Interview with Kevin Capelao
Introducing Kevin Capelao, a Portuguese expat in Barcelona
Why did you choose to relocate to Barcelona?
I chose to live in Barcelona to pursue my master’s in digital marketing at ESEI International Business School of Barcelona. I chose Barcelona as after living in The Netherlands for many years I wanted a change in not only culture but also the weather. I prefer countries that have a warmer climate. As well as what I had heard about studying in Barcelona and living here as a student.
What do you miss the most about home?
I am Portuguese, however, due to my parent’s work, I grew up around the world. I was in Nancy, France, and soon after I moved to Angola where I spent 3 years of my life. Then we moved to Paris for 3 years, then we moved to Balikpapan, Indonesia for another 3 years. Then we moved back to Angola for another 3. Then 2 years in Brunei. In my last teenage years, I moved to The Hague for 4 years.
I decided to then move to Portland, Oregon to pursue my football dream. I moved back to the Netherlands to pursue my academic career at the University of Amsterdam, where I received my bachelor’s in Media and Digital Culture. I finished in the 3 years and decided to move to Barcelona to pursue my master’s in Digital Marketing at ESEI International Business School of Barcelona.
So what do I miss about home? Well, I miss my family the most but also the specific food culture we have in Portugal. These are two factors that I miss the most about home but since I have lived in many places I have gotten used to adapting to new environments.
What were the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into life in Barcelona?
My biggest adjustment was language, it is easier for me to speak in Spanish than most people due to my native language. However, at the beginning, I believed it would be much easier to communicate fluently but it took me more time to adapt to the language. I understand Spanish fluently but my speech needed to improve.
Did you experience any particular elements of culture shock?
The culture shock I experienced in Barcelona was mostly due to working hours at shops. In The Netherlands shops are open every day and businesses do not have siesta time which was the biggest culture shock to me.
How did you meet your main community of friends?
I made friends at my university. I chose an establishment that was international as I believe it is good to have friends from all over the world. I always found it beneficial as you learn more about different cultures and different perspectives of the world. I also moved to The Student Hotel marina, settling in an environment where you are surrounded by students from different universities in Barcelona, which helped me expand my friend group.