8 Hacks For Interning Abroad In Barcelona

8 Hacks For Interning Abroad In Barcelona

8 Hacks For Interning Abroad In Barcelona

We’ve covered some countries with laid back workplaces, but none quite and relaxed as Spain! In Spain, people prioritize a healthy amount of downtime, experiencing life at a significantly slower pace than in other countries. And no better place to get to live this lifestyle, than an internship in Barcelona! The city encourages being creative and innovative and it’s easy to see why. With all of the city’s insane architecture, its stunning beauty, and its integration into nature, you’re sure to have a phenomenal experience. Here’s 8 Hacks for your internship in Barcelona, to help you make the most of your time there.

  • Learn the language 

It should go without saying that it is highly recommended to travel to a foreign country with at least a working knowledge of their language. Not only will it help you navigate around with confidence, but it also displays a respect for the country that locals will love! Not sure how to start? There are tons of options to help you learn the basics of Spanish (or Catalan) such as Duolingo, tiktok videos, tv shows and movies or even a youtube channel that teaches you languages in your sleep! While English is widely spoken and understood in the city, make sure to set yourself up with a working knowledge of Spanish/Catalan either way. Especially in your internship, doing the work before you get to Barcelona, will go a long way to impress your coworkers. 


  • Adapt to the lifestyle

Easily the hack that is the most fun, adapting to the laid back lifestyle of Barcelonians is a great way to get ahead as an intern in Barcelona. While it’s imperative that you display a good work ethic and do the best job you possibly can while at your internship, you also can lean into developing a better work life balance for the rest of your professional life.  Typical working hours are between 9am and 6pm with an extra long lunch break usually from 1:30-3:30. While it depends on the company you work at, in general, Spain has a very relaxed view of time, so no need to rush! Punctuality has a slightly different meaning with the Barcelonians and you may notice a fair amount more flexibility. 

  • Take your siesta!

No need to be a martyr. You are interning in one of the few countries (and cities)  in the world that believes in taking a brief 1 hour nap in the middle of the day. Unique to Spain, taking a siesta may give you the boost you need to participate in a rich social life after your internship. During your long lunch, feel free to go take nap, have a leisurely lunch or chat with fellow interns. The point here is to take time to rest in order to work more optimally during your Barcelona internship.

  • Eat Well

We hardly have to remind you that you will be interning in one of the best food cities on the planet. Make sure to try all of Barcelona’s traditional fares! Paella is a traditional Spanish and seafood rice dish that is an absolute MUST TRY. You’ll be able to find this dish at most restaurants that serve traditional Spanish food! Barcelona is also well known for their Tapas. Tapas are shareable plates that allow you to sample many flavors in one meal. Typically consisting of patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo (garlic and shrimp) pan con tomate to only name a few, this meal will allow you to try various dishes of Barcelona’s best! Immerse yourself in the culture in order to get more out of your experience!

  • Participate in Cafe Con Leche’s

A Cafe Con Leche is a small coffee break typically scattered throughout the work day in Barcelona. These breaks are short, around 15- 20 minutes, and are intended to provide brief moments of relaxation throughout the work day. We highly recommend taking them in order to not only participate in Barcelona’s work culture, but also to bond with your fellow interns/coworkers at your internship. Opening yourself up for socialization will only help you learn more about those you work with and deepen your experience. 

  • Dress for the Occasion

Hot tip! Jeans made in Barcelona are often made of thinner denim than the conventional ones we find in the USA and most of Northern Europe. If you plan to bring jeans, perhaps purchase an affordable pair while in Barcelona, in order to better adapt to the hot weather. For your Barcelona internship, be prepared to dress professionally in the office (depending on your industry). While Barcelonians are notoriously laid back, that doesn’t mean wearing a shirt and flip flops to work! Sticking to classic styles in thin and breathable fabrics is a great starting off point. As always- err on the side of caution and dress slightly more formal than you need to for your first few days of your Barcelona internship until you can tell what is standard dress for your specific company. And of course, always dress modestly while in a work setting. 

  • Be Patient

Not everything is Tapas and siestas! Be patient with yourself as you adjust to an entirely new country, culture, and city. Often, interns can feel very overwhelmed at the beginning of an internship abroad. Allow yourself to experience the new sights and experiences but also provide yourself ample time to relax, unwind, and take a moment to process all that you are learning and trying new. 

  • Make Connections

Barcelonians are known for being deeply warm and friendly people. Embrace their openness and establish connections with those you work with. Not only will they be able to show you around Barcelona on your off hours, but they will also make your internship experience all the more fulfilling! Not to mention, having connections of any kind (even foreign) is an increasingly necessary skill to have in your backpocket. Take your new connections out for some tapas and enjoy your networking event!

While every internship experience is different and it vastly depends on your industry, by following these hacks you are sure to have a successful Barcelona internship. Not only will you try new things but you’ll also enable yourself to work on your professional self while developing your personal self as well. We couldn’t think of a better adventure!


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