Globe, Migrants, Multiculture, Profiles, United Kingdom

A lucky immigrant, but far from home

Finding opportunities that her home country could not give her, despite her qualifications, has been a success savoured by this Spaniard. Although, she has not forgotten her dream of returning home to establish herself in Spain some day.


   Noelia Ceballos


Two years ago Andrea arrived in London, a city that she had been in love with since she was a young girl. Like many Spaniards she had to leave Spain to find a life somewhere else. She forms part of a lucky group who have found work in industry related to their qualifications.

Living in the English capital is a dream come true for Andrea. She made the journey with her partner, and she hasn’t regretted this step for a single moment. She was sure: “I had to leave Spain to move forward in my career.” After achieving her goal, she arrived to become Director of Events and Marketing at the Crowne Plaza. Working in the tourism industry, and time at City University London, helped her into the position she has now. This woman from Barcelona has shown her appreciation for this city: “If there is opportunity somewhere… it is in London.”

The enthusiasm that Andrea expresses also hides a little of her disappointment in the reasons that led her to immigrate.

She acknowledges that she felt “pushed” to leave Spain “because of a lack of opportunities for young people.” She is one of the people criticising the  government’s handling of the crisis: “I feel that things are not being done well in Spain. I don’t feel that anything has been planned for the future”.

She shares her disillusion of “seeing how every day more young people, and now not so young people, are immigrating in search of opportunity, searching to show how prepared we are.”

There is anger in her words, particularly about politicians “they call us aventureros [adventurers]”, in an allusion to the expression that the Ministry of Employment uses to refer to these young people.

While the economic situation continues in a difficult recession, Andrea admits that she will continue to go “where there are better personal and professional opportunities. But I want to think that my future will be in Spain, with my people and my family”. At the moment, life for the Spaniard continues peacefully in a city that fascinates her, and where she has found herself a place within British society. She recognises “I have been very lucky to work with English people.” She also dedicates part of her time playing in a basketball team in the National League.

Another of her hobbies is simply to enjoy walking and experiencing the surprises on the streets of London.

“I start walking at Regent Street and find myself getting lost in all the side streets, losing track of time while I think, I make plans for my future or simply disconnect with the world sitting in one of the  many cafés in Soho.”

Andrea recalls that it was not easy in the beginning. But she remembers it with a smile, “especially the first job interviews”.

Her stay in London has changed her way of life. “It has opened my mind a thousand times. I have left behind my many quirks and prejudices and have learned to appreciate what I have much more and to live for every minute.”

(The Prisma’ memoirs. February, 2014)

(Translated by Grace Essex – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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