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.
Barcelona internship03/29/2015How could this program be improved?
Although the location of the housing provided was great and easy access to the city center and other locations, the room I stayed in was really small. The program could also include more information on the city in terms of groups such as meet ups or free tours that may help others meet people in the city.Response from AdelanteGlad to hear you had a great experience overall and would like to plan a return to Europe some day Kevin! As far as information on meet-ups and such, we try to send our candidates cool links/info on things that they can do or how to meet up with people. This is usually sent within the first few weeks of our candidates arrival. If somehow you didn't get our e-mails, we now know we need to be more diligent about following up about them in the future. Thanks for the feedback, Kevin!
Starting my career in Madrid01/22/2015How could this program be improved?
I wish the directors of the school who run the campus housing were more friendly and understanding. They just come into your apartment whenever they feel like it and treat you like children in regards to cleaning the apartment and when you are allowed to have friends over. It is in a great location, but it is very hot and noisy especially in the summer because there is no air condition in the apartment and Madrid gets very hot. Also, the internship director that works with the school in Madrid does not speak any English so that poses a problem sometimes with communication. Also, he tried to encourage us to work 40 hours a week even though we were told we would only be working 20 hours a week. Eventually we got everything taken care of but it was surprising that he would tell us to do that.Response from AdelanteThanks for the good details and thank you too for continuing to recommend this established program! I wanted to make sure to address your comments: we have heard from many of our US candidates that they are frustrated with the Spanish habit of entering a housing room or apartment. This seems to be a huge part of the culture - it is "worse" in southern Spain - whereby the thinking seems to be that "if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind if someone comes in." We have tried and tried to remedy this cultural idiosyncrasy or to closer match it to our own cultural expectation about privacy, with some success, but clearly not 100% yet! Please know that it is not mean spirited or in any way trying to catch you off guard, rather a part of the fabric of Spanish society with anyone, student or no. Same goes for building / apartment doormen knowing more about your habits, who is coming to visit, who is leaving and when, etc. than even your roommates know! No a/c is typical in the older, historic downtown center of Madrid which is where we are proud to offer housing - on a walk street, with multiple metros 2 minutes walk away, every kind of shop and cafe also within 1 minute walk, grocery store too, and so much more. In regards to speaking Spanish, in Madrid, our Director speaks English and our Intern Advisor speaks Spanish, by design. It is best to ramp up your language level as fast as possible and this means a policy goal of communication in Spanish, but there is always our Director if you absolutely need, need to speak English! Thank you again for your excellent review:)
Nursing Internship in Madrid01/19/2015How could this program be improved?
A little trouble with the living situation. I was in a 6 bedroom apartment, where I was under the impression that everyone would be an English- speaker. However, I was the only American (which was fine) but only 2 of my roommates spoke English. 2 did not speak English or Spanish. Even with the language barrier, we all got along.
Once in a lifetime experience12/22/2014How could this program be improved?
I think students should be better informed about their housing situations before arriving, as I didn't expect that I would be living with a landlord and we didn't end up getting along - however, Adelante was quick to move me to a much better housing situation. I also definitely think that students should be offered the chance to learn Catalan instead of or in addition to Spanish if they want because it would be very helpful in Barcelona.