Relocation story

Malaga Relocation Story of a Young Family

Published on 12 Sep 2023

Alexandra & Paul are a young European family who always imagined retiring in Spain, until they got a job opportunity in their favourite Malaga and decided to jump on it along with their 3-year-old daughter. It is exactly a year since they moved, and never looked back…are you excited to hear their story which they so kindly agreed to share with us?

Where are you from and why did you decide to move to Spain?

We are from Romania and before moving to Spain we lived for a while in Berlin. We had visited Spain many times before and we were always thinking how it would be to move here, but it was always a distant thought, like something we would do when we will retire. But then a job opportunity came, and we said let’s do it, especially since it meant moving to one of our favourite cities, Malaga. 

When did you move & where in Spain did you settle? Did you move on your own or as a family? Describe in a few words

In September this year we celebrated one year since moving to Malaga. We moved as a family, together with our daughter who, at that time, was not yet 3 years old. It was our 2nd relocation abroad so we had more realistic expectations this time - even if you move to a city you love and you have support, new beginnings are hard and it can take a few months to fully settle.

Did you use professional help for the immigration procedures (visas, permits, any admin paperwork) and/or any relocation services (property search, schools, etc)? Tell us your experience

For the residency paperwork, we had support from the hiring company. The property search and the relocation of all our stuff we managed ourselves, which was quite exhausting, so we decided to use professional relocation help for the rest (Padron/address registration and school search and registration for our daughter). It was a very good decision, because, as I said, new beginnings are not easy and sometimes the paperwork can be overwhelming. 

How difficult was it to find your first home and do you still live in the same place? If you moved – tell us why

We still live in the same place, an apartment (rental) we found relatively easy because we knew exactly what kind of place we wanted and where in Malaga we wanted to live. We had been in Malaga a few times before and knew the city, which helped. We did encounter some difficulties because some homeowners here prefer people with a longer work history in Spain, but in the end we got the apartment we liked most. 

Which school do your children go to, public or private, and what is your experience/opinion of the school and general education system in Spain?

Our daughter goes to a public school very close to our home, she adapted relatively fast. She likes it there and her group is diverse, which was important to us.  In Spain, pre-school begins early, children start learning letters and numbers from an early age, which is quite different from what we were used to before.  

What is your occupation in Spain – tell us a few words. Has it changed compared to what you did in your home country?

We both work for technology companies, and I cannot say that work-wise things have changed considerably. The rhythm is definitely different here, people are in general more relaxed. 

How integrated do you feel into the local community and lifestyle? 

Spanish people are very warm and social, so it is easier for us to connect and start making friends, especially among the other parents at school.  But our new friends are not just Spanish - they are also French and Hungarian, so Malaga is becoming more and more cosmopolitan, which is great. 

Do you have any regrets about the move to Spain and/or miss anything from your home country? If yes – tell us what

Our family and friends are in Romania, so of course we miss having them around, but we travel often there and also they are coming to visit, so it’s a good balance.  We don’t regret taking the opportunity to move to Spain, we are young, our daughter is still small, so we think this is the right time to experiment. We don’t know yet for sure where we will be long term, but for now this is home. 

What was the main advantage and the main challenge you experienced with moving to Spain?

The main advantage, for us at least, was that we spoke the language a bit and we also understood it very well. The main challenge I would say is navigating all the paperwork, but that is the case everywhere. The good news is there's support available, people like Irina who can help with a lot of professionalism and empathy.  

Any advice you would like to give to those considering or in the process of moving to Spain

A few things:
•    learn the language, even if just basic conversational for start. It will help 
•    take at least 3 months to plan 
•    have realistic expectations, it takes a few months to settle
•    consider working with a professional relocator, it will save you lots of stress and time. 

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