An island country off the coast of Southeast Africa, Madagascar is known for its amazing biodiversity. Its famously adorable ring-tailed lemurs draw thousands of tourists to the country every year. Several waves of migrants to the island have made it a cultural melting pot with a diverse set of beliefs and customs. Madagascar's beautiful landscape, interesting history, and extremely friendly population make it a great place to visit. Fly to the edge of Africa for a great internship and eye-opening travel experience!
- Main Industries: Agriculture, fishing, forestry, tourism, mining
- Popular Destinations: Antananarivo, Diego Suarez, Morondava, Nosy Iranja
- Cost of Living: $600-700 (NUMBEO)
- Visa: A visa and passport are required to travel to Madagascar; however, it is not required for U.S. citizens staying up to 90 days.
- Conservation: Madagascar's biodiversity is amazingly precious, but economic and global development processes have begun to negatively affect the country's natural ecosystems. Conservation, environmental education, and biodiversity research are new popular areas of work in Madagascar. Several non-profit organizations and environmentally focused companies are investing time and research into assisting with wildlife conservation. Intern in Madagascar to get some hands-on experience and help the world preserve its diversity!
- Community Development: Although Madagascar's growing ecotourism industry has provided a small economic boost, many people in Madagascar still live in poverty. There are several opportunities to assist with community development and education support in some of the smaller villages in the country. There are a variety of projects that interns can work on, including building schools, providing energy-efficient stoves and wells for clean water, and teaching children about health. For those interested in making a difference in society, an internship in Madagascar is a great way to begin.
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
The easiest way to find an internship in Madagascar is to contact a non-profit organization or apply through a program provider. Internship program providers usually have established connections with organizations in Madagascar that offer internship opportunities. Pay attention to the application deadlines for these programs!
Cost of Living in Madagascar:
While the cost of living in Madagascar is extremely low. As a third world country, Madagascar also doesn't offer many of the daily luxuries most international travelers are used to. Below are some examples of living costs in Madagascar. While the currency used in Madagascar is the Malagasy Ariary, the prices have been converted to USD to help you get a better gage of the costs. Note that 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 2182 MGA.
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Center: $355
- 1 inexpensive meal: $5
- 1 way transportation ticket: $0.17
Work Culture in Madagascar:
- Etiquette: The work culture in Madagascar is relatively relaxed. If you are working in a business environment, it is best to dress more conservatively and professionally. If you are volunteering with a community development center, the dress code is less defined. The most common form of greeting is a handshake with the right hand while the left hand holds the right arm below the elbow. In general, people in Madagascar communicate on a very friendly level, and there is little to no personal space.
- Language: The official languages spoken in Madagascar are Malagasy and French. The locals will be very impressed if you can communicate in Malagasy, but knowing the language is by no means a requirement to live and work there. Most official or professional communication is conducted in French and English to improve relations with other foreign countries.
- Networking: The concept of professional networking in Madagascar is quite new. However, people have always highly valued developing good relationships with others. The Malagasy culture emphasizes friendship and familial connection, so "networking" is almost a daily part of life.
Work and Labor Laws in Madagascar
Madagascar's labor laws establish basic guidelines for employment and compensation. While international interns in Madagascar are usually unpaid, they are treated with the same respect as other workers.
Why Intern in Madagascar?
Madagascar is the perfect place for environmental enthusiasts and social workers to explore the ways they can contribute to their field of work. As one of the world's most biologically diverse countries, Madagascar has countless national parks and rainforests. There's a reason why people from around the world continue to travel to Madagascar to see the amazing species that the Earth has to offer. Go intern in Madagascar to explore the planet's natural wonders and build up some great professional experience.
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