Melisa was working as a UX Designer in Portugal when we contacted her with the opportunity to join one of the biggest European e-commerce companies based in Barcelona. She has been previously working in Krakow, Poland so she was familiar with working in an international environment. She also studied in Barcelona, and this is why she was very happy to take this new step in her career. Read more about her story here:
How was the process of moving from Portugal to Spain?
Being an EU citizen was a big plus for me! Therefor moving here was easy breeze! Just bought my airplane ticket and got here. The first couple of weeks I stood with with some friends and in the meanwhile I was looking for an apartment, that was actually quite easy to find!
As an expat do you feel well integrated in the city?
If you love architecture, arts, leaving by the sea… if you like the night life or you prefer a healthy life and enjoying nature, if you like having friends from all over the world, this is your city! I mean, this city is made for everybody! You just feel integrated since day 1!
Do you think you can take advantage of your spare time? What activities do you enjoy doing?
I like exercising and here in Barcelona there are plenty of places out door where I can go for a run, rollerblade, swim or ride my bike (actually a ride my bike every day to the office!). After work I normally go climbing or to CrossFit classes. During the weekend on sunny days, I normally go to the beach with my bike and have lunch in one of the hundred of restaurants around the city. If the weather is not that good (rarely happens) I use to go for a walk thought the Gotic and have a glass of wine or a beer. There are also tons of free exhibitions and concerts all the time.
What does still surprise you about Barcelona?
That everyday I find something new! A beautiful building, a tinny narrow street on the old town, a cool and trendy shop at the Example or even secret gardens! It just never stops delighting me!
What would you suggest to someone who would be moving to Spain or Barcelona soon?
You won’t find a lot of problems settling down and adapting to the city, but I recommend that you find someone that can advise you and help you with the paper work (mainly if you don’t speak the language). Taking care of your NIE (foreigner ID number), Empadronament (registering your address in the city hall) and getting the Social Security number is easy and you can manage everything in a couple of days by scheduling online appointments. Although, if you don’t speak Spanish (or Catalan) you can ask for help to a friend or request help from your company’s HR.
Looking for an apartment might be hard sometimes because there is a lot of demand here (thousands of people arriving to the city everyday) so sometimes you can feel overwhelm, therefor I would recommend you to hire a Real State agency - they will also advise you in terms of neighbourhoods, policies and contract constrains.
But don’t worry, after all this boring things, the city will just conquer your hearth and soul! :)
Could you also be interested in a possible move to Barcelona? Check this out