Madrid is a top destination for studies abroad. It’s easy to see why. Madrid offers visitors an exciting, vibrant lifestyle in a metropolitan European city. The warm weather, delicious food and rich culture don’t hurt, either.
If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to a student visa. You can apply for it at your country’s consulate or embassy. Provide proof of financial independence, a letter of acceptance to Spanish university and your passport.
Fortunately, the Spanish government allows students with visas to work up to twenty-five hours a week while studying. Working as an intern or as an au pair are two employment options that may appeal to you.
An internship at a Spanish company is an ideal way for students to gain invaluable experience and get an inside look at how business is done in Spain. With a little luck, students can secure an internship with a company, although most times it's a non-paid job. Search for businesses that match your career goals or interests. You also can take a Spanish course with internship included. Internships are available in fields such as law, humanitarian organizations, and information technology. You’ll be able to demonstrate your ability to collaborate with people across cultures after a few months of work.
Make sure that you can communicate with your colleagues in Spanish. It can be difficult to adapt to an unfamiliar corporate culture. While English is a widely-used business language, you will be expected to speak Spanish with your boss and coworkers.
Working as an au pair has always been a popular option for students abroad hoping to earn some extra money. And the best part? Au pairs receive free room and board with their host family. That means no worrying about bills, and all of your meals are included. Au pairs only work for a few hours per day, five days a week. Au pairs also receive a weekly allowance.
As an au pair, you will be expected to speak English while caring for the children in the home. Be prepared to look after children and take them to and from school.
While this can be an exciting and fulfilling job that creates memories and bonds that last a lifetime, it can be quite stressful. Balancing childcare, chores and studying can be a challenge if you are studying full-time.
Language courses during the day
Use your free time to study Spanish during the day. A language course can be a pleasant break from your work and studies where you’ll meet like-minded students from other countries. Attending Spanish courses will give you the opportunity to study complicated grammar points, and you’ll have the chance to have your mistakes corrected and explained that most Spaniards may be too polite to point out.
Taking language courses can be a great place to join a community of other learners where you’ll feel free to make mistakes without feeling embarrassed and have fun at the same time. No matter your level, you’ll never have to feel alone in a new city with limited language skills.
Working as a student while living abroad can not only provide you with an important multicultural enlightenment, adventure and a rich experience that will last a lifetime, but it can give you the competitive edge in any job market as well. You won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to hone your language capabilities and gain invaluable skills.
All you’ll need is a passport, a visa, and a healthy sense of adventure.