If you’re trying to find a unique place to intern, Croatia’s mix of glamour and traditional authenticity is the place for you! Get lost amongst the stunning beaches and sunshine while exploring the country’s cultural treasures, architecture, and folkloric culture.
Despite being known as “Europe’s Vacation Hotspot,” Croatia’s beauty doesn't attract the typical hordes of tourists, leaving streets of authentic culture and a perfect landscape for an international internship.
Tourism and Hospitality: This field is huge in Croatia, and many interns flock toward the recreational and leisure business to learn how to manage hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists from all over the world searching for a nice vacation spot. Interns have the opportunity to work as tour guides and enjoy the various gastronomy, wines, and beaches that Croatia offers. The real setting of clients and guests will give interns the chance to really practice their time management, self confidence, adaptability, and communication skills.
Trade and Economics: Commerce is an extremely important industry in Croatia as well, and students specializing in economics or international trade would love the opportunity to intern in this country. Croatia has an extremely stable market economy as well as a very stable currency (the Kuna). In fact, Croatia exports in 2007 were valued at $12.84 billion.
Agriculture: Agricultural industries also have many openings for internships, as food processing accounts for a very significant portion of Croatia’s economy. Whether you wish to specialize in agriculture, forestry, or fishing, Croatia is the place to hone in on those food developing skills.
When and Where to Look for an Internship
There are several companies that can help you secure internships abroad. For example, AIESEC is the largest youth-run organization in the world and offers internships in over 113 countries. Internships are almost always unpaid as the intern is gaining valuable skills and experience, so it’s important to apply early so that you can find a good match between yourself and the company. For example, start applying in January if you are looking for a summer internship in the same year!
Internships are available in almost any field, as long as you look around enough! Zagreb, Croatia’s capital and huge economic center, offers many opportunities for professional development and business management. On the other hand, students who are interested in the tourism industry should consider a summer internship along the coast of Dalmatia or Istria, where tourists flock every summer.
Cost of Living in Croatia
According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Croatia is a little cheaper than the cost of living in the United States. A typical meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs $7.92 whereas a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant would cost around $35. A three bedroom apartment will cost between $475-650 a month, depending on how close it is to the city center. A one way ticket on the local transport costs $1.94 on average.
Work Culture in Croatia
- Etiquette: Always use a firm handshake and direct eye contact, for Croatians perceive weak handshakes to mean that you have a weak character and are hiding something. Be sure to remain standing until you are invited to sit down. Punctuality, as always, is taken extremely seriously. Business is generally conducted slowly, so be sure to be patient!
- Networking: Always be sure to expect some small talk before business is discussed. Also, Croatian companies usually have hierarchical structures where the bulk of the decision making occurs at the top of the company.
- Language: Croatian is the main language in Croatia. Many Croatians speak English as their second language, but German and Italian are very popular too. Croatian is not an easy language to learn, but if you make an effort to learn the basics (hello, thank you), many of the locals you encounter will take it as a sign of respect and appreciate it greatly!
Contributed by Sunny Chen
The European Union has announced it has closed its borders to all non-European Union residents. Travel within the European Union is restricted on a country by country basis. Croatia has barred admission to all travelers except Croatian residents returning home, foreign citizens departing to their home countries, diplomats, law enforcement, medical workers, controlled shipments of goods, and others on a case by case basis.