Zambia, a large landlocked country in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa. recently earned praise from the World Bank for its rapid economic reforms. Having for long struggled through high rates of poverty and inequality, all signs are beginning to point up for this beautiful country which was formerly subjected under British Rhodesia. Taking the leap to intern abroad in Zambia will be a life-changing experience, where you can gain invaluable professional experience within an African country on the rise.
With roughly 16 million citizens, Zambia forms an integral part of sub-Saharan Africa. Home to extensive copper mines and bordered by a total of eight other countries – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola – it is now wonder why Zambia is a key focal point of the region. Situated in a tropical climate zone, Zambia is also home to an immense biodiversity of ecosystems and endemic species.
As Zambia continues to industrialize, its cities are developing into more popular destinations where to intern abroad. Ndola, a major commercial hub of the Copperbelt region with a population of nearly 500,000 citizens, is one particularly popular place to seek out internships abroad in Zambia. Livingstone, a major tourism center near to the infamous Victoria Falls, is another popular city where you can intern abroad in Zambia.
While internships in urban areas are available however, most of the country’s population continue to live in rural areas. Interning abroad in Zambia’s rural towns or villages will afford you a much different experience of the country, as large sectors of the population continue to work as subsistence farmers away from the industrial intensity of urban life.
Between the opportunities that lay in both urban and rural settings, internships abroad in Zambia are available across a wide array of professional sectors. Though the country continues to demonstrate a commitment to economic progress, many Zambian citizens still suffer from poverty and lack of access to valuable social services. It may come as no surprise, then, that development efforts encompass a wide spectrum of available internships abroad in Zambia.
On the public service side of development, you can intern abroad in areas such as education, medicine, or human rights, where you will likely be engaging directly with local citizens everyday to help bring them valuable social services. On the logistical side of development you can also intern abroad in Zambia in areas such as finance, law, and administration, which can be equally valuable in helping facilitate local projects.
Because of it’s immense biodiversity, internships abroad in Zambia are also popular within fields such as environmental management and wildlife sciences, where you can help survey and contribute to necessary preservation efforts. Internships in Zambia can typically last anywhere between three and six months, and some may offer the chance to combine your daily work with the opportunity to earn academic credit as well.
Salaries & Costs
Because it is a poor country, and because most internships abroad in Zambia are largely oriented toward public service, it is unlikely that you will receive a substantial salary for your work. It is more likely that you will be compensated by other means including housing, meals, and a stipend.
Nevertheless, life in Zambia will prove largely affordable for most international interns travelling from the industrialized world. Necessary costs of living will be comparatively inexpensive, and odds are you will find yourself leading a relatively simple lifestyle as well. The local currency in Zambia is the Zambian kwacha, which trades at about 5,200 ZMW to $1 USD.
Accommodation & Visas
Whether you intern abroad in Zambia in an urban or rural setting will largely determine what kinds of accommodation are available. You may be able to find your own apartment within a city, while in rural villages it is more common to live in a homestay or group housing situation. You can also expect living conditions to be much more basic in rural areas, where a majority of the population continue to work as subsistence farmers.
Zambia’s visa policy will vary depending on such factors as your home nation, the duration of your stay, and whether or not you will be paid for your internship. It is likely that you will be able to obtain the necessary visa upon arrival, but it’s a good idea to consult your internship provider and also check out our Zambian Embassy Directory in the meantime to be safe.
Benefits & Challenges
Communication. English is the national language in Zambia, making for an easy linguistic transition while you intern abroad. Nevertheless you will also find that interacting in a cross-cultural context greatly enhances your communication skills
Experience. Interning abroad in Zambia will be an experience of tremendous growth, both personally and professionally. It will not always be easy making the adjustment, but you will take an incredible amount away from the journey.
Impact. Last but certainly not least, interning abroad in Zambia is your opportunity to gain professional experience while also contributing to valuable on-the-ground efforts which can help bring valuable services to underserved citizens. It’s a win-win.