±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Education & Schools

Barcelona - Education & Schools

Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions a parent makes, even more so if that decision has to be made in a foreign country. In and around Malaga there is the choice of the state school system, or a number of private international schools.

Younger children usually find it easier than older children to adapt to a foreign country, its educational system and the language. The state schools system obviously operates in Spanish, however many schools offer additional Spanish tuition for expat children to help them adapt. In Catalunya, the teaching of Catalan is also compulsory, which for parents of an expat student may be another consideration - would the learning of two foreign languages be too much for a child.

State schools in Spain are operated by the local Autonomous Community which for Barcelona is Catalunya. Schools operate within a catchment area, so if there is a particular school you wish your child to attend, you need to be a resident within that school's catchment. A list of state schools can be found here. Applications for a state school place need to be made through the Town Hall (Ajuntament). Firstly, you need to download an application form from the Town Hall website here. Then you need to take the completed form, along with other documents including passport, NIE, proof of residence and birth certificates, to the Education Office situated at C Bruc, 90-92, Eixample. Telephone 93 467 7350. Further information is available on the Education Department's website at www.edubcn.cat.

Many expat parents prefer to send their children to one of the international schools in the area. Transferring from a foreign country to an international school and vice versa is much easier than through the Spanish state system. It is also easier for older children to then transfer to a University abroad as international schools will offer qualifications recognised worldwide, such as the International Baccalaureate or British GCSEs and A Levels.

Among the respected international schools in the area are the American School of Barcelona (www.a-s-b.com), The British School of Barcelona (www.britishschoolbarcelona.com) and ESCAAN (www.escaan.com).

A full list of international schools can be found here.

The University of Barcelona was founded over 550 years ago and now has over 80,000 students in the city. As well as full degrees, the University offers shorter courses of study through its Extension Program, and Spanish and Catalan courses for foreigners. Further information on these shorter courses can be found at www.ub.edu/ub/en/other_studies

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.