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17 year old looking for summer internship/job in Spain

Looking into options for a 17 year old who wants to travel this summer. He has two years lifeguarding experience and coached the swim team last summer. Any suggestions on where to look for summer internships/jobs in Spain?

Posted by
8293 posts

Spain has an unemployment rate of 24%.

A 17 year old American cannot just visit a country in Europe and work while there. In fact, this applies to anyone who does not have an EU passport.

Posted by
8889 posts

If you are not an EU citizen you need a work permit. These are not easy to get (understatement). If you enter the Schengen Area as a tourist, that means you are not allowed to work.
To get a job in Spain, you need to speak Spanish. Otherwise how can you understand what the boss and your colleagues are telling you to do?

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you. You have obviously answered my question, as well as shown my ignorance on the topic.

Posted by
653 posts

I am sorry and wish you the best. You are only 17 so work hard at getting to Spain if you want. Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. You just might some more years to figure your plan and do lots of research. This forum is not the end of your dreams. It is difficult but can happen if you persist. Good luck and never let others discourage you!

Posted by
1487 posts

Our daughter visited Spain in the ninth grade an feel in love with the people and country. She set a number of goals all based upon returning to Spain and has met every objective. Next year she graduates college and is intent on returning to Spain to work and she is meeting plenty of skepticism from alot of pragmatic folks, but as her parents we believe in her dreams. To be clear we are not financing her endeavours as this is part of learning how to support her own goals. Why do I share this information? In her senior year of high she reached out to the college study abroad programs and asked if they offer internships............. I believe you can figure it out from here.
Good luck!

Posted by
12154 posts

One opportunity may be an unpaid internship with a U.S. organization (including U.S. government agencies), but you will likely have to line up the details yourself (contact them directly and ask if they will let you do it) and pay your own way.

Another option may be a missionary trip or volunteer work with a non-profit. There are hundreds of organizations doing missions work literally everywhere, and nearly as many non-profits doing other types of environmental, humanitarian work. You can probably find some volunteer opportunity that interests you. Again, expect to pay your own way (or get people to sponsor your volunteer work).

Posted by
2846 posts

Yes Amelia, but she won't be hired if she doesn't have a work permit (and a temporary residence permit too!), nor in Spain nor anywhere else in the EU, regardless of her skills and abilities. In Europe when you need someone even for minor jobs you don't just stick "a poster in the window", if you know what I mean, you need to make sure whomever you're hiring legally qualifies as an employable person, you need to formalize a contract, enroll that person in the Social Security, etc. That's why she needs the legal paperwork first to qualify as an employable person, then look for a job and not the other way around because govmnt paperwork takes time to process (a bit of a catch 22 for a foreign individual I must admit). More detail here:

This is not to say there is absolutely positively no 'illegal' hiring at all for certain small jobs -which obviously no official government source will acknowledge-, but it's a marginal percentage because fines are quite heavy for the employer, and also it's not ideal for the employee either because then he's not covered should something happen to him (health-wise) aside from not being entitled to any future unemployment benefits either.

By the way, my comment is not one of those 'skeptics', but pragmatical... what I'm saying is: first she needs to be legally employable and then she can battle with finding a job. The later, as Marbleskies and Steve say, it's everyone's guess because indeed finding a job is not entirely having the best credentials or the right contacts only.