Larissa and Sophia tell us about their Internship in Barcelona and their incredible time abroad
Which doubts did you have before taking the step to go abroad?
Sophia: I had some doubts about finding an accommodation and making friends here. But my doubts were just unfounded!
Larissa: I had doubts about the dialect here in Barcelona, the “Catalan”. It really sounds different from common Spanish, but if you start speaking Spanish, the others also speak Spanish and not Catalan. And English is also an option.
In which field are you doing your internship?
Larissa & Sophia: We are working in a placement agency, in the field of customer service for people who are interested in internships and in the field of marketing.
What are your specific tasks there?
Larissa: As I’m working in customer service, I get in contact with new customers, by writing emails or making phone calls. I also create a newsletter for the interns in Barcelona and work on the social media pages of the local partner. Besides that, I look after the interns here in Barcelona. We are organising intern-meetings or even go out together in our free time.
Sophia: I’m looking after all clients that want to participate in voluntary services. Besides that, I’m editing and updating our offers online and I also keep in touch with our international partners.
Could you describe your typical day here?
Larissa: I always arrive in our office in Poblenou on time, so that I can cut my fruits before I start working. I usually buy fruits on my way to the office. The first thing I do the is to start my PC and check new inquiries. When I find time after answering customer questions, I work on others things like the newsletter.
Sophia: Usually, I arrive shortly after Larissa. For me, the first thing is also replying to customer e-mails as our clients are always the priority. After that I usually have time for my long-term tasks.
What do you like most about your internship and what don´t you like about it?
Larissa & Sophia: We can really apply ourselves and are given responsible tasks. This gives us the feeling of being important and doing something important for the company. Our working environment is just perfect. This is mainly due to our nice colleagues. And of course because of Momo (office dog), our Welcome-Manager here! Our colleagues are always trying to help and are willing to explain more complex tasks.
Larissa: They even prepared a nice breakfast for me on my birthday.
Larissa & Sophia: We really feel appreciated.On the downside, our clients are sometimes a bit lazy. You are willing to organize their stay abroad and invest a lot of time in them, but they don’t always reply to your questions for weeks or need to be reminded all the time.
What does „typically Spanish” mean to you?
Larissa & Sophia: The manner of the people here. All people are vigorous, friendly and everyone can recognize their relaxed lifestyle. The food culture is also typical of course. A typical Spanish dinner is very slow and relaxed, matching their lifestyle. There are lots of Tapas bars and restaurants here in Barcelona that invite to a typical Spanish dinner.
Did you have any doubts about your internships?
Larissa & Sophia: We thought that we wouldn’t have enough prior knowledge to work in the agency, however it was easy to learn all the tasks, because everyone was willing to explain and help us a lot.
How did you find your accommodation?
Larissa: I’ve found my accommodation by searching on Facebook. The name of the site is “Barcelona rentals: Find or post accommodation and housing”. The website is international, so because of that my roommates are from all around the world, which is interesting.
Sophia: The flat where I live now, was offered on “WG-Gesucht”, a German website. At the beginning I thought I would stay at a hostel for one week until I finding a room, but then I only needed two days to get a nice room. I would definitely recommend to search on sight.
Was it easy to meet other people in Barcelona for you? Did you even find some good friends?
Larissa & Sophia: Making friends is really easy here. You get to know people by going out with your flat mates. The intern-meetings are also nice to make friends with other interns, because they are all in the same situation. People are so open minded, you can even make friends at the beach or in the streets.
Did you already take some Spanish courses before you arrived here? Or are you taking Spanish lessons now?
Larissa: Besides some Spanish courses at the university, I had no experiences with the Spanish language. However, this is no problem, because nearly everyone can speak English in Barcelona.
Sophia: I’ve learned Spanish for 6 years in school and at the beginning of my stay here I had Spanish lessons every day. However I quit after one week, because I was to excited to get to know the city and just wanted more time to explore everything!
Do you have any helpful tips for incoming interns?
Larissa & Sophia: Be open for everything, go out when you can, go by foot if you can! Ask the team Sí-internships if you need a metro ticket or want to rent a bike. There are great discounts on both, depending on how long you are going to stay.