Journal Travel

How Much My Unpaid Internship Abroad Really Cost Me

October 19, 2016

Not all internships are paid work, in fact, many like my own are unpaid. When I first started researching into accepting the opportunity to intern with a destination wedding planner I struggled finding information about how much it would actually cost me and if 6 months living abroad without any income would really be possible or worth it for the experience I would be getting. So to help out anyone in the same boat as me I kept track of all my expenses and outgoing money to give you a better understanding of what an internship like this can really cost you. Of course, every country is different and has different living costs. I was living in Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean with fairly low living costs. However coming from Australia I was also faced with the exchange rate with the Australian dollar being just over half of a Euro.

FLIGHTS AUD $2627.47
RENT EUR €2845.00
VISA AUD $114.55
$13,470.73 € 9,155.67
(Exchange rate 06/10/2016)


How Much My Unpaid Internship Abroad Really Cost Me - White Petal Travels


Originally my flights cost me $2037.47. This was return flights, however, I decided to come home a few weeks early which involved additional charges to change my return date.


This was travel insurance to cover my 6-month stay and any incident that could happen. I cannot stress enough how important travel insurance is! Like me, you may have an incident-free trip however you might not be that lucky and you do not want to be stuck in a foreign country facing HUGE bills because you didn’t want to fork out a couple of hundred dollars for peace of mind. Trust me if anything happens, the cost is more than worth it.


My apartment wasn’t ready to move in straight away so I decided to stay in a hotel for the first few nights to help settle in and then an Airbnb apartment until my room was ready. I stayed at Brondo Architect Hotel and hands down is the coolest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. It’s a mixture of old meets new with an arty New York style industrial loft feel. The location was perfect, right in the centre of Palma with major attractions within 5 minutes walking distance from the front door. The boutique hotel has 26 rooms. Each room is unique and has its own personality. The hotel boasts a large range of modern art for sale in the communal areas and also has an art gallery next door. I would definitely stay at this hotel again.


My first apartment cost me €400 a month. I had my own double size room and separate private bathroom. I stayed here for 2 months before moving into my next apartment in the Old Town which was €600 a month, again I had a double size room with ensuite. This apartment was newly renovated, in a fantastic location and I only had one flatmate, which due to her work on the boats was away for almost half my time living there. You can get places a lot cheaper say for about €100-€300 a month depending on your preferences. Rent was my biggest cost however for me it was important to stay in a nice place in a good location. Moving overseas was my first time living out of home and I wanted to be as comfortable and happy as I could make myself. I didn’t want to live in a dodgy apartment with heaps of roommates just to keep costs down so for me this expense was worth it.


Spain is a very social place, there is always new places to try and new friends to make. Tuesday’s are Tapas Tuesdays, there is a bar route to follow in the Old Town which went straight past my apartment. Cost wise for Tapas Tuesday your looking at pintxos (little open sandwich) between €1-€2 and cava or beer for about another €2 which makes for a very cheap night out! Now I ate out a fair bit but I only drank a hand full of times during my whole stay as I’m not a very big drinker so if you go out partying a lot this cost will rise, unfortunately not all prices are as cheap as Tapas Tuesdays. How Much My Unpaid Internship Abroad Really Cost


Groceries in Mallorca compared to back home are extremely cheap! My average weekly shop was only €30 euros!


This includes attraction entry fees and concerts. A lot of concerts on the island are free which makes the island a very social place. One of the high lights of my trip was attending a free choral concert in the cathedral, it was like being transported back in time.


Buses are the main form of public transport. Around town, your looking at either €1.50-€2.50 and around the island, prices can go up to €6.80 one way.


I used my travel money card which I pre-loaded with Euros and also my credit card in case of emergencies or simply because I changed handbags and forgot to take my travel money card with me. Depending on your bank and cards you take, these fees will be different for everyone.


I’ve always been a shopper so this speaks for itself.


The total price for the visa application was $91.20, this included the fee, postage and money cheque order. Each country has their own application process so please refer to your countries consulate for information correct to you.


So there you have it, my 5 and a half month unpaid internship aboard cost me a total of AUD $13,470.73. I was in the fortunate position that I had a well-paying job and was able to save a decent amount of money before I left. Now it’s your turn to make the decision if an unpaid internship abroad is right for you. Although it is a large amount of money in return for knowledge and experience, my time living there and the friendships I made were worth it for me.


How Much My Unpaid Internship Abroad Really Cost Me - Photographer Claire Morgan


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  • Reply Joleisa November 7, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    This is an interesting idea! Glad you had a good time and most of all, good life experience and friendships formed. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply blessing boamah November 8, 2016 at 1:13 am

    This sounds like an awesome opportunity, it’s a good thing you saved up before going there. This was definitely helpful 🙂

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