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 from South East Asia, East Africa, and elsewhere have made it a cultural melting pot with a diverse set of beliefs and customs.

At the same time, it's still a developing country and full of opportunities for interns to learn more about ecological conservation, community development, and politics and development.

Madagascar’s beautiful landscape, unique history, and extremely friendly population make it a great place to visit. Madagascar may not be the easiest destination to live and is definitely an adventure. But if you're looking for an off the beaten path destination for your internship and to get experience working in a developing nation, there's no other place like it.

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

In general, the cost of living in Madagascar is extremely low. Fresh fruit and vegetables are cheap and abundant -- though it does help to know a few phrases of Malagasy to get local prices instead of foreigner prices, of course!

For imported goods, such as sunscreen, pads and tampons, shampoo, etc. you will pay more than you're used to at home -- but not too much more. Be sure to pack what you can of these items before arriving.

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 roughly 2,000 Ariary.

Also note that in some regions of Madagascar, people will quote you prices in the old currency (Franc; 1USD = 10,000 Franc). Be sure to ask "Franc or Ariary" if a price seems high.

  • 1 bedroom apartment in Antananarivo: $355 / month
  • 1 bedroom apartment in a smaller city: $50 / month
  • 1 meal at a local hotely: $1
  • 1 expensive meal: $5
  • 1 way in-city bus ticket: $0.17

Etiquette

The work culture in Madagascar, and the culture in general, is relatively relaxed and laid back. Events don't always happen on time, and things happen at a slower pace.

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 meetings, you will often see newcomers enter and shake everyone's hand individually.

In general, people in Madagascar communicate on a very friendly level, and there is little to no personal space.

After the New Year, it's customary to say "happy new year" to whomever you haven't seen since before the New Year -- even if it's June.

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 work there. It is, however, incredibly helpful to know a few phrases for daily life.

Most official or professional communication is conducted in French and English to improve relations with other foreign countries -- though English is rarely, if ever, spoken outside of major cities.

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.

Internship Programs in Madagascar

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 programs
SEED Madagascar
SEED Madagascar Conservation Internship Madagascar
Madagascar
9.72 •25 reviews

Our conservation programme is based in the beautiful coastal region of...

Tru Experience Travel
See the World with Tru - Volunteer Internships and Adventure Travel
Multiple Countries
10 •5 reviews

Exciting Gap Year Travel, Gap Adventures, Gap Year Holidays and...

REEF EcoVolunteer Madagascar
Marine Environment Internship in Madagascar
Madagascar

Do you love the sea? Are you interested in sea conservation causes? Or...

Frontier
College Course Credit Internships Overseas
Multiple Countries

Embarking on an internship abroad is a great opportunity to gain...

Pioneer Madagascar
Intern in Madagascar with Pioneer Madagascar!
Madagascar

Interns will gain on-the-ground experience, invaluable for anyone...

Volunteer Programs in Madagascar

Volunteering is also a great way to gain working experience in Madagascar
  • Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute
    Forest Conservation Program
    Madagascar
    9.14 •7 reviews

    Our Forest Conservation volunteer program in Madagascar consists of...

  • REEF EcoVolunteer Madagascar
    Marine Conservation Volunteer in Madagascar
    Madagascar
    9.57 •7 reviews

    REEF Madagascar - a young Malagasy NGO with a young and dynamic team...

  • Nosy Be Conservation
    350 USD a Week Marine Conservation Program
    Madagascar
    9.4 •5 reviews

    Welcome to our Marine Conservation program. Here, what you will do...

  • International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
    Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Madagascar from $580
    Madagascar
    9.45 •29 reviews

    Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

  • Sainte Luce Reserve
    Lemur Reserve Conservation Volunteers in Madagascar
    Madagascar
    10 •2 reviews

    We need keen conservation volunteers to stay at the reserve from two...

  • Reef Doctor
    Reef Doctor: Become A Volunteer Reef Doctor
    Madagascar
    9.5 •2 reviews

    ReefDoctor is a small not-for-profit organization completing marine...

  • Blue Ventures
    Blue Ventures Marine Conservation Expedition in Madagascar
    Madagascar
    9 •15 reviews

    Volunteer with Blue Ventures in our remote research and expedition...

  • Frontier
    Marine Conservation & Diving in Madagascar from $255
    Madagascar
    10 •5 reviews

    Escape to Madagascar and a heavenly island home to some of the world's...

  • Tru Experience Travel
    TRU Experience Travel: Volunteer Projects in Multiple Locations
    Multiple Countries
    9.8 •5 reviews

    Tru Experience Travel have some of the most amazing volunteer...

What People Are Saying

It was so much fun. We got to complete so many different projects and really help the local community. Our leader, Hannah, was bubbly and friendly, and really got involved with the activities. We had...

Local orientation of the Allah Hill Tribe

I loved my time with SEED! The knowledge and passion of the staff is incredible and volunteering with an NGO in rural Madagascar is an unforgettable experience. As someone who is about to start...

Kids from the village

I've volunteered with SEED Madagascar three times now, as a volunteer, a research assistant and to revisit my home in Sainte Luce, for a total of nearly 20 months. The variety of biodiversity research...

Nature art club on a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the beach in Sainte Luce

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