Adelante Abroad

Provider

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

  • Amanda
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    California
    University of California- Berkeley
    Summer in Madrid
    07/29/2015

    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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  • Charlie
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Chicago
    University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
    A truly free city
    07/26/2015

    Adelante's coordination of my marketing internship in Barcelona was great. The program followed through on all of its promises, and the support was clearly there if and when I needed it. Luckily, I didn't because Barcelona is such a awesome place. I am so happy I got to call it home for two months. My apartment was a hop, skip, and a jump away from the metro which could take me anywhere in the city. I worked for 4 hours a day, and that time split between work and cultural immersion made life extremely enjoyable. I met so many great people, wherher it was through school, work, the program, or a social setting. More importantly, it was a great time to get to know myself. This program was better than a study abroad expierence because I was truly free. There was nobody that forced me to do anything I didn't want to do, and there was no after-school homework. Many people assume that classes abroad will be a walk in the park, but I met more than a few people who were frustrated with class requirements. Adelante allowed me to bolster my CV in a way that I can be proud to talk about in my next interview. Barcelona itself is phenomenal city. As long as you are aware of whats going on around you, you should be safe. The city offers so many options, from being a beach bum to clubs to museums. The In the summer, it was hot and there was no AC in my apartment, but the draft made it relatively easy to sleep. The new culture provided me with a totally different set of challenges, but I feel I have grown as a person because of it. Adelante provided me with the platform to do just that.

    How could this program be improved?

    I am hard pressed to search for somethings that Adelante could do better, but it is a challenge. This program is catered for the independent, which means that in reality that quality of experience is almost entirely dependent on the individual and his/her outlook on things. With that being said, I would have liked to know what my job was specifically before I paid. Also, I would have liked to talk about the options of work readily available were. I must admit, however, that my job turned out great.

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  • Kinga
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Chicago, Illinois
    University of Notre Dame
    Spanish summer of my dreams
    07/23/2015

    My time in Madrid was wonderful, but what everybody needs to know and what I quickly learned is that your experience abroad depends almost entirely on what you make it. The first two weeks of classes went fine. I was placed in an intermediate class "because I had been taught Latin American Spanish and I could brush up on some basics," but I felt that I didn't learn all that much. The classes were geared towards the people that were there long term, since we spent the whole two weeks going over direct and indirect pronouns during the grammar section. I thought that we would be getting more of an intensive overview of Spanish grammar to remember the main points, but the conversation section was great to learn new vocabulary and get used to speaking Spanish again! After the two weeks of classes, I started out at one company that ended up being a horrible fit, but Adelante quickly helped me to find another placement at IFEMA (Feria de Madrid). It's a huge business, and it was an incredible experience to work at such a big company while still a student. I had a few projects to do, but I also had a lot of downtime where I browsed the internet to kill time. Some of this could probably be attributed to the slower summer season and my short time there, but if I were to re-do my summer I would probably choose something more hands on. I did a lot of Spanish writing, but I feel like I did not get to practice my spoken Spanish as much as I would have liked to. I traveled a little bit since I was on a tight budget, but I definitely want to come back to see more. Madrid is filled with endless shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs, and I tried my best to check out the most popular places and some of the more obscure ones as well.

    How could this program be improved?

    A review of the internship placements to ensure that each one actually has work for the intern to do.

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  • Christin
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    College Station, Texas
    Texas A&M University
    My time
    07/23/2015

    I had an incredible internship placement. I truly enjoyed working and teaching children of all ages English. It was difficult at first because I had kids from ages 3-13 in one class however I learned how to adapt quickly. They say the best way to learn in experience and that is what I got. However my living situation sucked. My landlord did not follow any rules and did as she pleased.

    How could this program be improved?

    Your landlords need background checks

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    Response from Adelante
    07/23/2015
    Christin, we communicated with you throughout the program, and know from your Supervisor, that you were a superstar in your internship - a perfect match! Your housing was such a good apartment , too. The owner told us she would not place another roommate in your apartment when your existing roommates program ended, and she did. While she did ask you if that was ok, she only gave a day or two notice, and we understand that this was difficult. We have reprimanded her and she has confirmed this won't happen in future. Thank you again for taking the time to review your time with us in Seville!
  • Cassie
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Santa Rosa, California
    Spain is Amazing, Adelante didn't have much to do with that.
    07/23/2015

    The overall entire 2 months is Spain was an incredible personal experience for me, I went out and made new friends and was very independent. I could have come to Spain and done this without Adelante, however, I thought I needed to rely on an outside organization, but it turns out the 2 things they provided: housing and school, I could have got on my own without paying them to help me sign up for it all, however them being the "middle man" did help out a lot and reduce a lot of stress I would have had doing it myself. I was looking forward to the excursions through the school but was disappointed to find out three of them were canceled because not enough people signed up. The housing was very very nice, a huge plus and conveniently located, but the school was disappointing. In the 2 weeks I was there, I learned a couple key main lessons and then was off. For ex, we spent a week learning the difference between Por and Para. I wanted a more general review of Spanish to help me boost my speech when I am out alone conversationally. This is a much better school if you are planning on attending from the beginning to end level. When I came, after taking a test, I was put in the middle of a spanish class and their grammar lesson, and was there for 2 weeks while they were on the por/para and other smaller grammar lessons, and then I was out. Didn't learn much at all.

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    Response from Adelante
    07/23/2015
    We are quite confused and feel, to be clear and fair to GoOverseas readers, we must post parts of another Review you left minutes ago about this same program. The Review is quite long, (than you for taking the time to include a picture too) so we are posting the sentences that seem to be in direct conflict with what you write here, almost the exact opposite from one Review to another! : "This was my first trip to Europe. Adelante made my job much easier traveling to Madrid ...setting up my housing, schooling for 2 weeks, and internship...One positive thing I was pleased with through Adelante was the housing. I lived in a great apartment located in an upper-middle class residential area. Adelante also did a good job of staying in touch with me via email and answering any questions I had through out the whole trip beginning to end. Angel (the in country staff and director of Eureka) ... was the guide for the 2 excursions I went on: El Prado Museo, and a bike ride around a large part of Madrid in which he knew his information and had a great attitude. I absolutely loved my time here in Madrid and am sad to be leaving. This is definitely an experience in which you need to be very independent." Simply put, everything you paid for, you received, professionally and on time, with constant communication from Adelante throughout. We are very disappointed in your new take on your program after hearing only, "Everything is great!" from you while in Madrid.
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