Internships Abroad in Peru

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Interning Abroad in Peru

Peru provides an ideal location for interns who want to explore South America, practice Spanish with welcoming locals, and obtain work experience in a developing country. Peru is an excellent destination for internships in human rights, health or medicine, environmental conservation, and community development. Internships in Peru also provide interns with the ideal chance to either learn or practice the Spanish language, without being overwhelmed by the slang or speed of native speakers. There are many local, national, and international organizations throughout Peru which offer internships for international participants.

Locations

The main Peruvian cities for international interns are Lima and Cusco, and these cities are where the majority of larger governmental and international organizations are based. Depending on the specific focus of your internship, you could be placed in one of these spots. 

Lima and Cusco are especially recommended for internship placements in business, health, and the arts. There are many placements in rural areas or mid-sized towns of Peru, such as Urubamba, Iquitos, or Ollantaytambo, especially for internships in community development or environmental fields. Smaller villages can sometimes provide an opportunity for more in-depth involvement and tasks that larger, more bureaucratic organizations cannot.

Internship Placements

Individuals can find internship placements in a wide range of organizations in Peru, from local nonprofits to bigger corporations. Depending on the size of the company you are working with, you may notice that the workplace organization in Peru is more structured than in the United States. You will most likely report to one head boss and might have limited individual tasks in preference of working with a group. There is a strong focus on the cooperative team environment in Peru.

One main area of internship placement is in sustainability and conservation. Whether related to water, urban planning, or resource management, there are many internships in Peru that focus on protecting the natural beauty of the country. Other well-developed areas for interns in Peru include internships in medicine and healthcare.

While of course participants should not expect to gain any active experience that they would not obtain in their home country, there are ample opportunities for shadowing, education, and community outreach in areas like nursing or dentistry. Another top option for interns in Peru is to focus on social work and community development. Poverty and a lack of basic resources are still major problems in Peru, so there are chances to make a difference focusing on human rights, child welfare, or women’s empowerment, among other things.

Participants can expect to spend between five and eight weeks completing internships in Peru, on average. Most internship placements are customized based on the interns schedule and goals, so this can sometimes be flexible. In general, interns should have an interest and a bit of experience in their chosen field, but usually if you are going on an organized program you will be able to find a placement regardless of how much experience you have.

Any Spanish you can learn ahead of time will only give you a step up, as most people in Peru do not speak English, especially in rural areas. If you already speak Spanish, you will notice many local indigenous languages spoken in Peru, such as Quechua.

Salary & Costs

Most internships in Peru are not paid and require the participant to pay for their program, which usually includes housing, orientation, in-country support, and internship placement. Though some internship placements are paid, or could be unpaid but include free accommodation, these can be more difficult to find and usually require local connections and a good level of Spanish language proficiency. The latter is possibly the most important - while you could arrange an internship on your own after living in Peru and building connections, going through an experienced organization will allow you to obtain a placement in your field and that fits your level of language and topical knowledge.

Interns will find Peru to be an affordable place to live, with typical costs being less than $1 USD for a soda, $2.50 USD for a latte, and $4 USD for a basic meal. Prices are a bit more expensive in Lima and Cusco, and brand name items like clothing can be more expensive than in the U.S.

The cost of an organized comprehensive internship in Peru depends largely on program inclusions as well as the specific location of the internship. However, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 USD for a four-week internship, which includes housing, orientation, emergency support, and sometimes cultural excursions and meals. This is a fairly standard price for internships in South America and is less expensive than other continents, such as Europe and Australia.

Accommodation & Visas

Interns in Peru typically live in homestays or shared apartments, depending on where you are placed and what time of year you attend. If you’re interested in getting a glimpse into Peruvian culture and practicing your Spanish, a homestay is an excellent option. In rural areas homestays may be the only option because of limited housing. Apartments are more common in Lima and Cusco where there are plenty of other travelers and interns. 

Most interns in Peru can use a tourist visa without any problem since they are not getting paid. A tourist visa is valid for six months, so if you are planning to join an internship for longer than that you will want to confirm with your program or work placement the logistics of staying in the country longer than six months. In general, if you go through an organization to arrange an internship, that includes housing, orientation, and other support, you can expect help and assistance in obtaining a visa.

Benefits & Challenges

By interning in Peru you may have the opportunity to make a direct impact on an organization through your tasks and projects. Participants will learn about teamwork and flexibility through their internship and will gain insight into the Peruvian business culture.

Interning in Peru can bring up unique challenges. You may be caught off guard by the overlap between personal and professional life. Female interns in Peru might also notice machismo, with bosses more likely to be male and women in support roles. Religion in Peruvian businesses is another difference, with religious representations in offices especially around Christmas.

Finally, differences in the concept of time in Peru can present a challenge in the workplace, as businesses tend to be more focused on project completion rather than keeping a set 9-5 hour day. You may have to stay late a few nights in a row, and then find that the office is getting out a few hours early the next day after a project is complete. Also, having a long lunch, staying late at work, or starting social functions late are seen as normal.

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Interning Abroad in Peru

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Fulfill and internship in Peru by joining Cross-Cultural Solutions placements. Interested participants can have the opportunity to live and work in Lima for a maximum of 12 weeks. Cross-Cultural Solutions offers internships in Counseling, Social Sciences, and Development, along with a selection of other placements areas.

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Maximo Nivel offers internship programs in Cusco, Peru. Develop professional skills and Spanish language fluency in an international setting. Internship placements include: Education, Special Education, Micro-Business, Hospitality & Tourism, and Medical/Healthcare. Our programs are offered as “Practicums” (4 weeks) or “Internships” (8+ weeks). University credit is available for most programs.

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Stand in the ruins of Machu Picchu, trek through the Andes or hit the beach during your off days from your ELI Abroad’s internship in Peru. Intermediate (or higher) level of Spanish required. Teach, work in human rights or women’s empowerment. Or, ask about amazing opportunities in marine biology and conservation: the internship adventure of a lifetime!

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Based in the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, internships in Cusco offer something for everyone. The fascinating city maintains a strong cultural identity, while also offering modern comforts. Living in Cusco is absolutely a "must do". Cusco internships cover a wide range of disciplines, including a variety of health and medical specialities.

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Gain valuable international work experience while working alongside local employees in Cusco with Projects Abroad in Peru. A wide array of placements are offered to worldwide participants, including Medicine, Dentistry, and the Spanish Language. This program includes Adventure Travel, Cultural Exploration, and Volunteerism.

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Peru is an incredible country; it’s filled with history, traditions, art, culture, geography, scenery, and more. Unfortunately, Peru’s educational system is not up to those same standards, thus students are not truly given a real opportunity to become proficient in English. Luckily, you have the chance to change this. In this program, you will be able to teach Peruvian students basic English su...

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NOTE: We do not offer paid internships or cater for volunteering experiences. To be eligible for a Work the World midwifery internship, you need to be in midwifery school, or have equivalent clinical experience (MD or equivalent). We can also not accept premeds. Volunteering in Arequipa as a Midwife will place you in the midst of a fascinating culture and an even more fascinating healthcare ...

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Based in the capital city of Lima and in Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, these programs in Peru offer comprehensive placements that are meant to inspire personal and professional growth, promote language proficiency and encourage purposeful community engagement. A wide variety of placements are available to meet the diverse academic and personal interests of any participant.

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This rescue centre provides shelter to dislocated native animals in northern Peru. Most of these animals are confiscated from the illegal trade, or have been abandoned by their owners after being deemed unfit as pets. Once at the centre, they can live in their natural environment, some in large enclosures and others in semi-captivity, depending on their behaviour and ability to live peacefully ...

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Intern abroad with Linguistic Horizons in the Sacred Valley of the Incas! Our program is located between Cuzco & Machu Picchu in the town of Urubamba, Peru. This program is ideal for people who want to go off the beaten path and have a truly immersive experience. You'll learn about the local culture of the people in Urubamba as well as the indigenous Andean communities in the surrounding ar...

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Have you ever dreamed of researching in a tropical rainforest, rafting biodiverse streams and rivers, tracking threatened wildlife, or farming with remote jungle communities and living off of the land? Visit, volunteer, or intern with us in the Peruvian Amazon! Intern: Nine internship positions are available for a semester (4 months) of research between Feb and May 2017 and applications are ...

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Volunteering Solutions offer Dental Elective Internship in Cusco, Peru. It is a great opportunity to work directly with medical professionals and gain valuable experience out of the internship program. This is one of the best programs for dental students who are in a bid to start practicing. This internship will help in furnishing the skills by assisting the professional in various tasks. Not...

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Education for children with disabilities is an underdeveloped sector in Peru. You can make an important and needed contribution to Special Education in Peru, as a volunteer or intern. Experience with Special Education or disabilities is, of course, an asset, but not needed for volunteer work. All volunteers and interns will need the basics of the Spanish language. Creativity, patience and...

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Gain invaluable work experience as an international intern in Peru. Travellers Worldwide offers placements in Conservation and Community Development in the Amazon Rainforest. The programs offer a great way to give back while witnessing life in the Amazon.