The list of internships in Chile is almost as long as its coastline. Sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific, this long, slender, coastal country is an excellent place for internships abroad, because of its welcoming attitude toward foreigners and its wide variety of placements. Chile’s great length encompasses untouched wildernesses and cosmopolitan cities; but while the landscapes change dramatically from the north to the south, the buena onda (good vibes) Chile is famous for remain unchanged no matter where you end up. Interning abroad in Chile means enjoying nature at its most pristine, a laid-back lifestyle, and of course, some of the finest wine in the world.
From icebergs to deserts, the landscapes in Chile are as varied and dramatic as they come. Since the country is so long and narrow, there is incredible diversity of climate and geography. Internships in Chile are widely available throughout the country, but the widest selection are found in the capital city of Santiago and the port city of Valparaíso.
Home to a whopping 40 percent of Chile’s population, Santiago is a thriving metropolis with a worldly air. European influences creep through in the sweeping architecture and leafy parks. Full of culture and entertainment, there is no end to the restaurants and bars tucked into every corner of the city. There is also an abundance of museums and art galleries for interns to explore, or for a complete change of pace, interns can check out a fútbol (soccer) game in the Estadio Monumental for a loud, boisterous, rowdy time.
Valparaiso’s steep hills are sprinkled with brightly painted houses and colorful streets filled with art murals. The whole city is drenched in a bohemian vibe, and the smoky bars and quaint funiculars give this port city a unique character. Valparaiso’s cheerful chaos makes it a wonderful home for adventure-loving international interns.
Chile’s rural areas also offer many internship opportunities, as well as incredible natural beauty. The spine of South America, Chile stretches across a mind-boggling array of landscapes. From the driest spot on Earth in the north, to the lush, verdant lakes district in the south, Chile has pretty much every kind of climate you can think of. Don’t overlook internship placements in some of the more remote areas of Chile; you might just stumble into some of the most beautiful locations on the planet.
Internships in Chile
Throughout the 20th century, major political themes for Chile were economic development, housing, education reform, and equality for the working class. The result has been one of the strongest economies in Latin America, and today some of the most popular fields in the country are still civil engineering, social science, and business, so many internships in Chile are focused on these fields.
Due to the number of economic and political reforms the country has been through over the last 50 years, interning in Chile in politics, international relations, sustainable development, and economics can be of enormous interest to international interns. However, foreign interns are also welcomed into the healthcare field as well as into marketing and public relations companies. Interns in PR roles may be placed in both large and small companies, helping to develop and maintain client relationships internationally and locally.
Internships in Chile are typically available year round, and usually last between one and three months. Working hours will vary according to the requirements of the company or organization you are placed with, but you can expect to work approximately four hours a day, five days a week. This means you will have a good work/life balance, with free time to explore your host city. Practical experience isn’t required for most internships in Chile, but knowledge of at least basic Spanish is strongly recommended.
Salaries & Costs
If you locate an internship in Chile offered by a program provider, you will be required to pay program fees, which will cover everything from advice and support regarding your resume and interview techniques, visa support, housing, and in some cases extras, such as meals and health insurance. Your program provider will match you with an internship placement that perfectly suits your needs, and they will offer ongoing support throughout the duration of your internship in Chile
As an intern in Chile, you will likely not be paid for your work. Alternatively, the compensation for your hard work will be outstanding experience to add to your resume, great network connections, and in some cases, academic credit.
If daily living costs, such as housing and meals, are not covered by your program fees, you will have to pay your own way. Although Chile is not as expensive as North America or Europe, living costs can still run high. So, as an unpaid intern in Chile, you will need to take enough savings to support yourself for the duration of your placement. Program fees, living costs, and travel expenses can all add up, but luckily some program providers will offer scholarships for interns; just be sure to ask!
Accommodation & Visas
Interns are housed in dormitories, apartments, or homestays. If you enjoy a social setting, sharing a dorm or apartment with other international interns will mean lots of nights out exploring local restaurants and plenty of buddies for weekend trips. It usually also means staying in an international, English-speaking bubble though. If you want to bust out of this bubble and live in a more local setting, homestays are your ticket to lots of Spanish practice and a glimpse of real Chilean family life.
Unpaid interns are not required to obtain a visa to intern in Chile for less than 90 days. Foreign students can simply enter Chile on a visitor's permit, which is valid three months and can be extended for a further three months at an immigration office. There is a reciprocity fee for nationals of certain countries upon entry into Chile, however; to find out if that includes you, check out the GoAbroad Embassy Directory. Bear in mind that you will be unable to conduct paid work or open a bank account while in Chile on a tourist visa.
Benefits & Challenges
As a Spanish-speaking country, language can present a barrier for some interns. Even for those who have studied Spanish for years, Chilean Spanish can be a hurdle. Fast-paced and riddled with local slang terms, it can take a few weeks to come to grips with Espanol Chileno. Be prepared to learn Spanish words they didn’t teach you in class — slang such as cachái? (you know?) and po (of course) are a vital part of most Chileans’ lexicon. Fortunately, Chilean people are always happy to humor tongue-tied foreigners, and before long you will find yourself making leaps and strides in your Spanish.
Chile is one of the most exciting countries in Latin America, and its narrow borders can barely contain so much natural beauty. Chile’s tourism industry is growing, and the well-developed bus system makes it safe and cheap to travel within the country or to neighboring Argentina, Peru, or Bolivia. Up north, visit the Valle de la Luna, or Valley of the Moon, in the San Pedro de Atacama Desert. Visitors feel like they have just taken a trip to Mars!
Try the popular past time of sandboarding there before using this location as a jumping-off point to cross the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) into Bolivia. Down south, hike the “W” in Torres del Paine National Park, and test your outdoor stamina among the awe-inspiring scenery of the famed Patagonia region. Ski or snowboard in the Andes at Termas de Chillán or Portillo. If water is more your style, try sea kayaking on the Pacific Ocean or fly fishing in the Lakes District.
If you have been dreaming of chillin’ in Chile, why not look into internships in Chile? Interning in Chile is the ultimate combination of adventure and invaluable work experience. Turn those suenos into realidad and check out all of the awesome internship opportunities available!