"The climate is good here"

"At first I thought it would be a business trip, so I moved to Warsaw.

When it became clear that all this was for a long time, I decided to move to a place where I like it better.

I chose Spain because I know Spanish and the climate is good here.

Poland is not my favorite country.

If you're going away for a long time, it's better to choose something more attractive for yourself."


Julia chose Málaga, a city in the southernmost part of the country, as her place of residence.

She says that she has been here several times before, knows the place, and to top it all off, the journalist has entered a master's program at the local university.

Now she has already finished her studies, received a diploma, but remains to live in Spain.

Julia Matuzava

"The bureaucratic nuances here are quite complicated, if you are not moving here as a native of the country with a contract.

I had to make a lot of efforts to stay in Spain legally.

Migrants here are required to have a work contract specifically in Spain.

If you don't have it, then, most often, you face rejection," says the Belarusian.

"It's even worse with siesta in winter"

Julia says that the Spanish mentality is different from the Belarusian one, they are very cheerful and open people.

In general, according to the journalist's observations, Spaniards treat migrants well.

Especially if they speak Spanish.

The Belarusian woman has never faced a negative attitude towards herself.

"The only thing is that they know Belarus very poorly, I often had to explain to them where it is and what is happening in our country.

People are very good-natured, it's nice.

The Spanish are ready to help, even if you don't ask for it."

But Julia calls the daily siesta, which usually lasts from 14 to 18 hours, a disadvantage of Spain.

At this time, there is very little work in the city.

In Spain

"You have to get used to it.

In the south, siesta is a way of life.

If you go outside at three o'clock, you will see that shops and cafes are closed.

Banks here are open only until 13:00.

It is very difficult to understand how people live with such a schedule.

In winter, things are even worse with siesta.

When there are many tourists in the summer, shops are open on Sundays, but in winter this will not happen."

Locals know English poorly.

If it is easier in Barcelona and Madrid, problems often arise in smaller cities.

"But many Belarusian natives live in Málaga, because EPAM has an office here.

Most of them do not speak Spanish, but somehow they live.

Everything is possible."

"If you don't pay the rent, you can't be evicted"

Julia and her Belarusian boyfriend have been looking for housing in Malaga for six months, finding it is not such an easy task.

"There is a requirement for tenants - a contract for work in Spain.

There is a law that a landlord cannot evict a person who does not pay rent.

That's why the Spanish are very careful about everything: do you have money, an account, a job.

It is necessary to show the salary for the last six months.

My boyfriend and I worked for the Belarusian mass media, which is based in Warsaw.

It was difficult to explain who we are, where we work.

All this did not sound very convincing to the Spaniards.

We first rented a small room."

Now Julia rents a one-room apartment for 600 euros.

She says that this is the minimum price for which you can find housing in Malaga.

Rent is even more expensive in larger cities.

In Spain

Utilities are highly seasonal.

In the south of Spain there is no central heating at all.

The temperature on the street rarely drops below +14 degrees, but it is cold in the apartments.

The fact is that the apartments are built primarily with the aim of not being hot in the summer, so they have concrete walls and tiles.

"We have to use air conditioners or heaters.

There were even protests in the country due to high electricity prices.

The government promised to reduce.

"The average bill for a roommate in winter is about 120 euros, and in summer - 70," says Yulia.

"A grocery basket costs as much as in Belarus"

The Belarusian woman says that the average grocery basket in Spain is no more expensive than in Belarus.

To buy food for several days, you need to pay about 40-50 euros.

"Bread and milk are more expensive, prices start at 1 euro.

But fruits and vegetables, fish are cheaper.

A kilogram of tomatoes - 2 euros, carrots - 85 cents, peppers - 1.85 euros.

A kilogram of mangoes is 2 euros, apples are 1.7 euros.

Belarusians pay an average of 3-4 euros for half a kilogram of chicken fillet.

Breakfast with coffee in the city will cost about 10-12 euros, dinner with wine - about 20 euros per person.

But there are many cafes in the city for any budget.

"Insurance covers everything"

Julia praises Spanish medicine.

He says that it is free for all citizens and people who have a residence permit, but almost everyone takes out private health insurance.

Belarusians also advised to do so so that there would be fewer problems with legalization.

"I pay 40 euros per month.

Insurance covers, it seems, everything.

I went to the doctors for regular consultations, used an ambulance - and for that I did not pay anything or make additional payments.

The service is very convenient, you can make an appointment with a doctor through a mobile app, you don't have to wait long.

The service is very high-quality."

At the same time, Yulia says, there are no queues in hospitals, but you have to wait for a doctor.

Waiting is a common thing in Spain.

Dental services are also included in the insurance, but the Belarusian has not yet used it.

On the beach in Spain

"Made free trains"

"Prices for men's haircuts start at 8 euros, which is quite cheap.

Women's ones cost from 15. But Belarusian and Ukrainian women are looking for their own masters.

For a manicure you need to pay somewhere 20-25 euros, I go to Ukraine.

They may be even more expensive, but the service is incomparably better than the local one," says Yulia.

She pays 30 euros per month for home Internet, 10 for mobile communication. She says that the Internet speed in the country is very high.

There are also pleasant moments associated with public transport.

After people's protests against high electricity prices, the government made discounts on public transport.

"Ten trips used to cost 8 euros, but now 5. Train trips for short distances have become free.

They also promise to make long-distance buses free so that people use cars less," says Yulia.

"You have to have a plan before you move"

The Belarusian woman says that recently there has been a significant increase in people from our region in Málaga.

From the beginning of the war, people left Ukraine, and when the mobilization in Russia began, Russians also appeared.

"You almost always hear Russian or Ukrainian in public transport.

We have about 250 people in the Belarusian community.

Spain is far from our region.

If it is a journalistic or activist community, they know about our situation.

During my studies, my classmates knew about the migration crisis at the border.

In Málaga, Ukrainian flags are hanging on the city hall."

But at the same time, news from the war in Ukraine is becoming less and less in the media, so many Spaniards think that the hostilities have already ended.

Ukrainians don't like it very much.

"The climate here is very good, nature is diverse, there are many opportunities for travel, it is very sunny.

But you need to have some kind of plan before moving.

I would advise you to come here several times before moving, many people do not like the Spanish mentality.

Life is very calm here, no one is in a hurry.

Many things are postponed until tomorrow.

We need to think over issues related to relocation and work, if they are not natives of the country.

It's good here, but there are nuances," sums up Yulia.


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