Seville boasts the best of Spanish culture: flamenco, bullfighting, gazpacho, and warm summers. The wisest way to explore this ideal Spanish city is not through a week of intense tourism, however, it is by getting a job in Seville, so you can truly experience what the surrounding region of Andalucía is alllllll about. Working in Seville will give you a realistic picture of life in Spain (and an opportunity to live in one of the most romantic and magical cities in the country!). If you want to explore a fascinating region, gain international work experience, and better understand this almost-independent nation, then get hired and work abroad in Seville!
Jobs in Seville
Getting a job in Seville might be easier than you expect, especially if you focus on the three big sectors of employment: tourism and hospitality, teaching English, and becoming an au pair. It’s a popular preconception that Seville offers a very relaxed work environment in comparison to many other European cities; while this may be true to an extent, be aware that the dynamics are changing due to the recession. Companies may now ask a little more from their employees than before.
You may have not heard of this, but Seville has one of the largest “old towns” in the whole world; it’s a city full of both ancient and recent history and the cultural attractions to support it. Therefore, this city is extremely attractive to tourists from all over the world. If you speak English or another second language, finding a job in Seville in tourism might just be your ticket to living in this coveted city long-term. If you love to greet newcomers to your favorite places, you could try to find a hospitality job in one of the many hotels in Seville too. Other service sector jobs are prevalent, and are usually directly linked to the booming tourism of the region.
Another classic type of job in Spain is teaching English. Universities often seek out language assistants to teach English language lessons specifically. Teaching applicants in Seville are often required to have a bachelor’s degree, and of course all their documentation in order. Private academies are very popular places of work for foreigners in Seville, especially for those who want to experience life in Seville but don’t necessarily need a big salary to feel satisfied.
Becoming an au pair is another popular job in Seville commonly sought after by foreigners; it allows participants to explore Spanish culture at its core (with a family) while also making a living. Working as an au pair in Seville will not only help you improve your language skills, it is also a great way to save money for future adventures (as the food and other expenses, such as electricity and water, are provided by the host family). Maybe even most importantly, being an au pair is the best way to taste and learn to cook typical Spanish dishes while working in Seville!
Life in Seville
There is no other way to put it: it’s gonna be hot! But not only in the meteorological sense (though there is no denying that the south of Spain has its fair share of sun and high temperatures). Seville is also a city buzzing with activity, day and night, from the most touristic spaces, like the famous Giralda or the cathedral, to the simplest neighborhoods, with their pubs, cafés, shops, and, of course, the markets. Visit the market of Triana or la Lonja del Barranco to buy delicious fresh food and take on the real spirit of the city.
Historical neighborhoods like Triana, Macarena, or Santa Cruz offer stellar opportunities to taste the Andalusian culture too. Picture it: you, at the tablao with friends, watching flamenco, and sipping delicious Spanish wine. Consider also taking dancing lessons to get in on the action; there are many schools that offer lessons for beginners. Not only is dancing a great way to spend your free time, but it will be a rather impressive skill to show off when back at home.
While working abroad in Seville, foreign workers will have to get used to the change in eating and working hours. The time table is usually split between the morning and the evening, and lunchtime usually lasts between two and two and a half hours (plenty of time to try the siesta!). Dinnertime is also late, usually around nine or ten in the evening. Spaniards enjoy staying at the table for a while after they’re finished eating, so try to enjoy your meals in company with friends and colleagues.
During most of the year, walking is the best way to get to work; however, in the summer, you can avoid high noon by using public transportation. Buses and metro tickets are available for less than €2.
Salary & Affordability
Salaries in Spain are generally lower than in other countries of Western Europe; this is generally compensated by the relative low cost of living and cost of goods and services. However, some expenses have been rising in the last few years, especially electricity, and accommodation prices haven’t been going down either.
International workers who want to make the most of their salaries should try to follow the locals’ suit and adopt their day-to-day spending habits. In general, basics are fairly cheap and even eating out can be affordable. Some cultural activities and other luxuries can be expensive, such as going to the cinema or clubbing all night, so this might not be something your wallet will want to do every weekend.
Accommodation & Visas
If you prefer to live on your own or your work abroad program in Seville simply doesn’t include housing, the best option is probably sharing an apartment with other workers or even students. Renting a room in Seville can cost less than €500 per month, and living with roommates will allow you to split the cost of the bills. For those who prefer to be close the city center, even paying a little more, the neighborhoods of Triana and Alameda are excellent choices to call home. For cheaper rentals, another popular option is the more far-flung Nervión.
EU citizens will not need any kind of visa to live or work in Seville, but make sure you take your passport with you and don’t lose it. Spanish immigration and passport services is not the fastest, so obtaining a new one can be a long process. Citizens of other countries will need a visa and in some cases a work permit. Your employer should be responsible for presenting the paperwork of the latter, but you’ll have to take care of the entry visa. The cost and steps of the process depend on your country of origin and the length of your job in Seville. Prices can vary from $70 to $160, so make sure to do some research and find out exactly what you need. You can always visit GoAbroad’s Spanish Embassy Directory to find out more information too!
Benefits & Challenges
Finding a job in Spain can be hard, especially in the South, as the market is very competitive. It’s a popular spot to work abroad, and the recession and relatively low number of jobs makes for limited opportunities even for locals. However, if you opt to get a job in Seville through a program provider, you can bypass the search and enter Spain with not only direction and an instant community, but also a job and a paycheck. Cha-ching!
Working in the south of Spain has an added challenge; Andalusía has one of the most particular Spanish accents in the peninsula, and foreigners may find themselves at a loss in the beginning (even if their level of Spanish is fairly proficient). Don’t panic! If you don’t understand what a local is saying at first, try to relax and view the obstacles as an essential part of adapting to the culture. Learning from it will guarantee an improvement in your language and survival skills.
Seville and its people are fascinating and enticing, and once past the initial cultural shock, everything about life in Seville, the art, the music, the food, the laid-back lifestyle, can become addictive. Not all Andalusians are born in Andalusía, and you may find yourself an honorary one.