Henrico is 23 years old and studies Event Management at Inholland University of Applied Sciences in Diemen Zuid. After an internship in Lanzarote and a gap year in Ibiza, it was time for Henrico to start a new adventure abroad, the choice quickly fell on the Spanish capital Madrid! In 'The Abroad Experience of Henrico', Henrico shares his experiences as an intern in Madrid!
"Before this, I have lived on the Spanish islands of Lanzarote and Ibiza, where Spanish culture captured my heart. Because being on an island is very different from being in a big Spanish city, I chose Madrid this time. I met two friends through my gap year in Ibiza, they also currently live in Madrid. So, this was an extra reason to choose Madrid."
"I work at an events agency that focuses on Erasmus students. These are mainly international students who, like me, come to Madrid school related. Their goal is to introduce the students to Spanish culture. I personally am responsible for the sports and cultural events. This means visiting a football match or organizing a beach volleyball competition. The cultural events I organize are tours of the city or taking a group of students to the museum to give a tour.
On weekends, I am a tour guide and accompany students to other cities in Spain. I have already been to Valencia and Barcelona with a group. I often organise these events with four other interns from the Netherlands. However, I am ultimately responsible for the events, and I am in a position to supervise the other interns. With them, I have a super good time here at work."
"What I notice anyway is that the whole vibe here in Spain is different from the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, we are focused on work which I personally find very boring. Here in Spain, they enjoy life by sitting on the terrace until late in the evening. Spaniards love parties or they go out for dinner with big groups. In the Netherlands, you come home from work, have a nice dinner, and then sleep. This is often done day in and day out. Here in Spain, there is always something going on, you never know how your evening is going to end."
"Before going to Madrid, I expected to end up in a big city with lots of international people. I hoped I would be able to meet many different people from all over the world. This turned out to be true. Whether you go out or you go to the park on a Sunday afternoon, you meet all different students from other cultures from all over the world and everyone wants to have a chat with you."
"The most important tip I can give is to start looking for housing on time. I had friends who were not in AE which meant they had no help with finding housing. I noticed that they had quite a lot of trouble with housing but also with applying for the right papers.
Something completely different I can recommend to the next batch of AE is to go to El Retiro. This is a mega-sized park with a pond where you can row. You also have beautiful gardens and buildings you can visit. Also, a visit to Malasaña cannot be missed. This is a trendy, student-friendly neighbourhood full of coffee houses, bakeries and vintage clothes shops. Last but not least, the Illusion Museum & Ikomo Madrid is fun to add to your list."
"You really rely on yourself. You have to make your own choices, and this can turn out wrong but also positive. Furthermore, you end up becoming more independent. I've already been abroad twice, so I probably experience less learning moments than someone going abroad for the first time."
"Making friends abroad is super easy. I started doing an internship last September just like many other fellow students. Every new semester, many organisations, including the one where I am currently an internship, offer activities to get to know other students. I had signed up for several picnics or I went along to museums. Since you meet the same people several times on such an activity, you exchange numbers and also start meeting up privately. I also have my regular group of friends that I had already met in Ibiza. Furthermore, I live in a big student house with six other guys. These are also the ones I became friends with. We can safely conclude that I can be found anywhere and everywhere."
"It's good for your personal growth, it's a challenge and besides, you get in touch with another culture. Skills like learning another language, in my case Spanish, goes much easier. You also get to spend a lot more time exploring your favourite city. I'm here for 5 months in total so you have all the time you need to experience everything."
'It's good for your personal growth, it's a challenge and besides, you get in touch with another culture.'
"I experienced AE's service as very nice. When I registered, I immediately got in touch with Sander. We started with an informal introductory meeting. I really liked this because then you know where you stand before you start working with someone. Then, when I agreed, I made the first down payment. You don't pay the full amount yet. You pay the full amount once your internship is complete. Then AE started looking for a suitable internship for me. The guidance they gave me during the application procedure was very helpful. They looked at my CV and gave me tips on how to present myself during a job application. I really liked this information. Once the internship was complete, I received help with housing. I was forwarded links and the discount codes were also valuable."
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Curious about how other students experienced their internship abroad? Here you can find more Abroad Experience blogs from other AEs: