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Intern in Barcelona or How I Met My Friends

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Intern in Barcelona or How I Met My Friends

Hey there, fellow adventurers! I'm Ana, and as my time in Barcelona draws to a close, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. Let me take you on a journey down memory lane and share how I ended up right here, typing away at this blog post.

Why Spain?

Studying International Relations and Management has always been interesting, but I knew deep down that the highlight would be those mandatory semesters abroad. And boy, was I right! 

My first adventure took me to the sunny shores of Oahu in Hawaii, where I fell head over heels for life by the ocean and studied at a university for a semester. So the obvious next step was another location at the beach where I could gain some professional experience while enjoying a similar lifestyle. The enchantment of Spanish culture – from the tempting tapas to leisurely walks along the beach, not to mention the cosy cafes at every turn and the endless blue skies – was simply irresistible. 

Plus, after years of learning Spanish, it felt like the perfect moment to dive into the vibrant heart of Catalonia. Though, let me tell you, living in an international bubble hasn't exactly been the best environment for mastering the local language!

The Job Search Abroad

Let's dive into the job hunt – a lengthy but necessary process leading up to one of the most thrilling months of my life. It all began with updating my CV, adding in my latest work experiences and details about my semester abroad. 

Pro tip: bullet-points work wonders for outlining each experience.  

Once the first step was done, I took some time to reflect on what I hoped to gain during my six months abroad. 

During my college semester in Hawaii, I took an HR class which turned out to be my favorite class, captivating me with its psychological and organizational insights. It became clear to me that I needed hands-on experience in that field to determine if it could lead me closer to my dream career. At the same time I was working as a Social Media Manager for a local Organic Spice Company where I had the opportunity to challenge my creativity. 

Caught between the charm of HR and the familiarity of Marketing, I decided to apply for both fields, primarily through LinkedIn. And then, like something out of a dream, Kira from Blu Selection reached out to me with an opportunity as a Marketing and Sourcing Intern – the perfect blend of my interests at the time. It was just meant to be!

After three nerve-wracking rounds of interviews, I nervously picked up the phone to hear the offer, which I promptly accepted. And thus began the apartment hunt. 

Find your dream job abroad!

How Did I Find an Apartment Abroad

With just three weeks until my start date, I needed to move fast. I started by browsing listings on idealista.com to get a sense of average prices for shared apartments. To ensure I wasn't falling into a scam, I opted to go through an agency and stumbled upon ensocoliving.com, a website I can't recommend enough. Their WhatsApp chat feature made communication a breeze. Other reliable options include:

So… How Have I Met My Friends?

My very first friends were found in the kitchen of Blu Selection. Quickly we made plans to go to Bogatell beach and talked about our adventures and bucket lists for exploring Barcelona while soaking up the sun (and maybe a bit too much sunburn). While discussing our favorite things about our temporary home we concluded that the weather is what makes the biggest difference for all of us. Throughout the winter, Barcelona experiences continuous sunshine, unlike the gloomy Germany. You find yourself wanting to spend every day outside since the weather is so inviting. And that's what essentially characterizes the way of life here. Every time of day, you may find people sipping coffee or drinking beer outside, and parks and beaches are dotted with colourful blankets with friends and family enjoying picnics. Barcelona and its surroundings have a lot to offer for explorers like me. My top tip? Grab yourself a T-jove metro and bus card, granting you unrestricted travel across all six zones of Barcelona for ninety days – Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Sitges, Blanes, and all the beach towns in between are yours to explore.

Now, let's talk nightlife – something Barcelona is well known for. From hidden bars disguised as barber shops to open-air parties under the stars and wild nightclubs, this city has it all. Anyone who likes to dance and party will feel like in heaven when visiting Barcelona. A lot of these places offer free entrance through guest lists that can be found on Instagram or Erasmus WhatsApp groups. You will meet tons of international students while waiting to get into the bars of El Born and Gracia.

If you're on the lookout for new friends, there are a few apps worth checking out. “Meetup” offers a range of local events, from dance classes to philosophy debates, often free of charge. Alternatively, there’s “amigos” and “Bumble BFF”.

Now It's Your Turn

To wrap it up, I think everyone should have the experience of living abroad at least once in their lifetime - no matter if it's for work or academic purposes. Being on your own in a foreign country will provide you with soft skills you’d never be able to acquire in your home country and core memories you will have for the rest of your life. Every aspect of personal development accelerates when you're abroad without you even realizing it. 

A little tip for all of you planning a gap year: Now that I got to know the purpose and benefits of a recruitment agency I can only recommend it to you! Blu Selection for example has a lot of Entry-Level jobs perfect for a gap year abroad while working in your native language. The best part? It’s completely free and puts you in front of competitors for the same position since it works like a personal recommendation.

So, don't let fear hold you back! Embrace the adventure – it's truly an experience of a lifetime!

Find your dream job abroad!