Posted By: Rachel Arp
Date: March 12th, 2018
This semester, I have the amazing opportunity to participate in an internship at the Institute of Language and Culture at UNAV. Having an internship abroad has helped me exponentially in practicing my Spanish and becoming more acquainted with working in a business. One of the best ways I’ve been able to practice my language skills has been through my internship. Not only have I been able to speak with native speakers, I’ve also gotten practice sending emails, editing flyers, and other various tasks all in Spanish. While it may sound intimidating to do all of these things in a language that you’re still learning, it actually ends up teaching you much more than you would expect. You also realize that it’s okay to make mistakes, because it helps you to learn what to do differently and avoid making that mistake again.
One of my favorite parts of my internship is getting to meet new people and make new friends. I work with another intern, Sarah, and we quickly became close friends. We spend our whole day laughing and having fun, while taking our job seriously at the same time. We have also gotten very close with our director Ares, who constantly teaches us new things such as the do’s and don’ts of Spanish culture. Every day we do something different, which often times involves us working with different people. We’ve made friends in unexpected places, from the receptionists in our building to the graduate professors in ILCE. We’ve been able to meet people that, without our internship, we probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.
Another huge benefit of having an internship abroad is job experience. Before this semester, I have only had part-time jobs where I didn’t gain much business experience. For example, I worked in a coffee shop for two years, and I also worked at the front desk of my residence hall. While I still gained valuable work experience, the internship that I am participating in is very much related to my future career choice. I’ve worked on Excel sheets, sent emails, edited documents, and made changes to the ILCE website, to name a few. The wide variety of activities that I’ve done will be very useful in future interviews and workplaces.
Overall, my internship has been one of my favorite parts of study abroad. I’ve made new friends, improved my Spanish, and learned so many new things. I couldn’t be more happy with my choice to do an internship abroad, and it has surpassed all expectations that I had before coming to Spain. My biggest advice for everyone is that if you get the chance to do an internship abroad, go for it! I firmly believe that it will change your life the way it changed mine.