Where is the center of culture, arts, and business in Spain? Surprisingly, neither Madrid nor Barcelona shall be the answer, but rather Seville, the capital and largest city of the autonomous region of Andalucia. As a location filled with rich history and the beauty of the Baroque era, Seville is the fourth largest city in Spain, and is elegantly situated beside the River Guadalquivir in the southern part of Spain. An internship in Seville is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Spanish culture and work in sectors such as tourism, research, and culture, while also having the chance to enjoy one of the most historic and vibrant cities in Spain.
Art: With so many museums, variety of historical architecture, and wide-scale festivals, there is a multitude of ways to find an internship in Seville in the arts! Some intern in art exhibits and promote modern pieces with the Spanish public, while others work in architecture studios. In Seville, art and culture are inseparable. Make sure to go to as many cultural events as possible, whether it’s going sightseeing in a museum other than your own, or participating in festivals that will enhance both your internship perspective and your experience. The Semana Santa and the Feria de Abril are two such festivals that are must-sees in Seville.
Business: Although Seville is not as well known as either Barcelona or Madrid, it doesn’t lose out on experience or opportunity. There are quite a few marketing, business development, and social media positions that are available for those who can find them, and there are quite a few agencies that can help you there! These opportunities include carrying out market research, analyzing customer needs, making strategic decisions, connecting with clients, and working in areas of accounting.
Tourism: Due to Seville’s vibrant culture and the variety of places that this city has to offer, tourism is one of the most crucial sectors in Seville’s economy. This also means that there are many opportunities interns can pursue! Tourism contains many important aspects of business, including event planning, sales and marketing, customer service, and more. This includes being a part of travel agencies and other companies that look at the international community to promote Spanish values as well as working with logistics, marketing, and planning. In this area, English is the primary language of communication; however make sure to practice your Spanish as best you can!
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to look for an Internship
Due to Spain’s relatively high unemployment rate, it will be difficult to find an internship in Seville, but it’s not impossible! Using an internship placement agency is a good idea for those who do not have an advanced level of Spanish and have never been to Spain before. Most agencies will take care of housing, airport transportation, and visas. However, it is still possible to use traditional methods of searching, including the Internet and email.
Internships in Seville are year-round, but beware of the weather in the summer months! June, July, and August can be very humid and hot. Some internships in Seville last a couple months, while others can span to a full year, and you can choose on such length depending on what you want. Summer internships, for instance, last from around one month to three, and can be extended depending on the program. All programs are suitable for just about any time: it just depends on how much time you are willing to put into it; remember that the longer the internship, the longer you will have to understand more of Seville’s rich culture, history, and lifestyle.
Cost of Living in Seville
Living in Seville is definitely cheaper than living in big cities such as Barcelona or Madrid. Cost of living per month in Seville is around $1200-$1700 (900-1300 euros), this number includes transportation, apartment rent, and meals. Apartments are more affordable than living in a big city such as San Francisco, and there is also great public transportation that will cut taxi costs. Food, however, is generally pretty expensive and thus is something to be wary of. However, some popular ways of working on the side are teaching English or working in a tourist-related industry.
- Apartment rent cost (1 bedroom): $530-$800
- Transportation: $33-$45 for monthly pass or $1.50-$2 for a one-way ticket
- Food: meals can get as cheap as $11 and as expensive as $40-$65; while the price of a water bottle is around $1.30-$1.50
Sevillanos (or Hispalenses) are friendly people and welcoming to foreigners. When greeting, a firm handshake is necessary, and sometimes Sevillanos will exchange two kisses, but this is more common in social situations. Spaniards are touchier than most, but this is only a sign of friendship and nothing more. Do not make physical contact with a Spaniard that you don’t know very well, unless they do so first. Avoid making any political or religious comments, as some Sevillanos are very conservative on this issue and it’s best to steer away from this completely. For more etiquette tips, check out Kwintessential!
Appearance is very important in Seville (as well as the rest of Spain), so prepare to dress elegantly, but follow what your other co-workers wear. In regards to meetings, do not be surprised if the meeting begins late and starts with small talk. Spaniards like to get to know each other first before starting the agenda, and it’s also common for workers to interrupt each other. Meetings are also made for an exchange of ideas, not decisions, so it’s important to listen closely.
Although the official tongue in Spain is Spanish (otherwise known as Castilian), some Sevillanos speak and understand other languages such as English, French, and German. While some industries prefer for you to speak English (such as in tourism or hotel management), being able to practice and use your Spanish is also important! After all, why would you go to another country to speak English?
For Spaniards, it is very important to grow in both business and personal relationships, and thus networking is an important aspect in business development. They also prefer to do business with people they trust very deeply, so it is important to stay connected and get to know them. Once they can trust you, your relationship with them will stay strong, even when you’re no longer working in the same company.
Work and Labor laws
Most internships in Spain are unpaid, however people who have unpaid internships qualify for student or tourist visas.
In terms of paid internships, it can be difficult if you are not from a country that is part of the European Union. If you’re from a non-EU member country, and are interested in a paid internship, you must apply to get a work permit.