Beverly Diaz was a PAA Dance intern in Spain in the Summer of 2015. This is the second of 3 blog posts she wrote on her personal blog about here experience. Check out the first here, and stay tuned for part…
Build your resume, gain international arts experience, and directly contribute to an arts company, all while being immersed in Spanish culture! By interning with a professional performing arts company in Barcelona, you will walk away with a better understanding of the Spanish and Catalan languages, and the dynamics of an arts organization. In order to fully contribute to the organization and get the most out of your internship experience, Performing Arts Abroad requires a minimum of four weeks working 20-30 hours per week. In addition, each intern will plan a final project to display his/her contribution to the organization. We offer internships with varying levels of Spanish proficiency, from beginner to fluent.
Performing Arts Abroad intern abroad participants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to take on a self-driven capstone project to complement their internship experience. This is a unique opportunity for you to complete a project of your own design and choosing with the guidance of a PAA advisor, and up to $100 in funding. In the end, you’ll feel a deeper connection to your international internship experience, and you’ll produce something that demonstrates your professional aptitude, what you have learned, and what you have contributed to your host organization.
“Barcelona has exceeded my expectations! I love the culture, the vibe, the ART, and most of all, my internship. Thank you all so much for this wonderful opportunity :)”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
Studio Isadora is a federated school of dance that offers classes in types of dance ranging from jazz to ballet to African dance styles. The studio also offers musical theatre courses.
Named after the famous playwright, Sala Beckett is a space for the theatre-related creation, training and experimentation, devoted especially to promoting contemporary playwriting and to disseminating Catalan theatrical authorship. Sala Beckett hosts intense activity in show production and programming, courses and labs, lectures, meet-ups and all kinds of activities involving exchange, thinking and debate on playwriting and the contemporary world.
Teatre Lliure is considered one of the most prestigious in Catalonia. In 1989 the theatre was one of the founding members of the Union of the Theatres of Europe. Performances range from Shakespearian to local plays.
The Phenomena cinema, which holds 415 film fans and has one of the biggest screens in all of Catalonia, boasts a latest-generation 4k projector, as well as 35 mm and 70 mm projectors as well as the best sound systems, including DTS, SDDS and the multidimensional Dolby Atmos.
Cines Verdi offers a nine-screen cinema where there is always a good choice of quality films in original language with subtitles. You can find in Cines Verdi a varied range of alternative films, from reruns of “The Quiet Man” (1952, John Ford) to the Oscar winner “The great beauty” (2013, Paolo Sorrentino). They offer a cinematographic experience focused on quality and diversity.
Cinema Méliès programming is between classic cinema and European cinema, alternative and premiere, and has won several awards throughout its existence, such as the Sant Jordi in 1996 and the City of Barcelona in 2003. Nowadays, they can be considered as one of the reference points of the author and independent cinema in Barcelona.
Sidecar Factory Club
Sidecar has hosted more than 4,000 concerts since it opened in 1982, with a small stage fit snugly into a beautifully lit, low-ceilinged cellar venue. It also hosts DJ sessions until the early hours, six nights a week, covering everything from ghetto funk to indie.
El Molino, founded in 1898, is a legendary music hall and the Barcelona counterpart of the famous cabaret Moulin Rouge in Paris. During the early 20th century, the façade of the building was decorated with huge mill flies like its French equivalent, and became a visual emblem of the Poble-Sec area. Nowadays, El Molino offers cabaret, flamenco, and other music programs dedicated to a wide variety of genres from pop to electronic.
Mercat De Les Flors
Mercat De Les Flors, established in 1983, features experimental and contemporary dance productions by both Catalan and international companies. Each show offers something new or provocative, including contact improvisations, creative projections, concerts played with unusual instruments such as kitchen utensils and hair driers, and much more. El Mercat de les Flors opened in 1983 and occupies a spectacular and unusual building constructed for Barcelona s International Exposition in 1929. For many decades it hosted a flower market (“mercat de les flors,” in Catalan).
El Gran Teatre Del Liceu
El Gran Teatre del Liceu is Barcelona’s world famous opera house, established in 1847. It hosts the most prestigious international ballets, symphonies, opera festivals, and concerts on grand stages. The exquisite interior design will leave you speechless, and regular guided tours are offered during the day where you can explore the entrance foyer with marble staircases and the Hall of Mirrors, which used to be a meeting point for the Catalan bourgeoisie.
PAA Home Base
Our office is located in the heart of the city, near Plaça Catalunya, and our team includes Spaniards, Catalans and international staff who are all passionate and knowledgeable about international education and life in Barcelona. Our office is a place you can come to talk with staff, hang out in the student and intern lounge, or print any needed documents. We are available to you at the office during work hours (9:00am-6:00pm M-Th, and 9:00am-5:00pm on Fridays), and via emergency phone 24 hours per day.
About the Location
One of Europe’s most cosmopolitan and historically cultural cities, Barcelona offers a diverse array of performances and arts groups. You will never be short on inspiration in this beautiful city, with unique Spanish architecture, sidewalk cafes, and delicious paella. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, which has its own culture and language, giving the city a unique vibrancy. Classical music groups are well-renowned, especially symphonic, choral, and opera performances. You can see lively international and local plays full of bright colors and interesting characters, and Barcelona’s dance scene offers everything from classic ballet to Flamenco. Art museums abound throughout the city, paying tribute to Picasso’s legacy as well as showcasing contemporary stars. Just outside Barcelona, you’ll find beaches and mountain ranges that make the region worth exploring. Beyond that, the city is only hours by plane to destinations such as Paris, Rome, and Berlin.
Choose between living in an apartment and a home stay. All rooms are shared with other participants, although single rooms are available upon request for an extra cost.
In an apartment, participants will live with other interns and young professionals from Spain, the United States, and other countries. Participants who choose this option will experience multiple cultures while living in Spain, build relationships with other participants and young professionals, and have independence when it comes to meals and laundry. Meals are not included and full kitchen and laundry facilities are available for interns to use. For this option we cannot guarantee the age, profession, or gender of other residents sharing the apartment. You will be able to request your housing preferences and are highly likely to get your requested selection. In addition, if an intern knows another program participant in Barcelona, participants can request to be placed in the same apartment.
Homestays offer the chance to experience complete immersion in the culture and languages of Barcelona. Participants who choose this option will receive breakfast and dinner each day and will be able to come and go as they please. Interns will live with a Barcelona family, married couple, or resident who lives alone. Because of meal inclusion the program price for the homestay is higher than if you choose to live in an apartment. Living in a home stay is a wonderful way to gain perspective of life for a Barcelona citizen and to have a day-to-day cultural interaction.
You will share your apartment or homestay with other interns and study abroad students. Upon acceptance, you will choose between a shared room (shared with one to three other program participants), or a private room. There are rarely more than six flatmates sharing the apartment or homestay.
Interns of all ages and experience levels participate in this program and we have arranged some exciting placements for high-level professionals, but the most common demographics are college students (undergraduate and graduate), and recent college graduates. In the fall and spring, PAA usually has 5-10 interns onsite at one time who join with a dozen or so interns from our partner study abroad companies, while the summer brings over a dozen PAA interns joining over a hundred other interns.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
Your main focus while in Barcelona will be the internship we hand-pick for you. However, you will have plenty of free time to explore the city on your own and with the new friends you will make while on the program. We also provide a range of onsite excursions included in the program cost, such as Catalan cooking classes, Latin dance classes, visits to museums and markets, neighborhood history tours, day trips and hikes, and much more. When you are accepted to the program, you will be added to an activities calendar so you can start getting excited about all the activities we provide. In addition, you will have the option to sign up for longer weekend trips to places like Morocco, Valencia, and more (at an extra cost).
You will also form close bonds with your co-workers at the internship, and will likely be invited to a wide range of social activities, artistic and otherwise. Get excited to call Barcelona your new home!
You will book a flight landing in Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN) before noon on your arrival day. At the airport, members of our staff greet you and other participants beginning the same day at a coffee shop in the arrivals area. Once everyone has arrived, we will take you to your accommodations to settle in and unpack. Later that afternoon, you will attend an orientation and welcome meal where details about your program and the city of Barcelona will be discussed in depth. During your first two days, you will be invited to neighborhood walking tours to get to know the diverse areas of the city. The first day at your internship is usually your second or third day on the program, and a member of our staff will accompany you to make introductions and be sure you know how to travel to your placement on your own.
A Typical Day
On the first day at your internship, you will finalize your schedule with your placement supervisor, which will be at least 20 hours per week. For the rest of your program, you will travel to your placement independently at the times agreed upon with your supervisor. During the second week of the program, you will begin one-on-one Spanish classes that will be arranged with a private tutor based on your specific internship schedule. For 6-week programs, this will be 5 hours of contact time over one week. For 8, 10, and 12-week programs, this will be 10 hours of contact time over two weeks.
During your time outside the internship placement, you are completely independent to explore the city and surrounding areas and countries at your leisure. We provide free weekly cultural activities and regular excursions that include performances in a range of genres, which we highly recommend you attend! Our staff are available during working hours to help with your independent travel plans or address any issues you may face, and are available 24 hours via an emergency phone for serious emergencies.
Directly contribute to the administration of an arts organization and build your knowledge of international arts. Tasks may include marketing, public relations, website development, outreach, grant writing, bookkeeping, box office sales, promotion, and many others. This is a customized performing arts internship abroad. We work with a range of arts organizations in Barcelona, and you will be placed based on your interests and background. When you apply, we will conduct a Skype interview with you in which you will describe what you are willing and NOT willing to do during your internship. We will then use that information to make our acceptance decision and place you with the company that best fits your goals and interests.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and his daughter Lily who is a cute baby. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
Spain Site Director
Rich supports all participants on our Spain programs. He oversees a team that coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, facilitates internship placements, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Rich Kurtzman has been living in and loving Barcelona since 2002. Originally from Chicago, Rich took his passion for Spanish language, study abroad and all things Spain to Barcelona to work with students and hasn’t looked back since.
Rich studied abroad twice in college – in St. Petersburg, Russia and Madrid, Spain – and participated in an internship in a study abroad office in Milan. He has a variety of experience working in international education from advising students in the U.S. to teaching Spanish Culture and Intercultural Communication courses, to Director of his own organization.
While he does not have much Performing Arts experience (unless you consider playing the Rabbi in his high school production of Fiddler on the Roof, or a couple years in show choir), Rich has a huge admiration for the Arts and loves working with the students in Barcelona whether they are on stage, behind the scenes, singing, dancing or similar.
He looks forward to working with all the future Performing Arts Abroad participants who plan to come to Barcelona and following in the footsteps of other Barcelona alumni who have been able to do solo performances, and worked to make productions big and small come to life.
Spain Internship Placement Coordinator
Roser arranges internships on our program in Barcelona. She matches our interns with performing arts organizations based on their profiles and interviews, works with the placement companies to create training plans and tasks for the internships, identifies new dance studios, theaters, music schools, film companies, and other potential internship placements, coordinates performing arts-focused excursions during the program, and acts as the main point of contact for interns during their time in Barcelona.
Currently based in Barcelona, Roser was born in Torroella de Montgrí (Costa Brava) but moved to Barcelona with her family when she was 8 years-old.
She finished her performing arts studies in Drama in 2003 and worked as an actress in TV and Cinema and also did some modelling for advertisings. She was also part of an amateur theatre company until 2009. After that, she developed her second career as a Health & Safety technician and moved to Andorra and then Bolivia, where she had the chance to experience a different culture and worked alongside an international team (Bolivian, Spanish, French, Austrian and Swiss). She moved back to Barcelona in 2016 and started to work in Study & Internship Abroad Programs, focused in the Performing Arts fields. She is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Cultural Management and taking classes in Cabaret and Modern Method Acting.
Roser’s passions include anything to do with the performing arts, and also enjoys traveling, hiking, reading and, above all, meeting new people.
“My summer trip to Barcelona, through PAA, was a life-changing experience for me. From the food, to the sites, to the people I met, I consider it to be one of the greatest cities I have ever visited. The PAA program went to great lengths to individualize a music internship for me at a fantastic music school that met both my professional and academic interests. While at my internship, I had the opportunity to work with a great mentor who went out of her way to guide me and make sure I gained a lot of hands-on experience. It was also a pleasure to work with the students and improve my Spanish along the way. I loved working at my internship so much that I am still currently working for them, as I am organizing all their piano music for the upcoming year. I also had the opportunity to live with a warm, caring Spanish family and their two boys, an experience that further enabled me to improve my Spanish speaking and comprehension skills. It also provided the opportunity for a cultural exchange experience. Lastly, I had the opportunity to travel to other parts of Spain including Valencia, Montserrat, and Madrid. The trip to Valencia was an organized excursion, which was very well run. Overall, the PAA program was very organized from my pre-departure to my return to the United States. There were always people available in Barcelona to answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems. Thanks to PAA for this great opportunity!”
“My experience as an intern in Barcelona through Performing Arts Abroad has changed me in so many positive ways. I felt my confidence grow every day as I danced with new friends, learned exciting new styles of dance, and improved my Spanish language abilities inside and outside of the studio. I was also able to spend time in the office of the dance school, answering phones and interacting with existing and potential students to answer questions and deliver information. Virtually all aspects of my internship were initially outside of my comfort zone, but in the spirit of living in a new and vibrant culture (and with the help of the incredible PAA team), I was able to embrace each challenge as a dancer, a student, and as a person. I am eager to put the confidence and skills I gained in Barcelona to use in my life here in the United States.”
“I couldn’t be happier with my experiences! They challenged me to learn more about the professional dance world in Barcelona as well as more about the culture of the city and the region. I was also able to learn more about how I work and how I handle a new culture. I was able to accomplish what I wanted in this internship, which I later realized is what I needed for my own personal growth at that time.”
From the blog
Beverly Diaz was a PAA Dance intern in Spain in the Summer of 2015. This is the third of three blog posts she wrote on her personal blog about here experience. Be sure to check out the first and second posts. Crinkled receipts…
Matt Kaplan was a music intern in Barcelona, Spain and wrote a series of blog posts for us while he was there. To see the rest of the series, go here. Now that I am back in New York City,…
…It’s raining, the house is quiet, and I’m miserable – but I mean that in the best possible way. You see normally at this time on a Tuesday, I’d be exploring the streets of Barcelona, getting lost in new back…
How it Works
The information on this page provides details for a sample group program. Note that every group is different, and we will work with you to cater the experience to your group. To connect with us and begin organizing a program for your group, please follow the “Get Started’ button below and submit an initial questionnaire. We will then contact you to set up a discovery call where we can go into more detail about your group’s needs and what we can offer.