Claudia's Biotechnology Internship in Valencia
For a long time I have dreamed about living abroad for a while, getting to know the working mentality of a different country. On the website of StudentsGoAbroad I finally found what I was looking for – the opportunity for an internship in my field of studies Biotechnology in Valencia. The mediation went rapidly and after handling all the formalities, the only things left to organize were my flight and the accommodation.
I started my trip in the end of March, flying from Munich to Valencia. After a weekend to settle in my exciting internship in a start-up company close by the university began. The company’s goal is to develop a prototype for a wall panel, on which you could cultivate plants in hydro cultures. My responsibilities varied a lot, thus included technical tasks like the fabrication of concrete parts as well as the realization of measure techniques and literature research for market data. Furthermore I had the chance to gain insights in the cultivation of various plants.
The team was quite small - in the beginning only four people. The common language within the team was always English. The team spirit was very strong which made the working atmosphere very pleasant. Due to the working hours, which were from 2 pm – 8 pm, I could use the mornings for grocery-shopping, other errands or a relaxing stroll on to the beach.
Life in Valencia – loud and alive
I found my accommodation online, and had the chance to live together with other people in the district Benimaclet, which is located very close to the university. My roommates were from Spain, France and Finland, therefore we mostly talked in English.
Before coming to Valencia I took a Spanish class at my university to learn some basics. To me this seemed very important since I wanted to be able to communicate within my everyday life in Spanish – ordering in restaurants, going shopping etc. A lot Valencian inhabitants - especially in those regions which lay off the tourists‘ path – don‘t speak any English, or only know the basics.
What I liked most about Valencia, particularly about my district was the vivacity. There were so many restaurants and bars close to my apartment and very often various food festivals as well as flea markets took place. There were so many things to experience. I would describe the life in Valencia as loud and alive!
Culture and nature
In my spare time and at the weekends I went to the city center, where I strolled through the old town being impressed by its buildings with Gothic and romantic influences. I liked the cathedral of Valencia and the Lonja de la Seda the most. Furthermore I went often to the beach (Malvarossa Beach), which was only a few tram-stations away from my home. I loved strolling down the beach.
I also made trips to close by regions outside of Valencia e.g. the park of Albufera. It is located about 20 km south of Valencia and easily reachable by bus. Once you walk down the landscaped path you can admire the park’s diverse flora and fauna, which is located right next to a sweet-water lagoon.
Furthermore I can recommend Port Saplya, which is approx. 6 km further north. The port-district is often described as “little Venice”, as the colorful little houses in the port remind someone of the Italian city Venice.
My absolute highlight though was a tour to an ocean- and mountain-region in the province of Alicante. Here we undertook a hiking trip with a stay at the beach in the end of it. The view from the mountains down to the deep blue sea was phenomenal.
I will never forget my time in Valencia. I learnt a lot within the field if my internship as well as from the intercultural work field. Besides I got the chance to meet wonderful people with who I am hopefully going to stay in contact for a long time.
I can recommend such an internship abroad to everyone of you.