This week, we continue our spotlight on SBCC’s Madrid program. The program’s official student blogger, Rachel Sevy, discusses her Internship with Central Joven de Anticoncepcion y Sexualidad, a nonprofit which provides Spanish youth with sexual education services, contraception, STD and pregnancy tests, counseling, and more.
During my application process for the Madrid Study Abroad Program last fall, I was informed that I would have the opportunity to apply for an internship if I was interested. Being involved in my community has always been a passion of mine, so I knew this internship would be a great way for me to meet more Spaniards and become more a part of the community in Madrid. The ACCENT program partners with many different local organizations ranging across all different types of majors and interests to provide students an opportunity to improve their Spanish and be exposed to another culture’s workforce.
I have had the opportunity to Intern for Central Joven de Anticoncepcion y Sexualidad, which provides free services for couples and people of all ages. At Central Joven, anyone may come in and be seen within 5-10 minutes, whether they need a pregnancy or HIV test, just need someone to talk to, or have questions — everyone who works for Central Joven is very kind and helpful. I am one of around 10 interns. Other local university students started working for CJAS about a month ago, so I have also had the opportunity to meet them and learn more about student life in Spain. Central Joven has given me the opportunity to improve my Spanish comprehension, as well as giving me a place outside of school to practice my Spanish speaking. All of the people who work at this organization make it a priority to help everyone who comes in. Although most of them know very little English, they have been patient with me. I have noticed how much my Spanish has improved over the last couple of months, and I know if it weren’t for this internship, I would be at a lower level than I am now.
This internship has offered yet another aspect to my experience in Madrid. Every week, the other students and I meet with Raquel, the academic advisor who oversees our internships. We discuss how the internship is going, what it is like to be working with locals, and what we may take away from this experience when we return to California. Considering I am only 19, it is very lucky for a girl my age to say that she has been able to intern for an organization somewhere in another country. This internship has opened my eyes to the differences between the Spanish and American workforces, and it has increased my appreciation for all of the wonderful people who dedicate their time to helping their communities. I’m very appreciative of ACCENT and their efforts to provide students with internships that fit their field of interest. I’m also thankful for the organizations here in Madrid who have accepted us and worked with us to make our experience even better, allowing us feel more and more a part of the community here in Madrid.
~Rachel Sevy, SBCC Madrid
Check back in for more updates on Rachel’s experience abroad!