Doing an internship abroad will fulfill more than just academic requirements and work experience; you'll be fully immersed with locals and see how this will guide the rest of your professional life. Barcelona has been evolving into a competitive playing field and has proved to be a good environment for students to do internships. Grace gives us four key reasons why doing an international internship will be invaluable to your overall development.
Internships are a great way to jumpstart your career, and by participating in an internship during your CAPA study abroad program you will be able intern in a way unlike any other. With growing competition in the workforce, having an internship under your belt, especially an international internship, will be invaluable to you as you enter your desired field.
1. Life in a Unique Global City
A typical day in Barcelona.
Barcelona draws study abroad students from across the world and there is no doubt why. From the trendy and hip neighborhood of Gracia to the beaches of Barceloneta, Barcelona has something to offer everyone. Due to the large population of study abroad students, you can find an internship at nearly every company. Barcelona is also easily navigable (apart from the Gothic Quarter in l’eixample). Between the metro and the bus, you can get practically anywhere in less than half an hour. Additionally, Barcelona is unlike any city you will come across in the US. On one corner, you might see an old Cathedral dating back from 1121, while on the other corner, you might see a brand new tapas bar jam-packed with locals. Whether you want to intern in the private or public sector, at a tech startup or a fashion house, or with students or retirees, Barcelona will have something that fits your personality and style.
2. Meet New People and Be Immersed with Locals
CAPA interns in Girona.
Barcelona is home to a quarter of a million students from around the world. While living in Barcelona might be overwhelming to most, it’s best to just throw yourself into city life. With programs such as Erasmus and CAPA’s My Global City events, you have the chance to meet people with common interests and possibly make lifelong connections. Many CAPA students have also been invited to a variety of events by coworkers from their internships. This gives people the chance to fully immerse themselves into their CAPA experience and learn about daily life and Barcelonian culture from locals.
3. Academics and Work Experience
When asked why CAPA students decided to partake in an internship abroad, the main reason always comes back to academics and work experience. Whether you are taking an internship to satisfy your degree requirements, or to pad your resume, participating in an overseas internship will set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Doing an internship in a foreign country shows employers that you take initiative and are willing to step out of your comfort zone. All interns leave Barcelona knowing how to be flexible, and how to work in a multicultural environment (something highly desired by employers). Internships through CAPA also teach you how to communicate with a variety of people (sometimes in different languages) and adjust your working habits according to your environment. One thing all interns have said is how much more relaxed employers in Barcelona are. This doesn’t mean that they don’t expect you to get your work done on time, but as any Spaniard will tell you, they “work to live, not live to work”.
4. LIFE Experience
Student at Park Guell.
How many people in the US can say they worked in Barcelona? Probably very few. Interning in a foreign country is something you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. Many interns have commented on how the experience passed by too fast, and how they wished they could continue working with their companies. Working and living in Barcelona will stick with you for the rest of your life, guiding your decisions and redefining how you view the world. Whether you learn how to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life, or learn how to step out of your comfort zone, interning in Barcelona is a definite must.
Grace Pyron is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Global Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
Grace's journey continues all semester long.