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-   -   Where do I start? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/where-do-i-start-941040/)

Cjpyne Oct 11th 2021 12:48 am

Where do I start?
 
Hi all

my wife and I are keen to move to Asturias. My wife is from Asturias and we feel we would have a better life there. I work as a Project Manager in construction but I am struggling to work out how I can work in Spain as I have only a very basic level of Spanish. Does anyone have any ideas?

many thanks

chris

Chipmonk Oct 11th 2021 6:35 am

Re: Where do I start?
 

Originally Posted by Cjpyne (Post 13060524)
Hi all

my wife and I are keen to move to Asturias. My wife is from Asturias and we feel we would have a better life there. I work as a Project Manager in construction but I am struggling to work out how I can work in Spain as I have only a very basic level of Spanish. Does anyone have any ideas?

many thanks

chris

The good thing is that your wife is Spanish and from the area. This gives you more of a reason to move to Spain and will make adjusting easier. Bad news will be work for you. Asturias is not a big tourist area for English speakers which means Englush won't be hugely advantageous. It is not very likely you would get a project management position without Spanish and lesser positions would probably require even highly levels. Obviously learning Spanish is a must and with a Spanish speaking partner with family ( I presume) you will get access to the language but it will take at least 3 years of fairly dedicated learning to be competent enough to be an independent user. I suppose it is a case of the lifestyle you want and if your wife can be the bread winner- for a few years.

Cjpyne Oct 11th 2021 6:48 am

Re: Where do I start?
 
Thanks for the response. My initial thoughts we whether I could work remotely for a UK company until my Spanish had improved. Is this something anyone has experience with?

Joppa Oct 11th 2021 7:12 am

Re: Where do I start?
 

Originally Posted by Cjpyne (Post 13060579)
Thanks for the response. My initial thoughts we whether I could work remotely for a UK company until my Spanish had improved. Is this something anyone has experience with?

Yes, it's a possibility and with a Spanish wife, there won't be an immigration issue for working or working remotely. It's just a question of whether your existing employer will allow you to work from Spain, or you can find a new position with another employer. Plus you will have to pay income tax in Spain, which may involve having to register as self-employed (autónomo), with even higher tax.

Chipmonk Oct 11th 2021 7:21 am

Re: Where do I start?
 
You could work remotely. You would need an accountant to set up a system that ( automino/ company) which would allow you to pay tax in Spain and harmonize it with the UK tax system. Your wife's Spanish nationality would allow you residency without the need for a visa- so that is also good. Only downside might be that you would presumably still be needing to work and live in UK and that kind of defeats the purpose in that you would be living apart for periods. You could effectively commute to UK but I would find that a bit of a hassle - again depends on what you want. Most Brits want to move to Spain for the sun ( despite what they say I have yet to meet a Brit who doesn't immediately talk about the weather!) As I'm sure you know Asturias gets cold with snow and rain for alot of the winter so it's not exactly a deck-chair place.

Cjpyne Oct 11th 2021 7:24 am

Re: Where do I start?
 
Yes the weather isn’t great in Asturias, but it is so beautiful and my wife has all her family there. Did look at the option to commute but there are no direct flights at the moment. The closest airport with direct flights to the UK is Santander.

Chipmonk Oct 11th 2021 8:49 am

Re: Where do I start?
 

Originally Posted by Cjpyne (Post 13060589)
Yes the weather isn’t great in Asturias, but it is so beautiful and my wife has all her family there. Did look at the option to commute but there are no direct flights at the moment. The closest airport with direct flights to the UK is Santander.

I can understand the reasons for moving if your wife's family live there. Commuting would be a real hassle if it was every week. The question is whether you are prepared to live apart for a period of time and that can often be difficult if it over a course of years as opposed to months. I guess you have to think of the positives and negatives for each side. If your job is important to you ( not just financially but psychologically) I would be careful about potentially abandoning it to live in a country where you will be rather handicapped by lack of language ( many of us derive identity and self-worth through daily work that demonstrates hard won skills and just pottering around a Spanish property is best left for your later years) There again some feel that the work they do deprives them of their self-worth and they yearn to escape what they see as pointless routines. For them the idea of free-time and quality family time are their priorities. So it is never easy

Listen Very Carefully Oct 11th 2021 9:10 am

Re: Where do I start?
 
You really need to improve your Spanish if you want to work and I mean a proper structured learning program not just listening to tapes otherwise you will be isolated a both socially and culturally

missile Oct 11th 2021 9:43 am

Re: Where do I start?
 

Originally Posted by Listen Very Carefully (Post 13060626)
You really need to improve your Spanish if you want to work and I mean a proper structured learning program not just listening to tapes otherwise you will be isolated a both socially and culturally

+1, do not underestimate the feeling of isolation you may experience

Cjpyne Oct 11th 2021 9:59 am

Re: Where do I start?
 
My wife struggles to teach me which is a bit frustrating. My Spanish is ok, I can get by but certainly needs to improve. What sort of structured programs have people used?

Mustard Oct 11th 2021 11:25 am

Re: Where do I start?
 
You could try an online teacher who will identify your problems and set up a programme of study.

https://www.tusclasesparticulares.co...tranjeros.aspx

There is also a good resource here which explains Spanish grammar very well:

https://www.realfastspanish.com/blog

Listen Very Carefully Oct 11th 2021 2:20 pm

Re: Where do I start?
 
I have used the MIchel Thomas series and there is also Duolingo to get the basics bedded in but I would certainly recommend getting a tutor in the UK who can see where any blocks to learning are If you want something more advanced there are obviously A level courses and when you get really confident the OU

Chipmonk Oct 11th 2021 3:07 pm

Re: Where do I start?
 

Originally Posted by Cjpyne (Post 13060647)
My wife struggles to teach me which is a bit frustrating. My Spanish is ok, I can get by but certainly needs to improve. What sort of structured programs have people used?

There are numerous ways you can learn but you first have to understand what level you already have. From what you say ( you live in UK your wife is Spanish) you probably are somewhere between elementary and A1. Most people assume they are always higher than they are ( normal as you actually do know quite a bit at even A1). To get to higher levels you need to actively be inputting new vocab and grammar structures regularly and attempting to use them. This however can take time as it is not the same as just learning to recognise or even apply it. You have to let it integrate into your existing system. This is why language learning takes longer maybe than say something like maths or memorisation of facts. Linguists often describe it as growing into the language. Learners report it as a sense of automatically knowing how to use and apply it without conscious effort. Anyway your best bet is get a teacher to help input language then a situation where you practice it ( living in Spain). Forget Duolingo etc they dont provide sufficiently effective practice situations. Unfortunately it takes time and patience. Most learners who get good do do so as a matter of need ( the cant escape the language as it is all around them). Also when in Spain try and never use English apart from with your wife- even if you feel stupid
Humility is essential. Good luck

Lynn R Oct 11th 2021 4:39 pm

Re: Where do I start?
 

Originally Posted by Cjpyne (Post 13060647)
My wife struggles to teach me which is a bit frustrating. My Spanish is ok, I can get by but certainly needs to improve. What sort of structured programs have people used?

When we moved here we initially did a semi-intensive Spanish course with lessons every morning for 2 weeks just to get started. My OH didn't persevere with it as he found the grammar very difficult to get to grips with, but I continued with groups lessons twice a week (and lots of homework) for a further 18 months, supplemented by some one to one sessions whenever the teacher moved me up to a more advanced group, so I didn't feel I might have skipped something (at my request, not the teacher's). Then the language school asked me if I'd be interested in doing an intercambio with one of their Spanish students who was learning English and would benefit from conversation practice, so I jumped at the chance and the school gave us a room to meet in two evenings per week, which we did for six months and that was so helpful to me.


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