Internship Abroad, Madrid, Spain
Today, we introduce you to ‘The Abroad Experience of Avellaneda! This Dutch AE’er, who you may also call abby, studies International Business at Avans Hogeschool ‘s-Hertogenbosch. She is doing an internship in Madrid for half a year. At the moment she has been staying in the Spanish capital for already seven weeks. By answering the following 8 questions, Avelleneda would like to tell you more about her internship, the destination Madrid and all her personal experiences!
According to my study program, it is very important to gain as much experience abroad as possible. For this reason, my school requires me to do two compulsory internships abroad, which is why I chose this explicit study. I think it is very important and educational to live not only in the Netherlands your whole life, but also live and study abroad. Furthermore, an internship abroad is an unique opportunity to discover the world!
I do all kinds of things at my internship; it is super diverse and definitely never boring. Basically, I was hired for a marketing internship. This entails keeping up with the social media and writing newsletters. In addition to being responsible for marketing, I help organize events and trips. The variety of my job is not only in my daily tasks, but the variety comes back in the hours I work as well. I don't have a 9 to 5 job. I often work in the office for a few hours during the day. Then I go home and start working at events around 10 p.m. till 3:00 a.m.. After 3 a.m. you're often ready to go home again. The only thing where I have not talked about yet are my amazing colleagues who make my internship super much fun! I work with a young and international team, everyone comes from different countries like Germany, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands.
I immediately felt super welcome and relaxed when I first arrived in Madrid! The people are open here in the capital of Spain. If you ask them a question, they clearly show that they enjoy having a chat. It is now October and it is still 26 degrees in Madrid so perhaps they are relaxing because of the really hot weather. Another big difference, if you have to start your workday at 10 a.m. it's fine to walk in around 10:15 a.m., typically the Spanish culture!
Before I came to Madrid, I was a bit afraid that I would find it boring to suddenly work for 40 hours a week, while I was not used to that at all from the Netherlands. This totally did not relate to the reality at all. Since I have been here, not one day has been the same! During the day I always meet new people and I don't really have a 9 to 5 job which I also mentioned earlier in the blog.
Furthermore, in the Netherlands I live in a village, I expected before arriving to see more people on the streets than I am used to. This was absolutely the case when arriving. I see people on the streets every day and all day. Whether it is three in the afternoon or three at night, there are always people. Therefore, I had to get used to the sounds coming from outside through my windows.
The most important tip I want to mention is to start looking for a room on time. I still meet so many people around me who have been in Madrid for a few weeks but still haven't found a good room. It is important to orientate yourself well in advance. For example, look at what kind of neighborhood you want to live in and how much your budget is. Personally, I chose to be 10 minutes away from the city center, I can walk everywhere and it has a good connection with each public transportation.
What I struggle with the most, and what I really hope to learn during my internship abroad is to regulate the financial side of doing an internship abroad. It's sometimes quite puzzling how much I can spend on groceries, going out, etc. I've been in Madrid for a bit longer now and I recognize that you develop some tricks to save some money. I often cook the same meals as my roommates. Then together we can buy the standard things like rice, pasta or other products.
To start with, going to events is my job what makes it really easy to meet people. Otherwise, there are lots of clubs in Madrid, I didn't have to worry about friends at all! My internship supervisor assigned me to help move new students who had just arrived in Madrid. Also, I had to help out at all kinds of welcome events, I had already met more than 100 people in the first two weeks. As a result, I noticed pretty quickly that it is super easy to connect with others. I would like to add that if I had done an internship at another company, I am convinced that I would have made friends quickly to. It's all very easy here in Madrid.
I strongly believe that every student should do an internship abroad at least once. You often go to a new city all by yourself, you enter a new work environment and meet people you have never seen before. In short, you learn to be totally on your own. Another thing which is important, you have to live in another culture for once. Living in another culture teaches you to adapt to others. Doing an internship abroad is super exciting and definitely takes some time getting used to, but in the end, you become a stronger person!