Possible move to Barcelona

I need some feedback from American expats living in Barcelona. My husband has been offered a job in an IT company in Barcelona. None of us speak Spanish, although we will learn the language when we get there. My concern is for our kids. We won't have the extra money to put them into international schools. Do any of your children go to the public schools? Do they have a transitional class where they'll learn the language? Our children are still young and we chose to homeschool them, I know in Spain homeschooling is only allowed in certain circumstances. So everything will be new to them. But I also know that kids are resilient and they'll do just fine.
The company my husband will be working at is located in Sant Curgat. Is this a family friendly place?
I would love any other advice you could give before we take this offer. :)


As no-one has yet replied you... I'll do the honor.

I would say... Go for the job, the new adventure, new life style... make new friends... visit the great places this country has to offer. Your kids will do just fine. Don't forget though that you/they will have to learn also Catalan. Seems to be not so difficult. Anyway... I have 2 kids myself and the schools are good... They adapt more easy than we think. Me myself, I learned Spanish by building a house and by talking to the builders, farmers, shepherds, hunters, shop keepers... Just talk... make plenty of mistakes...learn and talk more... Your kids will have a few months of stress but you and they... will never regret the decision of moving to Barcelona!!

Good luck and wishing you all the best


Thank you so much for the reply, much appreciated ☺ I was wondering if I did or said something wrong . My husband can't get over the reduction of salary offered, a whole 35%. I won't be working until I can speak the language,  so we'll be solely reliant on his salary.  Eventhough the salary offered is good for BCN our expenditures will be the same as over here in Houston or so we have worked out using the cost of living models online. 

Thanks again


I don't know to what you refer to in fact when you say that you said or did something wrong. Doesn't seem to me for sure. You know, when I was following the presidential debates in the US, which outcome was appalling by the way, for most Europeans, I was more than once stunned by what "The Middle Class" earns in the US..., I will not quote the figures but it was a 6 figure salary... while, If one deduct from that 35 %... you will be in the upper class figure salary in BCN for sure...
Spain is one of the most unequal societies in Europe. Approximately 10 % of the 47 million population of Spain lives with less than 5000 € a year. Unemployment is around 25%, Many "middle class families"  live with 20,000 € a year
According to EXPAT FOCUS (
The average  salary in BCN is 33,327€ and is the second highest in the country behind Madrid (36,902€). But... It's true that Spain is still a relatively "cheap" European country to live in... and I'm speaking here only of food and beverages...Here, one can afford to go out with friends enjoying Tapas and a good wine. A good bottle of Rioja Gran Reserva cost me less than the bottle of "Ecological" Apple Juice that my kids drink!...

Still I would say... Go for it!... don't be demoralized! Salary may be less but wealth of experiences and "Style" of living will be higher...Good luck with your decision!

Warm regards,


I am Spanish living in Barcelona Old Town. The area that you mention, Sant Cugat del Vallés, it is a very friendly area, and sometimes better than Barcelona (much greener for sure!) There is a tube & a train to go to Barcelona, apart from buses. 

There are many different schools in the area, and probably you may try to look for a government subsidized school, more affordable than a private school. At school, your children will learn both Catalan (local language) and Spanish, and, as far as I know, it is not complicated. In most schools there are transition classes to give support to children who lack the knowledgement of these two languages (in my daughter’s school, they do it and it is not the only one that I know).

If you decide to come here, I could give you a hand or a piece of advice within my possibilities, and eventually show you the Old Town which I know well for many reasons. I hope that you make the best decision for you.

I taught at a kind of international school in Sant Cugat for a year and there are some benefits to living there such as it being more open and spacious with parks and close the mountains and nature. It has a lovely old town area but it is very expensive there and there is a kind of snobbery from people because it is an "Old Money" town where Catalan language dominates Castellano (Spanish.)

Personally, I think Spain is a great place to bring up kids but the younger the better when it comes to language and social integration.

Hi, I am living in St Cugat for the last 18 months with my wife and two children and have been in Barcelona for 15 years. St Cugat is a nice place to live, quiet. If you prefer city life, Barcelona is not far and a 20-30 minute train journey away. The public schools in St Cugat are good. I doubt they do much special for children that don´t speak Catalan or Spanish but if they are quite young, they will probably adapt super quickly. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Happy to help.   thomas[at]

Haa, I know Sant Cugat I used to work their, if its the same area I worked before, it should e fine, lot's of people from Europe are their and they generally all speak English, the Spanairds I met there also speak English.

The Spanairds, are friendly from my Experience, more friendly when you start learning Spanish, often companies offer free Spanish lessons to help expacts assimulate. As for schools I do not know but normally the companies can recommend schools, and where to get advice, etc.

New topic