A Very Spanish Summer: Interning at the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona

This week, senior Hadassa shares with us how she spent her summer interning at the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, an experience that complemented her studies in Government and International Relations.

By Hadassa Jakher '18, Government and Spanish double major, International Relations and Law & Society double minor 

I had the incredible experience of spending my past summer interning with the U.S. State Department at the Consulate General in Barcelona. I worked in the Political/Economic Section of the Consulate. I prepared analyses and reports concerning the political and economic developments of the autonomous regions of Catalonia and Aragon, as well as the Principality of Andorra. This was an exciting time to follow the political situation of Spain, and in particular, Catalonia. That summer, the autonomous community was in the midst of planning to hold a unilateral referendum on independence from Spain, despite the central government in Madrid declaring such a referendum unconstitutional. (On October 1, Catalonia attempted to carry out their referendum, which was met by opposition from the Spanish state). Working with the Political/Economic Section allowed me to see American foreign policies applied firsthand, a wonderful complement to my studies as a Government major and International Relations minor.

I also had the opportunity to participate in the Consulate General’s annual 4th of July celebration. This event coincided with the 25th anniversary of Barcelona hosting the 1992 Olympics, with various Andorran and Catalan government officials and Olympian athletes in attendance. Because of my high proficiency in both Spanish and Catalan, I was entrusted with escorting the VIPs and presenting them to the Consul General. It was a great experience to have been able to speak to the attendees, especially to members of the Catalan Parliament, the Catalan Regional President, and the Syndicate General of the Andorran Parliament.

Interning at the Consulate General in Barcelona was a fantastic way to spend my summer as I learned a lot about Spain and the U.S. Not only was I able to cement my interest in the U.S. Foreign Service, but I also had the opportunity to do so in the beautiful Catalan capital of Barcelona.

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 My first day at the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona.