Enhancing my knowledge and making lifelong friends on an Architecture internship in Spain, with Intern Abroad HQ

Looking for practical skills and knowledge to enhance your career prospects? Rising senior in the field of Interior Architecture and Graphic Design, Gracie Van Laar traveled to Valencia, Spain, to take part in a 4 week Architecture internship, enhancing her industry knowledge and making lifelong friendships and memories along the way. Read on to learn more about Gracie’s experience and her advice on what to expect on a Architecture internship in Spain!

Hi Gracie! What was it like to commence an internship in Spain?

My first week was a dream and the experience almost felt too good to be true! I met some friends and attended a tapas dinner organized by my local team. I got to try some truly amazing food while talking to others on the program. I did a lot of sightseeing around the city, which was so much fun, and felt very welcomed by my host family, who were incredibly sweet and caring. In the first week alone I made so many great memories and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into my remaining time on the program.

Enhancing my knowledge and making lifelong friends on an Architecture internship in Spain, with Intern Abroad HQ

What did your Architecture internship role involve?

My internship role was truly perfect for me. I got to utilize both my graphic design knowledge as well as my interior architect knowledge. I was always very excited to get assigned more tasks so I could stay busy and learn as much as possible! During my 4 week internship I assisted with site visits, created digital renderings and visualizations using software such as SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, and Autodesk Revit, conducted research on latest design trends and materials to enhance project proposals and edited and modified photos for websites in Adobe Photoshop. I have learned a lot of new skills in software that I did not know before.

Enhancing my knowledge and making lifelong friends on an Architecture internship in Spain, with Intern Abroad HQ

What was the collaborative environment like?

I found the Spanish work environment to be really collaborative. I enjoy that we all shared the same desk and got to talk to one another from across the table. My colleagues were not shy to get close! I enjoyed that I did not feel separated from the group, feeling as though I am a part of the team. Back home in the US, I’ve found that offices can often be separated by partitions and individual walls. Here, everyone is very friendly and very close to one another. Although I do enjoy my personal space, I greatly enjoyed being more collaborative with my coworkers. I really appreciated the close-knit atmosphere and how the work that they did was very focused and attentive to not only each other, but their clients.

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How did you find navigating the Spanish language?

While navigating the language barrier was a little difficult, I am very proud of myself for challenging my skills. I can now say that I am able to understand and speak the language much better and more comfortably than when I first arrived. Even having small conversations with those around me helped me learn a lot in a short amount of time.

Overall, it was a welcome challenge, pushing me to fully immerse myself in the language and speak it whenever possible. Sometimes I would misunderstand what tasks needed to be completed and in what ways, but with clarification, patience and support from my colleagues, I easily fixed my mistakes. I always felt comfortable with my placement and to ask them questions if I had any concerns.

Enhancing my knowledge and making lifelong friends on an Architecture internship in Spain, with Intern Abroad HQ

What were your biggest takeaways from the internship?

In a professional sense this internship has shown me how successful I can be at networking and establishing very strong relationships with my colleagues and bosses. This internship opportunity has shown me that I am going to have a very successful career and that I can truly achieve anything that I want to as long as I am myself! I am so thankful for this experience because I have learned a lot more about software thanks to observing and asking questions.

One of the biggest takeaways from this experience has been all of the amazing friends and colleagues I met. I have had so many adventures and memories shared with them and I will treasure that for the rest of my life. I am looking forward to traveling to their home countries to visit them in future!

Enhancing my knowledge and making lifelong friends on an Architecture internship in Spain, with Intern Abroad HQ

What advice would you give to others considering an internship abroad?

Be open to trying new things and challenging yourself. Do not be afraid to ask for help or for more work! Everyone is very kind and all you have to do is communicate with them on what you want. Your supervisor, local team and program manager at Intern Abroad HQ are there to support and guide you. I found that my internship and time in Spain was such a relief and a breath of fresh air from all of my hard work during my past semester in college. Enjoy the ride and take in your surroundings while you can!

Enhancing my knowledge and making lifelong friends on an Architecture internship in Spain, with Intern Abroad HQ

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