8th December 2022
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Barcelona International Community Day to bring together the city’s international talent

Barcelona International Community Day (BICD2022, organised by Barcelona City Council, will be held this year on Saturday 22 October at the Maritime Museum, to once again welcome and bring together the city’s international talent. Entry is free of charge, and you can get your ticket by registering online at barcelona.cat/internationalcommunityday.

‘You feel Barcelona. You make Barcelona’ is the slogan for BICD 2022, the ninth edition of the annual gathering for the expat community, that highlights the richness that the international community brings to the city, and its contribution to making Barcelona a vibrant, diverse and multicultural place worth living.

This event-fair will feature nearly 80 exhibitors. Attendees will find specialised resources and services to meet the needs of expats who have recently moved to Barcelona. It will also feature a programme of more than 60 activities throughout the day in a variety of formats: informative talks and workshops, networking activities, live music and activities for children. Around 100 speakers and experts from all over the world will be participating.

Barcelona International Community Day’s venue will open its doors at 10am and the activities, held from 10.30am to 7pm, revolve around three main themes: settling in the city, with information on legal and tax issues and how the education and health systems work; doing business or pursuing a professional career; and enjoying the social life in the city, with dynamic networking events to help people build personal and professional networks.

Barcelona Activa’s resources for job seekers and business start-ups will also be presented and explained in detail, as well as the permanent municipal support and welcome service for newly-arrived international talent, the Barcelona International Welcome Desk, which provides personalised information and guidance.

The education sector will also be represented thanks to stands from various business schools and a showroom of several schools from the Barcelona area offering international curricula or qualifications.

This year, BICD will also be a meeting point for the city’s scientific community (one of the most prominent groups of international talent), as it will host the first networking event for Barcelona’s scientific researchers.

The event also has a fun and family-oriented side to it. Throughout the day, there will be a play centre with various activities for children, and in the Maritime Museum Garden there will be live performances by artists from different backgrounds: Taiko Japanese traditional drums, Irish music or Indian dances, among others.

Plus, as a new feature this year, the day will end with a big party from 6pm to 7pm, bringing together exhibitors, speakers and attendees. The party will feature American folk music, DJ entertainment, some giveaways and a final toast with everyone present.

Host ambassadors

As every year, the programme of activities will include the participation of six hosts, all professionals from various countries who have settled in Barcelona to pursue their professional endeavours.

This year’s hosts are young Congolese entrepreneur Neema Bal Nelly; Mexico-born Amilcar Vargas, who is the current director of World Heritage at Casa Batlló; Shreyashee Nag, a dancer and choreographer from India who has founded her own dance school and company in Barcelona; US expat Victor Horcasitas, editor of Barcelona Metropolitan magazine; Bibiana Cunningham, an entrepreneur from Slovakia; and Emrah Ulucakar, the manager of a multinational in the agri-food sector who came to Barcelona from Turkey two years ago.

Organisation and support

The event is the culmination of a whole series of activities and programmes that Barcelona City Council offers throughout the year via the Barcelona International Welcome service, whose mission is to make it easier for international talent to settle and integrate in the city.

Barcelona Activa offers Barcelona City Council support in the organisation of Barcelona International Community Day, along with various other organisations, entities and professionals who help to make its organisation and dissemination possible. It also has the outstanding support of Banc Sabadell as a premium sponsor, as well as the sponsorship and collaboration of ERES Relocation Services (workers’ international mobility management), MAPFRE (insurance and medical and health services) and Page Personnel (international human resources consultancy).

Also supporting the event this year are the Association of Independent Private Schools of Catalonia (EPIC), the Old Irish Pub and the children’s play centre Just for Kids. We are also delighted to be one of the media collaborators of the event, with our section dedicated to ‘Barcelona in English’

A total of 3,678 people from 87 countries signed up to attend last year’s event, which took place on site but with Covid-19 measures still in place. This year, the day will take place normally and is expected to reach the participation figures of 2019, exceeding 4,000 people.

Barcelona welcomes and invigorates international talent: a 360 degree plan

Barcelona’s diverse, intercultural spirit is reflected in the fact that currently, 29% of the city’s residents, or 481,657 people, were born abroad. The city is home to people from 176 different countries, and the main nationalities represented are Italian, Pakistani and Chinese.

Of the expats living in Barcelona, 41.8% have a university education or a higher education certificate. The city offers multiple opportunities to facilitate the professional and personal growth of all foreigners setting up in the city with a view to living their lives here.

This large, dynamic international community has all the potential to enrich our society and economy. From the perspective of economic advancement, this is very valuable because:

  • Their talent, work, investments, companies, professional projects, and economic and commercial activities help to generate wealth.
  • They help to improve competitiveness and productivity, producing new ideas, techniques and innovations.
  • They are the first point of contact with new investors, entrepreneurs or professionals in their home countries: they help to make investment decisions and attract talent to our city.
  • They are the economic ambassadors of Barcelona in their home countries.

Bearing in mind the positive contribution that they make, taking care of our international community is important, regardless of whether they have arrived recently or are more established in the city.

This is why, for a number of years now, the City Promotion Department at Barcelona City Council has had a plan in place to attract, welcome, enhance the loyalty and invigorate international talent, the focal point of which is the Barcelona International Welcome.

Barcelona International Welcome is the municipal website for foreigners who want to come to live and work in Barcelona. It offers practical information for settling in the city, a detailed explanation of mandatory and other important procedures to carry out, and a calendar of activities throughout the year to help these people develop their full potential.

Since November last year, the information and resources of Barcelona International Welcome have been available in the form of face-to-face, personalised assistance at the Barcelona International Welcome Desk, a pioneering international talent welcome service in Spain that makes it easier for people to come to Barcelona by offering personalised assistance, information, guidance and help with paperwork in several languages.

Barcelona International Community Day 2021

In 2021, the event drew 3,678 people to the Maritime Museum. Of these, 64% were attending for the first time, while the rest were repeat visitors. The large international event attracted students, entrepreneurs, members of research teams, business people, artists and families.

In terms of the diversity, 59.1% of those who attended were from abroad and 40.9% were Spanish nationals. There were people from 87 different countries, with Italy, France, the UK and the US as the four countries of origin with the most visitors. 60% of those who came had been living in Barcelona for less than five years.

In total, 51 activities were held, with 96 speakers and experts and 73 exhibitors. Satisfaction among those who attended was very high, at 8.6 out of 10

Entry is free of charge for BICD 22, which takes place on Saturday 22 October. you can get your ticket by registering online at barcelona.cat/internationalcommunityday. Full details of the event can be found here: barcelona.cat/internationalcommunityday.

You can follow Welcome Barcelona on Instagram at: @welcome_barcelona and here on Linked in.

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