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…
Spend six weeks or longer interning with a theatre or other theatrical organization in the heart of Barcelona, hand-picked for you based on your application and an interview conducted by our Internship Placement Coordinators. We arrange your housing in a centrally located apartment or homestay with other program participants, or you can arrange your own housing if you’re a confident and experienced traveler. You will join fellow interns for excursions and activities such as Catalan cooking classes, salsa classes, attendance at performances, a visit to the Dali museum, and more, all included in the cost of the program. There will be plenty of time for independent travel on weekends, which we are happy to help you arrange.
We work with a wide variety of theatre organizations, and handpick each specific placement based on your interests as captured in your application through your resume, cover letter, and a Skype interview with our on-site internship placement team. Performing Arts Abroad offers an internship capstone where we will fund you up to $100 to pursue a final project of your design.
For more specific information about our placements and a typical day on this program, please see the “A Day in the Life” tab.
“I loved the time I spent in Spain through Performing Arts Abroad. I lived and worked with fantastic people, and I learned a lot about the administrative and educational side of the theatre world. My placement at a small, recently opened theatre school gave me a bunch of really unique opportunities–my favorite (although also the most high pressure!) was getting to design and operate the lights for the school dance show and the musical theatre revue. They were incredibly willing to give me big responsibilities, and gave me room to do things that I was interested in.”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
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.
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).
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 boasts a diverse offering of theater performances and 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, making the city vibrant and exciting. 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 theater 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 on the program.
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.
Home stays 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 home stay is higher than if participants 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 have 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
During your time in Barcelona, you will make professional connections and form bonds with your co-workers at your internship, as well as fellow interns on our program. We also work hard to provide you with multiple opportunities outside the internship to explore the best artistic experiences Barcelona has to offer.
Example internships include:
- Join an English-speaking improv comedy troupe and helping them organize performances
- Assist a theatre with all tasks needed: helping with load-ins, managing schedules, sitting in on production meetings, assisting the box office, and more
- Work with a Barcelona-based theatre group that puts on performances for youth, teens, and adults
- Perform with an organization that pairs English-speaking actors with opportunities and corporate events
- Collaborate with a company that puts on performances showcasing Barcelona in creative and artistic ways
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 development of a theatre organization and build your knowledge of international arts. Throughout your theatre internship you will be involved in the creative development of the group. Share your own skills and abilities while experiencing cultural collaboration that will help you grow as an artist.
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 experience doing a Performing Arts Abroad dance internship in Barcelona, Spain was unforgettable. Through my internship placement at a local dance studio, I gained valuable teaching experience in a second language, built strong local connections, and took classes from a wide variety of professional instructors. Doing a homestay gave me a deeper immersion into the local culture and language. My Spanish improved immensely, and I even learned some Català! I had a lot of free time to explore the city of Barcelona, as well as make a trip to Morocco. Barcelona is an incredible city, that offers something for everyone. Fascinating museums, gorgeous architecture, vibrant arts and culture, narrow streets that are always alive, an excellent public transportation system that gives you free reign to explore the entire city, and of course, the beach. It is a magical place to be in the summer. I strongly recommend the Performing Arts Abroad program in Barcelona!”
“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.”
From the blog
Bón Día from Barcelona! My name is Allyson and I am a dance intern in Barcelona, Spain with Performing Arts Abroad. Barcelona’s street art scene is one of the many reasons why I love living in this city. I don’t have to pay for…
Emily Rice participated in PAA’s RADA Summer Training intensive in the Summer of 2015. She is from Grass Valley, California and studies Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting and a Minor in Music at Sonoma State University. During my time in London…
Courtney Widgerson participated in the West End Musical Theatre Training Program in the Summer of 2015. A few weeks ago I got back from London, I was there for 3 weeks, participating in the West End Musical Theatre Training Program. Before…
|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 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.
We give preference to applicants with at least one year of theatre experience.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for theatre and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.