There is an old saying, “Theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind!“ (by Immanuel Kant). With this in mind, it is extremely important to gain valuable work experience during or after your studies (hint hint: internships!), and I am here to tell you that Spain is a perfect place for that. Furthermore, Spain is the top destination in Europe for international internships, and here’s why...
In the last seven years, after the speculative housing bubble popped, Spain has been in a deep process of economic re-conversion, becoming the most quickly growing developed economy in the world, with an expected growth of over three percent in the next year. Thanks to this re-conversion, Spanish companies have transitioned from focusing on local or national businesses to international markets, including exports and e-commerce. Therefore, foreign talents (aka international interns) are greatly appreciated and valued now more than ever, as working in an international marketplace through companies based in Spain would have been almost impossible back in 1990s.
So, why choose Spain for your internship abroad? Here are just a few of the many reasons why an internship in Spain may be perfect for you:
Adapt to a New Professional & Cultural Setting
During an internship in Spain, you will learn how to work in a different environment with a different time schedule and work habits. Nowadays, it is important that employees can adapt to new and different working conditions, and Spain, with its strong, unique culture, will be a perfect destination to become a flexible person in terms of cultural adaptation.
Learn How to Speak Spanish
Aside from learning and developing new professional skills, as an intern in Spain, you will be able to learn the Spanish language, which is the third most spoken language in the world and the official language of 21 countries. Although many Spanish companies are considered “international,” locals rarely conduct business in English, so you’ll be hearing Spanish all day, every day, preparing you to be able to communicate in Spanish more easily.
Not to mention, daily life in Spain runs on Spanish 99 percent of the time. So, even though in big touristy areas you may be able to find English speaking restaurants, supermarkets, and other services, in general, you will have to learn at least basic Spanish to communicate effectively in your everyday interactions.
Although it is possible for English (only) speakers to find work in Spain, more traditional fields will require a decent level of Spanish fluency, which you can develop during an internship in Spain. Fields such as engineering, health services, and public administration are all examples of fields which may require you to speak and write in Spanish to be hired.
Get Experience in Growing Industries
As mentioned previously, the Spanish economy is growing quickly, and the startup ecosystem has a large role in that trend. Even though there are not many worldwide, well known startups, such as Twitter or Facebook, based in Spain, the Spanish startup scene is extremely powerful and Spain has many entrepreneurs. This means there are great opportunities for students who like entrepreneurship or want to get their “hands dirty” through internships in Spain.
Becoming an intern at a Spanish startup company will provide you with an even more unique internship experience, as you’ll be able to participate in the real development of a company and get a range of experience working hand in hand with founders and colleagues under your belt.
As the second most visited country in the world, Spain also has an amazing tourism industry, making it an ideal destination for international internships for those who want to develop a career in the tourism or hospitality.
Gain Experience Outside of the Office
Internships in Spain will not only provide you with work experience, but also lifelong friends and professional connections. Spanish people tend to have personal relations with their work colleagues, so it isn’t unusual for them to arrange plans together and become closer with one another than in many other European countries.
If you are a food lover, Spanish dishes will fulfill all your expectations. Tapas are well-known worldwide, and you will never be disappointed eating tapas anywhere in Spain. Beyond the food culture, Spain is also one of the richest places in the world in terms of natural blessings, with many national parks and biosphere reserves. Also, beaches in Spain leave visitors breathless, with crystal clear water and perfectly soft sand. Seriously, who wouldn't like to swim along the coast of Spain?
Due to Spain’s long and rich history, many cultures and nations have settled and lived on Spanish territory. Spanish culture has, therefore, been influenced by Arabic, Roman, and Phoenician culture. Adding to its cultural diversity, many famous artists were born or have created their works of art in Spain; think Gaudi, Picasso, and Dali, each of these artists called Spain home at some point in their life.
Find the Perfect Internship Destination
When it comes to choosing the best city for your internship in Spain, you should choose a city that will meet your personality and your needs. Before choosing a location, be sure to research a ton of options, so you can discover what life will be like in each Spanish city and then choose the right city for your interests. Keep in mind that each city has its own spirit; consider internships in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Bilbao, and Granada, the choice is yours! Bigger cities have more internship opportunities and more things to visit in your free time. But, if you would like to experience Spain as a local, you should definitely intern in Spain in a smaller city.
As one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world, it is no wonder why you should choose Spain for your internship abroad. With a growing economy and a culture that will never disappoint, start your search for internships in Spain now!
This article was contributed by Spain Internship, a company dedicated to providing international students with internship experience in Spain, as well as Germany and Italy. Spain Internship places more than 1500 students in internships every year.