If you’re renting long term on the Costa del Sol, or own a property here, then you want to fit in and integrate into the community. This is important if you plan to build a life here for yourself and your family.
Now of course, one reason why we love the Costa del Sol is how international it is, and there are plenty of strong foreign communities which will welcome you with open arms while you find your feet. However, if you really want to call the place home and get all the benefits of living in Spain, then we recommend doing your best to fully integrate into the Spanish community as well.
One of the best ways to do this is learning the lingo and back in January, we gave you some great tips on how to learn Spanish and have loads of posts with useful Spanish phrases and vocabulary so check it out. So if you’ve been meaning to start learning, get yourself into a class, or start learning online – there’s no time like the present!
However, it’s important to note that integration doesn’t start and stop with the language, it’s about your attitude to the area and your willingness to get stuck in. If you have a young child, take the plunge and put them in the local Spanish primary school, you will give them the gift of being bilingual and understanding this wonderful place like a native and they can help you lots as they grow up! Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t easy if your Spanish isn’t strong, but it gives you a great motivation to learn, and an opportunity to meet lots of people and start a social circle in Spanish, plus it really is an amazing thing to do for your child.
If you don’t have a child, another great way is to join the local municipal gym and do exercise classes. It’s the cheapest way to get fit and you will start to recognise faces and say hello to people in your neighbourhood, without needing to speak to them too much until you’re ready. This is a great starting point for integration, as a few friendly faces go a long way.
Another top tip is to keep an eye on your posters in your local Town Hall offices, or Facebook pages. These will tell you what’s going on, which is not always easy to know when you first move. Ask your foreign residents office to put you on their mailing list too, so you’re informed. Once you know, you can join in with the great community events and start to become a real part of your area.
This can all feel a little bit scary at first, and integration doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little you will start to feel accepted and comfortable in your community and once this happens you will stay the course and really call the Costa del Sol home. We have lots of useful information on living in Spain on our website to help you get started and a great range of Costa del Sol long term rentals so we can help you make life here a reality. Please let us know if we can help!