As a real Spain enthuasiast it was not a difficult choice for Joey. The country of hot summers, the mediterranean climate and the relaxed atmosphere seemed something he could get used to. He packed his suitcase and went out on an adventure. We asked him about his internship experiences.
Find out more about Joey’s experiences in Valencia
Joey, 24 years old is currently doing his graduation internship in Valencia at a startup in the port of Valencia. In his spare-time he enjoys the city and he is also following a Spanish language course.
How did you get the idea to go abroad?
First of all, Spain has always been my number one holiday destination. I have been there so many times with friends and family that I don’t have to think twice about going to Spain. After I did a minor Spanish Language and Culture in Madrid for the last six months, I actually started to love Spain even more. That’s why I wanted to do my graduation internship in Spain as wel. It really feels like home now.
Why did you choose Valencia?
After I did a minor in Madrid, I traveled through Spain for a month. When visiting Valencia I really liked the city. It has a beautiful old centre, a lot of culture and a great nightlife. And important for me: the beach. It still is an authentic Spanish city, something which I do not like about Barcelona for example. Moreover, Valencia is large and prosperous enough to find my graduation internship.
What are you doing in Valencia?
I do my graduation internship for a startup in the port of Valencia, four days a week. Within the company I keep myself busy with optimizing their virtual simulator.
How did you find an internship? How did the preparation go?
At first I started my search by sending e-mails to a number of companies. Soon I found out that the companies either do not respond or do not have enough place for a graduate intern. When searching, I found the website stageinspanje.nl. I contacted them and after a number of conversations they started looking for me, which was ideal. After I found my internship, I had to arrange a lot of things for my university. There was quite some time in it, but in the end it was all well arranged.
Are you doing things next to your internship?
Besides my internship I have one day a week, four hours of Spanish classes at a school in the centre of Valencia.
Could you already speak a little bit Spanish?
A few years ago I lived with my uncle for two and a half months in San Pedro the Alcántra, nearby Marbella. There I followed a Spanish language course for ten weeks, twenty hours per week. Additionally I did a minor Spanish and Culture for four months in Madrid. My level is somewhere between B1 and B2.
What are the main benefits for you to learn Spanish in the country itself?
The main advantage is that you will use the language in everyday life. Everyone around you speaks Spanish, so you have to. You also get used to the fact that Spaniards often speak quickly and unclearly. In addition, you also get to know the culture a lot more and you will learn words and phrases that you certainly do not learn in a grammar lesson in the Netherlands.
Did you had to arrange everything yourself? How did you finance your trip?
Stageinspanje.nl has not only found the internship for me, but they also helped me with a number of practical matters. They also arranged a room for me and they picked me up from the airport. All the other things I arranged myself. An airline ticket from the Netherlands does not have to be expensive, if you book it well on time. The student-loan and the Erasmus scholarship helped me fund the expenses.
What are your monthly expenses?
That can vary a lot. I pay €390 for the rent. Furthermore, almost everything here is cheaper if you compare it with The Netherlands, except for the nightclubs.
Are there any things you cannot miss when visiting Valencia?
Valencia has quite a lot to offer. There are a lot of cultural things to do, like la Ciudad de Las Artes y Ciencias with the aquarium Oceanográfic, a beautiful old centre with churches, museums, indoor markets (Mercado Central), beautiful squares, small streets and cozy bars. For example I would recommend a bike tour through the Turia river and of course a visit to the beach and the harbour. I would definitely recommend eating paella when visiting Valencia, but above all enjoy the Spanish culture and the life.
Why is it a good idea for everyone to go abroad for a while?
First, it is very good for your own development. You will become better in foreign languages, your adaptability improves and you will become more independent. Secondly, you will get to know lots of new fun people and places, which will be a great experience. The main reason, however, is that you only really know what you want in your life if you have been to multiple places.
You will find out if you want to live in that tiny and cozy little village for your whole life, or that you want something else. Perhaps it is not necessarily the place where you will go to, but you broaden your horizon and you will be different in life. In addition, getting out of the stressful and hurried country is just as relaxing.
Do you have any tips for students who go abroad ?
Open up to new and other things. Surprise yourself about nothing, because things can be very different. And above all, enjoy life.