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What are school options for kids who do not speak Spanish yet?


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My husband and I are planning to relocate to Barcelona for work. We are currently in the United States and only able to communicate in English. We have two children in school: a primary schooler and a middle schooler, who will soon enter high school.

We are considering enrolling our older child in high school next year and want to know if this is the right decision.


Given that we don't speak Spanish, will it be easy for us to assimilate into the community?

I'm Spanish Adviser and you can ask me any question related to Spain. Our people speak 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇪🇸 🇩🇪 🇫🇷 🇺🇦 🇷🇺.

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In Barcelona, where many tourists and people from abroad reside, it's important to integrate with the local Spanish population to experience a truly international environment. In that case, knowledge of Spanish is essential. As you've been informed, the main language in Barcelona is Catalán!


It can be tricky dealing with kids; they pick up languages faster than adults. If you're only moving for two years, a high schooler may benefit from keeping the same curriculum as back home in an international school. Alternatively, attending a Spanish school would have the benefit of giving them a proper immersion into the language and culture. For the youngest one, this would be easiest to do, as there is no need for a proper curriculum in preparation for exams when they return home.


Making changes can be challenging, but exposing your family to other cultures, languages, and activities is a great way for them to make new friends. Barcelona is a wonderful destination with a mix of culture, nature and the seaside. Should they learn Catalán first, it will make it easier for them to later learn Spanish and French! Wishing you and your family an enjoyable move!

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Is this a permanent move?

When deciding upon a school for your children, you should think about attending an "international" school where English is the primary language. Fees can be extremely high! It will be particularly tough for the older child to attend a public school without any knowledge of Spanish. Living in Barcelona can be challenging if you do not know the official language, Catalan, so the public schooling is in this language.

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