It’s difficult to develop an authentic understanding of international business from the confines of your home country. Even though I had been studying business and international relations for three years, my scope of experience was limited to case studies, statistics and textbook overviews. Exposure to the global marketplace has become a vital part of any well-rounded entrepreneurial education. But how was I going to bridge the gap between theory and practice?

I wanted to add international work experience to my portfolio, so I started exploring summer internship opportunities abroad. If I found an approved provider, I could even petition to get credit for my trip. During my search, I spoke to a support agent at Máximo Nivel, and I immediately became interested in their “micro-business” internship programs across Latin America. Based on my background and professional objectives, I was placed in a small for-profit company located in Cusco, Peru.

Many developing economies in South America attract large-scale tourist attention. However, Cusco is unique. As the gateway to Machu Picchu, this Andean city hosts a constant flow of tourists from all over the world. Peru’s quickly expanding economy was the perfect context in which to explore international business. I spent two months interning for a chocolate company and taking daily Spanish classes at the Máximo institute.