España, a perennial favorite for travelers and students alike, is the ideal setting for an internship abroad! Complete with charming towns and major cities, breathtaking historical sites, modern cultural centers, delicious paella, and celebrated customs, internships in Spain will show interns the nation is much more than flamenco, fiestas, and fútbol. Your heart will pump in Pamplona with the running of the bulls, or relax on Spain’s many Mediterranean beaches. Whether you’re interning because of Madrid’s nightlife or Barcelona’s art scene, Spain has everything to make your international experience a life-changing endeavor.
The fact that Spain is an amazing destination for international internships should come as no surprise. After all, it’s consistently ranked among the top five international destinations for study abroad. The most popular destinations for international interns are the powerhouse cities of Madrid and Barcelona, but smaller cities such as Seville, Granada, Córdoba, and Valencia are also home to a variety of intern opportunities in Spain, and each provides a unique learning experience.
Charming Madrid is the capital city and the largest in Spain. From the hustle and bustle of Gran Vía, to the tranquil beauty of Retiro park, Madrid is a city with a ton for interns to explore! Art lovers will appreciate the city’s three great art museums, and night owls will never tire of Madrid’s nightlife. Being the seat of government, there are ample public policy related internships available with a wide variety of top NGOs in Madrid.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has a much more laid back and international vibe. Interns can spend their free time at the beach, exploring medieval neighborhoods, or experiencing the great outdoors on Mt. Tibidabo or at Parc Guell. Internationally famous for the Sagrada Familia and other Gaudi works, Barcelona is the perfect place to gain hands-on experience in the fields of architecture, the arts, and design. Also, don’t forget the many start-ups focusing on urban design, sustainability, and other business opportunities!
Seville never fails to delight visitors, with its charming tiled patios, warm weather, and fragrant naranjo trees. Seville is the largest city in Andalucía, and full of breathtaking historical sights, including La Giralda, the Royal Tobacco factory, and Plaza España, just to name a few. As in much of Spain, tourism is an important industry here, and international internships in business, marketing, and more abound.
Internships in Spain
Possibilities for business internships in Spain are endless! On one hand, you’ve got plenty of large multinational and Spanish firms, mainly located in Madrid. On the other, you have Barcelona’s status as a technology, design, and entrepreneurship hub, with new start-ups springing up all the time.
In most regions of the country, tourism plays an important role in Spain’s economy (and not just because of its over 3,000 miles of coastline). If you’re looking for internships in Spain in tourism and hospitality, or even the wine industry, there are numerous internship opportunities that may match with your skills and interests. Teaching is another field with opportunities for internships all over the country, so if you’re looking to get some work experience in education, teaching English in Spain can be a great option!
For those looking to gain experience in the nonprofit sector, there are a multitude of organizations that focus on human rights, environmental sustainability, economic development, community service, and public health, providing numerous internships in Spain.
A typical internship in Spain is two to three months in length, but internships can vary based on your flexibility and the needs of the company.
Salary & Costs
While most internships in Spain are unpaid, with a connection to the right organization, students can have phenomenal learning experiences that will help with future job searches back home or with grad school applications. That being said, students from E.U. countries might have more opportunities to receive small stipends during their internship in Spain.
Spain is an affordable European destination, where costs for rent, food, and local transport are typically lower than in Northern European countries. Flights to Spain are also often less expensive than to other international destinations.
Accommodation & Visas
Housing is available in most locations in apartments, dormitories, and homestays. While apartments offer the most privacy, and dormitories are the perfect setting to make friends, homestays can give interns a unique insight into local Spanish culture, and daily language lessons as well!
European students are not required to obtain visas to intern in Spain, and U.S. students are not required to have visas for internships that last under 90 days. Other nationalities should check with their local Spanish consulate.
Benefits & Challenges
- Spanish Of Course! There are many places to learn Spanish, but to learn it in its home country is extra special and offers the added comfort of a modern, developed country.
- Late Nights & Nap Time. It can be difficult to navigate the ins and outs of the Spanish language and adjust your schedule to incorporate the ever-important siestas and late night dinners. Your internal clock will probably be highly off balance for a while.
- Relaxed Culture. From the sweet smelling orange blossom trees of Andalucía all the way up to the busy Rambla of Barcelona, internship opportunities in Spain abound, and no matter where you go the warm and exciting Spanish culture will be there!