Everyone knows that an internship is crucial to gaining experience in your field of study, which can make you more marketable and competitive to prospective employers. Graduates with internship experience are much more likely to land full-time positions than those who have none. But why not take it a step further and intertwine your internship experience with international experience? Interning abroad can do just that. Check out these three awesome internship opportunities in Central and South America, and learn how internships abroad can not only contribute to your professional experience, but your global experience, too!
Micro-business interns are placed in local for-profit or nonprofit businesses allowing you to work closely with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Interns are rewarded the hands-on experience needed to successfully contribute to the improvement and development of a local small business.
“I chose to intern in San Jose, Costa Rica for 8 weeks during my summer break, and the experience was incredibly worth the cost. I was placed at a small micro-credit lending organization that makes loans to low-income women all over the country…Having to speak Spanish 8 hours a day in a business setting, improved my command of the language and more importantly, gave me the confidence to speak in groups or under pressure. I even had the opportunity to visit some of the clients, ask them questions, develop business plans, and handle their products. It was truly a worthwhile learning experience that boosted my resume in a big way….” —Emily – The University of Akron, March 8, 2016
Micro-business internships mainly focus on marketing/pr, communications, sales/client services, or accounting. To be most effective, Intermediate Spanish skills are required. In addition, interns must be currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program in Business, Economics, Communications, or related discipline; or 1 year experience/vocational training, and willing to commit to a minimum of four weeks for their placement.
Hospitality & Tourism
International tourism is a thriving market with global opportunities! Interns are placed with local tour operators, boutique hotels, travelers’ hostels, or restaurants where the focus is learning day-to-day business operations and client services in a real-world setting.
Like micro-business internships, hospitality & tourism internships require a 4-week commitment, and current enrollment in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program in Hospitality Management, Travel & Tourism, Communications, or related discipline; or 1 year experience/vocational training. Spanish language skills are not required as your primary task will likely be helping a local business improve its outreach to customers who speak your native tongue. Duties may include updating business websites, social media pages, and marketing materials to reach non-Spanish speaking clients. You may also help in other key business areas such as sales, direct promotions, or guest services.
Education interns are typically placed in English-speaking classrooms at private schools (ESL placements are available for those who request them). Interns can work with all ages, from early childhood to high school students. In this type of internship, you’ll work alongside teachers to observe local methods of classroom instruction and management. You will also have the opportunity to plan and teach your own lessons—and receive feedback from an experienced educator to help you hone your teaching skills, build student rapport, and implement classroom management strategies.
“I had the privilege of working in an elementary school during my time in Costa Rica. I helped in a few first grade and sixth grade classrooms. I was able to teach English to the students, while simultaneously furthering my Spanish skills. The students and staff members were so welcoming, and I’m so grateful for the experience. This internship was extremely beneficial and I know that the skills I gained will benefit me in my future career.” —Rebecca – North Central College, March 5, 2016
Because education interns work in English-speaking classrooms, this type of internship is open to all Spanish levels. Education internships require a 4-week commitment, and current enrollment in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program in Education, Secondary Education, or related discipline.
An Internship for Everyone
No matter your skills or interests, there’s an opportunity for you in Latin America. In addition to those described above, Maximo Nivel offers internships in special education, medicine, and human rights. International internship programs begin every Monday, year-round, and our intercultural centers are open seven days a week. Click here to learn more about our internship opportunities in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru—and jump abroad!