Internships in Spain: Everything You Need to Know

4/12/2023 5:39 PM
15 min read

The Spanish Internship Handbook

Have you ever dreamed of studying or working in Spain? Well, you're not alone! Spain is a top tourist destination for a reason, and many foreign students see it as the perfect place to study abroad and kickstart their careers. But have you considered doing an internship in Spain? It's a fantastic way to not only boost your professional development but also have a unique cultural experience that goes beyond what any program can offer. With its vibrant atmosphere and abundant educational opportunities, Spain is a place you won't want to miss out on!

Types of internships in Spain 

Remunerada internships: as the name suggests, offer a salary to the intern. Paid internships in Spain for English speakers and locals are highly sought after by students, as they offer financial compensation along with valuable work experience. The salary for such internships varies depending on the industry, company, and position. “Remunerada” internships in Spain are regulated by labor laws, which ensure that interns receive a minimum wage of 950 euros per month.

No remunerada internships: They do not offer a salary to the intern. These internships are usually offered by smaller companies, startups, or non-profit organizations that do not have the resources to pay their interns. No-remunerada internships can still provide students with valuable experience and are a great way to gain exposure to a particular industry or field.

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It is important to note that Spanish labor law regulates both types of internships. The law stipulates that internships must be an extension of a student's education and provide them with valuable work experience. Therefore, the tasks assigned to interns must be relevant to their field of study, and they must receive guidance and supervision from a mentor.

How to get an internship in Spain

You need to consider several factors when applying for your preferred internship. To increase your chances of finding a suitable internship abroad in Spain, it is recommended that you apply to multiple companies. When searching for internships in different parts of Spain, it's essential to understand the details of the offer and whether it matches your preferences.

Here are some of the most effective ways to find an internship in Spain:

1. Networking: This can simplify the daunting task of finding an internship. Don't underestimate anyone you know, and seek their help to find the perfect opportunity. Friends, family, colleagues, and professors may know someone who can at least offer an interview at their workplace.

2. Casual Applications: Even if they aren't actively seeking interns, sending casual applications to businesses in your industry is an excellent approach to finding one.

3. Communicate with your University: As a student, you can apply for university-related internships offered by the university or various partnerships between universities and organizations. The Erasmus program, a non-profit international student organization, offers internships in most universities in Spain. You can also check for internship opportunities.

4. Social media and Online organizations: LinkedIn is a popular social networking website for professionals and students searching for jobs and internships. Spanish-language online organizations like Primer Empleo and Internship Makers can help you find offers. Fundación Universidad/Empresa (FUE) is also a useful agency for interns. StudiesIn has an internship program that will help you navigate all your internship options in Spain and Europe. Don't hesitate to contact us for more information. 

Best places to look for internships in Spain

Spain is a country full of diverse opportunities for internships. The country boasts a rich culture and history, as well as a thriving economy, which makes it an attractive destination for international students and young professionals looking to gain valuable work experience.

When it comes to choosing the best city and industry for your internship in Spain, there are several options to consider. Some of the top cities for internships in Spain include Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Granada. Each of these cities offers a unique cultural experience and a variety of industries to choose from.

  • Madrid, as the capital of Spain, is a popular choice for internships in the fields of finance, law, and politics. 
  • Barcelona, on the other hand, is known for its creative industries such as fashion, design, and advertising. 
  • Valencia, with its thriving tourism industry, is an excellent choice for internships in hospitality and tourism management. 
  • Seville is renowned for its architecture, art, and history, making it an ideal destination for internships in art history, conservation, and restoration.
  • Granada, with its rich cultural heritage and vibrant student life, is perfect for internships in education, culture, and international relations.

Spain is a popular destination for international students seeking to expand their academic and professional horizons through internships. With a vibrant economy and diverse industries, Spain offers a variety of exciting internship opportunities in various fields. Here are some of the most popular areas for internships in Spain:

Most popular internship fields in Spain:

  • Architecture: Spain is renowned for its unique and innovative architectural designs, making it an ideal destination for architecture internships. Interns can work on projects ranging from historic preservation to cutting-edge modern designs.
  • Business: Spain is home to many multinational companies, offering a dynamic entrepreneurial environment that attracts students seeking business internships. Interns gain valuable experience in areas such as finance, marketing, and management.
  • Engineering: Spain's engineering industry is rapidly growing, with many opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in areas such as renewable energy and infrastructure development.
  • Fashion: Spain is a fashion capital of the world, offering numerous opportunities for fashion internships. Interns can work with renowned designers, attend fashion shows, and gain valuable experience in fashion marketing and production.
  • Marketing: With the rise of digital marketing and social media, marketing internships in Spain have become increasingly popular. Interns gain valuable experience in branding, advertising, and social media strategy.
  • Medical: Spain offers valuable medical internships, providing students with hands-on experience in clinical settings and research.
  • Psychology: Psychology internships in Spain provide students with valuable insights into human behavior and mental health. Interns can gain experience in areas such as clinical psychology and research.

How to apply for an internship in Spain

Applying for an internship in Spain, or really anywhere, can be tedious and time-consuming. However, if you have already selected where you wish to apply and understand the necessary requirements, following a simple step-by-step guide is all that is left to do:

1. Enroll in an educational institution. Any company or organization in Spain requires students to be enrolled in school before they may apply for an internship. This is due to the fact that internships are typically required under the university's curriculum.

2. Obtain approval  from both the school and the company. To legalize the internship, you will need the approval from both the school and the company that will be hiring you temporarily. This legal document is generally known as a "Learning Agreement," and it allows the student to complete the application procedures. All three parties, including yourself, must sign the agreement before the program begins.

3. Obtain your legal documentation in order:

  • Student visa or NIE: International students applying for paid internships in Spain are required to obtain a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero). The NIE is a document that allows both EU and non-EU citizens to receive approval for internships. Students without an NIE cannot obtain a Social Security code
  • Social Security code. The Social Security number is essential for students who are participating in paid internships without this you cannot  receive a salary. The company that hires the intern is also responsible for including the intern in the company's Social Security package. You may obtain the Número de Afiliación a la Seguridad Social at the Social Security Office.
  • Purchase a valid insurance policy. The final step is to obtain a valid insurance policy, most of the time the school or university in which you are enrolled will obtain it for you, If they do not you must obtain an insurance policy individually.

Most frequent questions before applying for an internship in Spain

1. Do I have to speak the language?

As Spanish is the official language of Spain, it is almost certain that companies offering internships will require candidates who are fluent in the language. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a scale widely used in Europe, including Spain, to evaluate language proficiency. This scale ranges from A1 to C2, with C2 being the highest level of fluency.

Participating in Spanish internship programs will provide valuable preparation for the work environment in Spain, where Spanish is the primary language. These programs offer a unique opportunity to develop professional skills that can prove beneficial in future career pursuits. Additionally, interns will have ample opportunities to practice and improve their Spanish communication skills, which can be a valuable asset in the job market.

However, internship opportunities in Spain for international students are plentiful and diverse, so there's no need for English-speaking interns to feel intimidated. Spain is home to many international companies and organizations that are eager to hire interns from all around the world, making it a great destination for anyone seeking to gain valuable work experience.

2. How long do Internships in Spain last?

The duration of internships in Spain can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of internship, the industry, and the company. Generally, internships in Spain last from a few weeks to several months, with most internships lasting between 3 and 6 months. However, some internships can be shorter or longer depending on the program or the company's requirements.

It's essential to check with the specific internship program or company to determine the expected length of the internship. Additionally, the duration of an internship in Spain may also depend on the academic program or institution that the intern is affiliated with, as some academic programs require a specific minimum duration for internships.

3. Do I need a Visa to apply for an internship in Spain?

If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to apply for a visa to undertake an internship in Spain. The type of visa you need will depend on the duration of your internship. If your internship is less than 90 days, you will need to apply for a short-stay “Schengen visa." If your internship is longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa.

It is important to note that the visa application process can be lengthy, so it is recommended that you apply well in advance of your planned internship start date.

To sum up, studying in Spain can be an incredibly rewarding experience, offering you the opportunity to learn a new language, meet new people, and explore a fascinating culture. Whether you choose to study in Madrid, Barcelona, or another vibrant Spanish city, you're sure to have an unforgettable time. And if you're looking for ways to enhance your academic and professional journeys, consider exploring internships in Spain summer, winter, or any other season. These internships offer a unique opportunity to gain valuable work experience while immersing yourself in the local culture and expanding your network. So, what are you waiting for?

Start planning your Spanish adventure today!

I spent a fall semester in Valencia

Finding the Valencia program was fate. I still feel like it's a rare, undiscovered secret that only I was privileged enough to explore and call home. It fulfilled a combination of desires for me. I knew I wanted to learn Spanish, and had boiled it down to Spain because unlike South or Central America, I'd have access to traveling throughout Europe and North Africa.

From there, I realized I wanted a city of a decent size. Madrid and Barcelona were the other two Spanish cities for which programs were offered. I'd been to Madrid and enjoyed it very much, but I didn't like that it was so far inland. I heard Barcelona was amazing, but its main language was Catalan.

Then I came across Valencia, Spain's third largest city, located east on the Mediterranean coast. With about 800,000 people, it was an ideal size for being able to experience that large metropolitan vibe while still being able to run into familiar neighborhood faces. Valencia is also the birthplace of paella, and boasted some of Spain's best cuisine (in my humble opinion)

I knew I wanted to learn Spanish

The littoral outlet for well-heeled Deià, a village that has been home to Mick Jagger, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Branson and poet Robert Graves who is buried there, Cala Deià may be small (200m wide), far from sandy beaches but the water is crystal clear, the rocky outcrops imposing and the atmosphere convivial.

A mixture between the fresh caught seafood from the adjacent sea and the best rice dishes, as well as the sweet delectables like buñuelos and the sugary almond treat turron.

But dessert for me tended to be fruit, as I took advantage of the region's  incredible bounty (the Valencia orange being one of the most delicious fruits I've ever had -- that perfect balance between sweetness and citrus acidity).

My plans for the near future

As of now, I am set to graduate in June from CUNY Hunter College with a bachelor's degree in Media Studies. I've already made plans, while not yet fully developed, to take some time off after undergrad and return to Spain.

I am going to try and find a job or internship somewhere in the vast field of media. My mind's run agog with possibilities: finding a job or internship, teaching English, or even enrolling in a Spanish university for graduate school. In a perfect world, I would be a foreign correspondent based in Madrid for The New York Times.  favourite beach, Cala Deià, can be found here, one of the most bewitching inlets on Mallorca’s entire coastline with the clientele to match.



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Do I need a high level of Spanish to study at a Spanish university?

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Yes, in most universities you will have to take a test to confirm your linguistic ability. Universities may also consider the student's résumé to verify your ability.

Do I have to speak Spanish to live in Spain?

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No, most cities in Spain are very international. Barcelona, for example, is a very cosmopolitan city and over 52% of the local residents speak English, which makes it very easy for you to fulfill your everyday needs in English. We do, however, offer Spanish courses for beginners or advanced students if you wish to learn the language – your cultural immersion will be more insightful speaking the local language.

Is a Spanish University degree accredited  in my home country?

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Most public and private Universities in Spain provide a globally accredited degree. To ensure it is valid in your country you will need to request information about the specific University/School where you intend to study.

Can I study in Spain completely in English?

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Yes, there are many study options in English for Bachelor,Master/MBA or PhD in Spain. Alternatively there are bilingual courses in English and Spanish available, if you want to learnSpanish while you are here.

What are the costs of living in Spain?

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Highly depends on the city. On average you can calculate with a monthly budget of 500€-1000€ which covers:
- Accommodation: the price ranges depending on which kind of accommodation you are looking for, rooms in shared apartments(200-600€), studio flats (400-1000€), student residency (400-1000€)or entire flats (600-1300€).
- Food & Transportation: Monthly average is (100-400€) which covers groceries, public transportation and restaurants.
- Medical insurance: 50€/month (incl. Dental).


Study in Spain



Written by

Ryan Rosser

Master’s program, 2021

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