How to Live Abroad Middle-term with Kids in Barcelona

Getting used to a life with kids can be tough. Ask any new parent, and they will all agree that the life and life habits change so much once the youngsters are in the picture. If we consider living abroad, it’s even a great challenge, as there are many more things to consider. This type of relocation is not as simple because in this case there is an additional factor - the kids. They influence a lifestyle so much, and then, there is also the need to allow them to adapt to the new environment. This is why you will need to think about your life with kids in a new city, for example Barcelona, and consider how to live abroad middle-term with kids.

Once you arrive at the new city, Barcelona, you will probably be much busier than the kids. Since you are most likely to live abroad due to a new business arrangement or professional advancement in your career, this will keep you engaged most of the time. It will also give you plenty of opportunities to socialize. However, your kids will need an itinerary of their own.

What to think about when you live abroad middle-term with kids

During the process of moving, you will have a lot of things to think about, and naturally, the welfare of your kids is one of the top priorities for you as a parent. Here are some of the basic things you will think about when thinking about moving with kids.

Accommodating to a life abroad

The first thing you, as a family, will encounter is accommodating to a life abroad. You will probably have already found the middle-term apartment in which you will be living. This sort of activity is usually done prior to arrival because it makes things much easier once you actually get there. You can look for the apartment online, explore the options and book the one where you would like to live.

If you are reluctant to book anything in advance, there is an alternative. You could arrange to stay in a hotel or an apartment for a short stay, a couple of days or a week. This will give you enough time to go on and look for the apartment in Barcelona with the chance to visit each property. Either way, make sure the property really fits the requirements your family has and you should also pay attention to the length of stay. In most cases, middle-term and long-term stay are usually arranged as a monthly rental in Barcelona, which means you will be paying the rent month by month.

How to Live Abroad Middle-term with Kids in Barcelona


Settling in

Moving to the apartment is only a part of the process of accommodating to a life abroad. Obviously, you will need to spend a couple of days settling. The first thing you will be looking for is a supermarket or a grocery store. You will need some basic supplies and food for your family, and that is why this tasks should be handled perhaps even before unpacking. That is actually all part of the process of settling in.

Creating checklists

To be the most efficient and to make sure you do not forget something, it is recommended to create lists. Lists help you stay organized, and they save you a lot of trouble because you will not have to memorize everything. Apart from the food shopping, lists are actually quite handy during the entire process of finding an accommodation and settling in. First, you will have a list of requirements for your new home when looking for a place to live abroad. Then you will have a list of things to ask when negotiating the terms of renting. You might also want to create a list of things to do when you first arrive at your new home.

Finding a daycare

The next aspect you will have to address when living abroad middle-term with kids is finding a daycare or a nanny for the kids. Since work and other engagements will keep you rather busy, it is only natural to seek childcare provider. You will probably be using it home as well, so the reasons for finding someone to take care of children when living abroad are the same. However, the process of choosing a type of daycare is not the same like at home.

Firstly, there is a language which can sometimes be a barrier. If your kid or kids do not speak the language, you will have to try to find a daycare center where they speak the language they understand. For example, if you are from the UK and you will be living in Barcelona middle-term, and your kids do not speak Spanish, you will need to find a daycare where the English language is spoken. When it comes to the English language, you are most likely to find one, but the people from other countries might find it more difficult because you are unlikely to find a daycare center where less frequently used languages are spoken, such as Danish or Polish. In this case, you can either sign up your kids for an English daycare, if they speak at least a little bit of English, or you could find a nanny which speaks the native language of your kids. Since language development is a very important aspect of growing up and it does affect children’s ability to adapt to the school curriculum, make sure you consider the long-term situation and the education your kids will follow later on. 

Attending a school

While there is a bit of flexibility with daycare, as you can always hire a nanny or have a relative stay at home with kids, when it comes to education, things can get a bit more complicated. What you need to think about first is the length of your stay. Middle-term stay can signify a stay that is anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months long. In case we speak about a couple of months, this means that your kids should be attending school even when living abroad. Not only does this help with staying on track and following the curriculum for that particular age, but it also helps with socialization and adaptation to the new environment.

Ideally, you would arrange everything before your arrival. This means that you could check with the school your kids have attended to offer some sort of a solution for your situation. Sometimes homeschooling, distant learning or home tutor might be options that are available. Occasionally, they might recommend a local school for your kid to attend the program that is somewhat similar. The bottom line is that education is an important aspect, one which you must not neglect when living abroad.

Engaging in extra activities

Besides daycare and education, there are extra activities which are another important part of your kids’ life. Extra activities for kids are a great way for them to learn, to expand their interest and engage into activities and projects they really care about. Along the way, they will be developing skills that are priceless for them when they grow up. They will also be making friends and making a meaningful use of their free time.

When living abroad, you will have to explore new options for the activities that are offered to your kids. For example, children reading time might not be an option for you in a particular situation due to a language barrier. On the other hand, ballet or tennis lessons are excellent choices, where the language will not be such a barrier, and your kids will be able to blend in much easier.

You also need to consider family activities with your kids. Even if parents are overwhelmed with work and kids do have school or activities of their own, family time is crucial for keeping a good family relationship, providing each other support and staying connected. This becomes even more important when living abroad. Some of the activities you could consider, as a family, include:

  • A day at the beach
  • Picnic in the park
  • Ice skating
  • Visiting a museum
  • Going out for ice cream
  • Watching a movie

Thinking about health care

Kids can be much more sensitive when it comes to their health. Additionally, if the change in climate is more drastic, they might find it more difficult to adapt to the living conditions. This is why you will have to arrange everything related to health care when living abroad. Kids’ health insurance is usually directly linked to yours, but you might need additional documents to enable them to use health care when needed. Since the actual procedure and paperwork related to health care can vary from country to country, the best way to make sure you are familiar with the process is to discuss it with your employer. You will do this when discussing your own health care plan. Always have in mind that the health of the youngsters is very important and you need to make sure they are all covered even when living abroad.

Benefits of living abroad middle-term with kids

There are many advantages of living abroad middle-term with kids, and here are some of them:

Second language 

Your kids can be bilingual from an early age. In fact, kids are much better at overcoming this language barrier than adults. Just watch your little one at the playground or at the daycare and you will see how quickly he or she will start making contact with other kids.


Children raised in a family that moves a lot are generally more self-confident mainly because of the fact that they have gone through the process of blending in the new environment several times. When you move, your kids will have to meet new friends, they will have to learn to communicate and to adapt to the new surrounding. This raises their self-confidence.


Kids raised in a different culture learn to be more open-minded than their peers who did not have such an experience. When you move, the kids are immediately faced with a different culture, which might be different in the way you address the elderly, the way you eat, the way you play, etc. All of this helps them become open-minded and tolerant, which will be a great characteristic of theirs once they are older. This immersion into a different culture, especially from an early age is very stimulating and rewarding for the kids’ development.

Most parents are very worried about their life abroad middle-term with kids. They are not sure what to expect and how difficult it will be to adjust. The truth is, most parents that have been in such situation say that the move was actually much more difficult for them than it was for the kids. Kids are naturally able to adjust much easier. They find it easier to learn the new language, to make new friends, and this is what is essentially going to make their stay interesting. It is all part of a life experience.

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