For many years expats and in particular those from Britain have tended to hold the same view, tempted to the region Sol by sun, sangria and a laid back lifestyle. Recently however, this charming coast has been more widely a recognised as the Costa Del Crime due to its reputation as a hotspot for gangsters and crooks. The result of this has been speculation about how welcome the expat population remains in the region with The Guardian suggesting that many make very little attempt to integrate with the local community.
Integration is one of the biggest issues facing expats and is something that we’ve blogged about previously on several occasions. So is it that Spanish locals are just much less willing to embrace expats or is there just a lack of effort on the expat part?
According to the HSBC Expat Explorer survey and its (snazzy new tool) Spain is the 3rd easiest country in the world to integrate especially when compared to some of its European neighbours. What’s more it’s also ranked 9th in the world in terms of ease of making friends which makes the Guardian’s article all the more surprising. Perhaps the issue is that with such a large number of expats living in the region the temptation is to stay within the familiar expat community rather than experience the local culture and traditions.
Undoubtedly the integration hurdle is one of the most challenging for many expats but equally once overcome can lead to lifelong friendships and a more enriched experience of life overseas. Tell us your thoughts!