Summer Internship Program in Spain

Cultural Vistas’ Summer Internship Program in Spain provides an excellent opportunity for U.S. and Canadian university students to gain work experience abroad, improve their Spanish language skills, and experience Spanish life and culture firsthand.

Internships are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to, business/finance, tourism, IT, media/communications, international relations, the nonprofit sector, Spanish studies, and economics. The program runs from late-May until mid-August.

All internships are unpaid; however, scholarships are available to qualified participants. All participants receive a scholarship application following acceptance to the program.

What’s Included

  • Application process assistance including help drafting a Spanish-style resume
  • Internship placement in your target field with a Spanish host company
  • Pre-departure information mailing
  • Financial assistance via the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund (must apply separately)
  • Health insurance (at an additional cost of $55 per month)
  • Cultural immersion and orientation seminar in Madrid
  • Housing assistance (optional)
  • Support throughout your program in Spain and the United States
  • Re-entry information and tips on marketing international experience to U.S. employers

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizen or Canadian citizen enrolled at a college or university before, during, and following the internship
  • 19-25 years of age
  • Two years of post-secondary instruction in Spanish or the equivalent; participants must have high-intermediate Spanish and be able to function in a Spanish-speaking work environment immediately upon arrival in Spain
  • Minimum of two years of university-level studies
  • Practical experience in target internship field does not need to be extensive, but is preferred (i.e. summer employment, prior internship, volunteer position, etc.). The more experience you have, the more desirable you will be to a potential host company.

Costs

The program fee for the Summer Internship Program in Spain is $850, which includes a non-refundable $75 application fee. Housing assistance is provided for an additional fee of $50. Applications are reviewed only after the application fee of $75 has been received. Please note that we will only process payments from qualified applicants.

Program Details

Conversational Interview

Once we have received your complete application, we will review it to make sure you meet all program requirements. If you meet the requirements, we will conduct a short phone interview with you to discuss the program and your expectations, answer your questions, and test your Spanish language skills. Following a successful interview, we will formally accept you to the program and start the placement process.

Placement Process

Once your application has been reviewed and you have been accepted to the program, we will wait for you to confirm your participation. Once your signed acceptance documents are received, Cultural Vistas will begin looking for an unpaid internship position with a host company in Madrid. Cultural Vistas works with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, and multinational holdings. Many companies are experienced in accommodating foreign interns and have been working with Cultural Vistas for years.

After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview with you, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths and professional interests. Based on this information, we will begin contacting suitable, potential host companies. The placement process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months after acceptance into the program. Your resume and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found. Participants can help by being proactive: update your materials as required, research and contact companies on your own, follow up with suggested company contacts immediately, and always keep Cultural Vistas informed on everything internship-related.

Information

Participants will receive regular email updates on the internship search, as well as program-related issues. It is crucial for the placement process that participants check their email frequently and respond to emails as soon as possible. Participants must inform Cultural Vistas immediately of any changes in their contact information.

Orientation

In early May, you will receive a pre-departure packet covering details related to your program. Topics will include important program dates, what to bring, an introduction to the Spanish workplace and many other important points related to your stay in Spain. Upon arrival, a Cultural Vistas representative will conduct an orientation seminar on the Spanish workplace and other bureaucratic issues (tentatively Memorial Day Weekend). Details will be forwarded to participants as they become available.

Host Companies

Cultural Vistas works with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, and multinational holdings. While a “big name” will certainly look good on your resume, be assured that excellent internships are also possible at smaller companies. Often interaction is more personal and participants can gain a better overview of a smaller company’s entire operation. Keep in mind that while the host company placement is important, you are an integral part of your internship experience.

Regional Preferences

Host companies are most often, but not always, located in Madrid. If location is of major importance to you, we strongly encourage you to research companies in that region and inform Cultural Vistas. Our priority is to find an appropriate company match, regardless of location.

Internship Positions

Your resume and essay will be sent to several companies in your field. Some companies might choose to contact you to conduct an interview, most likely in Spanish, before offering you an internship position. Always keep Cultural Vistas informed of all company communication. Depending on your qualifications, you may receive several offers for an internship. We expect you to be open-minded and consider every offer carefully. Keep in mind that you are a foreign student competing with hundreds of locals for internship positions.

Tasks for interns are as diverse as the companies and the participants. Some companies expect interns to work independently, while others prefer to supervise their work closely. Although it will be your responsibility to negotiate your direct work conditions, we can assist you if needed. Besides gaining professional experience, you will also experience Spanish culture first-hand and dramatically improve your language skills. Even if the internship itself is not exactly what you imagined it would be, please remember that you will return home with invaluable personal and professional experiences.

Duration

The Summer Internship Program in Spain lasts for approximately two and a half months and runs from the end of May through mid-August. Participants will be informed of all dates and times (including the orientation seminar) as soon as the dates are confirmed.

Compensation

All internships are unpaid. There are, however, scholarships available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund to help offset the cost of living expenses. All accepted participants who enroll in the program are provided with application materials and necessary instructions with a few weeks of acceptance.

Health Insurance

To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase our HTH Insurance policy (currently $55 per month). Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.

Housing

Participants are responsible for securing their own housing. Finding housing in a foreign country is certainly a challenge, and one that we consider an important part of the internship experience. We will try to help you whenever possible. But remember: if you do not inform us that you are experiencing problems finding housing, we cannot do anything for you! Please note that you may need to confirm housing arrangements personally or sign a contract. Cultural Vistas is not responsible for housing arrangements that fall through due to a participant’s failure to follow up.

Cultural Vistas offers a housing assessment service for a fee of $50. Once you have located your housing, a Cultural Vistas representative will personally evaluate the location, condition of the apartment, etc. before your arrival in Spain.

Travel

Participants must bear the cost of all program-related travel. All travel arrangements and expenses within Spain, including those related to the orientation seminar, are the responsibility of the participant. Please note that this is not a summer work/travel program. While we understand that you want to see as much as possible during your time in Europe, participants are expected to complete the entirety of their internships. Weekend trips to learn more about Spain and its culture are, of course, encouraged.

How to Apply

Request an Application

To apply for the Summer Internship in Spain please request access to the online application system. Your request will be reviewed by a Cultural Vistas staff member. If you meet the program eligibility requirements, you will be sent a username and password to access the online application.

Application Deadline

Applications for summer 2017 are due January 15.

For more information, please contact usabroad@culturalvistas.org.

Application Checklist

We encourage you to submit all of your application materials online. However, should you encounter any difficulties in uploading your application materials, please feel free to send them in hard copy to the address indicated below along with any documents requiring original signatures. The complete application must be submitted by 12:00 am (Eastern Time Zone) on the day of the application deadline, including any letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. mailed separately.

Application materials to be submitted

  1. Completed online application form
  2. Passport-style photo (of you alone, wearing business attire)
  3. Official college/university transcripts
  4. If this internship is required for your degree, please include a letter verifying this
  5. Current resume in English
  6. Letter of recommendation from a current or former employer
  7. Letter of recommendation from a professor qualified to comment on your Spanish language skills
  8. One-page resume in Spanish patterned after the sample provided. Your Spanish resume should reflect your skills and experience as in your English resume
  9. Completed diagnostic Spanish language test
  10. Personal statement in Spanish titled “Mis esperanzas sobre el programa en España”. The statement should not exceed one typewritten page (1.5 spacing, 12 point font) and should address the following topics:
    • The field in which you would prefer to intern
    • The type of work you expect to do
    • What skills you have to offer a host company as an intern and where and how you acquired those skills, i.e. How are you prepared to work in your desired field?
  1. $75 Application Fee* payable by personal check or money order. To pay the fee online, please contact us.

*The Cultural Vistas application fee of $75 (USD) is due at the time of application; the program fee of $775 will be due upon acceptance to the program. Applications will not be processed until the $75 application fee has been paid.

Please mail your payment and any application materials you are submitting in hard copy to:

Cultural Vistas
ATTN: Internship Program in Spain
440 Park Avenue South, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016

You may preview and edit your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. To preview your application, click “Print Version”. When editing your application, please be sure to click “Save” before exiting to ensure that all data is saved. We encourage you to print a copy of your completed application before submitting it. Please note that once an application has been submitted, it is considered final!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need insurance coverage?

To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase our HTH Insurance policy (currently $55 per month). Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.

Will I have an opportunity to travel while interning abroad?

Cultural Vistas encourages you to explore as much as possible during your time abroad; however, please keep in mind that you are an employee at a company. Therefore, you are expected to attend work according to the expectations of your employer.

Will I receive school credit for my internship?

Credit is given at the discretion of each respective college or university. Be sure to speak with a coordinator at your school before beginning the internship to arrange proper credit. Cultural Vistas is able to provide a letter certifying participation in the program should the university request it. Contact your program officer for assistance.

Does Cultural Vistas offer scholarships?

Scholarships are available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund to those who have already been accepted to the program and have confirmed their intent to participate. A scholarship application will be sent via email to all eligible participants. Scholarships are available to U.S. citizens only. Priority will be given to participants who demonstrate financial need.

What is involved in the application process?

Complete an online application by clicking the “Request an Application” button. After submitting background information about yourself, we will email you a password granting you access to our online application system.

After submitting a completed application, all supporting documents, and the application fee payment, Cultural Vistas will schedule telephone interviews with all qualified candidates. During this telephone interview, we will make an assessment of your abilities, language skills, and career goals and will answer any questions you may have.

After a successful interview, you will be formally accepted into the program and we, in cooperation with our in-country partner, will begin the search for an appropriate internship.

Are the internships paid?

Internships are unpaid. There are, however, scholarships available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund to help offset the cost of living expenses for those who qualify. Scholarship applications are available after acceptance into the program.

Am I involved in the internship search?

Cultural Vistas will work diligently to find a placement for you; however, proactive participation from your end is strongly encouraged, though not required. You may approach potential host companies independently or offer contact information to us throughout the search; however, it is essential that you inform us of all outside contact.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

The language requirement for this program is two years of post-secondary language instruction in Spanish or the equivalent (previous study abroad, etc.). All participants must be able to function in a Spanish-speaking work environment upon arrival in Spain, as they will be placed at a Spanish company/organization.

How much is the program fee and what does it cover? What additional costs can I expect?

The program fee of $850 ($75 application fee and $775 program fee upon acceptance) includes internship placement with a Spanish host company, a pre-departure packet, an orientation seminar, including one night of accommodation upon arrival in Spain in late-May (some meals included), support throughout the program in Spain and in the U.S., and a reentry mailing upon completion of the program. The participant is responsible for airfare, housing, meals, and transportation in the host country. Insurance must be purchased through Cultural Vistas (currently $55 per month), unless proof of enrollment in equivalent international insurance required by your university is provided.

What kind of companies offer internships?

Internships are available with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and non-profit or government organizations. Here are a few examples of companies where we have had participants in the past: CLI-DEA Investigación, Cortefiel, ACNUR (Spanish Representation of the UN High Commission for Refugees), Dominion, Sanostra Bank, Indra Sistemas, Fundación Social Universidad Francisco de Vitoria. This list is by no means complete, but should give you a good idea of the types of companies Cultural Vistas works with. To request a more complete list of previous host companies, please contact us. Please note that Cultural Vistas cannot guarantee that you will intern at any of the companies listed here. We will do our best to locate the best possible internship for you, based on your previous work experience, language skills, educational background, and interests.

How does the placement process work?

After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview with you, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths and professional interests. Based on this information, we will begin contacting suitable, potential host companies in Spain. While the majority of participants are placed in Madrid, location preferences will be considered. If location is of major importance to you, we strongly encourage you to research companies in that region and inform Cultural Vistas. Priority in the placement process lies in securing the best possible internship, regardless of location. Contact between Cultural Vistas and our participants is maintained throughout the search until a host company is found.

This process can take anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months after acceptance into the program. Your qualifications and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found.

Will I receive a refund if I am not offered an internship?

Yes. All fees paid (less the $75 non-refundable application fee) will be refunded in the unlikely event that you are accepted into the program and an internship is not found for you.

Cultural Vistas will work with each participant to see that they receive an internship most suited to their interests and capabilities. Previous work experience coupled with the chosen field of work will influence the availability and ease of finding a position.

Do I need a visa?

U.S. and Canadian citizens are able to enter and stay in Spain for up to 90 days with their U.S. or Canadian passport.

What is the duration of the program?

The duration of the Summer Internship Program in Spain ranges between two and three months, depending on the participant’s wishes and schedule. Typically, the program consists of a 2.5 month internship that runs from late-May to mid-August. It may be possible to start and end your internship earlier, please contact us about this.

Where will I live during the program?

It is your responsibility to secure your own living arrangement. Finding housing in a foreign country is certainly a challenge; however, it is an important part of the internship experience. Popular housing options include shared apartments with other students or interns. You will receive a list of popular websites offering housing opportunities in late spring. You have the option to have a Cultural Vistas representative visit potential apartments for you, for an additional fee of $50, in order to evaluate location, condition of the apartment, etc.