FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The process of finding you a matching internship may take between 4 to 12 weeks. We recommend to apply around 3 months before the date you would like to start your internship. You can start at any date you’d like.
What happens after I applied?
A lot of people who want to do an internship or a volunteering experience in Colombia try to apply themselves, but this always seems to lead to a frustrating outcome, with the majority of the companies never responding to their e-mails.
Interships Colombia has over 50 partner organizations to have an experience in Medellín and Bogotá and that number is growing weekly.
Because we have good partnerships with these organizations, it’s easier for us to connect a candidate to a company.
Students and Graduates who gave up the frustrating process of finding an internship by themselves, did find an internship after participating in our program.
Why should I do the program ?
Our Internship Program is available for either Students (for example for filling a gap year) and young professionals. We don’t only provide internships, but also volunteering, Spanish courses and salsa classes. This program therefore is for all ages, students, graduates and all kind of people.
Who can participate in our program?
When do I need to apply?
After you applied by filling out the application form on our webpage, we will set up a Skype call with you, to get to know you better and to explore your wishes for an internship. In this call you can tell and ask us everything that you would like to tell/ know about an internship, about Colombia etc. We will also tell you about the way we work, and what you may expect from us for the rest of the process.
Colombia is a fascinating country with a spectacular landscape, very friendly and joyful people. It was ranked as the happiest country in the world in 2012.
The country has also a strong musical and dance culture:
Salsa, Merengue, Vallenato, Bachata, Reggaeton, Porro, Champeta, Cumbia...
Colombia provides fantastic conditions and opportunities for students looking to do internships in Latin America as the country is still relatively unknown to foreigners while the need for high-quality interns is higher than ever.
On top of that, Colombia's economy is growing rapidly and the perspectives are very good. Colombia will, according to the Economist, have the sixth major growth amongst the top 20 economies of the world within the next five years, with an annual GDP growth rate of 4.6%.
What Internships are available ?
We ask you to pay an initial fee before starting the searching process to get your full commitment to the program. You may expect the same from us: we will do everything we have to find you a matching internship - we have a success rate of 95%. A lot of work is done by us by the time we set up a Skype interview between the potential company and candidate. Therefore, if you decide to change your mind after paying the initial fee, we do not refund it.
Why do I have to pay an initial fee?
We have a lot of vacancies for internships/volunteering. The most popular ones are displayed on our website in the section "latest internships/volunteering”.
Besides this, in order to having good partnerships with our partner organizations in Medellin and Bogota, we often generate demand for specific positions after showing our interesting candidate profiles, without necessarily having a vacancy at the moment.
Therefore, even if your dream internship might not be displayed on our website, it is absolutely worthwhile applying for an internship. You will tell us about your desired internship, and we will try find you the perfect organization.
How do we communicate?
We use Skype to facilitate our meetings and the internship / NGO interviews. During the process you will talk to us several times using Skype. The interview with the organization is also provided by the use of Skype.
Therefore, to be able to participate you will need to get yourself a Skype account.
Are the internships unpaid or paid ?
Most internships are unpaid.
When they are paid they are usually for a duration of 5 to 6 months and for candidates with at least an intermediate level of Spanish.
The monthly wage is around 300 USD, which is the minimum wage for an employee in Colombia. Note that this will not be enough to cover your monthly costs!
What about the safety in Colombia?
Colombia’s safety has drastically improved since 2002. All the stories you might have heard about Colombia not being safes date from 15 - 20 years ago.
Of course, the country still has its problems, but the cities are as safe as any other city in a Latin American country.
Some facts to support these words: Colombia´s capital city has a lower murder rate than the USA's capital city. In 2011 the homicide rate in Bogotá fell to 21.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 21.9 in Washington D.C.
The government under Alvaro Uribe launched a strong offensive against the country’s insurgency groups. Since Juan Manuel Santos took power in 2010, these groups have continued to weaken and lose popularity among Colombians. The government said in early 2012 that 94% of the country was safe for travel and that only 6% of its territory was under potential threat from terrorist groups or organized criminal bands.
We have a close connection with the Immigration Office in Medellin.
Candidates from the countries listed below can get a tourist visa when entering the country. They do not need to do any paperwork before coming to Colombia.
This tourist visa will not give you permission to work (either voluntary or paid) in Colombia. Therefore you will need a visa letter to gives you the permission to work for up to 6 months. We will provide this visa letter for you and help you with the process of renewing your visa.
List of countries with entrance to Colombia: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovaquia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, United kingdom, Venezuela.
Citizens who are not from these countries will need to obtain the visa from a Colombian embassy or consulate before coming to Colombia.
Unfortunately we still do not have the labor force to handle certain cases, since countries that require a visa to enter Colombia, have a longer and more complicated process, which does not guarantee the acceptance of the application, at the moment we can not manage your process due to migratory issues that leave our jurisdiction and we do not want to make you to go through a process that requires time and money without having the guarantee that it will be completed successfully". (This is part of the email that we send to the "unfriendly" nationalities when they approach us).
How about the visa?
The monthly spending for a candidate will be on average 800 - 1000 USD. The average rent for an apartment will be between USD 200 - 400, the food around 300 USD and others 300 USD (transportation, going out, etc).
To get a better idea of the cost of life in Colombia, please find a list of indicative average prices in USD.
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant : USD 4 - 5
A meal prepared yourself: USD 2
1 transport ticket by metro: USD 0.9
A domestic beer : USD 1.3
A cup of coffee: USD 1
A coke or pepsi bottle (0.33 l) : USD 0.9
Movies: USD 5
What is the cost of living in Colombia?
Holidays: if you would like to take a day off, you can discuss this directly with your mentor/coach from the company you work for.
Bank holidays: Colombia has a lot of bank holidays. There are a lot of "puentes" which means that the Monday is a day off, which gives you a great opportunity to explore Colombia in a long weekend.
Weekly hours: The typical working hours in Colombia are Monday to Friday from 8:00 tot 5:00 pm. Lunch break is usually one hour. Some companies might have slightly different hours or work on Saturdays, but it is not very common.
Our goal will always be to make the perfect match between candidate and company. Therefore it’s very important that you tell us exactly what you’re searching for in an internship.
On the other hand, we ask you to be flexible and open to different options.
But it is still possible that the match is not exactly what you were hoping for. If this happens, we expect you to communicate about this to us!