Imagine an ancient city made from ornate sandstone, with spires that blush pink in the afternoon sun, and plazas that hum with students feasting on tapas and wine. Now imagine yourself in this scene, strolling through streets of Romanesque, Moorish, and Renaissance architecture. With an internship in Salamanca, you can make this picture of Spanish beauty a reality. The liveliest city in the Castilla region, Salamanca has a historic heart and a youthful vibe, blending culture with a hefty dose of fun to make the perfect city for internships in Spain.
Internships in Salamanca
It’s safe to say Salamanca’s secret is out: a growing number of tourists are stopping by each year, and the town is rapidly becoming one of the most popular centers for Spanish language study. This has created internships for international students in the tourism, education, and marketing niches, with local institutions eagerly taking foreign interns onboard.
Tourism. Due to its cultural heritage and colonial architecture, Salamanca attracts tourists from across the globe. Tourism is very significant factor in the economic success of the city. The government and private companies alike invite foreigners to be part of the tourism development sector. They offer fantastic opportunities for foreign interns to gain hands-on work experience.
Education. Salamanca is home to some of the most prominent and oldest universities in Spain, with a corresponding demand for quality teachers. The most highly sought after are English teachers with a TESOL/TEFL qualification. Teaching experience is not necessarily required though, so this is a good chance to get some practical classroom experience.
Marketing, advertising and public relations. Salamanca has also developed its marketing industry over time. There are well-renowned local and international companies that operate in Salamanca. These companies are prime movers in advancing the economy and financial stability of the city. Foreign interns to apply for these companies and be part of the strong marketing and creative scene in Salamanca.
This is by no means the limits to what’s on offer: there are internships to suit all tastes (literally - studying the culinary arts is popular in Salamanca). Finding the right placement for you will be a piece of tarta de santiago.
Life in Salamanca
Although it is not lacking in beautiful sites, restaurants, or nightlife spots, Salamanca is modestly sized and retains a small-town atmosphere. This comfortable size makes it a pleasant place to live and work. Whether you spend your internship after-hours learning to speak Spanish or learning to salsa, there is always something to do in Salamanca.
Salamanca is the very epitome of culture, art, and knowledge. The whole town is steeped in history: the Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the University of Salamanca is the oldest in Spain. Exploring the city always starts in the Plaza Mayor, whose arches and galleries are spectacular in sunshine or lit up at night. The heart of Salamanca, this is where people frequently gather to eat, enjoy the sunshine, or devour ice cream from one of the parlours around the square.
Cathedrals, convents, and museums radiate out from the square, each offering a little piece of history to complement internships in Spain with holistic learning experiences. If learning about history is a little too slow-paced for you, you can dive into the serious business of making your way through all of the 70 or so bars and clubs in town. If you have already got started on that and need a place to relax and enjoy the sunshine, there are a string of parks in Salamanca offering statues, fountains, glorious views, and riverside walks. The greenery and blooms are a gentle respite from the sandstone city.
Salaries & Costs
The cost of interning in Salamanca varies widely. Each internship is unique, with different perks, benefits, and extras included. Some internships are unpaid, but can count as academic credit. Some are unpaid but will compensate interns with housing, some meals, and transport allowances. Others are paid a small salary to help offset basic living expenses.
As for the programs that will help place you in the perfect internship, they can range from completely free to around $3000 in fees. This program fee will cover your housing, orientation, airport transfers, some meals, cultural activities and excursions, and often Spanish classes - and of course this is on top of placing you in an internship that will kickstart your career and leave you with priceless memories and experiences. Typically, the more expensive programs offer more support, with local staff available to assist you in case of any problems or emergencies. If it is your first time abroad, and/or you have limited language skills, this support can be vital in maximizing your experience.
Fortunately, Salamanca is an affordable city to live in whether you are receiving a small stipend or relying on savings. You can dine out for as little as $10 in a restaurant, and don’t forget that in tascas you will usually get a few small tapas on the house when you order drinks!
Accommodation & Visas
Housing as you intern abroad in Salamanca typically reflects the town’s colonial history and heritage. Even the cheapest houses have extravagant façades. Accommodation arranged by program providers is usually in apartments shared with other interns. If cultural and language immersion are priorities for you, you also have the option of homestays, which will introduce you to a whole new familia. Thanks to the large student population, you can also find plenty of rooms to rent online, if you want to share living space with a younger generation.
Although it is possible for unpaid interns to work on a tourist visa, the recommended visa option is to apply for a student visa. This is reasonably straightforward; all you will need is confirmation of your visa placement, a visa application form, proof of funds to cover your stay, health insurance, and of course, a valid passport. For more information on this visa application process, get in touch with your local Spanish embassy in your home country.
Benefits & Challenges
Interning abroad in Salamanca is an excellent opportunity to learn or improve your Spanish. As well as an abundance of Spanish language schools where you can pick up classes in your free time, Salamancans’ Spanish is said to be the easiest to understand. This makes it easy for you to communicate and better integrate into local life.
The working environment is another huge plus for interns in Salamanca. The people in Salamanca are generally warm and friendly. They are very welcoming to foreigners, and will not hesitate to extend an offer of help to interns who experience difficulty in adjusting. This can make the daunting prospect of starting a new job in a foreign culture a little less terrifying and ease your transition into your new role.
Awesome travel experiences? Check. New lifelong friends? Check. Vital work experience? Double check. Internships abroad in Salamanca have it all. Start looking for one that suits you today. After all: ¿Por Que No?