Expat Voices: Monica Ballesteros on living in Yorkshire

Expat Voices: Monica Ballesteros on living in Yorkshire

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After six and a half years, Monica still misses Spain’s lifestyle but enjoys local village life in Yorkshire.

Name: Monica Ballesteros
Nationality: Spanish
City of residence: In a village in Yorkshire
Date of birth: September 1970
Civil status: Married
Occupation: Programme Officer
Reason for moving to the UK: Learning English and a change of life.
Lived in the UK for: 6 and a half years
What was your first impression of the UK?
Cold. Supportive but with disadvantage communities. 
What do you think of the food?
I don’t like it especially. 
What do you think of the shopping in the UK?
Same as anywhere else, I hate shopping.
What do you appreciate about living in the UK?
Language, summer-time. My house and the beauty of the town where I live. The opportunity to grow and reinvent yourself.
What do you find most frustrating about living in the UK?
Climate and specially the lack of light during winter’s short days.
What puzzles you about the UK and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
I miss my friends, my language and my culture. I also miss warm spring days at the seaside, and practicing water sports.
How does the quality of life in the UK compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
In Spain citizens live out of their houses more. From my point of view life in the UK is far easier than in Spain, the country supports you so that you can make a good start.
If you could change anything about the UK, what would it be?
Climate and the way the alcohol affects people negatively: some people get too violent and rude.
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Do not mix with people from your own country until you have an integrated life as a UK citizen. This is the only way to enjoy the culture.


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