Spain holds a reputation for being one of the most attractive countries for tourists in the world. Other than that, international students are constantly rating Spain as an ideal destination for finishing their studies or even kick-starting their career in the country. Getting an internship in Spain means you will learn a lot more than the program can offer. The entire country is full of learning possibilities and its liveliness is what attracts millions of people.
Being an intern in one of the most vibrant cities in Spain will benefit you personally and professionally. Cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, are highly welcoming—which means working here will make you feel like a local. The Spanish language is spoken globally, thus during your internship, you can perfect your language skills. By the end, you will have expanded your outlook in life, plus your resume will be noticed in the blink of an eye.
How to Get an Internship in Spain?
There are a lot of factors to consider when you start applying for the internship of your choice. Throughout your search for internships in the regions of Spain, it is important to understand thoroughly what the offer includes and if it suits your preferences. A piece of advice would be to apply to various companies so that you can increase your chances of working in Spain.
There are several ways through which you can find an internship and we have listed some of the most successful ones below:
Finding an internship can be a daunting task, however, the phenomenon of networking can always simplify the process. Do not underestimate any acquaintance or people you know to help you find the perfect internship and even put in a good word for you. Friends, family, university colleagues, and even professors know people who can at least invite you for an interview at their place of work.
Another great method for getting an internship opportunity is sending applications to the companies that are related to your profession and trying to convince them why they should hire you as an intern. P.S. you should send these types of applications even if they aren’t looking for applicants publicly.
University Related Internships
If you are currently a student, it is possible to apply for internships offered by the university, or various partnerships between universities and organizations. Most universities in Spain offer internships through the Erasmus program, which is a non-profit international student organization.
For more information, you should check Erasmusintern.org for internship opportunities.
Social Networking and Online Agencies
LinkedIn is a popular social networking website for professionals and students looking to find jobs and internship opportunities according to their area of interest. You can also find offers through some Spanish online organizations such as the Primer Empleo and Internship Makers. Another helpful agency for interns is the Fundación Universidad/Empresa (FUE).
Top Cities and Industries for Internships in Spain
Thanks to the multiple opportunities that the cities of Spain offer for students, you can find the internship of your choice in any of the fields that interest you. Everyone who has completed an internship abroad in Spain can say with confidence that it was an exceptional experience, which they used for both personal and professional development.
As mentioned before, the internship possibilities in Spain are endless, therefore it can be difficult for an international student to decide on only one. That is why we are here to help you find the best internship based on your qualifications and interests.
Here is a list of some of the most popular cities and industries for interning in Spain:
- Madrid. As the biggest city in Spain, it is an ideal destination for getting an internship to help boost your career. You can find internships in many popular fields such as business, finance, and marketing.
- Barcelona. Compared to Madrid, Barcelona focuses on the cultural aspects of the country. It allows international interns to live life to the fullest by experiencing the best nightlife in Europe. The most wanted internship industries in Barcelona include business, tourism, healthcare, and human rights.
- Canary Islands. As a hidden gem of the country of Spain, Canary Islands is an exciting destination for all international students who want to try new things. Tenerife is the largest island and it offers internships in hospitality, tourism, marketing as well as in marine conservation.
How to Apply for an Internship in Spain?
Starting out the application process for an internship can be long and tiring. Nevertheless, if you have decided on where you want to apply and understand the requirements, all you have to do is follow a simple step-by-step guide.
- Be enrolled in an educational institution. First and foremost, to be eligible for an internship in any company/organization in Spain, you must be part of any educational institution. This is due to the fact that internships are usually included in the university’s obligatory program.
- Get permission from the school and the company. To make the internship legal, you must get permission from the school and the company which will hire you temporarily. This legal document is ordinarily called a ‘Learning Agreement’ and it enables the student to finalize the application procedures. All three parties including yourself will have to sign the agreement prior to the program.
- Obtain a student visa or NIE. Third, the paid internships in Spain require international students to apply for a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero). The NIE is a document that allows the EU and non-EU citizens to receive the green light for getting an internship. Without an NIE, students cannot get a Social Security code, without which a salary is not possible. Students from countries outside of the EU also need to obtain a visa to enter Spain, which can be accepted as an NIE upon arrival.
- Get a Social Security code. As mentioned before, the Social Security number is important for students who are getting a paid internship. The company responsible for hiring is also responsible for putting the intern in the company’s Social Security package. You can acquired the Número de Afiliación a la Seguridad Social at the Social Security Office.
- Purchase a valid insurance policy. The final step is to receive a valid insurance policy, which is usually secured by the school and university you are enrolled in. In the event that they do not cover this service, the student must find an insurance policy individually.
Paid Internships in Spain
The majority of internships in Spain are unpaid and those that are not, only pay a few hundred euros per month. Some companies may only offer to cover the transportation costs or other base living expenses. More to the topic, international students tend to receive unpaid internships much more often than citizens of Spain or neighboring countries.
With that being said, Spain is considered to be one of the most affordable countries in Europe for students and interns. Students coming from EU countries have a higher chance of receiving stipends for their entire stay while completing the internship.
A great method for managing your financial situation while interning in Spain is to open a FundMyTravel account to raise funds for many expenses that you might have during your stay.
Barcelona uses a different approach for hiring interns than the rest of Spain. They offer two types of internships:
- “Beca de practicas.” The “Beca de practicas” is an internship agreement with your school, meaning the company does not have to pay for your time as an intern;
- Individual offer. The second type of internship is an individual offer with no relation to your school of studies. This type of internship is paid according to the agreement with the employers.
Spanish Language Internships
Since Spanish is the official language of Spain, internship companies will, with certainty, request Spanish speakers who speak the language fluently. The CEFR ( Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is a scale that is used in many European countries and most importantly in Spain. It measures your language levels which range from A1 to C2.
The Spanish internship programs in Spain will prepare you for a real work environment where Spanish is the main language. The opportunity to develop professionally cannot be overlooked in such Spanish companies. Besides, you will also get to practice your Spanish communication skills considerably, which can be a great advantage in the job market.
Internships in Spain for English Speakers
For students with a major in English or who have a license to teach the English language, finding an internship as an English teacher in Spain is an amazing experience, which allows you to learn and contribute to the country. Since Spain is a Spanish-speaking country, it might be a challenge for you as an English speaker to adapt to the culture.
However, Spain is full of opportunities for English speakers to work as interns without a language barrier. There are a number of international companies and organizations that are happy to hire interns from all over the world. Some of the best cities in Spain are more than ready for students who want to intern abroad, such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Granada, to name a few.
How Long Do Internships in Spain Take to Complete?
Internships in Spain usually take two to three months to complete depending on the needs and flexibility of the company as well as your personal demands. Before starting your internship, you must sign an internship agreement between the employer and yourself as an employee. The typical internship contract in Spain generally takes a minimum of 6 months to complete, with the possibility of renewal. In some cases, you can even sign for a 1-year contract.
We know without a doubt that you will benefit from the skills gained at an internship, regardless of the duration.
Do I Need a Visa?
EU citizens are free to enter Spain without a visa regardless of the purpose of their stay. If they plan to stay more than three months, they must register their residence. On the other hand, non-EU citizens must apply for a visa to intern in Spain.