Traces of the Zika virus have been found in Mexico. To learn more about Zika and how to avoid getting infected, read the Washington Post's article on Zika precautions.
As one of the most populous countries in the world with a variety of strong industries, there is a large potential for internships in Mexico. Economic development has been a primary concern of President Peña Nieto, especially in terms of environmental protection, health care, public security, and economic competitiveness. Interns in Mexico will have the chance to learn from and contribute to a growing economy.
- Conservation: Conservation internships are some of the most fun and exciting ways to get involved in local issues in Mexico. A conservation intern may have the chance to focus on several types of conservation: marine life (sea turtle conservation is especially popular in Mexico), wildlife, and environmental. Some internships allow you to spend time outdoors and use your hands, whether it’s patrolling beaches at night to save turtle eggs, or planting trees. Other internships focus on research in the conservation field. If you have a background in animal life, veterinary work, or environmental research and policy, a conservation internship in Mexico would be a perfect fit!
- Journalism: Get on the front line of breaking news in Mexico with a journalism internship! International journalism internships are a popular way to gain experience abroad regardless of where you go. Journalism in Mexico is an especially exciting (and sometimes risky) business. News never stops but always be aware of local events and safety procedures. No matter what journalism experience you have, journalism internships in Mexico will allow you to understand how newspapers or radio stations run from the inside. You will also gain valuable experience for your resume and portfolio.
- Tourism and Hospitality: As one of the most important industries in Mexico, tourism and hospitality internships are plentiful. Whether you want to work with a tourism association directly to promote travel to Mexico or gain hospitality experience with local businesses, Mexico is a perfect place to learn about the tourism industry. As an intern, you will have the opportunity to interact with expats, traveling foreigners, and locals alike. Practice Spanish and learn what makes Mexico such a great travel destination!
Planning Your Internship in Mexico
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Internships can likely be found throughout Mexico any time of the year. Those interested in working with the tourism industry will find most relevant internship opportunities in big cities like the capital and along the border in beach resort towns like Cancun.
The coast of Mexico is a great place to find unique internships like marine life conservation. Other types of internships (including finance, agriculture, education, and more) can be found anywhere in the country so you can choose a destination based on your interests. For example, do you want to be in a city or a rural pueblo?
Cost of Living in Mexico:
The cost of living in Mexico can depend on where exactly you are living and how resourceful you are. Most cities in Mexico offer a mix of upscale accommodations and dining with cheaper, quieter, and more casual options as well. Either way, living expenses are going to be less than those of the US, UK or other western countries. ExpatForum offers more details on living expenses in Mexico.
Work Culture in Mexico:
- Etiquette: Business etiquette in Mexico is relatively relaxed. You should always arrive to meetings and appointments on time but don’t be surprised if your colleagues and associates are up to 30 minutes late. Business associates usually enjoy discussing their personal lives with each other as well.
- Language: Spanish is the official language of Mexico but it definitely isn’t the only language spoken in the nation. Most interns use their experience in Mexico as a way to practice Spanish and become immersed in it. However, there are plenty of places where English is common, including many tourist hotspots in the north and throughout the country. In more rural areas, you will encounter people who only speak indigenous languages of the Zapotec people. No matter where you are, it’s recommended to brush up on your Spanish vocabulary that’s relevant to the field you’re going to be interning in.
- Networking: Good networking and relationship building can make or break your professional experience in Mexico. It helps to become friendly with other industry professionals and share personal information to strengthen that connection. Formal meetings and dress are common with many executives in corporate settings.
Work and Labor Laws in Mexico
Many people believe the labor laws in Mexico need a big overhaul. There are labor laws in place to restrict work weeks over 48 hours and to enforce a minimum wage. However, there are less rules and regulations when it comes to internships so make sure the terms and conditions of your work schedule and pay are agreed upon and understood by both parties.