I was looking for work experience, I got a LIFE experience. You have to live the IAESTE internship first in order to understand.
Being a member of IAESTE for some time is what made me apply for this internship in the first place, even though my plans were different. We received all offers in February 2016, right after Tanja and Đole (our Delegates on AC) came back from Prague. Luckily, they brought this internship offer that just seemed perfect. Work offered in marketing and market research, in Barcelona. Half a year in Barcelona. 6 months, 180 days in Barcelona! Memories coming back in my mind from 5 years ago, the time when I visited Barcelona for the first time and I promised I will come back!I didn’t think a lot, not even for a second about the opportunity. I knew not only I needed to talk with my family, but also prepare the paperwork needed. However talking with my parents about the length of the internship and the travel distance soon turned into big support, when everyone realized how much I wanted it. “Dear Tamara, welcome to Barcelona” – first message received from IAESTE Catalunya.
I was ready to leave my comfort zone, and from my current point of view I couldn’t make a better choice. 31 July is when my adventure started, the six best months of my life. I don’t even know how to write everything on paper.
I was looking for work experience, I got a LIFE experience. You have to live the IAESTE internship first in order to understand.Besides knowledge important for my future career and what I was studying, I also learned how to act professional, how to work in a team and share what I have learned with others. I was working in an international company having branches on 4 continents. So I definitely improved my skills to speak English too (if only it was English).
Thanks grandma for every TV series we have been watching together. Learning Spanish is a piece of cake now!
Barcelona being the center of Catalunya though, has Catalunyan as native language. And it is sooo much more different than Spanish. But as every language, when you listen to it every day, you get along with it.
And how much living in an unknown place, another country, another culture and people you don’t know will personally change you and make you a different person – I won’t even mention.
A lot of emotions, unforgettable moments, spontaneous trips, sangria, estrellas, nights we spent doing anything but sleeping. Going straight to work with no sleep, then your boss comes and brings you coffee watching how your head falls down, and asks you “tough night?”
There is so much to say about my general impression. Interns in Barcelona are somehow somewhere all the time, so you can never be alone. With time you make friendships for life. But also, you meet locals, funny and cheerful Spanish people. You simply can’t feel not fitting there. Some come later, some leave, and there are always some that came long time ago and decided to stay. I understand them, I felt being home even in the first week of my stay. I fell in love with this city, each street it has, the sea, sunrises and sunsets on the beach.
I remember now during my second week of stay in Barcelona, being on the beach, one guy playing latino music on his guitar, estrella. The moment I tucked my feet into the warm sand, had a deep breath and said “I’m truly living the life here!” I wasn’t still aware my internship is something with start and end. After I while, at the end of every weekend trip I used to say “I’m going home”.
They say when you live longer in some city, it will feel as home forever. I don’t know about other cities, but Barcelona is my home. An internship with IAESTE is how I got this experience and will always be something that changed my life.
Banja Luka – IAESTE Bosnia and Herzegovina