‘It’s never too late to get work experience abroad’

The Local talked to Stefano Modestini, creator of, a website whose goal is to help young - and not so young - people find work experience abroad.

'It's never too late to get work experience abroad'
Stefano Modestini believes opportunity should be seized.

Born in the Umbría region in Italy, the 28-year-old graduate of International Law shares his own experience about finding a job abroad and seizing good opportunities.

How did you decide to set up

I had been travelling in different countries, and I enjoyed many scholarships from European programs. I managed to get into several international projects all over the world. Because of that I’ve been able to learn languages and set up a good contact network. I came up with the business idea when I realized how many people are willing to have an experience abroad but they simply don’t know how to start. I thought about how I could make some steps of the process easier.

Why did you choose Spain?

I’ve been settled in Valencia for almost three years and I really like the city. It’s true that setting up a company is hard sometimes, lots of paperwork and dealing with various institutions. I don’t think it is any different to Italy though. I certainly think the cost of the website has been lower here. My partners, Marcel and Violeta are locals and have been involved in other ventures before, so that has been helpful with the bureaucracy. It is really important to be in touch with local people to set up a business.

What is the main goal of the website?

One of’s purposes is to show the amount of opportunities (scholarships, networking programmes, exchange programmes) that are out there. We keep up to date with every new European training development. We make the lesser-known activities of European institutions public. Opportunity happens, sometimes people just need to know where to look!

Do you think your website meets young students concerns?

Young people are very keen on international experiences. When I go to university talks, I can see students are really interested in doing their professional training abroad. But there are plenty of options for all ages. For instance, we’ve managed to find job placements in the UK, Ireland and Wales for professionals from the local television station which has closed-down. These people have a professional background and now they are improving their language abilities and upgrading their profiles. It’s never too late to get work experience abroad.

Any advice for future expats?

Seize opportunities and don’t think twice, keep in mind that perfect working conditions don’t exist. Be aware of what the different European institutions offer. But forget the cliché of the Spanish person going to London to work as a waiter and then getting a good job. That is not working anymore.

What kind of jobs did you have before setting up the website?

I have been in lots of different jobs, mostly during my two years in Australia. I went there for two months and continued switching from job to job, from city to city. Then I came to Valencia and I started to work in a Project called IDEA in the town hall of Alzira. Afterwards, I worked in a private human resources corporation in Valencia. Both were focused on studying and working abroad. But I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, even when that means no work schedules and a bigger workload.

What is your opinion of Valencia?

I simply love it. The sea is next to the city, it’s a very nice place to live and it is not at all expensive. When I came here almost three years ago, I knew I wanted to stay here. It is the third time I’m going to see the Fallas, so I can tell you that the party is growing bigger year by year. There’s a great atmosphere of entrepreneurism too, and every expat I know is very happy with their life here. There are real possibilities to develop your business ideas.

Interview by Agustin Millan, a Spanish journalist student based in Valencia



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REVEALED: The cheapest and most expensive areas to buy or rent in Valencia

If you're thinking of a move to Valencia, you should know that the eastern city is renowned for its relatively cheap cost of living compared to other big cities in Spain. So where are the cheapest and most expensive 'barrios' (neighbourhoods) to rent or buy a home?

REVEALED: The cheapest and most expensive areas to buy or rent in Valencia

The Mediterranean coast, climate and diet. A city with history, charm, and bustling with life. Valencia has it all, and that is why so many foreigners make it home.

In fact, over 100,000 foreigners have made the eastern Spanish city their home in recent decades, and for good reason.

But what’s the situation when it comes to renting or buying a property?

Before diving into our neighbourhood property guide, let’s have a look at the big picture and see how Valencia stacks up against other Spanish cities. 

Buying a property in Valencia in 2022 costs an average of around €1,839/m2, which means that if you buy a 80/m2 apartment, it would cost you around €147,000.

That’s cheap – in fact, if we compare the average prices in Valencia to Madrid and Barcelona, you’ll realise just how affordable Valencia can be if you know where to look.

Let’s take, for example, Valencia’s most expensive neighbourhood, l’Eixample, in the city centre, which on average costs €3,024/m2 to buy.

That’s quite a bit more than the city-wide average (in barrios further afield the average is around just €1,400/m2), but pales in comparison to the Salamanca district of Madrid (€6,149/m2) and the Sarrià – Sant Gervasi area of Barcelona (€5,228/m2).

Valencia’s affordability is one of the main reasons why so many foreigners have flooded the market in the last two decades.

More than four out of five foreigners in Valencia (82 percent) believe that housing is affordable in the city, compared to 41 percent globally, according to the annual Expat Insider Survey published by InterNations which recently ranked Valencia as the best city in the world for foreign residents.

READ ALSO: Living in Spain: Why Valencia is officially the best city in the world for foreign residents

And renting is cheap too – international cost of living calculator Numbeo found that Valencianos fork out just 27.7 percent of their monthly budget on paying rent.

Before we continue, it’s worth noting that due to rising inflation in Spain and a lack of available properties in Valencia itself, rent and sale prices have increased, keeping in mind that the data in this article is from February 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But we know that by general standards Valencia’s is fairly affordable – but where are the most and least expensive neighbourhoods in the city? 

Cheapest neighbourhoods to buy a property in Valencia

According to Spanish property site, these are the cheapest Valencian barrios to buy in 2022:

  1. Rascanya is the cheapest place to buy an apartment in Valencia. In the north of Valencia and bordered by better known barrios such as Benimaclet to the east, La Saïdia to the south, and Benicalap to the west, Rascanya is really cheap to buy – on average, buyers pay around €1,133/m2.
  2. L’Olivereta comes in at number 2. Located in the west of the city but just a 15 minute walk from downtown, prices in L’Olivereta average out at around €1,302/m2 but it varies quite a bit within the neighbourhood itself. L’Olivereta is home to five neighbourhoods and prices vary depending on where you are: La Fontsanta €862/m2), Tres Forques (€1,017/m2), Soternes (€1,387/m2), La Llum (€1,415/m2), Nou Moles (€1,456/m2).
  3. Jesús district was a historically industrial neighbourhood, and despite many years of housing shortages, prices have stayed low: buyers there pay on average €1,355/m2. However, having 5 neighbourhoods, prices may vary depending on where you are: Sant Marcellí is the cheapest neighbourhood (€1,214/m2), followed by Camí Reial (€1,238/m2), L’Hort de Senabre (€1,306/m2), La Creu Coberta (€1,353/m2) and La Raiosa (€1,453/m2).

    An official map showing Valencia’s city’s neighbourhoods. Map: Valencia City Hall
  4. Benicalap – the fourth cheapest area in Valencia is one of its oldest. Benicalap dates back to 1238 and it even existed as a separate municipality until it was eventually annexed by the city of Valencia in the late-19th century.

    Located in the northern part of Valencia, Benicalap averages out at about €1,408/m2, but within the district are a few neighbourhoods within which prices vary quite a bit. Ciutat Fallera, for example, is very cheap (€1,006/m2), but Nou Benicalap is much pricier, with averages of €2,148/m2.

  5. Patraix – a family friendly area just 3km from the city centre, prices to buy average €1,437/m2.

    READ ALSO: Moving to Valencia: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Cheapest neighbourhoods to rent in Valencia

  1. Favara – sandwiched between Patriax and Jesús is the small barrio of Favara in the south of the city, where renters on average pay just €6.03/m2 – the cheapest rate in Valencia.
  2. The Torrefiel neighbourhood of Rascanya comes a close second, costing on average just €6.47/m2 to rent.
  3. San Antoni is Valencia’s third cheapest neighbourhood- up in the north of the city and neighbouring Rascanya – where rents average €6.67/m2.
  4. La Llum – on the western outskirts of Valencia lies La Llum, where renting is also a very affordable €6.86/m2.
  5. San Marcelino – a small neighbourhood belonging to the bigger barrio of Jesús, San Marcelino is an old working class area with cheap rents – €6.95/m2 on average.

Renting or buying in Valencia’s old town Ciutat Vella is logically more expensive. Photo: Al Elmes/Unsplash

Most expensive neighbourhoods to buy in Valencia

If money’s no object to you, here’s a quick breakdown of the most expensive parts to buy in Valencia. See a more detailed sub-neighbourhood by sub-neighbourhood breakdown list over at 7televalencia, which includes both the most expensive and cheapest barrios, but be warned, it’s in Valenciano!

  1. L’Eixample – €2,876/m2 – Upscale L’Eixample is filled with wide, leafy streets lined by department stores and posh brunch spots. Pricey, but trendy.
  2. Ciutat Vella – €2,859/m2 – The old town, or casco antuigo in Spanish, is stuffed to the brim with gothic cathedrals and cobblestone side streets. This is the ‘heart’ of Valencia, and living amongst such hustle, bustle, and history comes at a price.
  3. El Pla del Real – €2,487/m2 – Known by some as Valencia’s nicest district, El Pla del Real is full of green spaces and parks, and is a great place to bring up kids.
  4. Campanar – €2,082/m2 – Campanar’s canal walks and vineyards give it a village like quality right in the middle of the city.
  5. Extramurs – €2,062/m2 – Bordering the old town, Extramurs central location mean it’s pricey and brimming with life – the barrio is home to some of Valencia’s best tapas bars and very popular with students. Top tip: visit the university’s botanic garden for an escape from city life.