Jamaica has far more to offer than gorgeous beaches, Bob Marley, and fancy resorts. Outside of being a popular vacation destination, Jamaica is also a beautiful island with a rich history and cultures that trace back hundreds of years.
There’s a particular pulse to the island from its varied musical heritage to its creole food to its outdoor activities that rival those found in Costa Rica. In short, it’s not just a place you want to stop by on a cruise -- it’s a country where you can life, and live fully.
For students, Jamaica has a lot of internship opportunities to offer. You can volunteer in a healthcare facility, intern in the journalism field, or work for a community development organization.
So what are you waiting for? Explore internships in Jamaica and discover this amazing island.
There are many different internship opportunities in Jamaica spanning from culinary arts to psychology. Overall, though, the majority of internships are in a few different fields.
Some internships are more general, while others are major-specific (like marketing, for example).
Whether you are an undergraduate student or in medical school, Jamaica has many healthcare opportunities. Some are specialized—for example, for nursing, dental, or midwife students.
There are quite a few internship programs dedicated specifically to journalism majors.
Planning Your Trip
Kingston, as both the capital city of and the largest city in Jamaica, is a popular destination for internships in this country. It is the business capital of Jamaica as well and is home to a thriving nightlife, the largest botanical gardens in the Caribbean, and numerous restaurants, museums, and other cultural institutions.
Mandeville is located west of Kingston and is the capital of the parish of Manchester. Located in a sea of green mountains, flora, and fauna, Mandeville is very colonial in its architecture and has a very English feel to it.
Montego Bay is found right on the coast and feels like more of a resort destination than anything. What better place to intern abroad than a city where you can hit Doctor’s Cave, one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica? But there’s far more to do than just sunbathe at the beach: Montego Bay also has a lot of activities and diversions for adventure-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Other internship programs are in the parishes of St. Catherine and St. Elizabeth especially. St. Catherine has more active industries than other parishes—particularly manufacturing and agriculture. St. Elizabeth, meanwhile, is one of the most multicultural areas of Jamaica.
The majority of the internship programs offer home stays with host families as the main forms of accommodation. Home stays offer definite advantages in that you can live with a Jamaican family and really be immersed in the culture.
Other programs have student housing complexes and dorms or partner with local hotels and resorts for placements.
U.S. citizens can travel to and stay in Jamaica for up to 90 days without a visa. Most of the internship programs last anywhere from 1-8 weeks, so you most likely will not a visa for your program. You also need to have a passport that is valid for least six months from your entry.
In general, most of the internship programs in Jamaica cost $1,500 for one week and between $5,000-$6,000 (or a little bit more) if your program is longer (usually 5-8 weeks).
Health & Safety
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel health notices for the Zika virus. When preparing for your trip to Jamaica, definitely check out the latest news on this virus, review different prevention techniques, and take the proper, advised precautions.
The CDC also advises that you are up-to-date in routine vaccines and have the specific vaccines for Hepatitis A and typhoid.
Interns should make sure that their healthcare coverage extends into Jamaica. If it doesn't, you'll either get travel insurance through your program provider or have to sign up for it on your own through a company like WorldNomads.
Petty theft is the biggest safety concern to be aware of. To avoid this, make sure that you avoid wearing flashy jewelry or carrying around valuable objects unless absolutely necessary. Stick to well-lit roads and don't go out at night alone.
You should also make sure to only take licensed taxis; they have red plates with white letters and digits.