Castellano in Valencia

My family moved to Valencia a few weeks ago. My wife and I have acquired a fair bit of Spanish through DuoLingo and our kids studied after school for a few hours each week leading up to this move. Now we're in the thick of it and will need to get all of us up to speed quickly.
If you have been to Spain then you know the Spanish people have no patience for sub standard Spanish so we want to improve quickly. Unfortunately as a family of 5 we won't have a lot of mo ey to spend on centre-based instruction. The upside is that we are native native English speakers, our kids were all in French Immersion before moving here, and my wife and I are both CELTA certified English instructors.
If you are a native Spanish speaker looking for help in English for you or your kids and are open to bartering or trading language skills, let's talk. We are in Benicalap, 46025 and our kids all attend Colegio de San Juan Bosco in Tendetes.
Talk soon!
Steve and Natasha

Hi Steve,

How's it going here in Valencia with your family, are you progressing with your Spanish? Hope your family is adapting well to your new life here!

My name is Gerardo, I'm a native Spanish living in Valencia.
Back in 2013 I spent about 14 months with my family (wife and 1 kid - now 2 kids) in Bristol, UK. Since we moved back to Valencia, I've been wanting to meet people (families, ideally) to practice English and to keep my older son (who managed to learn some English) in touch with an English-spoken environment. But that didn't prove to be easy to achieve on the long run.

So, if you're still looking for somebody to learn/practice Spanish, in exchange for some English, I'd be more than glad to meet you!

We live in Juan Llorens area (46008), not too far away from Benicalap actually.

Un saludo,

Hi Gerardo,

I'm sorry I didn't see this post until now! Thank you for getting in touch. We would like very much to meet you and your family. We live in Plaza Nueva De la Iglesia and generally try to get the kids out for an excursion every weekend. If you'd like to meet for coffee sometime let me know and we can swap numbers on WhatsApp.

Best wishes,


Hi Steve and Natasha,

Our family of 5 including 3 kids are deciding if we should move to Valencia or Barcelona. We do speak fluently spanish as we are originally from Colombia but have lived our younger years in USA and the last 15 years in Canada in Burlington, Ottawa and now Vancouver.

I was wondering if you can let us know if it is difficult to find jobs, or how were you able to obtain a work permit to live and work in Spain. Likewise, are the public schools goid or is it better to get a private school? How do your kids like it now?

We have a 7 yeard old boy and a 12 and 17 yeard old girls.

Thanks for your time.


Hi Cristina,

Valencia is a wonderful city and despite the challenges we have faced, we are happy we moved here.

Our three kids are in a Spanish semi-public school. The school is partially funded by the government and is a Catholic school but it offers a good level of education and is fairly close to our house. The kids study in Castellano, English and Valenciano. If your kids speak Spanish they will have no problem with the schools here.

It is almost impossible to get a work permit if you are not Spanish. If you can get a contract from a Spanish company you can apply but if not you will likely have trouble with it. We applied for something called a "Non-Lucritive" visa. It is very expensive and not easy to apply for but for us it was the only way. Now that we have legal residency, we both work for Candian companies teaching English online, so we are technically not working in Spain. No matter what you decide to do, you have to apply for all visas from the Consulate in the country you are moving from, ie Canada. I know what is needed for the Non-Lucritive so if you want help let me know. For a family of 5 it costs about $3500 CDN just to apply.

If you are Colombian you should investigate if it's easier to move from there. There are many South Americans here, so maybe there is a more open immigration policy between Spain and Colombia. No matter what, you may need to travel back and forth between Spain and Canada (or Colombia) to make everything happen.

Let me know how else I can help. We are connected with a lawyer and a real estate agent who can help you when you decide to move here.

Best wishes,
Steve and Natasha

Thank you for your prompt response.

I have been looking into some rentals 23 minutes north of Barcelona. Likewise, I am trying to inquire about financial aid for my older daughter so she can start her bachelor degree in Barcelona as she is just graduating from HS.

For the smaller ones the public schools do not offer English right? Will they only get taught in Caralan and Spanish? Have you encountered any bullying issues with the kids at the school?

I would like to work at home from my job in Canada but I would need a VPN that can be used in Spain and Canada. Do you know by any chance how this can be done?

Is it difficult to obtain the non lucrative visa? Is it very expensive? I will be applying for a student visa for my daughter but need to apply for the rest of us as well.

I still have a lot of research to go but it is very exciting and I wanted to thank you very much for any information you may offer.

Have a great weekend,


Hi Cristina,

I don't know much about Barcelona, apart from the fact that it is much more expensive than Valencia, and much more crowded with tourists. With that usually comes more crime. Valencia is very friendly and quaint by comparison, which is why we chose it. I also know that Barcelona takes Catalan very seriously and even favours it over Spanish. Expect most of the schooling to be in Catalan and to be received poorly when you speak Spanish; you'll almost be better off speaking English to people.

Yes, the non-lucrative visa is expensive and difficult to get. Hopefully the Consulate in Vancouver is nice to deal with. The one in Toronto is not. As I said, if you need advice I am happy to offer it. It will take 4-6 months to acquire. It costs $760 for each adult and $350 per child.

If I were you, I would reconsider Barcelona but that is just my opinion.

Good luck! Steve

Thank you very much Steve!!!!

Will definitely reasearch more on Valencia.


Hi Steve,

I am sorry to bother you again. I have decided to maybe go with Valencia as per your indications since school will be easier fir the kids in Spanish and not Catalan. What do you think of Los Monasterios and Alfinach neighborhood in Valencia?

Likewise the school is Colegio Alfinach?

To rent a property for a year do we need to give deposit or do you need to have credit established? How does this work in order to sign a lease.

Thank you verymuch for your time and valuable information.


Hi Cristina,

We bought our apartment in Valencia so I don't know much about how rentals work. Let me put you in touch with our agent, Herminia. She will take care of you and make sure you don't get taken advantage of in a real estate scenario. Let me know where I can contact you outside of this forum and I will I traduce you via email. It is the best possible next step for you.


Hi Steve
Sorry I read your response concerning accommodation in valencia using the agent you know
We are moving to valencia in 3 weeks and could do with some assistance on finding a rental property
Could you please pass on the details

Kind regards


Hi there

Rental possibility

I have a flat in El Cabanyal which I use mid June to 1 August each year.  It is rented the rest of the time; the British agent I bought the flat through manages the rentals independent of me.  He generally rents to clients of his who are visiting Valencia who want to buy here.

If you are interested drop me a note and I will connect you with him.

It is furnished and equipped simply.  It has 2 double bedrooms and one small single bedroom, and one bathroom.  Public transport excellent, 10 mins walk to beach and 20 mins by public transport into the centre

Kind regards

Angela Needham

Hi Angela

Thank you for your email yes i would be very interested and appreciate your help

Kind Regards


@ Angela Needham >

I would advise you to post your housing offer in the housing in Valencia section as well as it is the most appropriate section.

Thank you,

Priscilla team

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