Colorful Barcelona sign

HD 498: Internship in Barcelona, Spain and Florence, Italy

Immerse yourself in the human and social services, the Spanish, Catalonian, and Italian way! Over five weeks in Barcelona, Spain, students will engage with social service professionals, gaining insights into unique approaches for addressing societal challenges from a European, Spanish, and distinctly Catalonian perspective. The program also includes a multi-day trip to Florence, Italy, offering a chance to appreciate the cultural similarities and differences between these countries separated by the Mediterranean Sea.

Courses, taught in English by WSU professors, provide a comprehensive understanding, and students get to experience real-life in Barcelona by living with Spanish families in homestays. The program not only meets graduation requirements for HD majors but also includes exciting extracurricular activities.

Through visiting agencies, meeting human service professionals, and engaging in hands-on projects, students will learn about and gain experience with organizations addressing abuse, poverty and houselessness, child development and developmental disabilities, immigration and refugee challenges, and mental health.

Program Dates

June 3 – July 13, 2024.

Apply by February 1, 2024


HD 498 Course Description

Students engage with social service organizations in Barcelona and Florence, getting hands-on experience with NGOs and government organizations serving individuals and families with a range of needs, including youth development, poverty and homelessness, abuse and neglect, developmental disabilities, immigration and refugee challenges, and more. Students learn from professionals in the field and consider the similarities and differences in services provided in European contexts compared to similar situations in the United States. Enrollment Requirements: Course Prerequisite: Human Development 497.

Course Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing.

This course is offered in partnership with the Institute for American Universities (IAU) in Barcelona.

  1. Apply classroom knowledge/skills to experience in professional work settings in Barcelona, Spain and Florence, Italy.
  2. Become broadly knowledgeable about the services and philosophy of the in-country agencies you encounter.
  3. Become knowledgeable about the philosophy, functions, and needed skills for specific roles within the in-country agencies.
  4. Develop and practice skills related to delivering services in human development professions.
  5. Begin to evaluate yourself as a professional, recognizing areas of strength and areas where improvement may be needed.
  6. Explore, become familiar with, and seek opportunities for future careers. 
  7. Analyze and evaluate your experiential learning experiences through a variety of required written assignments completed during the program.

Visit the Office of International Programs – Global Learning Department website for a list of estimated costs and payment deadlines for this trip.

Visit the Office of International Programs – Global Learning Department website for a list of scholarships and financial aid resources.