Internship at a cultural magazine in the heart of Barcelona
I was looking to do something productive the summer before my senior year of college and incidentally my university offered a grant to handful of students. So, I took the chance. The process of applying for the grant while trying to find an internship of my interest while figuring out where exactly while finding the accommodation situation were not easy tasks to juggle around while being a college student... However, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon studentsgoabroad website. I had no idea what I was doing or how to even start. I don’t think I would have been able to do everything by myself, having an organization that is knowledgeable on that area and the whole process was definitely a necessity at the time. Slowly but surely, everything began to fall into place: I was one of the lucky few who got awarded my university grant, I decided on a location (Barcelona), I got my internship secured and my accommodations as well.
I finally arrived in Barcelona
I would like to say that the moment I arrived at Barcelona everything felt perfect, but that would be a lie. Don’t get me wrong, eventually things get better, but I have to admit that the start was a bit bumpy. I caught a cold the day before arriving at Barcelona, and the plane ride intensified and speeded my symptoms. So the moment I arrived I head straight to the apartment I was staying and tried to sleep off the flu and exhaustion. The next day, I went to the pharmacy and the lady who attended me was very useful and gave me exactly what I needed, and I was back in full health a few days later.
Studentsgoabroad took good care
Since the office I was going to be working was in the same building as studentsgoabroad office, I was able to meet the people who helped me figure out the hows and the whats and the whys when planning my summer. Katharina and Sabine were very kind and always asked how my internship was going, if I was getting along with my supervisor, if I liked my internship, etc. It’s always nice to know that while you are in foreign city, country and continent, there’s people that cares to know how you are doing.
I worked for a cultural city guide for 2 months and did around 20 hours per week. It is a small company that publishes ten magazine editions per year about events and venues in Barcelona, plus a website and smartphone app. My supervisor was also very kind and flexible with the schedule. The workload was just enough to keep me busy. I was able to write around 7 articles per day and get to know Barcelonas urban life. Researching, contacting people, writing and updating the website were most of my daily tasks. With this internship, I was aiming to not only get to know Barcelona but also practice my writing and find out more about how publishing works.
What is Barcelona like?
One thing that took me completely off guard was the whole Catalunya and Catalan situation. I knew people in BCN spoke Catalan, but I had no idea how often and how proudly they spoke it. Apparently, many (not all of them of course) Catalans see themselves as a separate nation from Spain. Well, you can figure out how absurd I thought that was and yet, it is important to reflect this is a different culture and I do not have enough background information to judge this ideology. Apart from that, the city is amazingly lively 24/7 with plenty of activities during summer, the Mediterranean Sea at such proximity, a great public transportation, and so many great places to shop (flea markets!), eat and drink. Plus, the artsy side of BCN is also pretty cool. The parks were my favorite places to sit, relax, have a snack and read a book. The weather was almost always nice and sunny (even though a little too hot at times but perfect for the beach). Just to name a few of my favorite places in the city: Montjuic, Parc de la Ciutadella, Plaza Espanya, Las Ramblas, Maremagnum, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and Parc del Laberint d’Horta.
During my last weeks in Barcelona
I decided to explore around Europe since I’ve never been to this continent before and I had no idea if I am going to be able to come back. So I took planes/buses to Paris, Rome and Amsterdam. I wish I could have had more time to explore other cities in Spain as well but my stay was only 2 months long. If I knew how easy it is to travel around Europe, I would have scheduled to stay for at least 3 months instead of 2. Overall, it was such an amazing opportunity to be able to go to Barcelona and actually spend two months doing two of my favorite things: writing and exploring. I don’t think I’ve ever walked as much as I did in this city; it was never boring to take an afternoon stroll.
By the way, I never got pickpocketed or was never on the verge of, as long as you are not acting like a ditzy tourist, you should be fine.