If you want to spot the Big Five, stand in awe in front of Victoria Falls (one of the natural wonders of the world), and discover ancient World Heritage sites, consider interning abroad in Zimbabwe. After changing names and governments multiple times, slipping from one conflict into another, and enduring political and economical disaster, Zimbabwe is certainly not lacking scars. For all that it has endured though, this nation remains friendly and welcoming, sturdy and resilient. As well as fulfilling a need for skilled workers, interns in Zimbabwe can benefit from the astounding natural beauty and the uncomplicated warmth of locals.
Zimbabwe makes up for being landlocked by possessing a vast array of landscapes, ranging from the exquisite rock formations of the highvelds to the cloud-hung Eastern Highlands. Wherever you go, you will meet smiles, curiosity, and friendliness from the local people.
Harare. The capital city of Zimbabwe is also the largest and most populous. The main power and influence of the country stems from this city, with many internship opportunities in finance and business. There is no shortage of skyscrapers and tree-lined boulevards in Harare. Jacarandas bloom all over the city, and the pleasant climate gives it a laidback summery feel. Harare is the most popular destination for internships in Zimbabwe.
Gweru. The location of Gweru, near the center of Zimbabwe, makes it a top internship destination because it is accessible from almost all points of the nation. Also, it has many companies and institutions that offer internship programs to foreigners.
Victoria Falls. The celebrated Victoria Falls are the biggest tourist attraction in Zimbabwe, and for good reason. The cloud of mist rising from the falls can be seen from 20 miles away, so interns in the area will have a near-constant reminder that they are working next to the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.
Internships in Zimbabwe
Although Zimbabwe is undergoing major changes and development, it still faces many financial, social, and environmental challenges. Beyond the issues surrounding the breakdown of educational and medical services, Zimbabwe is facing environmental problems of drought, poaching, and deforestation.
Subsequently, there is not only a need for interns to share their skills, but a wide range of placements to suit all interests. Most students who intern abroad in Zimbabwe work on projects related to community development or the conservation and preservation of wildlife and natural resources. Zimbabwe is a vulnerable country; therefore, its government and various organizations will continually hire individuals from across the globe to alleviate the situation in the country.
Zoology & Wildlife Sciences. Famed for its wildlife and natural resources, there are many environmental and wildlife organizations devoted to the struggle to conserve and protect Zimbabwe’s endangered species. Conservation volunteer and internship programs are offered in almost all parts of Zimbabwe. These programs give interns a close-up wildlife experience, as well as a the opportunity to make a real ad much-needed contribution to the conservation and sustainable development sectors.
Medicine. Zimbabwe faces persistent health issues. As well as huge numbers of HIV/AIDS infected patients, there are frequent outbreaks of other deadly diseases, such as cholera and malaria. The government, along with numerous organizations, has been working hard in halting the spread of these diseases, and providing adequate healthcare for those affected. In this light, health-related internship programs are a good opportunity for foreigners who have a background in general health, and those who are compassionate about helping others.
Social Work. Foreign interns are welcomed in the battle to alleviate poverty in Zimbabwe. There are a multitude of issues facing Zimbabwean citizens, so an internship in social work could be working with orphans or homeless teens, providing education and support to women, or working in community outreach and development. There is a strong human element in these kinds of internships, and as well as learning more about the struggles developing nations face, you will forge lifelong connections with the people you work with.
Salaries & Costs
Internship programs in Zimbabwe are usually in the form of volunteer placements. This means that you may need to make a monetary contribution in order to join a program, and you won’t receive a salary. In exchange for the program fees, you will receive accommodation, meals, and in most cases transfers to and from the nearest airport. You also get unlimited support and extensive training, so while the costs of joining a program may seem expensive upfront, just consider how much you will be getting out of it: you can’t put a pricetag on an invaluable experience!
The living costs in Zimbabwe for unpaid interns are much lower than in more developed countries, owing to its recent economic collapse. It is worth noting though, that as it is a landlocked country Zimbabwe relies heavily on imports from neighboring countries. This means that prices for commodities ad some food items are relatively high compared in Zimbabwe compared to its neighbors. For example, eating in an inexpensive restaurant costs around $10, while in a mid-range restaurant you could pay up to $40 for a meal for two.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodation while interning in Zimbabwe will vary largely depending on your internship placement and location. In urban centers, housing will often be in studio apartments or in shared rooms. You will have most of the amenities you are accustomed to, and transport options will be readily available. Meanwhile, in rural areas, living conditions can be a lot more basic. Houses are commonly made of brick or mud, with very simple construction.
More well-established centers and programs will still be able to offer most creature comforts, but if you are involved in community work, you may be expected to live like the locals do. This might be a difficult adjustment, but experiencing a way of life totally removed from your own is just as insightful as what you will learn on site at your placement.
Foreign interns in Zimbabwe are required to obtain the correct visa. Visitors to Zimbabwe fall into three visa categories: no visa required, visa on entry, and visa before arrival. Canada, the United States, and most European countries fall into the second group. If you are included in this category, this means you can procure your visa as you go through immigration and pay a fee upon arrival. If you fall into the third category, you will be eligible to apply for an e-visa online. Once you have your tourist visa, you can stay in Zimbabwe for up to three months. For further information, and to verify what type of visa you will need, use the GoAbroad Embassy Directory to contact the Zimbabwean embassy in your home country.
Benefits & Challenges
Interning abroad in Zimbabwe is an opportunity to have a lasting impact in a vulnerable country. Combining international work experience with the possibility to volunteer where it is needed is an ideal scenario for many passionate interns. You will have the opportunity to integrate into local communities, and experience the country in a way tourists never could.
Although tourism is only just starting to pick up in Zimbabwe, there are travel opportunities in every corner of the countries. Beat the crowds and grab the chance to spot some of the most impressive wildlife in the world. Going on a safari and spotting animals like lions, rhinos, and hippos in their natural environment is at the top of almost every bucket list. Interning abroad in Zimbabwe will give you the chance to live your very own African adventure, whether it is electing an internship placement that deals directly with wildlife, or jumping on a safari in your free time.
Although it is making strides towards regaining some of its former prosperity, Zimbabwe is still a poor country, where unemployment is rife. Although there is no great risk to your safety, robberies driven by desperation do occur, so interns should be aware of their surroundings at all times. It pays to be mindful of what local people have been through, and to be respectful of the hardships they face. Tipping is always appreciated.
Taking up an internship in Zimbabwe might feel like diving off the Victoria Falls, but it is a risk that will pay off again and again. Take the leap and change your own life while you change the lives of others.