Maya Krupa - 2014 Program Participant
Recently back from an internship in Barcelona, Spain, Maya Krupa from San Diego State University shares some takeaways from her time abroad. She says, "Going abroad is the best decision a young person can make, not only to get a better grasp on the world around them, but to have a deeper and more profound understanding of themselves they will not find anywhere else.”
Maya and a friend finding hidden gems of Barcelona in the Gothic District.
How did you come to intern abroad in Barcelona?
I am an International Business major and part of my program was to work or study abroad. Since I knew I was going during the summer, working was my only option (what I preferred anyway) and I chose Barcelona because I knew that they have one of the more stable economies in Spain, so I figured working in an international business environment it would be my best option.
Why did you select Adelante Abroad over other intern abroad programs?
Honestly, because they were the only one that was semi-reasonably priced for summer internship programs, and the administrative people were very easy to work with and understood what I wanted out of a program like this.
What were your accommodations like in Barcelona?
Wonderful. I was placed by Adelante into a house with a working professional Spanish woman who had two sons and she was nothing but gracious, hospitable, and allowed me all the independence I expected abroad.
What were some typical tasks you engaged in as an intern in Barcelona?
I would work in the evenings helping my boss with personalized hospitality projects, assist with the nightly events, ensure our customers satisfaction and address any issues they had with facilities, give advice and directions about Barcelona, and work on an international team of 10 plus.
What will you most remember about interning abroad with Adelante?
The friends I made at my work and the ambiance of my work environment was priceless, not only will they be friends for life, but whenever I go back to Barcelona I will visit my past work with great memories.
What did you find challenging about going abroad?
Going abroad not knowing anyone else there was challenging at first, but it made me really put myself out there to find friends and I ended up with ones for a lifetime. Especially for someone so extroverted that makes friends with someone on a park bench it was a true test of my sociability.
Any advice for other students interning abroad in Barcelona?
Get to know the language. Whether you grew up in California like me, where there is a lot of Spanish influence, or Montana, even knowing the most basic conversational words will make your experience much more enjoyable, not as intimidating, and just fun.
What are the top reasons you'd return to Spain and do it all over again?
Because of the strong culture, language, different way of life than America, and to make more memories and friends for a lifetime - in the process of learning more about life and myself than I thought possible.
What do you consider most valuable at your intern abroad experience?
It has allowed me to become much more culturally aware and more empathetic for people who walk in shoes other than mine. It allows me to find commonality between people who love to travel and all cultures, and having international work experience is absolutely invaluable.
Would you recommend the Adelante program to others?
Yes, if you enjoy challenging and pushing yourself to make your own way of life in a foreign country (because they won't have a group of friends or programs waiting for you), then do it! You will learn more about yourself in a few short months than the past couple years.
If you could do it all again, where would you go?
Barcelona, because now I have the connections and could get an even deeper footing in the working Spanish world.