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 six 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.
Christian is the primary PAA contact for all participants once they have applied to their programs. He processes applications, conducts applicant interviews, communicates with overseas partners regarding acceptance decisions, orchestrates all pre-departure preparation, supports participants while they are on their programs, and oversees re-entry counseling as he ushers them into joining the ranks of our fabulous PAA alumni.
Christian has been a musician for most of his life. He began performing at a young age on the trumpet in his school’s concert and jazz bands, as well as playing bass guitar in various bands throughout high school and college. Most recently, he has taken up the drums, collaborating with a longtime friend on different projects. His travels have taken him to almost all of the Caribbean, various countries in Europe, and Lyon, France where he lived for three months. His favorite city so far has been Budapest, Hungary, and his favorite experiences were scootering around the countryside in France, and exploring the neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.
Erin advises everyone who expresses interest in PAA’s programs. She responds to e-mails, answers questions submitted in online forms, makes and receives phone calls about our programs, and communicates with those who begin an application.
Erin Hardee Patterson earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her professional adventures as a cellist, singer songwriter, board-certified music therapist, event coordinator, admissions professional, project manager, and newly trained birth doula have helped her to live all over the United States – from her home state of Virginia, to New Orleans and Maine, to Tallahassee and Vegas (to name just a few!). In addition to her US travels, a ferocious case of wanderlust inspired Erin to travel to The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and Belgium. (The wanderlust is no joke – this bio was written on a plane!). She enjoys practicing her conversational French and American Sign Language, and has aspirations of one day carrying on conversations in Spanish (hopefully on a beautiful balcony in Spain). Erin is a new transplant to the Northampton, MA area with her firefighter/paramedic spouse Max, their dog Eleanor, and 3 very fat house cats. She is passionate about tiny humans, music, yoga, beautiful bodies of water, succulents, two steppin’, empowering families to have joyous, satisfying births, and being a smiley muppet.
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.
“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…
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Session 4: Six weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||May 12 2018|
|Session 4: Eight weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||May 26 2018|
|Session 4: Ten weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||Jun 09 2018|
|Session 4: Twelve weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||Jun 23 2018|
Important Spring 2018 Dates
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Session 1: Six weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jun 16 2018|
|Session 1: Eight weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jun 30 2018|
|Session 1: Ten weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jul 14 2018|
|Session 1: Twelve weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jul 28 2018|
|Session 2: Six weeks||Mar 21 2018||May 21 2018||Jun 30 2018|
|Session 2: Eight weeks||Mar 21 2018||May 21 2018||Jul 14 2018|
|Session 2: Ten weeks||Mar 21 2018||May 21 2018||Jul 28 2018|
|Session 3: Six weeks||Apr 04 2018||Jun 04 2018||Jul 14 2018|
|Session 3: Eight weeks||Apr 04 2018||Jun 04 2018||Jul 28 2018|
|Session 4: Six weeks||Apr 18 2018||Jun 18 2018||Jul 28 2018|
Important Summer 2018 Dates
|Description||Apartment||Homestay||Arrange Your Own Housing|
Apply today — How the process works
Submit a simple online application
Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator
Upload program specific materials to an online portal
Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!
How the Process Works
To apply, click the “Apply Now” button below. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted, and will be applied toward your overall program cost if you are accepted (not an additional fee). At this point, we will ask you to send us the following materials:
- Your resume/CV
- A cover letter
- An online artistic portfolio (optional)
- Spanish level self-assessment
- Your availability in U.S. Eastern Time for a 30 minute video interview with your Program Coordinator. During this call, you will schedule a second Skype interview with our Internship Placement Team in Barcelona. You should receive an acceptance decision within two weeks of completing your application.
- Be very clear in your interviews about your goals for the internship. We work hard to customize placements to your needs, and to do this well, we need a clear picture of who you are and what you want out of your experience (and don’t want!).
- Use the cover letter template we will send you to help organize your thoughts for the cover letter. Remember that we will be sending these to companies for consideration to take you on as an intern, so put your best foot forward!
- The Skype interviews are our first face-to-face impression of you. Show up on time, dress well, and be personable.
Participants must be 18 or over the day they begin the program.
GPA / Student Status
There is no GPA requirement for this program, students and non-students are welcome to apply.
There is no Spanish language requirement for this program, although proficiency in Spanish will open up more internship placement possibilities. All interns will receive one-on-one Spanish language instruction included in the program, and for those already proficient in Spanish, a Catalan option is offered. Although it is not required, a basic understanding of Spanish before beginning your program will improve your experience and the impact you are able to have at your placement. Your Program Coordinator will help you identify language learning resources upon your acceptance to the program.
Arts administration experience is not required, but a background in the arts is helpful. Submitting an online portfolio is optional.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for the performing arts and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.