Violet Taylor is an English major at UC Berkeley who had the opportuniy of being an Intern while studying abroad in Universidad Complutense during the academic year 2023/24. In this conversation, she told us about how a Convenio de Practicas works and her experience in this Internship.

  • How did you find out about your internship?

"So I am an English major and it was literally the easiest internship search of my life. It's much easier than it's been to find internships in California actually. Being a native English speaker is such a valuable skill here, so I just read a couple articles about what websites foreigners use to find similar types of internships and I started using one called 'Lingobongo'. I found a couple of postings offered by agencies. There are also private ones offered by just people and families, and I emailed them a cover letter and my resume. Every single posting I applied to, I heard back from, which is the opposite of my experience ever, so it was really easy. I had a couple interviews with different places and the company I ended up going with, 'Hello English', invited me to their office to do an in-person interview and I really liked the people that I met. Also, the time commitment was going to be a lot more flexible."

  • What did you have to do next?

"It was one of those interviews where you already have the offer. But they said, you need to commit to establishing a 'Convenio de Prácticas'. So, I went to the university so they could help with this process. I know there are other ways to find prácticas through the university, which is really cool and a great resource. But because I was looking for positions that I could get because I was a native English speaker and that were specifically for people who weren't Spanish, I used a website for that. So, I think if I were looking to do something a bit more technical, I would go through the university through GIPE (Gestión Integral de Prácticas Externas).

So anyway, they had to sign a convenio with the university and register with the Oficina de Prácticas. They had to write an offer with my name on it. And then I had to turn in my visa, my passport information, and my bank information. I have a bank account here in Spain. If you're looking for other opportunities, there were babysitting gigs that I found on the website and similar things. So I think it's a really good way to meet Spanish families and give yourself a little bit more of an immersive experience."

  • What do you do in your internship and what is your time commitment?

"Even though I have a lot of autonomy with my internship, they give me all of the lesson materials. It's up to me to do all the coordination with the parents and to decide what I teach each day and they give me a lot of liberty to be creative with my lessons. My title is 'Creative English Teacher'. It's also a learning experience, especially for me, being in a different country. I think this is my main opportunity to really get to know Spanish kids and Spanish families. And I'm really loving that part of it. I think it's one of my favorite internships that I've ever had. I work five hours a week. And I may go up to seven next semester. I don't feel like I'm stressed for time."

  • Is your internship paid?

"Yeah, I can get paid. I think with my student visa, I can work 20 hours a week in Spain. Basically it was a long bureaucratic process to officially sign the contract. Complutense wanted to make sure I'm not working too much. And there was a lot of other paperwork that I needed. For instance, I needed to get a background check to work with kids in Spain. And, yeah, I'm able to get paid for this."

Interview made by:
Lucía Martín Lagunas
UCEAP Madrid Intern