From the dramatic Pyrenees Mountains and picturesque coastlines to Gaudí’s architectural marvels and Picasso’s iconic art, Spain captivates all who visit. Spain is known for its captivating history, delicious food, and fine wine, making it an appealing destination for those looking to volunteer or intern abroad. Additionally, its affordability is a big plus, ensuring you can enjoy the rich culture without breaking the bank.
Spain offers a plethora of opportunities to contribute positively while advancing your career or enriching your education. Whether it’s engaging in marine conservation by the sea or supporting local communities, this guide is your starting point in finding a program that’s just right for you.
Know Before You Go
If you’re going to be interning or volunteering in Spain, understand this is a country with incredible geographic and cultural diversity. Research destinations before going, as Spain is full of unique cities, villages, and nature.
Beyond Spanish, the national language, be prepared to encounter a variety of regional languages such as Catalan, which is spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, and Andorra, as well as the Balearic Isles and other areas. Other common languages include Galician and Basque.
It’s also important to know Spain’s recent history. The country survived civil war and fascism during the 20th century, although it’s easy to forget this considering how festive the atmosphere is today. Take some time to research and learn about the history of Spain, as its story from ancient times to the present is truly remarkable.
Volunteering and Interning in Spain
Interning and volunteering in Spain is especially popular for those intrigued by the beauty, depth, and variety of Spanish culture. For instance, Spain’s modern economy offers plenty of opportunities in professional fields, making it attractive for interns. The country’s natural environments, communities, and agricultural areas also attract many international volunteers.
IVHQ has sent more than 132,000 interns and volunteers overseas since 2007 when the organization launched. They’re truly transforming the face of volunteer travel by ensuring that the needs of the local people and environment come first.
For those looking to volunteer in Spain with International Volunteer HQ, you have numerous options, such as:
- Animal Care Volunteer Project: Provide care and rehabilitation for lost or abandoned cats in overcrowded shelters.
- Youth Support Volunteering: Mentor and support young individuals from disadvantaged communities in schools and after-school centers.
- Food Rescue Volunteer Project: Help redistribute surplus food from local supermarkets to those in need, combating food waste and hunger.
- Community Support Volunteer Program: Empower marginalized communities by sharing new skills, improving access to services, and aiding social integration.
- Marine Conservation Volunteer Program: Participate in underwater conservation efforts to reduce ocean pollution and protect marine ecosystems.
Starting from $780 for a one-week stay, these programs are not just affordable; they also include accommodation, meals, airport pickup, orientation, and 24/7 support, ensuring a worry-free volunteering experience. Volunteers also have the option to enroll in Spanish language classes. These classes are tailored to suit each volunteer’s proficiency level, from beginners to advanced.
Intern Abroad HQ, a sister organization of International Volunteer HQ, offers a diverse range of internships in Spain. Program costs include your placement, airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, and continuous support.
- Finance in Madrid: Step into the dynamic world of finance in Spain’s largest financial hub. Develop practical skills, network with seasoned professionals, and immerse yourself in the fast-paced environment of consulting firms, technology companies, and NGOs.
- Marketing & Communications in Valencia: Propel the growth of local companies by crafting compelling digital content, managing social media strategies, and engaging in public relations within Spain’s innovation hub.
- Graphic & Web Design in Valencia: Channel your creativity into impactful designs and websites. Collaborate with marketing agencies, design studios, and e-commerce companies, enhancing your portfolio with diverse projects.
- Orthopedic Medicine in Valencia: Gain invaluable insights into orthopedic healthcare by shadowing physicians and supporting patient care in public hospitals, surgical departments, and medical clinics.
- Information Technology in Madrid: Dive into Madrid’s thriving technology sector. Work on diverse projects involving software development, programming, web optimization, and UX design alongside tech giants and innovative startups.
These internships offer a chance to integrate into the Spanish way of life, understand its business practices, and develop a global professional network.
Volunteer with GoEco in Barcelona!
Volunteering with GoEco in Spain is a unique way to dive into the country’s rich culture. You’ll get to live like a local, help communities, and protect the environment. Choose from two great initiatives, all-inclusive of accommodation, most meals, airport transfers, and 24/7 support:
Dive into marine conservation with the Catalan Federation of scuba diving with VolSol
Founded in 2006, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) has impactful volunteer programs in Barcelona. With programs running all year round for 1-24 weeks, and a minimum age requirement of 16, there’s an opportunity for everyone. After completing the program, receive a certificate to commemorate your impactful journey. Here’s what you can look forward to:
- Community Development Project in Barcelona: Engage with a local NGO to foster community development. Participate in tasks related to administration, marketing, HR, and more while mingling with international volunteers. Improve your Spanish with language classes and explore Barcelona during your free weekends. Costs start at $950 for 1 week, covering accommodation, meals, orientation, and more, ensuring a fulfilling and hassle-free stay.
- Underwater Conservation in Barcelona: Dive into marine conservation with the Catalan Federation of scuba diving. Protect Barcelona’s coast by participating in clean-up drives, data collection, and scientific research. Enjoy the city’s culture and meet global volunteers sharing your passion for the underwater world. Starting at $950 for 1 week, the program includes accommodation, meals, dive equipment, and more.
Join GVI for dolphin and whale research!
Volunteering with GVI in the Canary Islands, Spain is a great way to contribute to marine conservation while experiencing the unique beauty of Tenerife. Volunteers can immerse themselves in groundbreaking conservation work, acquire practical skills, and dive into the vibrant island culture. Here’s a snapshot of the available programs:
- Dolphin and Whale Conservation Teen Volunteering: Teens can make a real difference in marine conservation in the Canary Islands, focusing on dolphins and whales. Gather data, learn about marine biology, and enjoy island adventures.
- Whale and Dolphin Conservation: Engage in ethical whale and dolphin watching, contributing to conservation efforts. Collect data, assist with beach cleanups, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich biodiversity.
- Citizen Science Island Conservation: Collaborate with marine biologists and stakeholders in addressing key marine conservation challenges. Focus on marine debris reduction and support resilient ocean ecosystems.
- Sustainable and Ethical Ecotourism: Balance tourism and conservation in Tenerife, conducting vital research and promoting ethical practices to protect the habitat of whales, dolphins, and other marine species.
- Marine Biology Research and Conservation: Contribute to marine biology research, focusing on marine mammals. Work alongside professionals, collecting and analyzing data on whales and dolphins, and engage in hands-on conservation activities.
If you want to volunteer in Spain and completely immerse yourself in the local culture, Global Leadership Adventures is a great choice. Operating since 2003, GLA combines a powerful cultural experience with meaningful service work.
GLA’s Spanish Service Adventure program gives you the opportunity to improve your Spanish through a mix of immersion and classroom instruction. During your stay, you can take a paella workshop, explore Barcelona’s world-renowned architecture and learn to dance flamenco. On top of that, you get to do community service in Valencia, where you’ll help teenagers and young adults improve the skills necessary to obtain employment. The program lasts 21 days and costs $6,499.
With over 400 projects across the globe, Frontier absolutely plays a part in helping volunteers be active global citizens. For those looking to intern or volunteer in Spain, they have numerous programs.
If you want to intern in Spain, consider Frontier’s media and journalism internship in Tenerife. This is a great opportunity for aspiring journalists, bloggers, photographers and videographers to gain hands-on experience. Capture life in the stunning Canary Islands in whatever way you do best. The program lasts two months and costs $2,595.
Making the Most Out of Interning or Volunteering in Spain
Options aren’t limited for interning or volunteering in Spain. Take time to research and find the program that matches your needs, goals, preferences, and budget.
The programs listed here are all reputable and a good place to start your search. Go through these and you’ll find a volunteer or internship opportunity that will lead to an amazing experience in Spain.