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Internships & Service Learning in Barcelona

Adapting to a new culture involves not only learning the language and culture but also gaining a better understanding of the work environment and how methods and habits may differ from one's home setting. IAU provides access to unpaid, for-credit internships available at local enterprises for Fall and Spring semester and summer term students. Interested students should provide their resume to IAU before the start of the semester. While placement cannot be guaranteed for those without sufficient Spanish language experience, it is possible for students with lower-level Spanish to be placed.  These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Students work with the IAU Internship Coordinator to prepare a resume in Spanish, to practice interviewing standards and techniques and to prepare for placement in a Spanish enterprise. Pre-Interviews for these positions will be conducted within the first week of the semester. Most internships will allow for a 10-day trial period, after which the commitment cannot be broken. The internships listed below are examples of typical internship placement opportunities where IAU semester and summer students have been placed in the past.

Students complete a seminar directed by the IAU Internship Coordinator in tandem with their internship experience. They meet once a week to follow their progress, learn about topical issues in Spanish labor, and work on their reports and final semester project. Students can expect to spend 12-15 hours per week at their internship placement along with an additional 2 hours per week in seminar. Students are awarded 3 credits upon successful completion of their internship.

Several different opportunities for internships are available for students in Barcelona at a wide range of businesses and organizations throughout the city. Service learning opportunities are also available for interested students.

Examples of Typical Spanish Enterprises/Internship Placements


Ficat Private Foundation is a nonprofit organization, created as an association in 1996 and transformed into a foundation in 2000. It is formed by volunteers and collaborators, all professionals from different branches of social knowledge and aims to ensure social justice, to fight for the defense of human rights and the integration of all individuals and groups who are at risk of social exclusion, ensuring full exercise of their rights.

The Ficat foundation has a long history in the prison walls with various projects such as legal support at youth prison Roca del Vallés, mediation in prison at the prison "Quatre Camins”.

It also has an extensive experience in training and socio-legal supporting of various vulnerable groups especially unaccompanied migrant children. About this last issue Ficat produced publications and research jointly with other entities such as the University of Barcelona and the Jaume Bofill Foundation.

The Ficat Foundation also has a strong commitment to several issues of international scope: from 1996 to 2003 has participated in the discussions of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. And it has co-funded international cooperation projects from 1996 to 2007 in Romania, Ecuador and Malawi.

Since 2012 we have participated with two other European associations in a Daphne project (European research program) on recidivism in the framework of youth justice about alternatives to deprivation of liberty, "Chidren: from victims of violence to actors of non- violence "in collaboration with Fondazione Falcone.


Ensurecer Foundation promotes the change of mentalities for a more human and sustainable development. Its work is based on two main strategies:

  • Promotes initiatives that aim at fostering cultural diversity and the exchange of creative processes in order to generate new ideas and actions for a more inclusive development.

  • Promote social entrepreneurship, so that young people can develop inclusive businesses and other sustainable income generating activities.

The Foundation´s objective is to contribute to the construction of a conscious citizenry based on solidarity, which is engaged in building a better future for all.

Ensurecer foundation belongs to GlobalCAD group which also work in these lines:

  • CAD Productions specializes in documentaries that address the issues of sustainable human development in general. CAD Productions has been working with governments, international organizations such as IFC, World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF or IADB, among others, producing audiovisual products in the fields of social and economic development, private sector.

  • CAD, the Centre of Partnerships for Development, is a global network of experts committed to human and sustainable development sharing the common belief that promoting partnerships is a necessity if we are to find innovative and durable solutions to global challenges.


Putxet Foundation is a non-profit organization which is engaged in fostering young men (18 to 25 years old men) in social centers in Barcelona. They are young men living under social exclusion situations, due to a lack of working expectations and of family network (most of them are African migrants and economic refugees).

The services provided include a home, physical and psychological stability, labour training and facilities to learn working skills, saving conditions and leisure activities for weekends. A professional and volunteers team undertake these commitments.


Caritas Spain carries out research on a permanent basis into the causes of poverty and social exclusion. Its experience of working with and for the poor is constant and updated. Caritas Spain knows the problems of the poor, as well as the limitations and flaws of the social legislation that should solve them, and the physical, psychological, family, moral and human consequences of people’s situations. Caritas feels obliged to condemn these situations of social insecurity, relying on due respect for the person and the strength of its own experience, and highlighting what society tends to forget: the world of the poor and marginalised.

At national level, Caritas Spain focuses its efforts on social justice and integration, housing, health, unemployment, immigrants and research, among many other things. At international level, it primarily concentrates on: emergency relief, development, rehabilitation of disaster victims, eradication of poverty, education and capacity building. It implements its projects and programmes in collaboration with more than 65 countries, in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

The volunteer work will be in the headquarters of Caritas in Casal de Calasanç.


Nupura is a nonprofit making organization with an objective to spread South Asian Classical Dance and Music in Spain. The project has given rise to a dance studio and a dance company.

The association invites volunteers to join during short periods and contribute to the growth and development of the organization.


NGO specializes in empowering women.                                                    

This NGO works for improving the education in Spanish and Catalan for migrant women. The organization provides lawyers who assess women in legal aspects and psychologist who accompany them to undergo difficult situations. It also supports them to find jobs and follow all the process of integration.


Intern tasks at the Consualte of Ecuador in Barcelona may include: giving spoken English classes to Equatorian migrants living in Catalonia and helping with the organization and managing of the English courses.

Other internship opportunities may become available according
to students' particular needs and areas of interest.