We at Internships in Madrid have put together a list of most frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
(click the questions below to reveal the answers)
What is an internship / work experience?
An internship is a personal investment of your time in return for someone else’s expertise. It is an opportunity for you to put into practice your educational knowledge. An internship empowers you to learn, grow and develop.
Do you guarantee an internship?
Yes we do!
Why should I do an internship?
You should do an internship for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is your school or university requires you to undertake an internship. It is also a good opportunity to expose yourself to various sectors before deciding upon which future studies or career you wish to follow. You may also want to put your educational knowledge into practice before entering the job market.
Let’s not forget that this is a fantastic opportunity to have an exposure to a Spanish and international business practices.
How long can I stay?
The minimum stay is 6 weeks and there is no maximum duration, however stays of longer than 6 months are uncommon. The longer you stay the more you learn.
Are all your internships based in Madrid?
Yes, all our internships are based in Madrid. Most of companies are based in Central Madrid
I am from outside the EU, do I need a work permit or visa?
Yes you will need a visa and we can help you with the process. There is a extra fee for a visa sponsorship.
We can offer an internship for all countries listed in our search, you must be min 18 years old and a valid passport from outside the EEA. Internship can be maximum up to 4 months. You will have to have sufficient support funds and pay all fees upfront.
Internship is available only to currently be a full-time degree level student, or a recent graduate (beginning your internship within 12 months of completing your studies).
What is the minimum level of Spanish required?
The minimum recommended level of Spanish you should have is ‘intermediate’ or a level ‘A2’ using the European Self Assessment Grid. You should be able to communicate without difficulty in Spanish on various familiar/everyday situations.
Do you check my host companies before my internship?
We visit all companies before accepting them in the programme. During this visit we do checks to insure that companies are suitable to host an intern and that they fully understand what is being asked from them in terms of training and mentoring.
During your time at the company you will receive various communications from us and we may do an additional follow up with the company, this is a normal procedure.
Will I be paid?
We organise internships that are on voluntary basis and are therefore unpaid. Voluntary internships are designed for developing your current skills, gaining experience and industry exposure. It also fulfils needed training or school and university requirements.
What kind of experience can I expect to receive?
This will depend on many factors such as your level of Spanish, length of stay, objectives and attitude. Depending on your progress the internship will be adjusted accordingly so that you can maximise your potential.
At all times you will have a mentor who will check and adjust your training ensuring continues growth and personal and professional development.
Will the host company want to interview me?
Some companies wish to interview interns as a matter of procedure and maintaining standards. Other companies may have doubts over your level of Spanish or may be keen to discuss your traning programme.
If you are not already in Spain then a telephone-Skype interview will be arranged and normally it will be you who phones the host company for the interview, in the same way you would go to the company’s office for a personal interview.
Will my host company give me a job after the internship?
They are not obliged to do this, however it can happen and typically 10% of all interns are offered permanent contract positions within their host company. If this happens you will be responsible to deal directly with the host company on all issues regarding contracts and payment.
Is it expensive to do an internship?
Surprisingly no! There is one fee per placement no matter how long you stay. Even for the minimum stay of 6 weeks, the cost of an internship is cheaper (per hour) than a language course for the same 6 weeks. Also as there is only one placement fee, a 12 weeks internship will cost the same as a 6 weeks internship (excluding accommodation).
Can I get completion certificate at the end of my internship?
Yes, official certificate are available from Internship In Madrid upon reqest. This certificate will provide you with confirmation of your start date, duration, and host company name. It will not specify which tasks you performed.
If needed you can request a written references letter from your host company they will list some of your daily tasks or give more detail about your internship.
Will my personal details be secure?
Yes, your personal information will not be used for any purposes other than those related to your work experience, school or accommodation. Unless you specifically authorize your details will not even be shared with other interns for friendship purposes. Payment details such as credit card details are not stored in our system.
Accommodation in a host family
What are the advantages?
The advantages are that you will not have to worry about things like food shopping, utility bills, laundry, isolation, security deposits, etc. The families are caring and they will give you an extra support during your stay. You will have a better understanding of Spanish way of life.
What are the disadvantages?
The disadvantages are that you should abide by house rules and as every family is different so are the rules and customs. However most host families will open their home and treat you as an adult, granting you certain freedoms, but it is always important to remember that you are a guest in their house and will not have the same freedom as you would if living in your own rented accommodation.
What is included in the price?
Included in the price is single room accommodation,electricity and gas, hot water, laundry washed once per week (but you must do your own ironing). Depending on your booking breakfast and evening meal may be included. If family has a internet most likely you will be able to use same one free of charge.
What are the rooms like and will I have my own bathroom?
Rooms vary greatly in size and you may have either a single or double bed. Table or desk, chair, wardrobe or similar storage, heating appliance and table lamp are standard. Bed linen is also provided. You will not have your own bathroom and it’s very unlikely that you will have a TV in your room.
How far will I live from my host company?
We endeavor to place you as close to your host company as possible, normally on a direct transport link. Madrid is a very big city and travel times of 45 minutes to 1 hour is normal travel time.
What if my friends/parents/partner want to visit me?
You may ask your host family if they can stay with you but the family are under no obligation to accept. If the family does accept, always offer to pay for the stay as if staying in a guesthouse. Otherwise there are various options for hotels/hostels/guesthouses available in Madrid.
Are there many rules in a host family?
You will need to check with your host family when you arrive what rules they may have in place. Normally you will be granted freedom to come and go as you please, but please remember communication and politeness are the key to a successful stay.
Always ask before taking something which is not normally included in your stay. This will make your stay more comfortable if you can establish good open communication with your host family.
What if I have a special diet or allergies?
When making your booking you will be asked to detail any medical requirements, special dietary needs, or allergies you may have. These will then be passed on to the host family before your arrival so they are aware of your needs.
It will also be helpful if you remind the family when you arrive of any special requirements as host families do generally take interns/students from many different agencies and there is always a chance they may forget about your particular needs.
If I don’t want a host family, what other options do I have?
There are other options available like student apartments to share.
Accommodation in Student Apartment
How many people are there in a flat?
Students’ apartments are usually shared by maximum of 5/6 students.
Do I have to share my room?
Only if you chose a shared room. You will be sharing your room with another student of the same gender. If you prefer to have your own privacy you can opt for a single room.
Will I have my own bathroom?
This won’t be possible, as bathrooms (and kitchen) are always shared.
Do I have to clean the flat?
Yes, you will have to clean your room as well as common areas (kitchen, bathroom…) in your flat when needed, as there is no cleaning service provided.
Are bills included in the rent?
Yes, they are.
What is the average age of students in the apartment?
Not all students staying in the apartments will be on an internship programme. They could be either studying or working. You could be living with 18 years old students as well as 28 years old workers. Therefore student’s apartments are usually preferred by University’s students.
Is there a housekeeper?
Not all apartments have a housekeeper. If you have any problems (light bulbs need to be changed or to run through a few details in your flat…) you need to contact us.
Are bed linen and towels provided?
Bed linen is provided as well as kitchen utensils, but you’ll have to provide your own towels.
Is there a laundry room in the apartments?
Washing machines and laundry room are provided only in some apartments , but you will find many laundromats near your area where you can wash clothes for only a few euros.
What if I have problems with my co-tenants?
Communication and respect are extremely important when living in students’ apartments. You should be tolerant and talk with your flat mates. Should there be any problems, the best thing is to use a rota e.g times for bathroom, cleaning rounds… On your first day if you see things don’t that bother you please contact the housekeeper, the accommodation office or IIM staff.
Will I be able to speak Spanish in the students’ apartments?
Of course you will! Students’ apartments are full of international students, from EU and over, therefore you will need to use Spanish as a common language with them. It could happen that people living with you will be coming from your same country, and so speaking your mother tongue – we cannot control that, it will be your choice to talk with them in Spanish or not!
Is there an Internet connection in students’ apartments?
Not all students’ apartments have an Internet connection. You can buy an USB dongle at any mobile operator and use it on your laptop or visit an Internet cafe which are fairly cheap, (Starbucks, public libraries or buy an Spanish SIM card with an Internet offer to use it on your mobile).
Can I bring my pet in the apartment?
Pets are not allowed in the apartments.
Can my friends/relatives come to visit me?
Sure they can, but guests are not permitted to stay overnight.
Can I book a twin space even if I come alone and not with a friend?
Of course you can, we will assign you a twin space with another person of the same gender. Some people prefer to book a twin space to share with another person, save money and practice Spanish or another language.
What about if I come with a friend or partner and want to book a twin or double room?
If you book with a friend we will assign you a twin room (2 single beds) or a double bed if you are couple.
Is it possible to have a parking place?
Some of our proprieties have a parking space and we can allow you to park your car for free. However, you have to mention that in your booking request and before your arrival in order to get organised.
Which kind of documents do I need to go in Spain?
It depends where you come from. If you are an EU citizen, you will just need to bring your valid National ID. If you come from outside the EU you will need a valid passport. For more info on VISAS check out this link!
Is my driving License valid in Spain? Can I rent a car with my driving license?
If you have a full driving license issued by an EU/EEA member state you can drive in Ireland as long as your existing license is valid. Yes you can rent a car with your foreign driving license, you would need to be at least 23 years old and will also need a credit card, rent a car with Internships in Madrid.
How can I open a bank account in Spain?
Anyone considered as non-resident, can be directed to a bank and apply for opening a present as long as the corresponding non-resident certificate checking account .
To obtain the certificate of residence , you need to go to your consulate or to any office of the Directorate General of Police and the passport itself, apply for a certificate of non-residence ( usually takes about 10-12 days). Once obtained the certificate of residence , and can go to the bank and open an account . non-resident bank account :
Points to note After obtaining the certificate of residence with that document and passport would suffice to open a bank account for non-resident in Spain , although banks can request additional documents such as: Proof of monthly income Bank references their country of origin
What is a training agreement?
A training agreement is basically a document that defines the nature of your internship or placement. It is issued by your current or former university or your educational institution and serves to prove that the internship would be a part of your studies and related to your education. The agreement is signed by the sending institution (university, company or association), the receiving company, and you, the intern. Note that many universities can and will arrange training agreements for their recently (ie a few years ago) graduated students.
Whether you are currently studying or a recent graduate, we require you to be able to get a training agreement from your university or private academic school. Without the training agreement, we unfortunately cannot help you, as Spanish legislation requires the interns to provide one.
WHAT SHOULD A TRAINING AGREEMENT INCLUDE?
The following points are what training agreements usually include, but are not limited to these:
Contact & personal information
University / Sending Institution
Supervisor / international office contact
Educational objectives of the internship
Tasks of intern
Dates of internship
Company / Host organization
Information about the company
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INTERNSHIP
In this area, normally privacy regulations are included, as well as insurances and responsibilities.
Type of placements and Training agreement
There are two kinds of placements in Spain; it is either curricular or extracurricular.
To prove that the internship is to learn, and that it is not uncovered work, this training agreement is needed. It needs to be signed by an educational institution. There are no limitations to what kind of school, which mean they can be public or private (universities, TEFL schools, high schools, etc). The agreement is signed by the sending institution (educational institution), the receiving company, and you, the intern.
ARE YOU DOING A CURRICULAR OR EXTRA-CURRICULAR INTERNSHIP?
Curricular: Providing ECTS credits and being recognized in the title of the student after the bachelor has been completed.
Extracurricular: Those are ones, that are done in a volunteer way, that may be related to any kind of education or not, but reinforces the learning of the student in one or another way.
During every placement in which you work, you will have a learning result. Therefore a learning outcome is given, which means universities can sign this document.
Visa rules and regulations
Following information will clarify the procedure of obtaining a student VISA and other required documents when going abroad. Visa requirements can be different from consulate to consulate; therefore it is necessary to read further information which will help you to obtain the required documents. Please, check the closest spanish embassy or cconsulate to your home address.
These are the visa requirements
1. National Visa Application form, completed and signed.
2. Two recent pictures, passport size pictures (white background) glued to the application forms.
3. Passport valid for a minimum of six months and at least two empty pages.
4. Training agreement including: name of the program, duration (starting date and ending of the program), school’s address, the name and phone number of the person to contact at the school in Spain and hours of study per week (20 at least).
5. Information about the study program.
6. Proof of health insurance coverage during your stay in Spain, for urgent medical expenses and repatriation due to accident or sudden illness. Minimun coverages $50,000 with no deductible (confirmation of coverage).
7. Visa Fee, payable with MONEY ORDER to the order of “CONSULATE GENERAL OF SPAIN”.
Just required ocassionally:
8. Proof of means of support in the form of:
• If you go with an international program, present a letter from the study-abroad program assuming full financial responsibility for tuition, room and board for the student during his/her stay in Spain
• Bank statements showing sufficient means of support to cover all the expenses in Spain
• Notarized letter from parents assuming full financial responsibility for the student during the entire stay in Spain. Attach copy of the parent’s ID, bank statement and birth certificate of the student.
• Proof of having received financial aid or scholarship covering expenses for tuition, room, board, and personal expenses during the stay in Spain.
9. Proof of accomodation in the form of:
• Notarized invitation issued in Spain from a Spanish national or a Spanish legal permanent resident in Spain.
• Letter from the study-adroad program especifying the address where the student will be staying.
10. Local Health Certificate with letterhead, stamp, and signature of the Doctor translated into Spanish.
Effective immediately, June 2009, health certificates submitted to this office must verify that applicant/patient is free of any illnesses that could have serious repercussions to public health and that could easily spread internationally.
The first list includes smallpox, poliomyelitis by wild poliovirus, the human influenza caused by a new subtype of virus and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The second list includes cholera, pneumonic plague, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g.: Ebola, Lassa, Marburg), West Nile Virus and other illnesses of special importance nationally or regionally (e.g.: Dengue Fever, Rift Valley Fever and meningococcal disease).
11. Original certificate of good conduct (police clearance) issued by the US Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Required only for applicant 18 years and older.
12. Proof of sufficient financial support: bank statements, investments and any other source of income.
13. Proof of accommodation (to show an address in Spain).
Remember to check the closest embassy / consulate in order to know which documents you will need.
Are there any restrictions on who can apply?
If you are an EU citizen you do not need a student visa. If you are not:
- Unpaid internship/volunteer: Some countries may not have the need to apply for a tourist visa to enter into Spain so entering into Spain withoutVISA may be possible. But, as you are coming as student, you should always apply for a student visa and this is our reccommendation. Please, check in your consulate, countries like The USA do not need to apply for volunteer work but this is an exception.
- List of countries that DO NOT need a VISA for unpaid internship/volunteer: ANDORRA | ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA | ARGENTINA | AUSTRALI | BAHAMAS | BARBADOS | BRASIL | BRUNEI | COLOMBIA | DARUSSALAM | CANADA | CHILE | SOUTH KOREA | COSTA RICA | EL SALVADOR | USA | GUATEMALA | HONDURAS | ISRAEL | JAPAN | MALAYSIA | MAURICE | MEXICO | MONACO | NICARAGUA | NEW ZEALAND | PANAMA | PARAGUAY | SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS | SAN MARINO | VATICAN CITY | SEYCHELLES | SINGAPORE | URUGUAY | VENEZUELA | Región Administrativa Especial de HONG-KONG (República Popular de China) | Región Administrativa Especial de MACAO (República Popular de China)
- Paid internship: If the position is paid or your stay you always need a STUDENT VISA.
Students that need a VISA can find their consulate’s website by clicking on following link: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/ServiciosAlCiudadano/Paginas/EmbajadasConsulados.aspx
How to get your NIE (Número de Identificación de extranjeros) in Spain?
NIE number is the foreigner identification number that will allow you to work, study or interact with the spanish administration.
This document is only valid if you have also your passport or national ID with you, therefore, do not forget to have all those together.
In the case of students coming to make an internship, Spanish legislation obbligates you to get a NIE, to be registered in your city.
In practice, students normally make it if they have a paid placement (as they will need the NIE number to get social security), if you will be longer than 3 months or if you are a non-eu student, for visa purposes. Though this is an usual practice, please, do not forget that you SHOULD always get a NIE number, and this is our reccommedation.
So, how to apply for a NIE number?
First of all, you have to know is that you will always have to fill in and prepare the following documents:
- standard form-application (EX-15), duly completed and signed by the foreigner.
- Original and copy of the passport or identity card, or travel document or registration certificate in force.
- Communication of economic, professional or social causes that justify the request (training agreement for your internship!)
- When requested by a representative, it shall certify to have enough power stating expressly that empowers him to make such a request.
Once that you have this documents prepared, depending on your deadlines you can choose:
1) If you expect to arrive to Spain in few months and you are not in a hurry to get your NIE number (also if you apply for a student visa) you can apply for it in any diplomatic representation or Spanish consular offices located in the country of residence of the applicant, corresponding to their area of residence. You may have to pay some taxes, though costs are not high. For non-eu citizens it is mandatory to make it the spanish consulate/embassy before coming.
2) If you want to make it once you arrive, make sure to book your appointment if you are going to a big city. If you are going to a village or smaller city, you may make it directly in Comisaria, in the foreigners area or “extranjeros”. If you want to check if you can book an appointment online, please follow the procedure:
For EU-citizens: You will need to book an appointment online one month before your arrival, approximately, so that you can have the appointment as soon as your arrive and have it before starting the placement.
In the following link you can book your appointment:
You just have to select the city you will be living and after that introduce your personal information. The option you have to select is “certificado UE”. If there is not “Certificados UE” it means that you can not book your appointment online and you will have to queu in the police station as son as you arrive.
For non-eu citizens: You will need to make it directly in the police station, once you arrive or apply in your home country in the spanish embassy or consulate while you get the student visa.
Remember, getting your NIE numbers is always reccommended and mandatory if you will make a paid placement.
Getting social security number
If your placement is paid or you receive some kind of remuneration, you will need to have your NIE and a social security number to have access to spanish health system and other benefits.
This is something important and you should have it in the first days of your placement, or even earlier. To obtain it is easy. Just locate the closest social security office to your new address (ie type in google maps: seguridad social close to gracia). Go early in the morning, take a ticket and ask to get your social security number. They will not speak english in 99% of the cases, so if you can not speak a word of spanish I reccommend you to take in a paper written “Necesito número de la seguridad social”. Then, they will make it for you.
They will ask you:
- Training agreement
- Rental contract (optional)
Once you get your number, give it to your company and they will take care of the rest.
What type of clothing should I pack?
In Spain, people dress differently according to the season, the place they are going to, and the circumstances. In the coast, because of the mild climate, it is usually not necessary to pack warm clothes; while in the interior, you should dress according to the season. In the interior of Spain, temperatures vary greatly from one season to the next, with very cold winters, and really hot summers. Spanish people don’t dress up too much to go out, although of course, it depends on where you are going.
What is the weather like in Spain?
Spain, one of the warmest countries in Europe:
Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. Here you can enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It is no surprise, then, that this is one of the warmest parts of Europe.
Madrid average annual temperature is 19.4 °C (66.9 °F) during the day and 9.7 °C (49.5 °F) at night. In the coldest month – January, typically the temperature ranges from 5 to 15 °C (41 to 59 °F) during the day and −2 to 6 °C (28 to 43 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August, the typical temperature is around 31 °C (88 °F) during the day and about 19 °C (66 °F) at night