“When in Spain…” Why adapt to the local culture?
Moving to Spain and living in a Spanish city isn’t always easy, especially if you have never lived abroad or you don’t speak the language.
For expats and international students, it can be easy to find an expat community and avoid integrating, but in the long run, finding ways to integrate into the new culture will only benefit you! Here are some of our top reasons why:
Everything is Easier
When you arrive to a Spanish city, the culture and the lifestyle can be quite different! You’ll probably encounter problems you don’t understand and find yourself in situations you don’t know how to deal with.
That’s exactly why adjusting to new schedules, rules and routines can really help you to live a more comfortable life. Here in Spain for example, work and retail timetables are different, and often shops can be closed from 2pm-5pm. Adjusting to this and working with it can make your daily routine more manageable.
Get to Know New People
Interacting with locals can really help you to feel settled in a new place and feel more at home. Of course, the language can be a difficulty but communicating with basic words and phrases can help you to form connections with others.
These connections can be vital for integration! For example, locals are the best people to ask about the area in which you are living; they can recommend the best things to do and the best places to eat and shop. And of course, they give you the chance to practice Spanish in every day circumstances.
Learn New Skills
In a new city there is so much to learn. For British expats for example, learning to drive on the opposite side of the road can be a new challenge! For international students and interns, there’s a new world of education and business to discover. Also, the city brings new places to visit, foods to try and rules to abide by. There’s so much to adapt to and learn from.
And last but not least- the language! If you can pick up the language, you have learned an invaluable skill, both on a personal level and most definitely on a social level.
Problems, difficulties and new situations will arise. If you try to integrate, problems can be solved much more easily. To sort out problems, if you have new friends, you are familiar with the new rules and you understand how things work. When it comes to encountering problems you will be much more able to deal with them.