Sitting pristinely on Spain’s northeast coastline looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona has long been one of Europe’s most influential centers of economic and cultural activity. Before the recession, in fact, Barcelona was ranked as Europe’s fourth best city for business, and now it continues progressing toward a full comeback. In a city widely regarded for its beautiful beaches, laid-back pulse, and dramatic works of the infamous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, an internship abroad in Barcelona will thus also be the opportunity to advance your global career in whatever field you are most passionate about.
Internships in Barcelona
Barcelona boasts one of the most dynamic economies in Western Europe, meaning that you can find internships in a wide array of different fields here in Spain’s second largest city. Famous for its cultural vibrancy across the urban landscape, many international aspirants choose to intern abroad in Barcelona within creative fields such as art history, architecture, or dance. Others more inclined toward the private sectors may look into internships abroad in Barcelona in business, media, or communications.
The majority of internships abroad in Barcelona will use the Spanish language as a medium for everyday interaction, although Catalan is also spoken just as commonly throughout the city. While many Spaniards may speak English as well, making the effort to learn Spanish is undoubtedly the best way to get the most out of your internship abroad in Barcelona, both within and and outside of the workplace.
Most internships abroad in Barcelona will last between three and six months, depending on workflow and on individual availability. If you are still pursuing your studies while you intern abroad in Barcelona, many programs may also offer you the chance to earn academic credit in supplement to your daily work. Not a bad offer to advance both your studies and career, all while living in one of Europe’s most desirable cities!
Life in Barcelona
Work at what you love all day, hit the town all night, and take a siesta to recuperate in the late afternoon; what’s there not to like about an internship abroad in Barcelona? From the beautiful sprawling beaches and mountains to the museums, venues, and promenades, to the vibrant entertainment of all different kinds, it’s hard to complain about life in the Catalan capital. As an intern abroad in Barcelona, make an effort to do and see as much as you possibly can in your free time.
Some of the city’s most highly regarded attractions include UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Gaudi’s Park Guell, Casa Batllo, and Sagrada Familia. You might also check out an FC Barcelona game at Camp Nou, a concert at the Palau de Musica Catalana, or a special exhibit at the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. When you tire of all the stimulation, why not grab tapas with friends and spend an afternoon relaxing on Sant Sebastia Beach?
While life as an intern abroad in Barcelona can be an amazing experience if taken fully advantage of, keep in mind that there will also be an adjustment process as you adapt to life in a new city. Keep your eyes and ears open, be willing to try new things, work hard at your internship, and within no time you will be fully immersed in the city.
Salaries & Costs
Barcelona is a relatively inexpensive city compared to Western European standards, but of course a lot comes down to your spending habits while abroad. Simple steps like cooking for yourself, riding public transportation, and taking advantage of all the city’s free entertainments, for example, are all great ways to save money while you intern abroad in Barcelona.
Whether or not you will actually be paid for your internship abroad in Barcelona depends on the type of work you are doing (i.e. you will have better odds of earning pay for a business internship than one in art history). Most internship programs in Barcelona will help compensate you in other ways regardless, such as providing for meals, housing, or transportation.
Accommodation & Visas
Many interns abroad in Barcelona choose to live in apartments, either with locals or with other internationals, while some internship programs may also offer alternative housing options such as a homestay. Often your local employer or internship provider will help you secure accommodation in Barcelona for the duration of your tenure there; if you are looking for housing yourself then searching online ahead of time is usually the best way to go, but you can also begin by staying in a hostel and apartment-hunt in person.
Unless you are traveling from within the European Union, then you will usually need to apply for a visa in order to intern abroad in Barcelona as well. The specific type of documentation you need will be determined by factors such as your home nation, the duration of your internship in Barcelona, and whether or not you will be paid for your work. For more detailed information, be sure to check out our Spanish Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Mediterranean Pace. Life moves slower in Barcelona. Nights go longer, days start later, and people take the time to enjoy themselves. What more could you ask for during an internship abroad?
Spanish Immersion. The only way to truly become fluent in a language is to live in a place where you can speak it everyday. An internship abroad in Barcelona offers just that opportunity.
Global Jobs. If you are planning to pursue a career in the international marketplace, then an internship abroad in Barcelona will set you off on the right foot. It’s a chance to meet new people, gain valuable work experience, and make contacts in the global industry.
While an internship abroad in Barcelona is about much more than the work experience, you will benefit doubly from the city’s prestige within the economic as well as the culture sphere of influence. There are few better places in the world to balance work and play.