it can take a certain amount of discipline to make the effort to meet Spanish speakers, rather than just hanging around with an international English speaking group.
Other useful resident info includes banks in Barcelona, and how to open a bank account. Fingers crossed you won’t be needed to contact the police, but you’ll find details here if you do. The city is well organised for local services, which vary from district to district but are generally quite easily accessible. Each district has a library which you can join for free, where you can borrow bocks and dvds. Students living in shared flats can also get some much needed peace and quiet here, away from the temptation to socialise that is often characteristic of the university library!