moving to Santander, Spain

Hi all,

Thank you for your warm welcome. I am in desperate need of any help/advice you can offer around moving a family to Spain. Myself and my husband are hard-working, we have 3 wonderful children and as such we lead busy lives. Like most people i suppose. However we want it all to change, even temporarily. So have decided on moving to Santander, Spain.

I have many concerns but am determined to go ahead, My main concerns are employment and schooling. I am a second level maths teacher with 13 years experience. Recently i started a TEFL course and hope to get some working teaching English. My husband is a hairdresser and excellent at his job but does not have any Spanish. Will there be any demand for English speaking hairdressers? I dont think Santander has a large English-speaking population so dont imagine so.

I have looked into a bilingual school, Jardin de Africa. Does anyone know anything about this school? What proportion of the school day will be conducted through English? My 6 year old is quite worried about going to a different school. Are there any fees to be paid in state schools?

Could anyone recommend an area in Santander in which to base ourselves. I would like to be central if possible, close to the children's school and a pool with a swim club. Am i asking too much?

Like i said earlier, if you have any advice i would gladly take it.

Hi hsheridan,

Welcome to :)

A new discussion was created as from your post on the Spain forum to broaden your chances of having some replies from members living in Spain.

Thank you and best of luck,


Hi HSheridan,
I live in Santander and have 3 school-going children here. My kids go to a standard Spanish school as my husband is Spanish so I can't help you too much on the bilingual schools here. That said, I know of the school you mentioned and think you should contact them directly re your concerns. I'm not sure what percentage is taught in English but it may be less than 50% but I'm sure they'll be able to answer that. You shouldn't have to pay any fees - but double check with them.

Regarding work - there is hardly any expat community here so I think your husband would have a tough time getting work as a hairdresser if he doesn't have Spanish. I'd recommend he start learning some asap. Your chances as an English/Maths teacher are better - although you should contact a number of the English academies/language schools directly to check that out and be realistic about your earnings. You may find after a few months that you will be in demand to give private English tuition to your children's friends and friends of friends etc - but you'll need something to get you through the first few months.

Regarding accommodation and swim club - there are a number of public and private sports centres/gyms with pools - that will be the easiest of your tasks. I'd base it on your own sources of employment and the schools. I think the school you mentioned is technically outside the city of Santander but I think it runs buses - that's another question for them - I think - unless you want to run a car here or be getting two buses to school each day. There are a lot of nice modern apartment blocks on that side of the city (near a large park and not too far from the beach) so that's probably where I'd base myself.

And in case this sounds very negative, it's a great place for raising a family - just make sure the financials stack up.
Hope this helps

Hello Sheridan,

Did you make the move to Santander? I have many friends here and can ask some questions for you or get you in touch with some of them and my best friend's girlfriend works at that bilingual school.

Would love to meet you and your husband. I also do not speak any Spanish. My wife speaks English. I am from the United States and have been here about 8 years and have many friends here. Some from United States, some from England and some Spanish...all who speak English and love meeting new people.

I started an English conversation group (no fees!) when I first came and it is still going although I have been a little busy of late to attend. They currently meet each Tuesday night. If you are interested I will send you the contact information so you can make arraignments to meet them. They currently meet close to the Sardinero (beach area).

I live in the center near Numancia/Plaza de Cerveza.

You are welcome to join our Facebook group as well: … on?fref=ts

Take care and we will meet up soon.

Steve Finley

I am living in malaga can you be able to help me to get Job in santander area?

So sorry but "NO" you must already know the job market in Spain is terrible. I am not aware of any jobs or places hiring. Best of luck to you.

thanks a lot

Good morning hsheridan, sfinley and Pamela Cahill,

I have read your comments and I would like to know if you still live in Santander.

I am Spanish living in Santander since last year and raising bilingual (EN/SP) my 20-month son. As I am new in this city, I am trying to find some English-speaking parents to meet up with children. I have not been successful so far and wonder if you know people in Santander who may be interested in this kind of meetups or you.

Thank you in advance for you help.


Hello Pilar,

I sent you a private message. Hope it helps. Take care.

Hi there Steve!

Would you know if there is any English speaking families (with children) in Santander that meet up on a regular basis? We're planning to move there next summer and would love our daughter to have the chance to speak/play with other English speaking kids from time to time.

Thank you,

We try to do an assortment of things like bbq's for example. Get a hold of me when you come or just prior so we can get something organized. Sent you a private message. See you next summer!

Hello Steve,

I have just answered you back.

Thank you for your e-mail!

Hello I am looking for an English speaking hair dresser in Santander Spain. Thank you

Hello All,
I know this post is quite old now. I just moved to Santander a couple of months ago and wold love to meet any English speakers. I am from UK originally but lived in several different countries. I have a Panamanian wife and 10 year old son who will be moving here soon, so also looking for bilingual schools, other families with your kids etc. My son actually speaks better Spanish than English so should not be a problem for him. I am trying to improve my Spanish - which is  a necessity here as I have found very few people who speak English, so it has been frustrating at times trying to get things done. I would appreciate any connections or advice.
Thanks in advance.

James, I do not have children but several friends that do. There are MANY English-speaking people here. I have lived in Santander for almost 11 years and I know very little Spanish because ALL my friends speak or want to speak English. Most of my doctors speak English as well. Send me a message if you want me to get you into contact with some my friends. Let me the area in which you live. I know several natives from England, United States (me) and many that have lived in England for a number of years and love practicing English. I could do the inter-cambio route but I am lazy for learning the language, Might be great for you. What kind of work do you do? I am one of Jehovah's Witness and we even have a English-only group...No shortage of English speakers here so do not worry. There is also a school teacher here from Philidelphia if you want to meet her and many opportunities to teach English if you want but I have no desire for that. I just meet up occasionaly with a few friends for beer etc and have English conversation fee, just as friends.

Steve Finley

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Hello Steve,
Thanks for your reply. I have sent you a message.
Yes, would love to meet up for a chat sometime.
I am living in El Alisal, so close to the city.



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