For most interns, the decision to go abroad for their work experience placement is made jointly with their parents. We want PINC parents to be in the loop on everything happening with our programs, this is the bit for them to read!
As parents, we know you will have some questions for us about our internship and training abroad program and we believe the most important questions are:
> Will my daughter be safe?
> Is it worth the money?
We are a small and specialized company that only organizes internship placements in Madrid only. We only do them here because we know the city, the way it works and what people need in order to have a successful experience. Lisette lived in Madrid for 5 years and all contributors to PINC have lived/live in Madrid many years as well.
We don’t assign the job of looking after your daughter to some third-party manager – here at PINC we make it our own, personal responsibility to look after your daughter. Your daughter will have an emergency contact number that goes directly to Lisette which they can call 24 hours a day.
As soon as your daughter arrives in Madrid, they will be greeted by a pre-organized airport pickup. After a long flight Lisette or City Manager will be at your gate for a warm welcome! We are there to help your daughter with their bags and make sure they arrive safely to their apartment regardless of what time their flights lands. We have your daughter contact you right away to let you know that she has arrived safety. We also organize Spanish phones sim cards with data for your daughters to be “connected” and important numbers will be provided for them to program into their phone. For example, the US Embassy, english speaking doctor, Lisette’s number, city manager’s number, Spanish school’s number, etc.
Your daughter arrives on a Sunday and we organize an orientation day with a welcome lunch mainly to get to know each other and organized. We see our interns every day that they have their Spanish classes and during the final week of training. During their work placement we will go visit, email them and generally keep up a healthy level of stalking to make sure they are enjoying the internship experience and getting the most out of it. Everyone is part of a “whatsapp” group and we use it daily to make plans, ask questions, or send little notes. Once a week meet for a family dinner to catch on the week, and of course, we will also be available to them regardless the circumstance.
We have been using the accommodation agent since 2007 and they have been in the industry for 15 years. They know that accommodation needs to be clean and safe – which is why we use them. Your apartment will be located in the city center, centrally located to the academy where we have the workshops and near a metro station. You will share your apartment with other students in the PINC program. You have an individual room (with a key) that will include a bed, desk and closet. You will not need to pack linens as those are provided. The kitchen is stocked with utensils and the common area furnished. Don’t worry there will be Wi-Fi and a cleaning lady that will come once a week to clean the common areas.
For the first week your daughter will be studying at LAE Madrid which is a very reputable Spanish school. They will have 4 hours per day of classes and another 6 hours of cultural activities. They will be placed in a level that is appropriate whether that be an absolute beginner, super advanced or anything in between. It is a great opportunity for the PINC interns to get to know each other and to kick start their Spanish.
For the next 6 weeks your daughter will be attending her work placement every day. Typical working hours are between 10 and 6 with a one hour lunch break, they will work Monday to Thursday. Allowing them to enjoy, relax or travel during a 3-day weekend. We have visited every placement, trained the line manager on how to work with an intern, as well as agreed on tasks and projects for them to work on. We will visit the placement during the 6 weeks, and regularly contact them to ensure everything is going smoothly and that they are learning appropriate skills.
The final week of their stay will be spent with us and other qualified trainers. This is their leadership workshop week where they will learn how to convert their experience in Madrid to sellable skills in interviews and the work place. We will work on developing their professional persona, resume, interview skills, presentation skills and helping your daughter to identify an achievable career path. This is a great finish to the program and helps them see the value of the experience they worked in.
The State Department has a website with a wealth of information about Spain for Americans who are traveling or studying abroad, including safety information. The website is travel.state.gov. You simply need to type in the country in question (in this case Spain) in the space where it says “Learn about your destination”.
Here is a direct link to the page about Spain: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/spain.html
The Embassy also has a system to notify people of specific travel alerts and pertinent information via email. Registration to receive these messages is done by enrolling online in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The STEP program link is also located on the travel.state.gov web site.
Here is a direct link to the STEP enrollment page: https://step.state.gov/step/
Enrolling in STEP is a free service, and offers several advantages. By enrolling you will not only receive email messages of interest from the Embassy, but it also helps the Embassy know where to contact individuals in case of an emergency.
While enrollment in STEP is not obligatory, we strongly encourage everyone to do so. The parents of your students can also enroll in STEP if they wish to receive the email messages as well.
We hope we have answered the main two questions and many others that you had so you will be comfortable leaving your daughter in our hands for 8 weeks or 2 weeks. If you have more questions, you are most welcome to email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org/ and we are always here to chat if you would like to schedule a time to talk!
Michael O., Indiana, Father
“I was totally freaked out about sending my daughter to Spain for eight weeks. I knew at 20 years old she could deal with it but I wondered if I could. The apartment was great. The people were great, Lisette was great. My daughter learned more than I ever guessed she would. I would not have kept her from this experience for anything. Thank you so much. It was all fantastic!”
Doug A., Illinois, Father
“My daughter had a fabulous experience during her PINC internship in Spain this summer (2014). Lisette did a great job coordinating the accommodations, logistics, and associated activities. The internship itself was a great success and Ashley learned a lot while being exposed to an international lifestyle and work environment. Thank you Lisette and PINC for looking after my daughter. Safety and security was well done by you folks.”
Michele M., Indiana, Mother
“My daughter had an amazing summer during her PINC internship! We were apprehensive at first, but once we spoke with Lisette and could hear the passion and dedication she has for PINC, my husband and I felt comfortable with our decision…and what a great decision it was for Erica!”
For more testimonials please visit this page.
PINC is pleased to collaborate with SPAIN SAVVY, a boutique travel consulting firm based in Seville. SPAIN SAVVY is a full-service fully-licensed Spanish travel agency owned and operated by an American expat, Sarah Gemba, who has been living in Spain for 15 years and has extensive experience organizing travel programs for Americans visiting Spain and other countries in Europe, as well as Morocco. PINC program participants are welcome to contact SPAIN SAVVY for assistance with any personal travel arrangements pre- and post- PINC program. SPAIN SAVVY can also coordinate with PINC program participants’ family members on their trips to visit at the end of the program and with any other travel needs that may arise.