Somewhere in the vast panoramas of Argentina nestles a little sun and wine soaked town called Mendoza — perfect for international internships. Both laid-back and lively, Mendoza is surrounded by desert but bursting with fountains. Ideal for lapping up both viticulture and adrenaline, interning in Mendoza is one of the best ways to experience Argentina. Comfortably middle-sized, but with enough international visitors to keep things cosmopolitan, you can enjoy excellent internship placements in a pleasant environment.
Internships in Mendoza
With a population of only around 115,000, there are still enough thriving businesses and industries in the area to keep interns in Mendoza from a range of backgrounds happy.
Mendoza is most famous for its plentiful vineyards. With such successful wine production, there are many opportunities for Mendoza internships in agriculture and crop production. As a bonus, you get to work in some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Argentina.
If you want to get down to the salt of the earth, and learn more about the gaucho lifestyle, Mendoza is a great spot for ranch internships. You will have to be prepared to get a little dirty, and put in some hard physical labour, but an internship on a ranch is a great way to discover a fundamental but little seen part of Argentinian culture.
Mendoza is also a popular location for Spanish internships. The lush culture and surrounds will be all the motivation you need to launch yourself into studying this lyrical language, and getting to know Argentinians (key words, vino and asado).
Most internship programs in Mendoza range from one to three months. However long you choose to stay though, you will inevitably find yourself wanting to stay longer.
Life in Mendoza
Wide, leafy streets, bodegas, and art-deco buildings define the aesthetic of Mendoza. Plazas are scattered throughout the city, where you can sit in the warm sunshine and people watch to your heart’s content. The pace of life in Mendoza is seductive, and will lull you into a comfortable rhythm perfectly suited to the surrounds.
Although the vineyards are the town’s defining factor, red wine isn’t all Mendoza has up its sleeve. The nearby Andes are a playground for adventure lovers, where you can go rafting, skiing, hiking, and lap up the great, sweeping nature of the area. In the town itself, there strings of bars and restaurants that come alive at night, spilling over into the avenues of the city.
Siesta is a sacred part of life in Mendoza. It is not unusual for businesses to close between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., then stay open until 8 p.m. This can lead to unusual working hours for interns, that may take a little adjusting to. It’s easy to embrace this custom as an intern in Mendoza — after all, it means sleeping through the hottest part of the day!
Salaries & Costs
Due to the strict regulations of the Argentine government regarding foreigners working in local enterprises, interns in Mendoza are not usually paid. You may be expected to pay a program fee to find a placement, and this fee usually covers your accommodation, meals, transfers, and local support. With these major costs taken care of, you probably won’t find it too difficult to survive without a salary.
Having a good cushion of savings is recommended though, as it will allow you to take full advantage of all of the activities available in the area (and to indulge in a few glasses of fine wine). Argentina is one of the most expensive countries in Latin America, and as a tourist destination, life as an intern in Mendoza isn’t cheap. Mot things are still much cheaper than in North America though, so you will be able to easily enjoy luxuries such as dining out, and taking taxis. To give you an idea of expenses, a meal in a restaurant is usually around $15, while a taxi is around $4.
Accommodation & Visas
Your casa in Mendoza will most likely be provided by your program provider. You might be staying with a local family in a homestay, for a healthy dose of Spanish immersion, or you may find yourself in housing shared with other international interns. Either way, you will find yourself surrounded by lots of wonderful new people, who will be excited to explore Mendoza with you, and who will end up shaping your whole internship experience.
You may or may not need a visa for your internship program in Mendoza. If your placement is for less than 90 days, you can enter Argentina as a tourist, and work as an intern as long as you are not being paid. If you plan on interning for a longer period of time, you can apply for a work visa. Your employer will need to guide you through this process, so you won’t be going through it alone, but it is a good idea to look into the application process by contacting your nearest Argentinian embassy. Check out the GoAbroad Embassy Directory for contact details.
Benefits & Challenges
Mendoza is a buzzing city, with a unique culture that foreign interns will love. It is a small city though, with a welcoming community that makes it easy for interns to integrate and experience the best of life in Argentina.
One of the greatest benefits for interns in Mendoza is the opportunity to polish their Spanish language skills. Speaking Spanish will help you become part of the fabric of Mendoza, give you a more comprehensive understanding and perspective of Argentina, and will look fabulous on your resume.
The travel opportunities are, of course, another huge draw. Close to Chile and the Andes, weekend trips to Santiago are a possibility. Escaping into the tranquility of the Mendoza valley, with all of its grapes, olives, and plums, is another enticing option. Whether it is metropolitan excitement or nature at its purest, Mendoza has plenty of things to feed your explorers appetite.