24th May 2024
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Barcelona International Community Day celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Barcelona International Community Day is celebrating its 10th Anniversay this year. The initiative organised by the Barcelona City Council will be held on Saturday 28 October at the Barcelona Maritime Museum. The event is free of charge, and tickets are available by registering here on the event website: barcelona.cat/internationalcommunityday.

In its last edition, it brought together more than 5,400 people, beating its attendance record, and it has become a benchmark for members of the international community. In addition to being a point where new arrivals in the city are welcomed and helped to settle, it is also a space of information, fun, networking and business, and is open to anyone who wants to connect with this group, which brings Barcelona diversity and wealth.

This year’s edition will offer a new programme of activities for all audiences, which will include informative talks, workshops, round tables, networking activities, musical performances and children’s activities. It will also have a fair where exhibiting companies and organisations will share their services, products and initiatives with international professionals. The timetable for entering the premises in the former Royal Shipyards will be from 10am to 7pm.

More than 60 activities and almost 100 speakers

The programme of activities will mostly be in English and revolve around three main themes. The first is arriving in the city with practical information on paperwork, looking for a flat, tax issues and how the education and healthcare systems work. The second is companies and work, with tips on finding a job, developing a career or becoming an entrepreneur. The last is enjoying and socialising in the city, with free-time activities related to culture, as well as networking events to help create networks of personal and professional contacts.

This year, prominent topics will be Barcelona’s scientific potential, entrepreneurial talent, the situation of real estate, access to healthcare services, practising Catalan and promoting entrepreneurship among women. The resources that Barcelona Activa, Barcelona’s local economic development agency, offers to find work and support the creation of companies will also be shared. And, of course, there will be detailed explanations of the permanent municipal service to support and welcome recently arrived international talent, the Barcelona International Welcome Desk, which provides personalised information and advice.

Therefore, Barcelona International Community Day will be not only a space of welcome and encounter for citizens from other countries, but also a huge concentration of talent, entrepreneurship, ideas and projects coming to the city from abroad.

The day will also have a festive and family side. This year, Catalan folk culture will be on display with a performance by castellers (human tower builders). There will also be room for technology, with a virtual reality experience about Barcelona. As usual, the Garden of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona will host the more fun side of the event, with concerts and live performances in different disciplines. Inside the venue, there will be a play centre for our youngest visitors with children’s activities.

Plus, the event is going to end with a bang to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The closing party, which will be held from 6 to 7pm, is targeted at both the attendees and participants in the fair. It will have an anniversary cake, a toast and a Catalan rumba concert.

The city’s business ecosystem is also participating

The event will again have a fair for companies and organisations that will offer products, services and initiatives to the city’s international talent. The fair will have more almost 80 exhibitors, including companies and public entities, associations, social clubs, non-profits and international schools. They will all be distributed at different stands and information points and seek to meet the community’s needs. 21% of the companies are participating in the event for the first time.

The exhibitors come from a wide range of sectors, including real estate, relocation, talent management, legal and financial advice, insurance and medical services. The participants will also find cultural and social organisations, both public and private, which will offer them everything they need to enjoy and integrate into the city. The educational sector will also be represented with stands from different schools offering international curricula or degrees. Plus, the exhibitors include business schools and other educational centres.

A decade creating community

Barcelona’s international talent ecosystem has been gathering at this event for 10 years, which is designed to welcome them and help them integrate into the city. Barcelona International Community Day is the benchmark annual event for international professionals who live and work in Barcelona and a celebration of their contribution to the city.

With the slogan ‘10 years with you’, Barcelona International Community Day is gaining ground as an on-going event in the city and is celebrating its 10th consecutive edition. That includes the year of the Covid-19 pandemic when the in-person event was turned into a week of online activities called Expat Week.

To commemorate this 10th anniversary, the event has partnered with the US artist Philip Stanton to create an exclusive T-shirt illustrated by him, which will be given to the first 200 people to arrive at the event. Stanton is a renowned US painter, illustrator and designer who was born in the United States and moved to Barcelona in 1988. The city has inspired much of his work and has several of his murals.

Hosts share their experience

Just like every year, host ambassadors will participate in the programme of activities. They are professionals from different countries who have moved to Barcelona and developed their careers in the city. In addition to participating in the event on 28 October, through Barcelona International Welcome’s social media, each one will tell in a video interview why they chose Barcelona and how the city has helped them to bring their professional projects to fruition.

The host ambassadors in this edition are the Ukrainian Svetlana Velikanova, founder of Harbour Space University; the Chinese entrepreneur and businesswoman Liling Qi, president of Puente China Holding; the German biologist Reimund Fickert, the head of communication and development at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB); the Dutch Mirjam Maarleveld, founder of the Barcelona Expat Life platform; the Cuban Lázaro Campoalegre, a computer engineer specialising in the ICT industry; and the French Marion Sánchez, currently involved in the impact investing foundation Ship2b.

This year, as the celebration of the event’s 10th anniversary, the host ambassadors from previous editions have also been invited.

Organisers and supporters

The Barcelona City Council organises Barcelona International Community Day with major participation by Barcelona Activa and with the involvement of numerous organisations, entities and professionals that make it possible to hold it and spread the word about it. The project is an example of a public-private partnership, given that it has significant support from Banco Sabadell as a premium sponsor, as well as the sponsorship of ERES Relocation Services (managing workers’ international mobility), MAPFRE (insurance and medical and health services) and Entre Trámites (tax and legal consulting for SMEs, freelancers and foreign companies that want to move to Barcelona).

This year, the Barcelona International Schools Association (BISA), Maremagnum shopping centre, the Old Irish Pub and the childcare services company The Nanny Line are also supporting the event.

La Vanguardia will be the event’s media partner, along with the support of several partner media specialising in content for the city’s international community. At ‘Barcelona in English’ we are also proud to be supporting the event as media collaborators.

The international community is gaining a foothold in the city

Barcelona’s diverse, intercultural spirit comes into clear focus by the fact that currently, 31.3% of the people living in the city, that is 519,066, were born abroad. People from 177 different nationalities live together in Barcelona; the largest groups are Italians, Colombians, Pakistanis and Chinese.

In fact, registrations for the 2022 Barcelona International Community Day totalled 5,416 people, a record figure in the event’s nine years. Of them, 76.8% were attending for the first time, while the others had come back for more. It attracted visitors from 130 countries, and 67% of the attendees had been living in Barcelona for less than five years.

This large, vibrant international community generates wealth with their talent, work, investments, companies, professional projects and economic or commercial activity. They enhance its competitiveness and productivity and serve as the city’s economic ambassadors in their home countries. Bearing in mind the international community’s contribution, the Barcelona City Council works to care for them via Barcelona International Welcome, whose mission is to facilitate their arrival and integration. Barcelona International Community Day is the culmination of this effort, which provides activities and programmes all year round.

It is FREE to attend the Barcelona International Community Day. Just click here to register on the event website: barcelona.cat/internationalcommunityday.

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