Multiculture, Profiles

Miguel Ángel Mateos: “London is the city of opportunities”

This 24 year-old Spaniard arrived at the end of last year in the English capital, wanting to learn more.


Javier Duque

After graduating in Public Relations at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Miguel was looking – although he acknowledges he wasn’t taking too much trouble – for any kind of experience or work that would allow him to begin his professional career.

But given what he found, together with the present situation in Spain, where young people have no expectations, he decided to leave for the English capital, which he had already visited.

He concluded: “the benefits of getting to know a new city, especially one as important as London, helped me to make up my mind.”

He arrived on Dec. 11th with a flat already arranged: one of his friends was already there and found him a room. “It was very convenient. Even if I had had a different idea”, he comments.

That other idea was to live with foreign people in order to speak English as much as possible. But the situation he found was different, there are 6 other people living in his flat, all Spanish women.

“The best way to learn a language is going to the country and immersing yourself in the culture” says Miguel. Although he recognizes that he is improving slowly because he never practices at home.

But he does practice at work, in a cafeteria. “London is the city of opportunities. I, with a very low level of English found a job. I don’t believe anyone going to look for a job in Spain without knowing Spanish could find one” he thinks.

However, before finding his present job he began giving out his CV to a number of shops and restaurants.

And at the same time he was sending them by email to those shops where he thought he might have less problems with the language.

Although the first job he found was through an agency for temporary work. “They didn’t guarantee me work for whole days, just something that allowed me to make a little money. Moving furniture is what I did. And it wasn’t bad. And besides it was good exercise”.

A new city

What most attracted Miguel’s attention in London was the mixture of cultures. It seemed wonderful that he could live in a city with people from all over the world.

He feels he has adapted to the city, because he knows how to get around and can support himself without any help from his parents.

Even so he thinks it is not a city with a good quality of life.In his opinion: “Rent and travel are too expensive, it’s very stressful and there is a lot of pollution. . I think the quality of life is better in Spain, although there is no work there now”.

He has experienced odd moments with the English. At work, he says that when the people realized he was a foreigner some of them behaved differently towards him, treating him strangely.

Looking ahead, Miguel has decided to go back to Spain on August 15th, at least for 3 weeks, and then decide whether to come back or not. “ I don’t know if I will look for my type of work in Spain and begin my professional career there. Or if I will come back here . . .”, he says doubtfully.

In summary he says: “I’m aware that if I leave on August 15th I will have gone without achieving my goal: to learn English. So I may come back because of that. I don’t know. But I miss the climate more than anything, the lifestyle, my friends . . . feeling that I am in my home country.”

(Graham Douglas – Email:

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *