I am in the middle of writing an E-book. First I want your opinions on the title A-Z Moving to Spain:Not just what to do but HOW to do it!
A little long I admit but I want to get the message across that this book covers just about everything you need to know about moving to Spain.
The other help I need are suggestions on what exactly prospective movers to Spain are likely to specificly want covered. That’s where you come in.
I have a A-Z List, so far these are the topics covered. Can you please help me cover what you think is missing or need covered?
I thank you in advance and look forward to your comments.
A- Automono (self employed), Ayuntamiento (local council),
B- Buying a car, house, banking, bank repossesions, bull fighting, beaches, buiders,
D- Driving in Spain
E- Education, EHIC,
F- Fiestas, food, football,
G- Gestors, golf
H- health insurance, health care, hospitals,
I- Internet,IBI, insurance, inheritance tax, Imolbiliarias (estate agents)
K- Kilometer 0,
L- Learning Spanish, laws, lawyers, land grab,
M- Making money in Spain, mobiles, medical centres,motos,
N- NIE (national identity for foriegners)
P- Policia (Police), pensions,
R- Residencia (Residency), renting, Retiring,
S- Schools, starting a business, seguridad social (social security), shops & shopping, Semana Santa, siestas,
T- Tax, Telefonica, TV,
W- Wills, wine,
If you are a family preparing for your move to Spain, why not imerse your kids into Spanish before they arrive here?
To be honest if you have young children of nursery or primary school age, they won’t have too much trouble picking up the language! Kids of this age are like sponges and they have very little problem in switching from their new found language of Spanish to their mother tongue in an instant. The kids normally get their parents motivated to start learning, especially when they can’t understand what their own children are talking about to their new school friends!
Moving on to slightly older children, here are a few excerts from an interview with a Mother moving her kids to Spain from the UK and the trials & tribulations her family met when it came to learning Spanish and getting her children into a Spanish school and what would be the right choice?
This interview is from 2003 but I can’t see any difference when doing the same today!If you would like to see the whole interview, it’s here:http://www.thinkspain.com/news/noticia.asp?CodNoticia=389
Janine Turner & her husband Peter made the decision to move to Elche, Costa Blanca with their children Adam 14 & Jasmine 10 at the time.
Their biggest concern was the children’s education, and they started to read everything they could get their hands on about what a move to Spain might entail for them. What they found most helpful was the Internet and especially the website message boards used by other people in the same situation. Through them Janine was able to make contact with people who had already moved their children over to the Costa Blanca area. She was especially concerned about Adam who was at a difficult age to change from the British to the Spanish school system, and although Jasmine was younger and more adaptable she wasn’t sure how the change would affect her either. Both children seemed extremely keen to make the move, so Janine and Peter decided to arrange a private Spanish tutor for them to get them prepared. It was difficult to find a tutor to come to the house and it was very expensive. The tutor taught the children separately for two hours each a week for a period of four months. Adam is particular good at languages and learned very quickly, while Jasmine found it more difficult and was inclined to take the classes less seriously. Janine had a job to convince her that the more she learned before she went, the easier it would be for her when she started school in Spain. Some of the comments they read about state schooling in Spain were very negative, saying that children were left to do colouring all day if they didn’t understand the language. Because of this they originally intended to send the children to private bilingual schools. However after more research and a lot of discussion they decided that local state schools was a better option. It would mean that they would be less isolated in the village as they would mix with local children and hopefully pick up the language more naturally.
By the time they had sold their house in Britain and were ready to make the move it was December, so the children would be starting their new school in January, well after the beginning of the school year. As the moving date arrived Adam was glad to be off, but Jasmine was very upset to be leaving her friends behind.
Jasmine had a hard time for the first few days at school and came home in tears. As there are only three or four English children in the whole school the local children were fascinated by her and genuinely wanted to be friendly, but they were inclined to surround her and almost treat her like a celebrity. She, on the other hand, did not understand what they were saying to her, and was scared. Adam had some difficulties socialising with the children in his class, although one way to break down barriers for him was to offer to help them with their English homework, if they helped him with his Spanish. A lot of the girls in his class kept trying out their English on him, and did not realise that he really wanted to speak with them in Spanish. However, these teething problems were resolved within a fairly short time.
In general the children’s experience of the school has been extremely positive. To Janine they seem a lot happier than they were in the UK. She feels that the atmosphere at the school is pleasant and relaxed and that the teachers genuinely like the children they teach and have a lot of time for them. They appear much more appoachable than their counterparts in Britain and are prepared to explain things that the children don’t understand during the breaks. Teachers are addressed by their first name, but this does not undermine their respect in any way. Also the children themselves seem more natural than in Britain, they seem less materialistic, less concerned about fashion and designer labels and wear ordinary clothes to school.
Quite a big problem for both children has been the Maths lessons as this subject is taught very differently in Spain and also at a higher standard. Janine feels that sometimes the teachers have not fully appreciated the difficulties the children are facing because of the language barrier. The food was also a problem at first as it is quite different from what the children were used to and they were told by the monitors they had to eat most of every meal. However, the food is wholesome and both children have shed some extra weight and become more adventurous in their eating habits.
Another difficulty has been communicating with the school and finding out about meetings and extra activities. The village is in an area where the Valencian dialect is spoken as well as standard Castilian Spanish, and all letters from the school are written in both languages. Although Janine is learning Castilian Spanish, she has sometimes been unaware of meetings or has got instructions wrong because of the language difficulties. At carnival time the school put on a big procession and a huge amount effort was put into their costumes. It was a fantastic affair and the whole village closed down while they paraded through the streets. The girls in Jasmine’s class were dressed as cheerleaders and the mothers were told to sew a 4º symbol on the front of their shirts. Janine managed to understand all the instructions except the number, and Jasmine was the only child with the wrong number on her costume. Poor Jasmine was mortified and Janine felt so frustrated that her basic level of Spanish had led to the misunderstanding. Similar problems have occurred this year as Adam has started at a new secondary school. For some reason they misunderstood the time of the introductory meeting, but even when they were allowed into another meeting, it was all held in the Valencian dialect so Adam, who has also been studying Castilian Spanish, was unable to understand a word of what was said.
Despite these difficulties Janine has no regrets about her decision regarding her children’s education. Although she finds it hugely frustrating not to understand all the school procedures, and still feels in the dark about some aspects, it is gradually getting better. She realises that time is still needed for the children to catch up academically but they are already passing some exams and bringing home reasonable school reports. Most important of all to Janine and Peter is that their children are happy going to school and are living the healthier life style that their parents wished for them. I hope you enjoyed and took something from this interview!
Look what President Obama had to say about children in the US learning Spanish.
Below you will find testimonials to our FREE guide to help you move to Spain successfully.
The guide has 7 steps, which include Schools & Education, the Spanish language and Paperwork & Bureaucracy amongst 4 other topics. Plus, as a bonus, I have included my own story of moving to Spain, where I give you all the tips on how to avoid the mistakes I made along the way!
For you FREE GUIDE, just fill your name & primary e-mail address in the opt-in box to the right of this page. You WON’T regret it!
Wow, your information was very great. I will consider about living in Spain and learn by your experiences. Step by step is more hard but it brought a big motivation for me to always learn everyday.
I will prepare everything and think wise before make a decision. Very thanks Paul..
Yes, you know the old saying, ‘The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain’. iframe>
Now I think it’s true to say that the majority of folk living outside of Spain, want to move here for the sunny weather. I’m writing this now in the middle of December and the difference in temperature today from living in the South of Spain to the North of Spain is 10º.
Yep, today’s high is 11º for Cadiz and 1º in Valladolid and I reckon in general the same can be said for summer, when it’s 40º here it will be around 30º or less in the north!
Okay, lets get back to the rain.
Of course it doesn’t rain down here in the South of Spain, it’s always sunny 🙂
Well, I am not trying to sell you a property or anything like that and you come here to get the truth right?
This year (2010) was the wettest winter I have known since I’ve been living in Spain. It rained almost constantly for nearly 3 months. Yes, it was an exception to the rule but you need to be prepared for these things and especially when buying a property. A lot of the older properties as well as some of the newer ones just aren’t built for the rain, they have flat roof terraces where the rain water rushes down pipes that run through the pillars of the house. No guttering, although it is becoming a slight fashion item of late.
HERE ARE SOME PICTURES OF THE FLOODS FROM LAST YEAR.
The houses in this area were under a meter of water
So, as you can work out for yourself, although there are nearly always 300 days of sunshine per year in some parts of Spain but the ‘Rain in Spain doesn’t lay mainly on the plain’.
1. Tornavacas, Caceres. Surprisingly the wettest town in Spain, situated as it is in the region of Extremadura, which is known for its long hot summers and long, mild winters. Tornavacas is located near the mountain range of Sierra de Gredos, a regional park just 2 hours east from Madrid.
Tornavacas itself is 920 metres above sea level and, based on records taken from over the past 5 years, the rainiest month in Tornavacas is January, with an average of 816.7 mm of rain, followed by March which gets an average of 610.1 mm. In contrast, August in Tonics gets just 1.7 mm of rain.
2. Renteria, Navarra. Situated near Arano, about 10km south east of San Sebastian in the top north eastern corner of Spain, near the border with France. Again, the rainiest month is January, with 610.4 mm of rain.
3. Cabeza de Manzaneda, Ourense. Situated in the north western corner of Spain, in the region of Galicia, this town has had an average of 601.1 mm of rain in January, its wettest month, for the past 5 years. This town is located approx 50km west of the main town of Ourense and is situated at 1,500 m above sea level.
4. Blanes, Girona. A well-known seaside town in Catalunya, located just a few kilometres southwest of the popular resorts of Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar, Blanes has had an average of 582.4mm of rain in March over the past 5 years. Even the month of August shows an average of 25.6mm of rain over the past 5 years.
5. San Sebastian, Asturias. Situated on the northern coast of Spain, San Sebastian is the capital city of Gipuzkoa province, in the Spanish Basque Country. An average rainfall of 525.5 mm was recorded over the past 5 years in the month of January, with 46mm in July and 31mm in August.
6. Baza, Granada. This historic town in Andalucia has recorded an average of 520mm rainfall over 5 years during the month of November, with 147.5mm in July and 196mm in August, compared to 120mm in February.
7. Noai (Monte Iroite), A Coruna. Situated in the north western tip of Spain, in the region of Galicia, this town shows an average of 501 mm of rain in the month of November, with 81mm in July and 47.1 in August. January, March and October are also wet months recording 307.4mm, 355.2mm and 374mm respectively.
8. Girona, Girona. The capital of Girona province in the Costa Brava region of Northern Catalunya, situated 100 metres above sea level, Girona recorded an average of 490mm rainfall in the month of March.
9. Arantzazu, Vizcaya. Situated just 15km south east of the main industrial town of Bilbao in the Spanish Basque country, this town recorded an average of 472 mm of rain in March, 74 mm in July and 48 mm in August.
10. Burguillos, Toledo. Located just south of the town of Toledo (well known for its production of steel) in the centre of Spain, approximately 75km south west of Madrid. January is the wettest month, showing an average of 469.1mm of rain.
11. Alcala del Rio, Seville. Located just 15 km north of Seville capital city in Andalucia, Alcala del Rio has had an average of 464.5mm of rain recorded in December, yet just 2.6mm in June, 2.7mm in July and 0 rainfall in August.
12. Polentinos, Palencia. This tiny town is situated in the Castile y Leon region in northern Spain and recorded a population of just 78 inhabitants in 2004! An average of 446.7mm of rain was recorded in October, yet 0mm in July and 69.1 in August. Polentinos is situated at 1245m above sea level in one of the least known, but best conserved mountain ranges in Spain. The area is classified as national park and known as “Parque Natural Fuentes Carrionas y Fuente Cobre” southeast of the better-known Picos de Europa and in the middle of the square formed by Leon and Burgos to the south and Santander and Gijon to the north.
13. San Pelaio de Lens, A Coruna. Situated approx 12km north west of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia and 200m above sea level. An average of 422mm of rain recorded in March, 33.2mm in June, 58.6mm in July and 36mm in August.
14. Escorca, Son Torrella, Mallorca (Islas Baleares). Located in the north western part of the popular island of Mallorca, this town recorded an average of 420 mm of rain in November, 69.5mm in August, though lower (19.2mm) in June and 18.8mm in July .
15. Torroella de Montgri, Girona. Located on the Costa Brava, just inland from the well-known resort of L’Estartit, famous for the Medes Islands, a protected marine reserve and popular diving resort. Average 411.7 mm of rain recorded in October, 87.8 in August 93.9 in July.
16. Mairena del Alcor, Seville. Just west of the capital of Andalucia, Seville, this town has had an average of 405.3 mm of rain in November over the past five years, though no rain was recorded during the summer months and just 4.9mm in April.
17. Santa Pau, Girona. A 13th century town, situated some 65km inland of the Costa Brava, just south east of Olot in the protected national park area of the Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa, which as 30 volcanic cones. Santa Pau is 590 m above sea level and has recorded highs of 397.8mm of rain in October, 32.5mm in August.
18. Villasana de Mena, Burgos. Approximately 35km south west of Bilbao, this town has recorded an average 396.2 mm rain in the month of October, with June and July showing as the driest months with an average of 54.1 mm and 48.6 mm of rain respectively.
19. Vic, Barcelona. An historic town with strong religious traditions situated 70km north of Barcelona and 515m above sea level. Average 387.1 mm of rain recorded in January over the past 5 years.
20. Priego de Cordoba, Cordoba. An olive-oil producing town, situated in Andalucia, around 50km south west of Jaen and 50km north west of Granada. Average 367.2 mm of rain recorded in November. 20.7 mm in July and 41.1 mm in August.