Thousands of islands filled with vibrant culture, optimism, and mother nature’s beauty. The flowing waterfalls of Biliran, white sand beaches of Boracay, and all of the beauty of rural Filipino villages will astonish any curious intern. The Philippines is an untapped paradise of opportunities for growth and development. With a world of social issues that need assistance from agriculture to sociology, you’ll find rewarding placements on the naturally wonderful islands as an intern abroad in the Philippines.
Where to Intern in the Philippines
Divided into three main regions with more than 7,000 tropical islands, and with emerald rice fields and plentiful outdoor activities, The Philippines has something for everyone. When you’re not working hard, you’ll find pleasure in sunbathing on beaches and ziplining over mountains. Here are some of the best cities for interning in the Philippines.
Manila. The “Pearl of the Orient” boasts an urban atmosphere with its skyscrapers and air conditioning, but if you’re looking to dig deep into this metropolis, then you’ll discover the edgy galleries, markets, bars, and indie music scene. Being the cultural center of the Philippines, you can explore museums full of art and history, shop until you drop, and stroll through national parks to your heart’s delight. If you’re looking to get a head start on working your way up the corporate ladder, interning here is a good head start.
Cebu City. You’ll find this energetic, fast-paced city in central Philippines in the Visayas. With an endless supply of Filipino-Spanish heritage buildings, you’ll get a good dose of architectural views while you’re here. The plentiful monuments, cathedrals, and temples all make this city an interesting hodgepodge of stunning sites. From sports events to artsy endeavors, you’ll find an internship that aligns with one of those here.
Dumaguete. While this southeastern city is known as a hip university town filled with thousands of expats, you’ll still enjoy the harbourfront with its bars, restaurants, and food spots. For those who love the water, it’s also a hotspot for dive sites as well. With numerous universities and three major hospitals, this city is an ideal place for those looking to work in the medical field, from radiology to midwifery and more.
Popular Fields for Internships
Whether you’re interested in caring for others or learning the business ropes, you’ll find a short-term or long-term Philippines internship that suits your needs. Here are the popular types of internships for international students in the Philippines.
Due to prevalent social issues in the Philippines, social work internships at nonprofit organizations in the charity sector are the most popular internship type. You could choose to intern at community centers or orphanages, where you’ll be focusing on helping the staff distribute food and provide educational activities.
For those that are more interested in business opportunities and spreading the word, marketing, advertising, & PR internships might be a good fit for you. You’ll have opportunities to learn from experienced mentors and gain hands-on training in the fields of photography, journalism, and business. You could choose to work with top corporations, small businesses, or nonprofit organizations.
Health internships available in the Philippines allow students and experienced healthcare professionals alike with unparalleled on the job experience. Filipinos tend to be quite open to letting interns try out almost anything, giving beginner healthcare professionals the opportunity of a lifetime.
Costs of Interning in the Philippines
Most of the internships are on a volunteer basis, so most of them are unpaid. If the internship is paid, salaries are lower in the Philippines in compared to Western Nations, so don’t expect to receive Western wages. However, living costs, regardless of accommodation, and eating costs (meals are usually between $2 and $6) are much lower, making reduced wages easily liveable. You’ll most likely need to cover the airfare cost, and scholarships can help minimize big expenses.
Accommodations in the Philippines
If you’re staying in urban placements, you can expect to share an apartment or flat with other interns. If you prefer to stay an apartment, then you can expect the rent to be anywhere between $350 to $800, depending on location and number of rooms. If you’re staying in more rural placements, then you’ll more than likely be sharing a house with others or receiving a homestay placement.
Visas for the Philippines
With a valid passport and a return ticket, you can receive an entry visa that lasts 30 days upon arrival in the Philippines. If you have an unpaid Philippines internship, then participants from almost any country in the world can stay in the Philippines for extended periods with this standard tourist visa with little to no problems, as long as they continue to renew their visa at various times. For more information on visa requirements, visit GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
GoAbroad's Insider Tips
Fun times. Interns should expect to be invited to many fiestas throughout any stay in the Philippines. Fiestas are celebrated in each city, province, community, and village throughout the year — on the day that is considered their patron saints feast day.
Cultural etiquette. Filipinos are not focused on promptness or being overly formal in their interactions — except of course when it comes to addressing their elders or superiors by name.
From the colonial architecture to the adrenaline-filled activities to the tropical sunsets, you’ll live your life to the fullest during your days during your Philippines internship.