Bali lies between the islands of Java and Lombok and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, and the world. The rapid development of the island has had big influences on the local traditions, lifestyles, and business sector. Economically and culturally, Bali has become one of the most important islands of Indonesia. The picturesque rice terraces in Ubud, the endless beaches with a truly rustic surfing community, and the impressive volcanoes make the island jam packed with adventures from sea to summit. Therefore, Bali has become not only a top destination for tourists but also for those seeking internships in Indonesia.
Internships in Bali
Bali offers a wide range of internships for those who wish to take their expertise to the next level. The leading industries on the island, which include hospitality, ecotourism, and education, are some of the best fields to intern abroad in Bali.
Hospitality. As the economy prospers, tourism is a major source of income on the island, making Bali one of the most significant islands in Southeast Asia. The booming hotel and resort industry combined with high demand for adventure tours makes the hospitality sector a major field for internships in Bali. Additionally, the kind and welcoming nature of the Balinese people and culture make hospitality internships in Bali all the more beneficial and welcoming.
Ecotourism. We all know the natural wonders of Bali, from the healthy seaside to volcanoes and mountains to a range of flora and fauna. Ecotourism internships in Bali will enable individuals to delve into the island’s natural wonders. While nurturing and taking care of Mother Nature, interns will help boost the local tourism industry and promote responsible ecotourism.
Education. As English becomes the major language of the entire world, more and more locals have a desire to learn the English language. Therefore, it is quite easy to find education internships in Bali that entail teaching English to a variety of students, in a range of settings. Interning in Bali is an excellent way to improve your teaching skills amidst a world renown tropical paradise.
Journalism & Digital Media. The postcard worthy pictures, stunning panorama shots, and active travel and leisure industry in Bali makes internships in journalism and media a good way to start your career and boost your portfolio. The selection of photography opportunities, adventure tours, and travel newspapers and magazines make for a wide array of internship options in the industry.
Life in Bali
Generally, life in Bali is pumping. During high season, tourists come flocking to the island from all corners of the globe. In order to accommodate the flocks of tourists, the island has become quite easy to navigate, so it won’t take long for interns to know their way around. Bali has a public bus system which runs from major resorts and hotels all throughout the main city and there are also local transportation vehicles, which the locals call bemo. However, most foreigners, and especially tourists, choose to rent a scooter, bicycle, or motorbike to explore the island and get around daily. Keep in mind, you’ll have to have an International Driver’s License though.
If you love water sports and social life, Bali is for you. The night life in the city, especially in Denpasar, and beach side areas is always full of life. For adventure junkies, there are many choices on any day of the week, from trekking to diving and snorkeling, as both DIY and through group adventure tours.
Salary & Costs
The cost of living in Bali will depend on your lifestyle, just like in any other city. But nevertheless, it is way cheaper to live in Bali than in most Western cities, even when you factor in price inflation due to tourism. Putting aside $500 a month should be plenty to live comfortably as an intern in Bali.
Internships in Bali do not usually provide a salary to interns, however, most companies will offer visa assistance, accommodation arrangements, and sometimes even free excursions. In rare cases, companies will provide interns with monthly or weekly allowances, to cover to cost of food and transportation.
Accommodation & Visas
There are a number of accommodation options for those who intern abroad in Bali, ranging from homestays to posh apartments and hotels. Most host organizations provide accommodation for interns, but if not, average accommodation costs range from $60 to $220, depending on the location and condition or amenities of the place. High class apartments will start at $350 per month in Denpasar, but that also depends on which area of the city you choose to live in. Areas near the beach tend to be more expensive, since after all, Bali is a hotspot for tourists.
For budget conscious interns, staying in homestays or living in shared apartments are good options. Most homestays are located in Balinese neighborhoods filled with locals, as opposed to tourists, which makes for a pleasant stay and more native lifestyle. Shared apartments usually have a common area, kitchen, and garden, with free WIFI, TV, and are often a few minutes from the sea side. Apartment complexes are often occupied by a mixture of expats, locals, and tourists.
Prior to arrival, interns should secure a visa with validity for a six month stay, which can be extended for four months. Most internships in Bali will run for one to six months. Most internship program providers or employers will support interns throughout the visa process, just make sure to settle all the requirements first. Visas are typically issued within five to six days of submission. However, the visa application process may vary for some countries, so it is best to check with your local Indonesian embassy for up to date details.
Benefits & Challenges
Interning abroad in Bali is a great opportunity to live and experience Balinese culture and be exposed to a foreign environment and way of life. International internship experience will also, of course, be helpful in establishing your career in the future, especially if you hope to obtain a full time job abroad. Although over 4 million tourists visit the island annually, Bali still holds its traditions and cultural practices in high regard.
Language. English is not Indonesia’s first language, so as you go further into smaller towns, expect to have a difficulty communicating with locals. Those who want to intern abroad in Bali for a long term placement should enroll in Bahasa classes, which is the language locals use in everyday interactions. In major tourist areas, English is commonly spoken however.
Weather. The country has two seasons. The dry season will start in April and last until October, while the rainy season is October to April. Keep in mind, when it rains, it pours.
Tradition. The Balinese people have unique traditions, and there are some practices that all foreign interns should know about and respect. Interns should avoid using their left hand and touching people’s heads. Also, interns should always leave their shoes at the door when entering a house, and sometimes even when entering an establishment. Lastly, dressing modestly and politely is a must, especially at internship placements.