Anne during her internship in Barcelona
Anne in Barcelona: "Of course I have learned more about working in a hotel and about the Front Office, but the most important thing is my own personal development! I do notice that I have grown a lot in these three months."
- Internship Abroad
- Studying Abroad
- Living Abroad
- Working Abroad
Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?
Hi! I am Anne and I am originally from Dwingeloo, a very small village in the province of Drenthe in the Netherlands. I moved to Amsterdam in 2017 to take the Hotel and Event Management course there! Currently I am doing an internship in Barcelona as a Front Office trainee.
What was the first thing you thought when you arrived in Spain?
I thought, yes let the adventure begin! I really love to travel and discover other countries.
What was the most shocking difference between the Netherlands and Spain?
There are several things. If you look between the Netherlands and Spain I would say the whole landscape of course and the habits here, like having dinner at 21.00 PM.
But if you compare Barcelona and Amsterdam I would say the economy, you see many more homeless people in Barcelona and the crime is much bigger here. Furthermore, I think the city is really nice and has a lot of beautiful architecture! The Sagrada Familia for example, beautiful.
What does your daily work day look like?
Is depends on what shift I have. I have two different types of shifts, the morning shift from 7.00 to 15.00 and the afternoon shift from 15.00 to 23.00. If I work in the morning it is a bit busier, because we have check-ins, check-outs, reservations and lots of preparation tasks in the afternoon. If I work in the afternoon, it is only check-ins and reservations. I always start preparing the room keys in the morning, putting traces in the system and sometimes I help with breakfast. Furthermore, during the day I do check-ins, check-outs and reservations of guests.
How is the working atmosphere at your internship company?
The working atmosphere at my internship company is good! There are not many people working here because it is a small hotel so I know everyone personally.
Have you ever been homesick? How did you handle this?
No, I haven’t been homesick. It also helps that I already experienced living by myself back in Amsterdam and I have so much fun here that I do not even think about homesickness!
Do you feel at home in Spain? Why (not)?
I think it's a very nice country and Barcelona is a great city, but I still feel safer in Amsterdam because of the crime. You just have to pay attention everywhere and be alert about your stuff and your bags.
Is there a typical local dish that you really can not eat (or really like)?
What I really can not eat is squid tentacles and they eat a lot of fish here! If it is fried, I love it, but otherwise I find it a bit scary. I love to go out for dinner and have lunch, kind of my hobby here.
I therefore made a list with everything I want to eat. My favorite lunches are; Flax & Kale, Tropico, Brunch & Cake and Federal Café. For dinner, Ikibana, Martinez Restaurante, Salamanca and La lluna. For cocktails; El Paradiso, 33/45 and Crepes al Born!
Give us tips on who to become friends with abroad. The Russians? The teachers? The Chinese?
Everybody! All people are very nice and also when checking in at the hotel I notice that I do not have a favorite group of people but that I really like different people!
Describe the people of Spain in three words
Cozy, relaxed and nice. What you often hear about Spaniards is that they are very relaxed, I also experienced this. Very often when you ask for something they answer with 'YES, tomorrow' and they also often arrive too late. Also the Spaniards really like to have a snack and a drink after work. I notice now that back in the Netherlands many people just go home after work but in Spain, most people drink a beer together in a café or a pub.
What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it the beloved community that you liked? The cheap cocktails? The beautiful nature? Or was your experience less than expected? Details, we want details!
Of course I have learned more about working in a hotel and about the Front Office, but the most important thing is my own personal development! I do notice that I have grown a lot in these three months.
At first I was quite nervous and shy, but that got better soon! I liked the city better than the internship itself, the people were very nice but you could sometimes wait 2 hours for a check-in and that was a bit boring sometimes. But the city is beautiful, lots of beautiful buildings, lots to do, lots of nice hotspots, beach and mountains!
(P.S. Really a city for good food and nice cocktails!)