Commonly referred to as the “Heart of South America” (or Corzazon de Sudamerica), Paraguay is a small landlocked country which sits squarely in the center of the continent. Like many other South American countries, Paraguay had faced generations of political and social turmoil before beginning to level out in the late 1980’s. Now a country on the rise with a proud indigenous culture and rich historical roots, international aspirants can have a tremendously rewarding experience while they intern abroad in Paraguay.
Paraguay is sandwiched between Brazil to the east and Argentina to the west, and also shares a common border with Bolivia to the north. The majority of the landscape consists of grassy plains, low-lying forested hills, and extensive marshlands amidst a tropical climate. The vast majority of Paraguayans live in the southeastern half of the country, while the northwestern region is very sparsely populated.
As the country’s capital and largest city, Asuncion is typically the most popular destination where to intern abroad in Paraguay. The Asuncion metropolitan area is home to over 2 million citizens, which is more than a quarter of Paraguay’s total population. Gran Asuncion is the name granted to this larger metropolitan area, which further encompasses smaller cities such as Lambare, Luque, and San Lorenzo to form the political, economic, and cultural nucleus of the country.
Outside of Asuncion you can also choose to intern abroad in Paraguay’s rural areas, where a significant majority of the population continue to reside in smaller towns and villages. Although Paraguay has benefited from high rates of economic growth over the past few decades, the country’s rural regions are much less developed than its urban areas; choosing between the two will greatly define what type of experience you have during your internship abroad in Paraguay.
Internships in Paraguay
There are a wide array of different fields in which you can intern abroad in Paraguay; in fact it’s economy has led all South American countries in growth over the past few decades, so there are many fruitful opportunities for budding global professionals. For example in the urban areas you can find a bevy of internship placements in industrially advanced professions such as computer science, communications, business, and engineering, to name a few.
At the same time Paraguay also suffers from very high rates of economic inequality, and large sectors of its population continue to be plagued by poverty. Thus if you are service-oriented in your career aspirations, it can also be a popular choice to intern abroad in Paraguay within fields such as education, social work, and sustainable development. You can make a big impact on the lives of Paraguay’s less fortunate by contributing to local development efforts in these areas.
While not every internship abroad in Paraguay will require you to speak Spanish, if you want the full experience of cultural and professional immersion then learning the local language should be a top priority. Internships in Paraguay generally last from three to six months depending on your availability, and some will offer the opportunity to earn academic credit in combination with your work as well.
Salaries & Costs
Like in most other countries, internships abroad in Paraguay can be paid or unpaid depending on your field of work. Generally you can expect more profitable sectors to pay better, while other internships in Paraguay may still compensate you by other means including food, housing, and/or a stipend. Paraguay is a very affordable country for interns coming from the industrialized world, so living expenses fortunately need not be of overwhelming concern.
Accommodation & Visas
Living in an apartment or flat is typically the most popular type of accommodation while you intern abroad in Paraguay; in most locations finding a roommate to live with will greatly reduce the cost of rent, so this can be a good idea as well. Homestays are also available for some internship programs in Paraguay, which can further be a great way to immerse yourself fully in the local culture.
Paraguay’s visa policy is fairly relaxed, and interns travelling from many countries will usually not have to worry about obtaining documentation until after their arrival. This situation may change however if you are being paid for your internship because of labor laws; you can check out our Paraguayan Embassy Directory for more detailed information regarding your situation.
Benefits & Challenges
Off the Map. Paraguay is one of the less commonly travelled countries in South America, meaning that you can enjoy a unique and authentic cultural experience while you intern abroad. This will stand out to employers also!
Growing Economy. Paraguay persistently boasts the highest economic growth rates in all of South America, making it a great economy in which to begin your global career with an internship abroad.
Indigenous Culture. Paraguay is very much influenced by its historical roots; the Guarani language is still widely spoken, and many aspects of the local culture retain aspects of this indigenous heritage.