Lima is capital and largest city in Peru. It is an urbanized city combined with perfectly preserved colonial architecture and plenty of surrounding natural beauty. Home to the nation’s most influential economic market, Lima is one of the best places for internships abroad in Peru. A tried and true destination for study abroad students from all over the world, Lima is also an incredible place to intern abroad.
Internships in Lima
Lima is the industrial and financial center of Peru. In fact, it is one of the most valuable financial centers in all of Latin America. Lima is home to a number of multinational companies, which provide many internship opportunities for foreigners who are eager to gain professional experience in Peru. There are a few fields that are particularly good choices for internship in Lima, however, there are a range of placement types to consider.
Business Administration & Management. Lima produces a large of amount of textiles, clothing, and food; all these products have become essential to the economy of Peru. As companies and manufacturing plants expand to keep up with the demands of the market, more and more employees are needed to support the expansion process. Individuals will learn a lot about the business world and economic market of South America by interning in Lima.
Health Sciences. Basic health care services are scarce in Lima, and therefore only cater to a small fraction of the population in need of health care. To address this need, the national government of Peru has begun recruiting healthcare professionals from abroad, and also welcoming international interns to help support day-to-day operations of health care facilities. There are a multitude of medical internships in Lima, and in all of Peru for that matter. However, most health internships in Lima will require that interns have a background in nursing, dentistry, or midwifery, as these are all high need medical services. Although most health science internships in Lima are offered on a voluntary basis, interns are occasionally compensated with a small living stipend.
Environmental Studies. While it is true that Lima is a widely industrialized city, its local government has worked hard to create initiatives that focus on maintaining its biodiversity. Despite their best efforts, there is still much work to be done in terms of environmental preservation and conservation in Lima. To help support the local government, many international and local environmental organizations have stepped in to provide campaigns, programs, and initiatives that can help address societal problems such as inadequate water supply, environmental degradation, urban air pollution, and deforestation. These environmental organizations welcome volunteers and professionals in the field to join them and help support their programs through internships in Lima.
Life in Lima
Locals in Lima are widely known for their hospitality and ability to cultivate relationships easily. However, in order to fully enjoy this friendly culture, it will be advantageous for interns to have some Spanish skills, as it is the most commonly spoken language in Lima. Interns may find that it is difficult to adjust to their internship placement and complete tasks effectively without a good understand of the Spanish language too. Only a small fraction of locals in Lima know how to speak English.
In general, and Lima is no exception, Peruvians are quite laid back. Interns may be surprised to find that employees tend to take longer lunch breaks and meetings often begin late. However, Lima is old-fashioned in terms of organizational management and, more often than not, organizations follow a top-down approach in decision making. Interns will also find that the business world is primarily dominated by men, although more and more women are entering the workforce.
Outside the walls of the city’s major companies and businesses, Lima is known as one of the world’s best destinations for surfing. But, Lima is a great place for adventure seekers who aren’t much for surfing too. Lima is a convenient city to live in as it is possible to ride bikes from one place to the next, even when commuting to and from work, because it is a very flat city. However, intern should also keep in mind that it is nearly always hot in Lima and it hardly ever rains, so biking to work means you should probably come with a chance of clothes. Have no fear, the transportation system in Lima may be availed for a very low price (if biking and sweating aren’t your thing). But, be prepared for heavy traffic everywhere.
Salary & Costs
The cost of living in Lima is relatively affordable compared to most other major Latin American cities. Life in Lima is favorable for foreign interns especially, because almost all commodities (i.e. apartment rentals, utilities, groceries, transportation) can be found for very cheap prices. Renting an apartment, for instance, may cost only $300 to $500 per month. The price of housing will vary depending on the location of the apartment though; for example, apartments near the center of the city will cost $50 to $200 more.
When it comes to food, groceries will cost, on average, about $40 per month. For those who enjoy eating out, food in an inexpensive restaurant can be found for only $4 per meal, making it extremely affordable to eat our multiple times a week. On the other hand, in moderately-priced restaurants, a three course meal for two people could cost up to $25.
Lastly, transportation in Lima is also affordable. The average cost for a month of bus rises is only $40, and a single bus ride will not exceed a dollar!
Foreign interns can definitely live it up while interning in Lima and enjoying Peruvian living without spending too much. But, it is still, obviously, advantageous to search for an internship in Lima that comes with a salary or stipend. The usual compensation for internships in Lima is $300 per month.
Accommodation & Visas
All internships in Lima will require that interns obtain a visa. A student visa is required for those internships in Lima that do not involve any type of payment. To obtain a student visa, the internship must be provided by an institution that is recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education or the National Assembly of University Rectors. Interns won’t necessarily have to obtain a visa before arrival though, as it is possible to enter Peru on a tourist visa and then change your immigration status at a local immigration office. For paid internships in Lima, a Foreign Resident ID Card will be required.
In general, the following requirements must be met to acquire a visa to intern in Lima: an application form, valid passport, round trip ticket, proof of your internship offer, proof of sufficient funds to cover your financial needs during your time in peru, and an application fee. You can find out more information about visa requirements and the visa process by contacting a Peruvian Embassy in your home country.
Many internships in Lima will come with free accommodation, but if accommodation is not provided by your placement provider, there are affordable apartments for rent all over the city. Most apartments and other forms of housing can be found throughout the city for a relatively cheap price. Apartments are generally one bedroom units that are more comfy than they are spacious. Two and three bedroom apartments are also common. Apartments are usually fully-furnished, making the transition into life in Lima more convenient for foreign interns.
Benefits & Challenges
- Compensation Packages. Most internships in Lima come with good benefit packages that include free accommodation and a monthly stipend.
- Culture. Peruvians are very accommodating to foreigners and will always make sure that foreigners do not feel out of place during their time in Lima.
- Adventure. There are plenty of adventure activities to participate in, both in and around Lima, so interns will never be bored.
- Climate. The weather can sometimes be a bit challenging for interns, as it is normally very hot during any month of the year.
- Pollution & Traffic. The city’s two largest hazards include prevalent air pollution and heavy traffic.