Puneet Soni - 2015 Program Participant

Couple at a cemetery in Barcelona, Spain
Cemetery in Barcelona, Spain

What inspired you to go abroad?

I was inspired by the idea that I wanted to explore a depleting economy and see how healthcare functioned there, and at the same time see the cultures and food at play.

Why did you decide to intern abroad in Barcelona specifically?

Barcelona is a great mixture of summer and city, which created the best option for me, being from Chicago.

What was your favorite part about Barcelona?

I loved the food, plus everyone spoke both English and Spanish and was very friendly to say the least.

What made your experience with IES Abroad unique?

The group at IES Abroad, and the many adventures we took as a class.

How did the local IES Abroad staff support you throughout your program?

The local staff organized everything. When it was time to go, there was a clear transition from U.S. to our host country.

What is one thing every participant should know before participating in your program?

You should not be scared, but scared is good, and makes for a more interesting experience.

What surprised you most about Barcelona?

Barcelona is colorful and is the best of the water and city combination. There are beaches galore plus the big city feel which I love.

Students walking down an alley in Spain
Weekend getaway with IES Abroad

Describe a typical day in your life in Spain.

I would wake up, get ready, eat, and catch a train to the city square, and then straight to work. I’d head to lunch on my own in the city, and I would head to the gym on the way home. Once a week, I had internship class, when we would discuss progress and present findings in culture. I would have dinner with my homestay family at night, and then rest.

What did you enjoy doing in your free time?

I went to the gym, traveled to other countries, and tried foods from all over.

What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?

I lived in a homestay with a nice elderly couple that did everything for us. Laundry, clean, food and much more. It was like a home away from home.

Do you have any packing tips for interns headed to Barcelona?

Packing is simple. Try and pack your favorite clothes for summer, and remember to bring medications as well as sunglasses, and plenty of clothes for going out as well.

What was the hardest part about doing an internship abroad?

The hardest part of doing an internship abroad was the distance from family, but I quickly learned it was not hard at all in Barcelona, where family comes first. Everyone was friendly and it really feels at home.

International students on a bus in Spain
Bus ride

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I wish I would have stayed longer, because the conditions were perfect and made for a simple move with friends and staff always at your side.

What do you feel the biggest benefit of doing an internship in Spain was?

The exposure to a depleting economy and the unstable markets that you will never get in the U.S.

Now that you're home, how has your time abroad impacted your life?

I have been asked numerous times about my abroad experience in interviews and have made friends for a lifetime.

Would you recommend IES Abroad’s internship program to others? Why?

I would say-GO! Don't regret it later in life. It is a true beauty to explore another country and see how much you can walk away with, while giving so much to them being there.

If you could intern abroad again, where would you go?

If I could do it again, I would try to go to London for the unique business aspect.