Expatriate Community in Spain

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The census shows that the number of foreigners in the country represent one tenth of the population, that is 4.5 million people.
Blogs For Expats
Expat blog
For Further Information
Directory of expatriate clubs
Immigration Authority
Interior Department
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
International packers and movers located in Spain
Gil Stauffer
Grupo Amygo

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
Madrid (no. 26) and Barcelona (no.31) are, with London and Moscow, among the 31 most expensive cities of the world. The difference between Spain and the other European countries is minimal these days. Housing is very expensive. Products are also expensive compared to other Euopean countries. The only advantage is that entertainment is still cheaper than in most of the European countries (cinema, restaurants, discotheques, etc.).
Quality of Life
Quality of life is excellent, thanks to the climate, lifestyle and what it offers in terms of culture, tourism, sports etc. The Spanish people spend a lot of time outside and have an active night life. Accommodations are usually of very good quality with superb marble entrances. The large cities are very clean, which however calls to question the presence of garbage collectors of buildings on the footpaths.
Sanitary Conditions
The health care conditions are good. The health care system is free but there is often a long wait.
For Further Information
Mercer's listing of the costliest cities of the world.
Mercer's listing of world cities with the best quality of life.

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Renting an Apartment

Description of Apartments
All types of accommodations can be seen in Spain, from a paying guest room in a resident's house to a villa with garden and private swimming pool. "The apartamento" corresponds to a studio. Apartment is said "piso" in Spanish. The "atico" is a lodging in the top floor just below the roof. The size of an apartment is determined by the number of bedrooms (habitaciones).
Normal Lease Term
The contract is open-ended. If it is drawn up for less than 5 years, it will be automatically renewed each year up to 5 years, unless one of the parties terminates the contract or its extension 30 days before its expiry date. If it is drawn up for 5 years, the contract can be extended by a one-year period up to 8 years, unless one of the parties terminates the contract or its extension 30 days before its expiry date.


The annual discounting of the rental amount can be fixed contractually; if not, the official rate of the CPI (consumer price index) is applicable. Some building improvement work done by the owner can lead to a further increase in rent.

Rental Costs

The guarantee required is usually a bank guarantee or another payment security.

In addition, it is necessary to pay off:
rent for 1 month (rents are payable in advance, from the 1st to 7 th of the month in question),
1 month's rent or 10% of the annual rent if one goes through an agency or a property manager,
and get water, gas and electricity connections, if it is not already available in the accommodation.
Agencies or Private Rentals
There are many real estate agencies but their number is decreasing because of the crisis. To rent from an individual, refer the small ads in the local newspapers (especially the Sunday papers) and walk around the streets of the selected area to take down the contact details on the « En alquiler » posters put up on the properties (they are often placed by the agencies). This is cheaper than renting directly from an individual.
Rental Agency Websites
Real estate agencies
Private Rentals Announcements Online
Advertisements from real estate agencies and individuals
Habitamos.com (in Spanish)
En Alquiler
Foto Casa
Other Possibilities For Accommodation
Staying as paying guests or sharing rooms is very common in Spain.

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School System

School Level
Public education is free and compulsory up to the age of 16 years.
It is made up of:
- Child education: from 0 to 3 years: public (or private) day-care centers (only paying type) and from 3 to 6 years: kindergarten.
- Primary education: 6 classes free with an assessment in 4th year
- CSE-Compulsory Secondary Education: 4 classes with an assessment in 2nd year and a completion diploma
- Baccalaureate or Professional Training: 2 classes with a final diploma
- Entrance exam for the « Selectividad » University or for higher professional education: 3 years of university studies or Professional Training with a final diploma equivalent to the bachelor's degree. At the University, the studies can be continued to obtain a master's degree or a doctorate.

Private education follows the same curriculum and is usually set. In Catalonia, teaching of all subjects is in Catalan.
International Schools
National association of British schools in Spain, International schools in Spain,
You can find the international schools in the National registry of schools by typing the keyword "internacional".
For Further Information
Ministry of Education and Science

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Health System

Quality of Healthcare
Spanish healthcare system follows Western European standards.. It is accessible to everyone, everywhere and free of cost except if you go and visit a private doctor.
International Hospitals
Health Insurance
Accessibility of the Health Insurance Network to Foreigners
Health System Insurance Body
Seguridad social
Health Ministry
Food and Health Ministry

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