Megan Carroll - 2014 Program Participant
How did you become interested in interning abroad? Why Spain?
My university encourages internships to supplement our academic experience, and for my major I am required to have an international experience. So, an internship abroad was the perfect way to fulfill this requirement and get a great experience. I’ve been learning Spanish for many years and wanted to work on my language skills in a real-life situation. Plus, I had heard great things about Barcelona and wanted to explore a new city.
What made you choose Adelante Abroad over other internship program providers?
My university has worked with Adelante Abroad in the past and students have always had good experiences, so I was encouraged to work with them. The main reason I chose them over other providers was that the program cost included housing in addition to the service, so that I would not have to be responsible for finding an apartment for myself in a new city. Plus, I liked that I would have in-country support in addition to support back in the U.S.
What did a typical day look like as an intern in Barcelona?
At my internship, a typical day was arriving at the office at 10 am and then spending four to five hours writing press releases, translating various documents, editing and writing for the organization’s website, posting to social media, and sending emails to people around the world who I worked with. However, there were just as many atypical days, which included attending press conferences, large group meetings, and big events that my organization set up in the city.
What was your housing like during your internship abroad?
I lived with an older woman in a really nice apartment near the Gracia neighborhood, which ended up being my favorite area of Barcelona. I had my own bedroom and bathroom, and a shared kitchen and living room. It was a wonderful living situation as I developed a nice relationship with the woman that I lived with - she even taught me how to make a Spanish tortilla and I taught her how to make my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
What is your favorite memory from Barcelona?
I have so many wonderful memories from Barcelona, it’s hard to pick just one! One of my favorites, though, is of the Catalan Independence Day celebration back in September, when 1.8 million people filled the streets of Barcelona to celebrate their culture and to call for a vote on independence - my organization planned this event and successfully executed it, so it was really rewarding to see it come together, plus it was a lot of fun!
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in interning abroad but is not sure they can do it?
Interning abroad is definitely challenging, you’ll be faced with obstacles you haven’t faced before. But, you’ll also have once in a lifetime experiences that you would never get just by traveling or studying abroad. By interning abroad, you get to immerse yourself in a new culture and live like a local. It’s not only a fun experience, but an opportunity for growth. You definitely have to be brave, but if you take the opportunity you won’t regret it.
Would you recommend Adelante Abroad?
Yes! I would definitely recommend this program to others.
If you could change one thing about your program/experience what would it be?
There were some times when work was very slow, because of the way my organization worked and the situation at large that they were dealing with, but I wish that I had been given some side projects to fill my time. Also, I wish that I had taken Catalan classes in my free time which would have been extremely helpful at my internship but also in the city in general.
What do you miss the most about your life abroad in Barcelona?
I miss the laid-back culture of Barcelona, everything there is very slow-moving, people will eat lunch for two hours; nobody is ever in a rush! I really loved how relaxed everything was and that I never had to stress about anything.
If had to hop on a plane tomorrow, where would you go abroad next?
Now that I’ve gotten to explore most of Europe, I’d really like to go to Southeast Asia! Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are definitely next on my list of places to travel.