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Need your help please!!

Need your help please!!

Old Nov 23rd 2006, 10:23 pm
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Default Need your help please!!

Hi All,

For those of you who have helped me with advice with my last two threads, will know that my Wife and me are really keen to move to Spain. We have however, heeded your advice in terms of sorting a trade for myself before coming out to Spain, but more importantly, you have all suggested we get a good grasp of the language prior to thinking about emigrating.
Could anyone offer me advice on the types of trades that are required more than others in Spain please and also, in terms of learning Spanish, how long on average do you feel it takes (if having regular tuition) to get a good enough grasp on Spanish to hold a proper conversation with a local.
I have wondered if a language placement living with a Spanish family would be more beneficial than taking a course in the UK.
Look forward to all of your suggestions.
Thanks,
Dave.
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Old Nov 23rd 2006, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by BigDave
Hi All,

Could anyone offer me advice on the types of trades that are required more than others in Spain please and also, in terms of learning Spanish, how long on average do you feel it takes (if having regular tuition) to get a good enough grasp on Spanish to hold a proper conversation with a local.
I have wondered if a language placement living with a Spanish family would be more beneficial than taking a course in the UK.
Dave.
If you are up for doing a placement with a spanish family whilst you study in spain, then there is absolutely no better way to learn. Stay as long as you can possibly bear it (or afford it).

If you take evening classes in the UK for 3/4 hours a week, then be prepared to wait several years before you have conversational level spanish. (ie, forget it).

I'm not so sure about the trade - my wife studied for a CELTA (English language teacher). She has never been short of work, and people still call her up from time to time asking if she is looking for work (which she isnt). However, we live in a city where the expat population is approximately zero. She has virtually no competition in a city of 200,000 habitants all desperate to speak english.

I am not so sure that this would work on the coasts though - many more brits = more competition, and the standard on english amongst the spanish tends to be much higher.
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Old Nov 23rd 2006, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by keithwalters
If you are up for doing a placement with a spanish family whilst you study in spain, then there is absolutely no better way to learn. Stay as long as you can possibly bear it (or afford it).

If you take evening classes in the UK for 3/4 hours a week, then be prepared to wait several years before you have conversational level spanish. (ie, forget it).

I'm not so sure about the trade - my wife studied for a CELTA (English language teacher). She has never been short of work, and people still call her up from time to time asking if she is looking for work (which she isnt). However, we live in a city where the expat population is approximately zero. She has virtually no competition in a city of 200,000 habitants all desperate to speak english.

I am not so sure that this would work on the coasts though - many more brits = more competition, and the standard on english amongst the spanish tends to be much higher.
Thank you again Keith for your advice.
Do you feel therefore, that being an English teacher in a heavily unpopulated English area would be a good source of say monthly income?
Are there many Spaniards who really want to take on the English language?
Would appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks Keith.
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Old Nov 23rd 2006, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by BigDave
Hi All,

For those of you who have helped me with advice with my last two threads, will know that my Wife and me are really keen to move to Spain. We have however, heeded your advice in terms of sorting a trade for myself before coming out to Spain, but more importantly, you have all suggested we get a good grasp of the language prior to thinking about emigrating.
Could anyone offer me advice on the types of trades that are required more than others in Spain please and also, in terms of learning Spanish, how long on average do you feel it takes (if having regular tuition) to get a good enough grasp on Spanish to hold a proper conversation with a local.
I have wondered if a language placement living with a Spanish family would be more beneficial than taking a course in the UK.
Look forward to all of your suggestions.
Thanks,
Dave.


Hi Dave, forgive me for not reading all your posts but what do you do at present? What are your interests, your passions? Do you and your wife need to work in Spain, ie are you retired (forgive me if your pre retirement)

All these factors are things that will influence your decision and how much Spanish you will need before you arrive. While a basic understanding of the language is absolutely essential if you can converse then you will learn so fast here its amazing.
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Old Nov 23rd 2006, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
Hi Dave, forgive me for not reading all your posts but what do you do at present? What are your interests, your passions? Do you and your wife need to work in Spain, ie are you retired (forgive me if your pre retirement)

All these factors are things that will influence your decision and how much Spanish you will need before you arrive. While a basic understanding of the language is absolutely essential if you can converse then you will learn so fast here its amazing.
Hello, Rugby Matt.
Both myself and my Wife are in our early 40's. We will need to work to support ourselves and we don't have the luxury of much savings unfortunately.
We have decided from advice so far, that we need to learn Spanish before attempting the move. (This wasn't me thinking that having the decency to learn was not important before coming, but rather 'learning whilst living there' might, to me, have been the answer). I am concerned that trying to learn here (UK) may not be sufficient and somewhat time consuming for little gain?
I have only an estate agency backround as well as Sales and call centre experience. Again, I concern myself that this won't really suffice in terms of gaining employment that will sustain an adequate standard of living? :scared:
I'm wondering if having say Plumbing, bricklaying, plastering skills would be more beneficial, or are these types of skills already saturated by Spaniards/Brits alike??
Look forward to your comments RM....... Cheers.
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Old Nov 23rd 2006, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by BigDave
Hello, Rugby Matt.
Both myself and my Wife are in our early 40's. We will need to work to support ourselves and we don't have the luxury of much savings unfortunately.
We have decided from advice so far, that we need to learn Spanish before attempting the move. (This wasn't me thinking that having the decency to learn was not important before coming, but rather 'learning whilst living there' might, to me, have been the answer). I am concerned that trying to learn here (UK) may not be sufficient and somewhat time consuming for little gain?
I have only an estate agency backround as well as Sales and call centre experience. Again, I concern myself that this won't really suffice in terms of gaining employment that will sustain an adequate standard of living? :scared:
I'm wondering if having say Plumbing, bricklaying, plastering skills would be more beneficial, or are these types of skills already saturated by Spaniards/Brits alike??
Look forward to your comments RM....... Cheers.


Well the one thing that Spain needs like a hole in the head is more estate agents. Without enraging any who post on here they are either sharks, thieves or broke in Spain!
It is very essential to learn Spanish before you go, and I'm sure others have told you that, but aside from the simple matter of being able to integrate it will also help you settle in. I saw it so many times, people would come out, get odd jobs with Expats, get drawn into the sometimes horrible expat lifestyle and in no time start to wonder why the bloody hell they tore their lives apart just to live in Spain.
By and large those who settled and settled fast were those who took the time to prepare, to learn and to fit in with the Spanish. While i lived out there i (eventually) lived only with Spanish people, i ended up building a massive friend base and was never out of work. In the end Spanish became my second language and i even began to refuse to speak English if confronted with any brits!

In terms of learning a trade then again i commend you but beware that the Brits over there have probably been doing it for years and the Spanish earn very little for the most part. The plumbing is different, as is the plastering and to be honest do you want to be laying concrete blocks in 30 degree heat?

The reason i asked if you have any hobbies/ pastimes or interests is that it is the nice markets in Spain that earn the money.
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 12:03 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
it is the nice markets in Spain that earn the money.
Very true!
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 12:14 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by jaldridge
Very true!


Bars close at an alarming rate, so do eateries, and anything tourist or expat related.

6 years ago i convinced a friend of the family to sell his company and move him and the family out to Spain and start up an Eco tourism/ riding holiday place with a small boutique style b&b. They took a massive risk, i went out there and helped him set up, he knew bugger all about horses, hotels or anything else except his business for that matter but his health was ravaged by stress and he had already had a heart attack.

This January they sold the whole thing for just under 2 million and are moving to inland Mallorca to do the same, his health is tip top and i have never seen him happier.


On the flip side another good friend went to Majorca to start up a bar and while trawling through bars for sale noticed his bar is AGAIN on the market and after talking to his mum found out he is 80 grand in debt and in bloody hiding.
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 12:30 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
Bars close at an alarming rate, so do eateries, and anything tourist or expat related.

6 years ago i convinced a friend of the family to sell his company and move him and the family out to Spain and start up an Eco tourism/ riding holiday place with a small boutique style b&b. They took a massive risk, i went out there and helped him set up, he knew bugger all about horses, hotels or anything else except his business for that matter but his health was ravaged by stress and he had already had a heart attack.

This January they sold the whole thing for just under 2 million and are moving to inland Mallorca to do the same, his health is tip top and i have never seen him happier.


On the flip side another good friend went to Majorca to start up a bar and while trawling through bars for sale noticed his bar is AGAIN on the market and after talking to his mum found out he is 80 grand in debt and in bloody hiding.
I guess what you are saying RM is you won't know until you try, but not to expect the best of things perhaps? :scared: Frightens the s**t out of me to be honest as it sounds like an absolute up hill struggle from what I can take from this.
Is it, in your opinion, not worth going to Spain unless you have a decent level of savings to support yourself and am I right in thinking you are no longer living or working in Spain?
Thank RM...... Dave.
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by BigDave
I guess what you are saying RM is you won't know until you try, but not to expect the best of things perhaps? :scared: Frightens the s**t out of me to be honest as it sounds like an absolute up hill struggle from what I can take from this.
Is it, in your opinion, not worth going to Spain unless you have a decent level of savings to support yourself and am I right in thinking you are no longer living or working in Spain?
Thank RM...... Dave.


Dave I'm sorry if i have put a bit of a downer on your plans, but i think that the best way to avoid disaster in Spain is to be prepared.
No i dont live in Spain anymore, i stupidly came home because i thought it was the right thing to do and to be honest i have regretted it every day since. I loved the place! Still do, and whenever i can get over there!
You have to do whats right by you, if it was me then i would go tomorrow, and if i end up not getting to OZ or NZ then i will definitely be heading for Spain.
It all depends on how strong and resilient you are really. It will take so much to get there, even more to stay but it will also be so worth it, and dont let anyone tell you otherwise. The people are beautiful, the culture amazing, the lifestyle perfect. But you would never enter a venture in the UK with rose tinted glasses so why would you do it in another country?

Find something you like doing and see if it can be developed into a business, its how the best ventures are started in every country.
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
Dave I'm sorry if i have put a bit of a downer on your plans, but i think that the best way to avoid disaster in Spain is to be prepared.
No i dont live in Spain anymore, i stupidly came home because i thought it was the right thing to do and to be honest i have regretted it every day since. I loved the place! Still do, and whenever i can get over there!
You have to do whats right by you, if it was me then i would go tomorrow, and if i end up not getting to OZ or NZ then i will definitely be heading for Spain.
It all depends on how strong and resilient you are really. It will take so much to get there, even more to stay but it will also be so worth it, and dont let anyone tell you otherwise. The people are beautiful, the culture amazing, the lifestyle perfect. But you would never enter a venture in the UK with rose tinted glasses so why would you do it in another country?

Find something you like doing and see if it can be developed into a business, its how the best ventures are started in every country.
Hope you get to return to happiness mate and look after yourself..
Take care and thanks for your comments. Cheers.
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by BigDave
Hope you get to return to happiness mate and look after yourself..
Take care and thanks for your comments. Cheers.
My wife was offered a fixed salary of 1200 euros a month working in a spanish primary school teaching english. the fact that there is no competition here really helped, because she is not strictly speaking qualified to teach children - only adults. A lot of teachers work in academies in the mornings and then freelance in the afternoon. Freelance you could charge say 10 - 15 euros per hour (tax free of course )

I like matt's idea of the riding holiday/b&b thing. something original and not saturated by the british, even on the coasts.

Avoid bars at all costs - the spanish bar market is the most saturated bar market in the entire world!

Instead of trying to learn spanish before you arrive in spain, you just need to learn spanish before you start your life in spain. Once you get here you will learn spanish 100 times faster than via evening classes or cassettes, but only if you do it properly. Your idea of going to an academy and living with a spanish family is unbeatable. that's what we did and it was well worth the money.
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Old Nov 24th 2006, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

From my experience, Dave, there are already very many people out in Spain with plumbing, bricklaying, plastering etc skills, some of them perfectly good ones and some cowboys who were probably just as bad in whatever country they came from. Just like in England, there are a lot of people from Eastern European countries now working in the building trades in Spain, as well as Brits - just this week a Bulgarian electrician turned up to do some work on my neighbour's house.

I know quite a few Brits with building skills in my area who have moved out with savings/profits from house sales in the UK to live on but do 'odd jobs', probably in the black economy, to supplement their income, but they wouldn't make enough to live on all year round especially if they had to pay rent - they all own their houses outright. My own partner could do that if he wanted/needed to, he is a time served plumber with Advanced City & Guilds qualifications that took years to acquire.

I think the advice you have been given from other posters about identifying a "niche market" is good, a couple I know locally started a shop selling British food products in an area which has a growing number of expats but didn't have anything like it in the area before, it has done very well and they have now sold it on. But you need to choose an area where there isn't already a lot of competition but the size of your target market would be big enough to make it viable, and if we could all do that we'd be millionaires by now!
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Old Nov 25th 2006, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by Lynn R
From my experience, Dave, there are already very many people out in Spain with plumbing, bricklaying, plastering etc skills, some of them perfectly good ones and some cowboys who were probably just as bad in whatever country they came from. Just like in England, there are a lot of people from Eastern European countries now working in the building trades in Spain, as well as Brits - just this week a Bulgarian electrician turned up to do some work on my neighbour's house.

I know quite a few Brits with building skills in my area who have moved out with savings/profits from house sales in the UK to live on but do 'odd jobs', probably in the black economy, to supplement their income, but they wouldn't make enough to live on all year round especially if they had to pay rent - they all own their houses outright. My own partner could do that if he wanted/needed to, he is a time served plumber with Advanced City & Guilds qualifications that took years to acquire.

I think the advice you have been given from other posters about identifying a "niche market" is good, a couple I know locally started a shop selling British food products in an area which has a growing number of expats but didn't have anything like it in the area before, it has done very well and they have now sold it on. But you need to choose an area where there isn't already a lot of competition but the size of your target market would be big enough to make it viable, and if we could all do that we'd be millionaires by now!
Thanks Lynn and Keith.
I have decided to go back to the drawing board and revise the options that I have?
I am not going to raise my hopes any further for now. first job is to look at the finances in terms of what we can afford for Language lessons (Spain or UK based) and at least get our Spanish skills as honed as is possible? After this, we Will look at our options for work skills and decide where to go from there really.
Looks likely we will have to hold of for at least another year or so and work on the savings, language and work skills front.
Oh well, we are a little sad but will work hard to get things right for the future. Thanks to everyone for their help and advice.......
Cheers.
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Old Nov 26th 2006, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: Need your help please!!

Originally Posted by BigDave
Thanks Lynn and Keith.
I have decided to go back to the drawing board and revise the options that I have?
I am not going to raise my hopes any further for now. first job is to look at the finances in terms of what we can afford for Language lessons (Spain or UK based) and at least get our Spanish skills as honed as is possible? After this, we Will look at our options for work skills and decide where to go from there really.
Looks likely we will have to hold of for at least another year or so and work on the savings, language and work skills front.
Oh well, we are a little sad but will work hard to get things right for the future. Thanks to everyone for their help and advice.......
Cheers.


Dave why dont you buy a CD pack from someone like lingua phone. It isn't perfect but it means that wherever you go in the car you can have a short burst of spanish. As any hardened crammer will tell you the best time for your brain to soak up info is late at night, so instead of the Tv try running a CD in the evening. Learning a language is about familiarisation and mimicry. Learn how to copy and accustom yourself and you will learn much faster.


And dont give up on the plans, nobody likes a quitter, the think that distinguishes us from the rest of the animal world is our ability to adapt, so just adapt.

I promise you the rewards will be well worth it.
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