3 Reasons Why You Should Intern In Barcelona
Relocating to Barcelona was one of the best decisions of my life.
For any hospitality student, your internship is the highlight of your degree. Fortunately, at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, I have 2 six month internships that are integrated into my 4 year course. I was born as an expat who has lived in 6 countries, so travelling and exploring the world runs in my blood and I knew exactly where I planned to go on my first internship. Many students worry about their internships, after all, having to uproot your life and move to a new city is no easy task. However, packing up my suitcases and relocating to Barcelona was one of the best decisions of my life.
Settling in has never been so easy
Barcelona is the easiest city I have ever had to settle down in, because everything is so convenient! As an expat who has lived in 6 countries over 19 years, I have definitely had my very fair share of settling down, moving around and exploring the unknown.
The best thing about Barcelona is the big city experience in a smaller package. The bus and metro system runs regularly, taxis are readily available and transportation costs are much lower than other areas of Europe. This was a huge plus for me, when I had to be at work at 5am, the last thing I needed was an unreliable public transport and have to flail my arms to grab the attention of a speeding taxi. Locals are so incredibly friendly, even if they don’t speak English they will patiently wait for you to furiously Google Translate Spanish phrases, or pull up your map to ask for directions. The whole city is alive and filled with friendly, smiling people to welcome you to your new home. Before you know it, navigating around Barcelona becomes instinct and you learn how to be independent, managing your own work schedule and functioning like an actual adult.
You can actually survive in Barcelona on a student budget
As a student, I’m sure at some point you’ve been like me, scraping coins out of the bottom of your bag to pay for something. As a Swiss student struggling to cope with the high costs of living, I am sure I tend to be in this scenario more than others. I was very pleasantly surprised when I started living in Barcelona. By going to the right places, you can get tasty, local food for an affordable price. Restaurants are fashionable and innovative, a little like a tiny NYC, but less expensive. My favourite places include Eyescream and Friends and Maka Maka, they both have incredible food and are walking distance from the beach. Nightlife is also affordable, or even free with workplace benefits (thanks to my employee card!) with parties going on until 5am, hidden speakeasy’s in the most unsuspecting places and frequent festivals such as “Brunch in the Park” or the annual “Holi Festival” where people from around Barcelona all come together to enjoy music, food and to enjoy new company! Every day that I was free, I always found something to do, whether it was strolling around the old city or bathing at the beach. However, despite all of my lavish activities, I was always flooded with relief when I checked my bank account at the end of every month to find that there was still money inside. I had the best of both worlds, eating well, enjoying events, exploring the city and partying hard, with money to spare!
Stunningly interesting historical landmarks
Usually, I am not the type of person to visit museums nor do I have a particularly developed interest in visiting historical landmarks. However, I will admit that Barcelona did restore some of my interest in art. Barcelona was the home of Antoni Gaudi an architect who has left a significant number of buildings around Barcelona. I was instructed by my coworkers to visit Casa Batillo and Sagrada Familia, with the promise that I would be highly impressed. I begrudgingly agreed and they were completely right. Exploring Gaudi’s houses are not like wandering around a museum staring at museum paintings, you are able to admire and personally experience each and every detail and personal touch that Gaudi incorporated into his buildings. From hiking up to the towers in Sagrada Familia, watching the light filter through the stained glass windows, to staring up at the swirling ceilings in the rooms at Casa Batillo, I was genuinely stunned and (for once) speechless that the cathedral that I passed every day was far more beautiful on the inside than I thought possible. Barcelona has a beautiful and rich history, that even the most disinterested museum goer would find interesting!
For anyone looking for an internship, I could not recommend Barcelona enough. With blue skies, affordable living, beautiful culture and an irreplaceable energy, Barcelona is the place to be for any student.