I was in Barcelona for 10 weeks in the summer of 2017. While there, I interned for a real estate technology startup called Nested. Nested is an online co-working marketplace that seeks to match unused office space with users who want flexible workspace. My bosses, Tomaso and Jordi, were great guys. I am embarrassed to say that I am not a fluent Spanish speaker and did not improve as much as I thought I might, but that did not stop me from developing great relationships in the office. Everyone was very patient with me and made sure that I understood what I needed to be doing. I worked M-Th, typically from around 10am-6pm, but they were always gracious enough to let me leave early if I needed to (usually to catch a Thursday afternoon flight).
And then there was the out of office experience. I loved my apartment on Career Ample. The program housed all of the guys in the program in three apartments one floor after the next, which was a great way to make friends with everyone. We were close to the beach and public transportation (I had about a 30 minute subway commute to work). Being based in the same city for 10 weeks gave me ample time to explore everything the city had to offer. I can now say with certainty that Barcelona is my favorite city in the world. My biggest tip is that even though you will sometimes be tired, try and do something everyday that you are in Barca. Once you are gone you will wish you can go back!
Barcelona is straight-up amazing, but the "cherry-on-top" of my summer was that I had the opportunity to travel pretty extensively on the weekends. There are great (and cheap, by American standards) direct flights out of the BCN airport, and there was even a week I booked a Thursday flight that Monday for a reasonable price. I ran in the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, hung out on the beaches of Nice and the casinos of Monte Carlo (quick uber ride), explored the charm and quirkiness of Prague, was floored by the natural splendor (and skydiving) in Interlaken, and took in everything that Amsterdam had to offer (c'mon, I'm talking about the Van Gough museum). And even with all of that, I think my favorite weekend was when we stayed in Barca for La Nit de San Joan, where we shot fireworks on the beach with our local friends and partied all night.
Throughout all of this fun and activity, the CIS Abroad team was right there to provide support whenever needed. I had multiple team member phone numbers that I knew I could call, both in case of emergency or if I just had questions. One memory I have of them being a huge help was when I ordered a mattress pad. I'm a pretty big guy and the one in the apartment wasn't cutting it (trust me, there will be something that doesn't work out for you while you're over there, its no biggie). So after about a week, I decided to do something about it and order a bigger one on Amazon.es. However I knew that I couldn't order it to my apartment because it would likely get left on the front step of a very busy street. When I called up CIS they were more than happy to tell me to have it shipped to their office so they could hold it for me. I was able to pick it up after work one day, and (after lugging it through the subway and up my stairs) slept great for the rest of my stay.
If you've actually read this far, and are on the fence about going abroad, let me just give you one final piece of advice: GO!!! My Barcelona internship experience constituted the greatest 10 weeks of my life and condensed many years' worth of experiences and friendships into a summer. If you need proof, I wasn't planning on writing more than a paragraph in this review and look what happened above. The memories are almost literally overwhelming. I will cherish the summer I spent in Barcelona forever!