Pakistan is located in South Asia and is situated along the Arabian Sea. Pakistan is both ethnically and linguistically diverse, and is home to many different animal species and boasts breathtaking mountains, untainted beaches, and expansive deserts.
While Pakistan often makes headlines for unfortunate social and political turmoil, there are still opportunities for professional development and growth in existing sectors. Pakistan is a good destination for interns interested in politics, community development, economics, engineering, and computer science. If any of these areas interest you, and you're open to a less conventional destination for your international internship, consider applying for opportunities in Pakistan.
While Pakistan's internship opportunities are considerably limited compared to other countries, interns will still find options based on their interests with the added benefit of getting the opportunity to explore a fascinating country.
Engineering and Computer Science
Interns may find themselves joining a team of engineers to help develop software or take on difficult projects. This can also include electrical, manufacturing, and machine design jobs. Interns who are more interested in computer science may venture into developing computer software and coding.
Politics and Community Development
Because of Pakistan’s interesting history and relationships to other countries, students may want to dive into this topic further by interning in government based jobs or with NGOs.
Interning in economics will give students the chance to learn a great deal about the economic infrastructure in Pakistan while providing an in-depth look at what the industry is like in a developing country.
Students will need to apply for a visa prior to arrival in Pakistan. A tourist and student visa costs around $192, while a work visa costs around $228. Learn more by visiting the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s website.
Interns will find Pakistan relatively affordable, especially when compared to the US and countries in Europe. The average meal at a restaurant is around $2. Interns can easily budget themselves on $15-30 a day or less, since housing, food, and transportation within the country is quite cheap and affordable.
Interns should keep in mind that any medical expenses, supplies, equipment, and toiletries will set them back in their budget.
Pakistan experiences three different seasons. The monsoon season is from July to September, winter is from November to March, and summer is from April to July. During the monsoon season, interns should pack rain boots and a rain jacket, and other waterproof clothing that can also be layered. During the winter, pack thick, warm clothes that can be layered. For interns working in the summer, pack loose fitting cotton clothing to keep cool and dry.
Interns must also keep in mind that they may need professional attire for their internship, such as a suit jacket, suit pants, and dress shoes. Interns should find this out prior to arriving in Pakistan. Take care to respect the Islamic religion and culture and always dress modestly and respectfully, especially when out in public.
- Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and is considered the political seat of the country.
- The largest city in Pakistan is Karachi, also known as the city of light. It is the economic center of Pakistan, which is great for students interested in interning in finance or economics.
- One of the more cultural cities in Pakistan is Lahore, which is known for their traditional events and mouth watering street food.
If their program includes housing, interns may live in a shared apartment or dorm with other interns in their program. However, many internships require interns to arrange housing independently. Utilities and housing in Pakistan is relatively cheap, and students may find it quite easy to live on their own or with a few other people.
The national language of Pakistan is Urdu, but the main spoken language is Punjabi. There are multiple regional languages in Pakistan, which gives interns a great opportunity to learn another language, especially through a crash course or a longer immersion course that lasts the duration of their program.
Family is very important in Pakistan, and family matters are more private in the country especially when compared to other countries. Pakistanis prefer to work with people they trust, and will take the time and effort to get to know their coworkers personally and on a deeper level.
There are no required vaccinations to enter Pakistan, but interns should be up to date on any routine vaccinations they may need. Interns should talk to their health care provider to determine what’s best for them, especially if traveling to more than one destination.
Tap water is not suitable for drinking in Pakistan, so you should always remember to purchase sealed water bottles or use a purification system for their water. Stay away from ice and other food that may be contaminated.
As of 2016, the U.S. Passports & International Travel website warns travelers against all non-essential travel to Pakistan. This is due to significant terrorist violence in Pakistan, which is generally targeted at government officials, NGO employees, law personnel and many more, as well as attacks at universities, schools, rallies, and elsewhere.
Interns must take their own safety very seriously if they’re considering interning in Pakistan. Internship programs may have specific safety guidelines for international interns to follow while in the country. As in any country, always be extremely careful when walking around, especially if alone. Be wary of theft on public transportation and in crowded areas. It's often best to leave valuables at home and make copies of important documents like passports.