Spain: Eligibility and Guidelines for Students and Recent Graduates

Open the gateway to your ideal internship experience in Spain

Spain is not just a top tourist destination; it is increasingly becoming a hub for international internships. It is known for its robust educational system, varied industries, and unique blend of cultural and professional experiences. We at Piktalent aim to provide an insightful guide on the availability, eligibility, and guidelines for students and recent graduates, both EU and non-EU citizens, looking to pursue internships in Spain. 

Discover the essential eligibility requirements and guidelines for internships in Spain. Equip yourself with the knowledge needed to make the most of this exciting opportunity.

Curricular Internships

are a requirement for graduating from university. They need to match the student's academic field and contribute to their grades. These internships cannot exceed 1 year.

Extracurricular Internships

are voluntary internships for students extending up to 2 years post-graduation. These internships must align with the graduate's academic field and provide practical experience. Usually, these internships last between 6 to 12 months, but in no case can they exceed 2 years.

Erasmus+ Internships

part of the Erasmus+ program, these internships are conducted in foreign countries (including Spain) by students who are part of the Erasmus+ program. These are funded internships, allowing students to gain international experience in their field of study.

Looking to jumpstart your career with an internship? Spain is your perfect launchpad! With a myriad of opportunities across diverse sectors, Spain is a hotbed for young professionals eager to gain practical experience. Whether you’re tech-savvy and eyeing a startup in Barcelona, passionate about sustainable development in Valencia, or have a flair for fashion in Madrid, Spain has got you covered.

Navigating the Internship Landscape in Spain:
'Prácticas Laborales' vs 'Prácticas No Laborales'


Prácticas No Laborales (Non-Labor Internships) in Spain

Non-Labor Internships, known as ‘Prácticas No Laborales’ in Spain, are essentially learning opportunities that are part of an educational program. They can be either Curricular (a must-do for graduation) or Extracurricular (optional and related to the student’s field of study, but not necessary for graduation). You’re not considered an employee, but a learner gaining hands-on experience. They are arranged through a partnership agreement between the company offering the internship, the educational institution, and the student.

Interns might receive a grant or scholarship, but not a regular salary. However, starting October 1st, 2023, if you’re interning in Spain’s private sector, you’ll need to contribute to Social Security at a reduced rate. The contribution is a reduced rate, set at 30% of the minimum base defined by law for Social Security contributions. This gives you access to certain benefits and helps support the Social Security system.

This change doesn’t apply to public sector internships, which already have Social Security coverage.

Prácticas Laborales  (Labor Internships) in Spain

In these internships, you’re not just an intern – you’re an employee. You’ll sign a contract (known as a Contrato en Prácticas), earn a salary, and have the same rights and responsibilities as other employees. The company will contribute to Social Security on your behalf, which counts towards your unemployment benefits and retirement. You need a university degree or equivalent to be eligible, and the contract can last from six months to two years. Your pay is determined by a collective agreement, and you’ll receive a certificate at the end of your internship detailing your experience.

Remember, these are just general guidelines. The specifics can vary depending on various factors, such as the nature of the tasks you’ll perform, how much supervision you’ll have, and whether there’s a training agreement in place. And, as always, for the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s best to consult with a legal expert or the relevant authorities in Spain. 

Eligibility Requirements for Internships in Spain

For citizens of European countries, undertaking a placement in Spain is a straightforward process:

For EU citizens, Spain’s membership in the European Union simplifies the process of finding and applying for internships. Under the principle of free movement, EU citizens are free to travel, live, and work in any EU country without needing a visa, making it easier to pursue internships in Spain. However, it’s crucial to have a valid passport or identity card.

The language barrier might be a significant consideration. Although English is commonly spoken in many businesses, proficiency in Spanish can greatly enhance the experience and may be required for some roles.

Non-EU citizens will have a few more obstacles to overcome to secure an internship in Spain, primarily concerning their visa status.

They will typically require a student visa if the internship lasts for more than 90 days. The visa application process requires proof of acceptance to an internship, evidence of sufficient funds to cover the stay, and proof of health insurance coverage. It’s essential to start this process well in advance of the internship start date, as visa processing times can vary.

For non-EU citizens, demonstrating a clear interest in Spain and its culture, alongside a willingness to adapt to a new working environment, can also be beneficial.

Exceptions to the visa requirement for internships in Spain
  • European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss Citizens: Citizens from these countries do not need a visa to study or do an internship in Spain. They have the right to move freely within the EU, EEA, and Switzerland.
  • Bilateral Agreements: Spain has bilateral agreements with some countries that allow their citizens to stay in Spain for up to 90 days (during any period of 180 days) for tourism, business, family visits, medical treatment, study, non-work internships or volunteer activities with a duration not exceeding 3 months, or for other non-gainful activities, without needing a visa. However, they must meet the entry conditions established in the Schengen Borders Code. The nationalities requiring a visa are listed in Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806.
  • Short-Term Stay: Non-EU citizens who plan to study or do an internship in Spain for less than 90 days may not need a visa, depending on their country of origin. However, they may still need to meet certain requirements and may not have the same rights as those with a student visa. They must enter via an authorized border-crossing point, present proof of identity and a valid travel document, provide evidence of meeting the conditions for the proposed stay and of possessing sufficient financial resources, and not be subject to a ban on entering Spain.
  • Diplomatic Exemptions: Diplomatic, consular, international organizations, military, civil protection personnel and members of humanitarian organizations, in the exercise of their functions, are exempt from the visa requirement. Also, holders of a long-stay visa issued by a Member State or Schengen Associated State who are going to that country are exempted.
Spain’s new immigration laws

In 2023, Spain introduced aimed at providing more flexibility and opportunities for non-European Union (non-EU) students seeking internships in the country. This reform significantly increases the number of hours that foreign students can work during their studies, allows full-time work during holidays, and removes geographical limitations for internships.

In all cases, it’s recommended to research specific requirements thoroughly and reach out to the relevant bodies (such as universities, companies, or government institutions) for up-to-date and detailed information.


Consult our section on documentation requirements for students and workers in Spain in the right column.

Spanish Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner

Spanish Working Visas

Job regulations for foreigners

Guidelines for Internships in Spain

Below are some helpful guidelines to assist you in locating and securing an internship in Spain:

  1. Initiate your search well in advance: Initiate your search a minimum of six months prior to your intended internship start date.

  2. Online resources: Discover exciting internship opportunities through Piktalent and job portals.

  3. Networking: Maximize opportunities by participating in job fairs and networking events for meaningful connections.

  4. Get your application ready: Craft an impressive application: include a cover letter, CV, and relevant certifications.

  5. Be patient: Be prepared for a comprehensive application process when applying for internships in Spain.

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Spain Cultural Considerations

Embrace Spanish cultural norms during your internship experience

Work Hours

Traditional Spanish workdays include a 'siesta' - a break in the afternoon, with work resuming later in the afternoon and ending later in the evening. However, this is changing, especially in larger cities and international businesses.


Spanish meal times are different from other countries. Lunch is typically around 2-3 pm and dinner is later, around 9-10 pm. Sharing meals is a central part of Spanish culture. Lunch is usually the main meal of the day.

Business Etiquette

Spaniards value personal relationships in business. Initial meetings may focus more on getting to know each other rather than immediate business. Punctuality is appreciated, but meetings often start late.

Piktalent Services for Spain

We can provide a range of services to make the internship experience unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a training agreement (also known as a “Convenio de Prácticas”) is required for internships in Spain to Students from UE. This agreement is a tripartite contract between the intern, the hosting company, and the academic institution (usually a university) where the student is enrolled.

This agreement sets out the terms and conditions of the internship, including its duration, the tasks to be carried out by the intern, working hours, any benefits (like payment or services in kind), and the educational objectives of the internship. The agreement also includes provisions about insurance coverage for the intern.

It’s worth noting that this agreement is mandatory for non-EU citizens applying for a student visa for an internship in Spain. Without this agreement, the visa application will likely be denied.

Internship remuneration in Spain varies. Some internships are unpaid or offer a stipend, while others, especially in sectors like tech or finance, may offer competitive salaries. Some companies cover certain expenses instead of providing a traditional salary. Always check the specific internship description for compensation details. Besides potential pay, internships provide vital experience, industry connections, and practical application of academic knowledge.

While knowledge of Spanish can be beneficial and is required for some roles, there are internships available in English, especially in larger cities and multinational companies. However, learning some Spanish will make your daily life easier and enhance your overall experience.

The length of an internship can vary significantly. Some may be short summer internships lasting a couple of months, while others may last up to a year. The duration often depends on the type of internship, the organization, and the student’s availability.

EU citizens do not need a visa to intern in Spain. However, non-EU citizens generally need a student visa for internships longer than 90 days.

This can vary. Some internships offer a stipend, while others might provide other forms of compensation, like meals, transportation, or housing. It’s important to check the specific details for each internship.

If you are a non-eu student recently graduated, you can make an internship in Spain up to 2 years upon your graduation. 
If you are an eu student, you will be able to make an internship as well, but in order to make a “practica no laboral” you will need a training agreement. In case you can not have it, you can make a “Practica laboral” but that it is more like a job position and it is harder to get.

In Spain, interns have certain rights under labor law, such as a maximum number of work hours per week, the right to a safe and healthy work environment, and the right to be free from discrimination. However, as interns are not considered employees, some employment rights may not apply.

Yes, both EU and non-EU citizens are required to have health insurance coverage during their internship in Spain. EU citizens can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before departure, while non-EU citizens will usually need to prove they have health insurance as part of their visa application.

Generally, you would need a passport valid for the duration of the internship, a letter of acceptance from the company or organization offering the internship, proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during the internship, and proof of health insurance coverage. However, requirements can vary, so you should consult the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate for detailed information.

Working hours can vary depending on the company and the nature of the internship. However, many companies follow traditional Spanish working hours, which often include a longer lunch break and a later end to the day than is typical in other countries.

Spain offers a broad range of internship opportunities in fields such as technology, tourism, education, business, media, and more.

Yes, many organizations offer part-time internships, allowing you to balance your internship with studies, a part-time job, or other commitments.

The cost of living can vary significantly depending on the city. Larger cities like Madrid or Barcelona are generally more expensive, especially for housing. As an intern, you’ll need to budget for housing, food, transportation, and any leisure activities.

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