Barcelona Pre-Departure

What to Expect

What/When to Expect Emails with Key Information Before You Depart
What to Expect During the First Day
What to Expect When You are in Country FAQs
What Your Parents/Loved Ones Should Expect FAQs

What/When to Expect Emails with Key Information Before You Depart

Your Program at a Glance Email: This email will be sent about a month before you depart. It will include a calendar of your schedule for the term. Course schedule, break dates (if applicable), and some excursion dates will be provided as well as information about logging into CANVAS, your learning management system.

CAPAcket: This email will be sent to you about 2 weeks before you depart, it will contain:

  • Housing information (roommate assignment and address)
  • Instructions on how to travel from the airport to your accommodations
  • Internship placement (if applicable)

Read more about when to prepare what under our Checklist section.

What to Expect During the First Days

The first few days of any student’s experience abroad are often the most daunting. What will it be like? How will I find my way to my accommodations? When will I start classes? The CAPA Barcelona Team will work with you to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible, but it is completely normal to feel anxious about this new stage in your life. You might experience higher or lower levels of homesickness relative to your peers. You might feel immediately elated in your surroundings, or feel initially uncomfortable with them. Don’t compare your own personal adjustment to that of the people around you – there is no “normal” way to transition into studying abroad. Do use your resources, however, to ensure that you are speaking with CAPA student advisors, and even professional counselors if you are having a hard time coping.

Arrival at a Barcelona-area Airport:

  • Go through customs and immigration with your Spain student visa (if you are a Spring/Fall student).
  • Collect your luggage.
  • Travel to your accommodations – the CAPAcket will outline how to get to your residence/homestay from the airport.

Arrival at your Residence:

  • A CAPA team member will check you in.
  • You will receive your “Landing Gear” – this packet of information will outline important details such as your schedule over the next few days.
  • You will take a walking tour around your local area. Our CAPA Barcelona team will point out the closest metro station, pharmacy, grocery store, and other points of interest.
  • The rest of the afternoon is yours until the next morning. Try to stay awake until at least 8 PM, even if you’re exhausted from the overnight flight. This will help you to fight jet lag.

Arrival at your Homestay:

  • Your homestay family will greet you at their home upon arrival.
  • You will receive your “Landing Gear” by e-mail a day or so before you depart for Spain and a hard copy will be posted to your host residence for your arrival– this packet of information will outline important details such as your schedule over the next few days.
  • Your homestay family will be able to answer questions about the neighborhood.
  • CAPA staff will call your homestay family to make sure you have arrived safely and see if you have any additional questions.

Orientation (first few days after arrival):

  • Mandatory Orientation sessions – covering topics such as academics, your internship, cultural expectations, health, safety, and more.
  • Internships – Students participating in internships will find out when their internship interview will be. It will usually be scheduled several days after arrival.
  • Arrival reception – After the orientation period, the reception will mark the beginning of your time abroad!

First full week:

  • Courses will start the first Monday in Barcelona.
  • Internships – Internship placements will commence for many students that week, pending a successful interview with the internship site.

Slowly but surely you will ease into the rhythm of being abroad. You will feel comfortable and want to begin to explore further. Challenge yourself to stay in Barcelona. Save your international travels for a post-program tour, and don’t fail to truly experience this incredible city for the length of time that you have. Many Barcelonans can spend their whole lives discovering their city, it’s important that you take full advantage of the time that you are given.

What to Expect When You are in Country FAQs

Where is the CAPA Barcelona Center?

The CAPA Barcelona Center is in the heart of the city between Old City (Ciutat Vella) and the modern business area. The CAPA Barcelona center is no more than a short walk to La Rambla, Placa de Catalunya, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona and many shops, restaurants and performing arts centres.

The CAPA classrooms, student lounge and staff offices are located within the CAPA center. This provides you with easy access to the CAPA computer lab, and allows you to touch base with the CAPA support staff when necessary.

Who is the local staff?

The CAPA Barcelona Team staffs the CAPA Center in Barcelona. They are true experts in their field, and you’ll find them to be a great resource on many local subjects, from the best place for tapas, to the directions to the closest metro station.

Are there internet facilities? Should I bring my laptop?

The CAPA Barcelona Center has a computer lounge with wireless access and computers for student use. Student apartments will have wireless access. Be prepared for the fact that it will be slower than what you are accustomed to in the US, and the amount of data you may use will be limited.  Bringing a laptop is a personal decision, as CAPA does not require the use of a laptop for anything. If you do bring one, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance on it.

What will I eat?

Barcelona’s food scene is a bustling and eclectic one! The endless possibilities of restaurants, tapas bars, and markets make the city an international destination with foods and flavors from all over the globe. Barcelona locals typically enjoy a Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on fish, legumes, vegetables, olive oil and of course, wine. Also, siesta in Spain is no myth! Most people head home or to lunch during the hours of 2pm-4pm. You’ll also notice that Spaniards eat their dinners much later than most Americans, sometimes even as late as 10 or 11pm!

Please be forthcoming about any dietary restrictions you might have on your CAPA application, especially if you are living with a host family. CAPA will always do it’s best to accommodate these needs, but be advised that you may need to purchase some grocery items yourself if they will not be used by the host family.

Check out this video to get a taste for Barcelona’s food and wine scene!

When can I travel and what are the holidays for my program?

Please speak with your CAPA Program Manager for the specific dates of holidays during your program, such as semester breaks or long weekends. As these vacation dates can be subject to change, we suggest that you not make any lengthy travel arrangements until you arrive in country.

How will I get to know the locals?

You will NOT be taking classes with local students. The CAPA Barcelona Center is not affiliated with a university in Spain. You will, however, find that CAPA’s My Global Education program will provide you with many opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture. Additionally, the CAPA Barcelona Team can recommend a number of individual opportunities, such as volunteering, cooking classes, or language exchanges that you may want to get involved in overseas. Internships are also a great way for students to immerse themselves into the culture and meet Spanish locals. Ultimately, the study abroad experience is as rich as you want it to be. The more you put into it, the more you will take away.

Click on the image above to learn about Sydney Langer’s experience volunteering while abroad and why she encourages others to do the same, how her courses allowed her to get real-world experience in her major, and why she recommends living with a host family instead of with other American students in a traditional dorm or apartment.

How can I find out more on how to prepare?

The US government has created a very useful website for students preparing to study abroad. It contains information on obtaining travel documents, staying healthy and knowing what to do in an emergency, safety tips, how to find the nearest embassy, how to vote while overseas, and more. Visit their website here.

What Your Parents/Loved Ones Should Expect FAQs

Read about one CAPA parent’s expectations for study abroad by clicking on the image above!

I haven’t heard from my student in awhile, should I be concerned?

Unfortunately for parents, many students get so caught up in the whirlwind of being abroad that they can be a little slow to keep in touch. Please keep in mind that this is normal and shouldn’t raise any immediate concern. Many families find that e-mail is the preferred method of communication as it enables the student time to respond when it fits into their busy schedule.

Also, keep in mind that when your student contacts you to talk about a problem, they can often forget to follow-up. If your student expresses concern or unhappiness about a conflict or a dilemma, it may be a good idea to let a day or two pass and then contact him or her to make sure that all issues have passed. If the problem persists, be sure to keep in touch and monitor the mood of your student. If your student begins to behave uncharacteristically, this may be cause for concern and he or she should be encouraged to contact the CAPA staff in-country.

Students are encouraged to discuss any problems they might be having with CAPA staff. While many parents want to know everything affecting their student or may wish to help them resolve their problems, allowing students to be an active participant in any resolution enables them to grow in terms of independence – one of the primary goals of study abroad.

What else might I need?

There’s never really any way of predicting everything you could need while your student is abroad, but some precautionary measures can make everything easier.

  • Keep a photocopy of your student’s passport on hand. If it gets lost, having a copy of this will expedite the process of getting a replacement.
  • Keep a photocopy of any credit cards your student is bringing. Again, in the event of an emergency, this information can be useful.
  • Make sure you have an active passport!! Should there be an emergency and you have to travel overseas, it is imperative that you have an active passport on hand!

Discussing Safety with Your Student


CAPA has created an official study abroad safety app, Guardian (available via Android and IOS devices), which can be downloaded by students to use as a resource that will help ensure that they have a safe and healthy experience abroad. With the use of Guardian, during an emergency CAPA staff can send notifications to students, and when students check in, CAPA staff are informed of their safety and location.

Travel Logs

Another feature of Guardian is the Guardian travel log, which prompts students to log in their travel details when they plan to travel outside their program city. This information will be used by CAPA to determine their whereabouts in the event of an emergency. If you can, encourage your students to keep you and CAPA informed of their travel plans.

What CAPA does in the event of an emergency

We understand that when anyone travels abroad, there is always the risk of an emergency incident occurring. In the case of a crisis, CAPA has a crisis communication plan and teams in place to lead the plan, track students to confirm their location and safety, and relay this information to their home institutions.

We work together with Docleaf, a professional crisis response organization with over 15 years of experience in global crises management and communication support to determine a plan of action while providing us with around the clock support for dealing with a student emergency or large-scale crisis.

In the case of an emergency, CAPA prioritizes ensuring student safety first, therefore we don’t directly notify emergency contacts unless there is a reason to be concerned about the student’s whereabouts. We strongly encourage students and their parents/emergency contacts to be in touch with each other throughout the program and request that students immediately notify their emergency contacts in the case of a crisis.

During a crisis, CAPA will continuously update our website and all social media pages. We encourage parents to follow us on social media channels and save the link to our website in order to receive periodic updates on the status of students abroad. If CAPA has a reason to be concerned about the safety of a student, we will take the necessary steps to reach out to parents/guardians.

What can we (parents) do before our student departs?

As parents, we know just how important it is to you that your students are safeguarded during their time away. There are a few things that you can do to help us ensure that your students remain safe and in contact during their time abroad. You can:

  • Encourage your student to keep in touch with you throughout their time outside of the United States
  • Ask your student to provide you with their up-to-date local contact information at all times (international number, email, CAPA center number)
  • Talk with your student about immediately notifying you in the case of an emergency, accident or other serious mishaps
  • Ask your student to share any other contact information with you, such as text app username, skype, social media information, etc.
  • Have a conversation with your student about the locations they plan to visit while abroad and encourage them to provide you with a list of the places and dates that they will be away.

My Global Education

CAPA’s unique My Global Education Program was developed to offer you, the student, a unique opportunity to make decisions about how you will learn about culture according to how you enjoy learning.  Compiled by local CAPA education abroad advisers, the calendar offers a menu of different activities, events, volunteer opportunities, lectures, visits, and self-directed tours to help teach you the most about Barcelona. 

With My Global Education in Barcelona, you and your new CAPA friends will be able to: 

Learn about the Mediterranean cuisine through Tapas tasting.  

Explore what locals do by the sea (from sport, to dancing, to eating).  

Visit a Design Trade Show.  

Visit small local businesses and learn how these family businesses are run (from chocolate factories to wineries).  

Explore the Born District, the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona’s famous food markets.  

Walking tour of Gaudi architecture. 

– And many more! 

You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of activities with varying styles of presentation. This allows you to pick a session that speaks to you and your way of learning. 

What will I be able to do with My Global Education? 

CAPA presents a My Global Education Calendar to all students and faculty.  The events, reflective sessions, and activities listed are designed around significant academic themes such as Diversity, Social Dynamics, Globalization and Urban Environments.  Participation in these activities will give you an intelligent, well rounded, and in depth view of Barcelona and Spain. 

Some CAPA professors integrate My Global Education activities into their courses and assessment, so that you may have an opportunity to reflect upon, write about and present your experiences. 



Semester programs earn 12 to 18 credits. Summer session earns 6 credits.


Optional experiential learning opportunities are included in the program fee in the form of 3 to 6 credit-hour internships. English and Spanish speaking placements are available (students need a minimum of four semesters of Spanish for the Spanish-speaking placements). English placements will tend to be with the 5,000 international businesses in Barcelona. Spanish internship placements have the opportunity for more face-to-face interaction with the Spanish community.

Housing and Meals

Students live within commuting distance of the CAPA Barcelona Center in either homestays or shared apartments. Apartments will have cooking facilities and are included in the price of the CAPA Barcelona Program. Homestays include breakfast and dinner.

Local Transportation

Students will be given a metro pass for the duration of the program.


For semester programs: A full day to Girona, Figueres and Dali Museum and full day to Montserrat. For summer programs: A full day to Girona, Figueres and Dali Museum. Please note that excursions are subject to change.

International Student Identity Card

The ISIC card allows students to prove their official student status and make the most of targeted student benefits and discounts in close to 125,000 locations across over 130 countries. All students will be provided with an ISIC card.

Student Events

Social events including an arrival reception, mid-term (semesters only), and a farewell ceremony as well as a hop on hop off bus tour.

My Global Education

My Global Education is CAPA’s unique learning immersion program, which blends local culture and top-notch academics into the experience of a lifetime for our students. A proven education program that combines theme-based learning with unique cultural experiences, turning Barcelona into your classroom.


All CAPA students receive our medical, travel, and accident insurance. You can review this information under our Living Abroad - Health section.

CAPA Service and Support

The CAPA Barcelona team is available throughout your program to assist and support you. Students can also contact the 24 hour emergency cell phone for any urgent situations outside of office hours.


*Please note that any changes you would like to make to your housing preferences (e.g. roommate requests) must be communicated directly to your CAPA Program Advisor within 60 days of your program start date.*

Student Apartments/Residences


General Information

Student Apartments/Residences

CAPA housing is located in various areas throughout the city of Barcelona. As many buildings in Barcelona were built in previous centuries, there is a great variety in terms of building exteriors as well as interiors. Some apartments will be in modern, purpose built blocks while others may be in apartments that have been carved out of large old Spanish homes – these tend to have layouts that are a bit quirkier and less efficient, but with a bit of character!

Standard requirements:

    • Located within a 45 minute – 1-hour commute via public transportation from the CAPA Barcelona Center
    • Single beds/bunk beds
    • Pillows and bed linens are provided
    • Kitchen with an oven and stove, a refrigerator, basic cookware and utensils
    • Pans, saucepans, knives and cooking utensils are provided
    • A bathroom with shower/bath
    • Towels are not provided
    • A place to store your clothes whether it be shelves or a closet
    • No desks are included but dining table and chairs can be used as study space
    • Internet access for general browsing, not meant for heavy downloading and uploading or streaming
    • Washing machine and hanging racks for drying clothes

Expect to…

    • Check in on the first day of the program and vacate the apartment on the last day
    • Share a bedroom with one or two or in some cases three other participants on the CAPA program
    • Give common courtesy to your roommates and apartment (space issues, noise level, sleep schedules, etc.)
    • Live in distinct and diverse neighborhoods throughout the city of Barcelona
    • Have a longer/shorter commute to CAPA Barcelona Center or internship (if applicable) than others
    • Gain a genuine understanding of the city itself through exploration and understanding
    • Have a different apartment layout/style than peers, it is impossible to have the same apartments throughout the city
      • Smaller than what you are accustomed to in the US
    • Be responsible for purchasing basic toiletries and housekeeping supplies (soap, etc.)
    • Receive an additional charge if there is an excess use of utilities
    • Practice common safety guidelines
    • CAPA’s primary focus is your safety and the neighborhoods have been fully vetted but this is still important since you are living in a city

    We will provide specific information about your housing approximately two weeks prior to departure. Please contact your program coordinator for specific details about your housing arrangement.


The homestay setting will provide you with a place to call home, as well as do homework. In addition, you will have a link to the local culture and customs. Though they are compensated for the providing a homestay, the families are genuinely happy to welcome international guests into their homes. Spanish homestays are located within Greater Barcelona generally in more suburban areas outside of the city center.

Standard requirements:

  • Double or single bed
  • Closet
  • Dresser
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Lamp
  • Two meals per day provided (breakfast and dinner)
  • Wifi access

Please refer to your specific program inclusions regarding potential roommates. Note that even if private rooms are included in your program, there may be other CAPA students or other international students within the same homestay but in different bedrooms.

Expect to…

  • Live in a home that may be smaller and older than what you’re used to
  • Share bathroom with other members of the household, host family provides linens and towels
  • Have a diverse host family, there are no set norms and great variations
  • Be respectful of your host family and inform them if you will be late for or miss a meal and share any dietary restrictions
  • Speak to your host family about laundry arrangements and line dry clothes (dryer not common)
  • You may receive calls at your homestay as long as you are respectful of the family rules and you are considerate of the time difference

Your host family will speak Spanish, and you should anticipate that you will need to communicate with them. Host families understand that students are starting with low levels or no level of Spanish in some cases. This should inspire you to improve your language studies, rather than to withdraw from the host family option.

The homestay coordinator has a personal relationship with all of the families and selects them with great care. Rarely is it necessary to make a change in your housing arrangements; however, the homestay coordinator is available to assist you should you have any issues with your family. You will receive contact information and a brief description of your host family 2 weeks before arrival. Spanish host families are carefully screened, interviewed and regularly visited.

Tips on Making a Good Impression

Here are some words of wisdom from students who have lived with host families in the past on CAPA programs:

  • Spend your first day getting to know your host family, they are welcoming you to their family and excited to host you
  • Bring an inexpensive gift with you from your home state for your host family
  • Candy, calendar, photo book on your state, t-shirt, small knickknack, etc.
  • Inquire about “house rules” for use of the television, phone, bathroom, washing machine, kitchen, as well as locking up at night during the first day or two of your arrival
  • Occasionally offer to buy some laundry detergent as a gesture of good will
  • Ask host family if they need help with the dishes or taking out the garbage
  • When given your house key, ask about preferred curfew hours
  • Remember: if key is lost, you will be responsible for replacing the keys and the corresponding locks.
  • Keep your room clean and presentable
  • Keep an open mind with food, try everything at least once
  • If there are dietary restrictions, tactfully talk to your host and recommend an alternative that can be easily accommodated
  • Offer to pay for your fare on outings, especially to sporting events, restaurants, movie theatres (cinema), etc.
  • Respect the privacy of the family by not asking about their religious, political or philosophical beliefs; let them be the first to bring up such topics.

Coming and Going from your Host Family’s Home

Although there is no specific curfew, simple courtesy requires you to notify your host family when you will be home late. They feel responsible for your welfare and will worry if they do not know what time you plan to return. If you arrive home after 10:00 pm, be very quiet and avoid disturbing the family.

If you are going to be away overnight or for the weekend, you must inform your family in advance. Do not arrange meetings with your friends or classmates at your host family’s home. If you are dating, please do not invite your boyfriend/girlfriend to come to your room. Do not invite guests to stay for meals. Remember your living situation is not a hotel; you are considered a member of the family and should not only be respectful but also caring and courteous of your host family at all times.

General Information

Overnight Guest Policy

No overnight guests are allowed in CAPA housing. The CAPA staff will be happy to provide you with a list of inexpensive options for your friends or family.

If you are living in a home stay, please be advised that most host families prefer that you not have guests at any hour of the day. Please be courteous of this, and plan visits with friends at locations outside of the home stay.

When arranging visits from friends and family members, we suggest that you utilize the services of STA Travel. STA Travel can assist you in finding lodging close to the CAPA Barcelona Center, or your own housing, and within specific budgets. For more information, call STA at (800) 224-0371.

Gym Information

  • There are numerous options of gyms in Barcelona, please ask for recommendations from our CAPA staff upon arrival
  • Please note that memberships may be very expensive throughout Barcelona

Advice for Adapters and Converters

  • Make sure to take the time to research the correct adapter/converter for your travels
  • Remember you can also purchase these on site

Housing Before and After the Program

Students are not allowed to stay in CAPA housing before or after the program dates. You are encouraged to travel before or after the program but would not be allowed to utilize CAPA housing.


How do I register for classes?
Where will I take classes?
Who will I take classes with?
When will I find out my course schedule?
How will my internship schedule work with my course schedule?
When will I be in class?
What is the attendance policy?
What do I do if I’m sick and can’t attend class?
What books and supplies do I need for class? Should I buy these ahead of time?
Who will be my professors?
Will we have field trips?
What is the teaching style?
How much out-of-class work will I have?
When will I get my grades?
What do I do if I have course accommodations at my home institution?
Who do I talk to if I have more questions about academics?

How do I register for classes?

You will receive an email from our CAPA Registrar asking you to submit your course preferences about 90 days before you depart. The course preferences survey will also ask for back-up courses which are needed in the case of courses being cancelled or filled. You should fill out the registration carefully and make sure you include any important notes. Once you submit your course selections, you will not receive a confirmation email. We will notify you if we did not receive your course survey, as it is due 70 days prior to your program start date.

Where will I take classes?

Your classes will be held at the CAPA Barcelona Study Center, in the heart of Barcelona. It is easily accessible via metro and bus, as you will be commuting to class. Our center is more than just classrooms; we also have student lounges, a computer lab and student advising staff. Additionally, larger guest lectures may take place in the Seminari (7-8 minute walk from the CAPA center). This is a building from the Catholic Church primarily used as the School of Theology. The building from the 19th century has two cloisters with a small garden and a library on the second floor. CAPA students have access to the library of the Seminari.

Who will I take classes with?

You will be in class with other CAPA students from colleges and universities around the USA. Our student body is diverse, giving you an opportunity to engage with students from many different backgrounds. Our classes are intentionally designed for American students living and learning in Barcelona.

When will I find out my course schedule?

You will find out your course schedule approximately a month before the program starts. You can make changes to your schedule during the first week of the program.

How will my internship schedule work with my course schedule?

Your course schedule will be set first. You will meet with your internship site supervisor to set your internship schedule based on your availability.

When will I be in class?

Your classes may run between 8:30am to 8:30pm, Monday through Thursday. Internships will be scheduled for the mornings and Fridays. Note that internships and make-up classes may include Fridays. In the summer and spring quarter, classes meet more often to fit in the full course into fewer weeks.

What is the attendance policy?

CAPA has a mandatory attendance policy. Attendance is taken at the beginning of every class. Unauthorized absence from class will result in a reduction of the final grade and potentially a failure for the course.

What do I do if I’m sick and can’t attend class?

If you need to miss a class for medical reasons or for a family emergency, you must send an e-mail to let the Director of Academic Affairs and your professor know at least one hour in advance of your class or meeting. You will need to provide evidence of the reason for your absence. In the event of a missed class or field trip, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor and make up any missed assignments.

What books and supplies do I need for class? Should I buy these ahead of time?

Books and supplies are listed in each sample syllabus, which can be found on our website. CAPA uses online resources whenever possible to cut down on the number of materials you need to buy. We recommend purchasing most things abroad so that you do not have to carry them in your suitcase, and in case you add or drop classes once you arrive. However, some business course textbooks, in particular, may be cheaper bought in the United States.

Who will be my professors?

CAPA professors are local experts in their subject and hold terminal degrees in their fields. Our passionate and diverse faculty are at the heart of what we do.

Will we have field trips?

Yes, and these are outlined in the sample syllabi found on our website. Some courses have more field trips than others, depending on how much of the course content is found outside the classroom. Field trips include walking tours, site visits, museum visits, and other activities that involve travel and walking.

What is the teaching style?

CAPA courses are interactive and experiential. We incorporate traditional classroom, experiential, and online learning into a three-method approach to learning abroad. Some courses are more lecture-based than others; for more information, look at specific syllabi on our website.

How much out-of-class work will I have?

CAPA courses include homework, projects, exams, and research papers, similar to what you are used to back home. For specific courses and their assignments, look at the sample syllabi on our website.

When will I get my grades?

Final grades are sent to your home campus four to eight weeks after classes end.

What do I do if I have course accommodations at my home institution?

Please notify your CAPA Program Manager as soon as possible. They will be able to help you set up the accommodations overseas.

Who do I talk to if I have more questions about academics?

Talk to your CAPA Program Manager or our Registrar Sara Bularzik (

Internships & More

Where will I be interning?
When will I find out my internship?
Will I get to choose from a couple of options?
What if I don’t like my internship?
How will my internship schedule work with my classes?
How many hours will I be interning each week?
Will I intern on nights and weekends?
What will my commute be like? Will my internship be located near to my housing or CAPA?
What do I need to wear?
What will I be doing?
Will I get paid?
What is the Global Internship Program?

Where will I be interning?

CAPA works with hundreds of different internship sites throughout our global cities. Your internship placement will be decided based on your interests and the information that you provide in your application, and the opportunities and needs presented by a potential internship site. You could be interning at a large company or a small start-up. You may be one member of a large team, or one of two or three people in an organization. Each experience is unique, and the skills acquired will be equally unique.

A few days after you arrive on the program, an interview will be scheduled with your internship site. This interview is another opportunity for the site to get a sense of you. It is important that you take this interview seriously, and show a level of personal responsibility, commitment and interest in the organization.

When will I find out my internship?

You will receive your placement information approximately two weeks prior to the first day of the program, or closer to your departure. Because of the process involved to identify prospective sites to meet your goals and objectives, as well as gathering the information pertaining to resources, projects and day to day work allocated by the site to your internship, placement confirmation takes time. Receiving placement information later than expected does not indicate that you will not receive a placement – but all businesses and site supervisors are unique. We are not able to confirm a placement until we have received the details we need to comfortably do so, and every site operates within its own timeline.

Although awaiting placement details can be nerve-wracking, and even frustrating to some students, it is a reflection of the fact that a thoughtful process is in place. Your application is being discussed and posed to potential sites based on the information that you have provided, and not based on a slim list of internship opportunities that need to be filled. As CAPA has decades of experience placing students in meaningful internships around the globe, be assured that you can trust the process.

Will I get to choose from a couple of options?

No, you will receive your final placement details once your interview has been scheduled. Each site has taken the time to assess organizational need and allocate projects and resources to take on an intern.  If we allowed you to choose from a number of placements, any site unchosen would then not receive an intern to focus on these tasks. In time, fewer sites would want to host interns given the logical frustration of such a process. In other words, if you had the capacity to choose from several sites, ultimately the opportunities available to you would have already been significantly limited.

What if I don’t like my internship?

If you have concerns about your placement after receiving your placement description, we encourage you to articulate these to your CAPA Program Manager so we can discuss them with you. It is important to remember that a placement description is a one page document that does not and cannot capture the full experience of the placement. All students are expected to participate in the interview with their prospective site so as to better understand the reality of the placement, and the day to day expectations. If you have significant concerns about the suitability of a site following this, we would encourage you to discuss them directly with the internships team on site. They will be able to help you to better identify solutions with the site itself.

Do remember that an internship will always have positives and negatives. It is unlikely that you will love every task assigned to you. You may even realize through your internship that you no longer want to pursue your field of study! These experiences are invaluable, however, and are a part of the learning you take away from the internship as a whole.

How will my internship schedule work with my classes?

Your site supervisors know that you are enrolled in classes, and will work with you to set up a schedule around your coursework. Please remember, however, that Monday through Friday are considered a part of the academic program. As such, it is expected that you could be interning on any of these days in order to complete your required hours. Barcelona internship students can expect to be at their placements on Friday’s as classes are scheduled Monday – Thursday.

How many hours will I be interning each week?

Most students intern up to 15 hours a week during the semester. The exact number of hours can vary from university to university depending upon credit requirements. You may find you are interning for more or fewer hours than a peer receiving the same amount of credit. Remember that you are participating in the internship to gain a distinctive professional experience. More time spent at your placement is likely to result in more responsibility gained. In 5 years, the amount of credit/hour ratio of your internship will matter far less than the number of bullet points you can add under the internship on your resume for responsibilities earned and skills gained as well as the international network you will have gained.

Will I intern on nights and weekends?

Most internships will have standard business hours, Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM, or 9 AM – 6 PM. Some opportunities could arise for unique activities on evenings and weekends that could be invaluable for your experience. You will learn more about these opportunities, if any, from your site after you arrive. Generally speaking, however, you can plan for a standard business schedule.

What will my commute be like? Will my internship be located near to my housing or CAPA?

Internships are located throughout our global cities and you can expect a commute of up to an hour one way. Bear in mind that this commute is typical for a city and some of our CAPA staff have a commute that is even longer than this. Hours spent commuting are not included in your required internship hours.

What do I need to wear?

Your placement description will include a specific dress code for your site. Many sites require some iteration of business casual: slacks, skirts, dresses, blouses, button ups, etc. With that said, you will not know the exact requirements of your site until you receive your placement closer to departure.

What will I be doing?

The types of projects and work each intern will do can vary quite a bit from site to site. Most students have a combination of projects and administrative work that will allow them to learn more about the field and industry in which they are working. Although the focus of your work should not solely be on small tasks, this is a reality of most positions and will give you a sense of the realities of the workplace. Students are advised to consider that responsibilities will grow over time in the placement. How you conduct yourself for the first few weeks of the internship can set the stage for your opportunities down the road.

Will I get paid?

Although students earn academic credit for the internship, placements are unpaid.

What is the Global Internship Program?  

The Global Internship Program (GIP) is a course required for all students participating in the internship.  It is a unique academic experience that provides students with the opportunity to discuss and analyze theories and models of work organizations in a cross-cultural context. It also creates a framework for personal reflection on issues related to professional development, using the internship experience as a vehicle for students to contextualize and discuss the wider significance of internship activities. You are automatically enrolled in the Global Internship Program when you register for the internship.

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