23. May 2017

PIA WALTER - BARCELONA, SPAIN

I always had the intention to spend some time abroad. It was quite an easy decision for me to take, when I had the chance to go on an expatriation program.

MY START in Barcelona

Looking for a flat without being at this place and without having a local phone number turned out to be really tricky in the beginning. Actually, this was the reason why I finally found my flat when I was already there. I was really happy with this one, especially because it is located in the city centre of Barcelona and it was newly renovated only recently.

Exploring the city FROM the centre

However, living in the city centre also meant to sacrifice quite a lot of time for public transport on your way to the office. Almost one hour for one direction - actually too much time for me, which was the reason I bought a scooter. The best decision I actually could have made because since then I have been cruising through Barcelona, exploring all the beautiful details of the city always with a smile on my face. Even though I have to say that people drive like crazy (la gente est muy loca), I easily adapted my style of driving to their habits and since then I have been feeling more confident. Additionally, I saved one and a half hours per day, some valuable time I could use for better things. For example for having some tapas with some colleagues and friends after work.

 
 
DiscoverING 
spain & 
Barcelona

Apart from work (which I  really liked a lot), I had a lot of visits from friends and family from home, which I was enjoying a lot. However, Barcelona has so much to offer, that even when you spend some time alone, you will never get bored because there is always something new to explore. During the weekends I also used to travel, not only to discover Spain but also other countries because the connections from Barcelona were really good and sometimes cheap. So, I was having a really good time there.

Background Grid
PERSONAL
experienceS:
WHAT IS
DIFFERENT?
  • WORKING HOURS
    Most Spanish colleagues start their working day a bit later than Austrian colleagues, therefore, they also have a later lunch break and end their work day later – remember to keep this in mind when scheduling meetings. 

  • MEETING TIME
    You won't be astonished if a meeting that was originally scheduled for 1 hour, actually takes 2 hours.

  • DISCUSSIONS
    People there love to discuss. If there existed national sports of discussing, I bet that the Spanish would be excellent in it. On the one hand, you sometimes end up having better solutions because with the willingness to discuss you challenge your surrounding every day. Being able to answer the question, is part of your daily business there. However, on the other hand discussing also means time. Sometimes meetings become quite inefficient because we lose ourselves in some details, discussing what may not be necessary.

Insight
Pia Walter, Head of Project Support
TGW Logistics Group GmbH
"Spend some time abroad.
It will not only open your mind,
you will also get to know
other cultures and new people.
It forms your personality."
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