Adelante Abroad


What were you doing in 1999? That is when Adelante Abroad sent its first candidate to Madrid, Spain, to do an International Internship Program there. She participated in a 6 month program, in a graphic design internship with a mid-sized company and lived, at first, on her own in a great little downtown apartment. By the following month we sent over two more candidates and have never looked back.

Internship, Semester & Summer Study, Teach and Volunteer Abroad programs define our menu of offerings and expertise now. Yes, you have your own room in a central, shared apartment, but meals are typically not included because we want you to grocery shop in your new country. Yes, we have staff on site full time but do they call you every day to check in? Nope. They are there if you need them but are trained to give you space to bump into things, make mistakes and finally find, on your own, how you fit in to your new country & home.

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Programs from Adelante

Program Reviews

  • Lucas
    Age: 19-24
    New York, New York
    an incredible experience

    Adelante's program in Madrid is one of the finest internship-abroad experiences one could ask for. The program has situated itself with ideal living conditions, located directly in the heart of the city (basically in puerta del sol). Madrid itself is a city with tons of things to do, people to meet, and culture to be explored, so, for one, you will never be bored. I chose to intern in the international business sector, working for a company called IFEMA, organizing international professional fairs. Working in a spanish company was quite invaluable to my maturation as an adult as well as an employee. Your spanish and language skills improve immensely and you learn how to integrate in a foreign culture. On top of that, adelante's internship hour regulations allow you ample time to explore other activities and meet new people and travel within Europe. Its an incredibly individual experience and one that, i believe, is quite invaluable to any student looking for something more, something different.

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  • Sasha
    Age: 19-24
    London, UK
    University College London
    Psychology/Psychiatry Internship

    I stayed with Adelante for 2 months in Madrid, doing a placement with a local psychiatrist. I had a bit of an unusual situation therefore I have started my internship before finishing my language classes (which being honest wasn't a smart move but there was no other option due to time constraints). Important to note, that I did study Spanish before but my level was far from fluent. I will break review in three parts so it is easier to follow.

    Internship Internship itself was amazing! Exactly what I wanted and what I expected: to be exposed to a private clinical setting, covering a range of problems starting from family crises finishing with schizophrenia. The doctor himself and his crew were very supportive and friendly, which I think is quite important especially for a new person which doesn't really know Spanish. During the month, my comprehension skills rocketed up as well as reading ones, doctor would ask you to read A LOT ( a piece of advice for someone doing the same placement is to read beforehand his books, it will greatly assist during your internship and in general in your future career). During the session with a patient, Doctor will explain his/hers diagnosis, share his opinion regarding the matter and would let to ask any question. Also you would have an opportunity to be present and sometimes even interview yourself various patients, complete there profile and participate in a psychotherapy. Sometimes when Doctor wasn't available, someone from other doctors will invite to the differential diagnosis of his/hers patients. From the negative side, I can highlight only the fact that most of the time instead of finishing at 3 or 4, I would finish at 7 or 8 which in my opinion is a bit too much for an unpaid internship. However, I have been interning only for a month so I decided to make the most of it but someone else who would want to do this internship for longer might want to consider to clarify this. At work no one seemed to be bothered with timing at all, I was told "leave whenever you feel tired". But at the end it looks like such attitude is common among Spanish people, they are very chilled (at least the ones I have met). Other aspect is language, I should have definitely taken classes before because talking to the patients was tough, my Spanish was very rusty. Also you have to be prepared that sometimes patients would not want to talk in front of you therefore you would have to wait sometimes for a good 2-3hours.

    Housing I lived near Puerta del Sol with Adelante and Eureka (language school)students. The location is amazing, it is literally the central centre, all the touristic attractions, shops and nightlife are hand away from you. My apartment was very spacious with 5 more people living in, this might sound like quite a lot but in fact everyone seemed to co-exist very well. Throughout 2 months no one had any problem with anyone, a very peaceful atmosphere. The massive downside was, as stated below, an air conditioner and unbearable heat during summer. It was so hot, even inferno would look like a ski resort. When I complained about it to the landlord, I was immediately given a fan, despite being very quick to react, I personally think that at such possibility of overheating air conditioners should be installed. Ironically there were air conditioner units but they didn't work at any room. Therefore a piece of advice, do internship when it is not too hot and if you choose to do it in a summer, consider looking for an apartment with an air conditioner.

    Language School I have been to two language schools before in Madrid and I think genuinely speaking that it is not the best one. The director (also a landloard) is very helpful and sorts out problems instantly but if judging school I would give it a solid C, at least for the time I have spent (2 weeks). I completely agree with a review below that Eureka would work best for long-term students or complete beginners, it is not intense enough for short-term users.

    Conclusion Amazing Internship, good housing (even despite dysfunctional air conditioner), not bad language school. I think you do get value for money here.

    How could this program be improved?

    I think being more specific about internship details like working hours and direct responsibilities would help.

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    Response from Adelante
    Thank you, thank you for your wonderful detailed review! Your work assignment Doctor / placement was very happy with you, too, as you know, even given the very short amount of time you interned there. It is good to hear about all that you learned in your field of studies: Psychology. I'm so sorry about the heat in Madrid - it can be near unbearable, especially in the downtown district where the apartments, while historic buildings, are older and not often equipped with a/c. It is common to have problems with air units and the cost so prohibitive to repeatedly repair, that many of our owners simply give up and leave the unit as is and rely on fans. We know that the location is the very best, walking distance to literally everything - food, grocery store, gym, theatre, palace, multiple metro stops, shopping, hundreds of cafes and for this we sacrifice guaranteed a/c. We do advise in our materials that air conditioning is not at all common in Madrid nor is it guaranteed in our housing. Some summers are definitely hotter than others!
  • Ashley
    Age: 19-24
    Newark, DE
    University of Delaware
    The adventure of a lifetime

    It's safe to say I had an unforgettable summer in Barcelona with Adelante Abroad. Working for a city guide gave me true insight as to what it will be like to work in the publication industry as well as professional experience that I will certainly benefit from once I graduate college. The intensive class at Kingsbrook Idiomas helped me immensely with my communication skills, which is something I definitely wanted to gain through this program. Over the course of the two months I was in Spain, I fell in love with Barcelona and met people whom I will remember for a lifetime. This program is absolutely for an adventurer who can handle obstacles and in no way for those who like to have everything laid out for them. If you are not an extremely independent person, I don't recommend this program at all. However, if you are, it's the perfect experience abroad.

    How could this program be improved?

    Support from Adelante staff could definitely be improved upon. When I had a concern, it took way too long for the staff to take me seriously and I had to contact them multiple times. Additionally, communication between the staff in the United States and overseas needs to be improved upon to lessen the amount of discrepancies in what candidates expect and what the program actually entails.

    Art in Barceloneta
    Amigas in Park Güell
    Graffiti in Gràcia
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    Response from Adelante
    Ashley, such great photos and a solid review of this amazing program! Thank you for taking the time to write it. We too fall in love with this city each time we visit it - glad you feel the same way. The support from our local team abroad is different from support from the US, not better or worse, just culturally different. For example, they won't move a student from his or her housing just because. There has to be a concrete, valid reason to change. Regarding communication, well we were in touch weekly, so pretty steady over your 8 weeks this summer, between Adelante HQ and our Directora in Barcelona and you, however we will try our best to improve even more. Don't stop practicing your Spanish, and hasta pronto!
  • Audley
    Quiero regresar a Oaxaca otra vez!

    I had a great experience. My Spanish improved tremendously after only 2 weeks of classes. The city is small and the people are wonderful. The climate is nice too; it's not too hot and there are not a lot of bugs. The city is very close to a lot of interesting historical sites, and there is so much to do in the city center! I was there during the big festival in July, the Guelaguetza, and that is the time to go! The city is hopping all the time with cultural activities and markets. The Adelante staff were very helpful and friendly as well, but they weren't constantly getting involved, which I greatly appreciated. They don't hold your hand, but they were there if you needed them, so I was able to really experience the city in my own way. I know that the work experience differs based on which internship you pursue, but personally I enjoyed my work assignment; I learned a lot and felt very involved. I worked a good amount but was not overworked. Overall, it was incredible! I can't wait to go back again!

    How could this program be improved?

    The program states that it starts on the first of each month, but actually the start & end dates were slightly different than what they said.

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  • Amanda
    University of California- Berkeley
    Summer in Madrid

    My experience with Adelante was very mixed, with some positive notes and some negative notes.

    I chose to live in the Adelante housing. The location was right next to Puerta del Sol, a great central location with lots of restaurants, shopping, and good transportation links nearby. However, as I was there during the summer, and this summer was particularly hot even by Madrid standard, living without air conditioning was extremely difficult. At one point, I came down with heat exhaustion just from laying on the couch, because the apartment was that hot. To make matters worse, there was an air conditioning unit, but it didn't work. I asked about it, Eureka, the owner of the apartment about it, and there was no possibility of getting it fixed, so I was left to be taunted by a broken air conditioning, showing that it was possible to have air conditioning there, but yet there was no AC. In short, the Adelante housing is great, as long as you aren't there during the summer.

    The first two weeks were spent at the Eureka language school. I could tell that Eureka is a great school, and I appreciated the organized excursions during the first two weeks of my program. However, the structure of Eureka does not work for students who are there for only two weeks. It is designed for students to study there for months at a time. When I signed up for a program that included intensive language classes, I expected an intensive review of Spanish. Instead, I was placed into a class covering material I learned in high school, with people who were learning the material for the first time. So when I needed 15-20 minutes review per topic, I was instead forced to spend 4 days on it, and covered very little material in the time I was there. On a positive note, being just down the street from Eureka, who served as the landlord for the apartment, made it convenient when I had a problem, such as when the wifi stopped down and I needed them to fix it.

    The internship was not what I was hoping for. I am interested in international relations, and was hoping for an internship that would allow me to explore career options related to international relations. I was placed at an NGO that related to my interest in international relations in name only. I worked in their marketing department, which had very little work for me to do, and I also find marketing to be extremely boring and not enriching enough for my interests. I spent many days just scrolling through news site or reading a book, feeling like I was just warming a desk. On the days that I did have something to do, it was merely translating documents to English or making Photoshop projects, bearing little resemblance to the internship that I had hoped for. I found myself in a marketing internship, which was not what I wanted, and I was extremely bored for 4 hours a day for 6 weeks.

    This is what the positive element of Adelante comes in: their support. At one point, my frustration with my internship placement led me to email Adelante to ask for advice about how to handle it, and they immediately intervened in the situation. They asked Antonio, the intern advisor, to talk to my boss about it to save me from the awkwardness of talking to her about it myself. When he was unable to reach her via phone, he actually came into the office to talk to her. When she acknowledged that they didn't have much for me to do, he arranged 2 interviews for me at other companies. Neither of the companies I interviewed with felt like a good match, so I decided to stick with my original company. Although not much ended up improving with internship placement, I really appreciated the support Adelante gave me, and it was nice to know that they tried.

    It's easy to dwell on the negative aspects of the program, but generally I had a very positive experience in Spain, but much of the positive experience took place outside of my class or my internship. It was what I made of it. I knew I wanted to be left with a positive impression of Spain, so I made sure to make it positive, by making friends and spending my time doing the things that interested me, whether that was going to see a movie in Spanish or traveling on the weekend. My Spanish improved exponentially during the two months that I was there. Even though my internship wasn't perfect, being placed into an environment in which I was the only non-Spaniard improved my Spanish in a way that it could have never been improved from taking a Spanish class. I grew a lot from this experience, growth that I never would have experienced if I had stayed in the US for the summer.

    How could this program be improved?

    Improved internship placement-maybe during initial discussion with the companies Antonio could try to get more details about the intern's responsibilities, to make sure that the interns will actually have responsibilities.

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