Perfect for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and archaeological admirers, Peru is a great destination to find the internship of your dreams. With three very different geographic regions - coast, highland, and jungle - Peru’s diversity doesn’t stop there.

Animals of all kinds can be found ranging from cougars and llamas to dolphins and whales and the abundance of extreme sports such as paragliding and surfing will make you never want to leave. Home to some of the most warm-hearted people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting, it won’t be hard to fall in love with this country that tries their best to preserve their beautiful homeland.

Photo Credit: Gabi Schiller

Environmental/Sustainability

Despite Peru’s important achievements in the area of biodiversity management, there is still much work to be done. If you are interested in helping combat problems such as inadequate water supply, environmental degradation, urban air pollution and deforestation, then finding an internship in Peru is right for you. Learn how to focus on impacting the health of both urban and rural communities by immersing yourself in the country’s breathtaking natural resources.

Health Care

While it is true that Peru is becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, about a third of the population are still in dire need of basic health care services. Unfortunately, the country still has a long way to go despite the many steps the Peruvian government has taken to eliminate these problems. Many Health Care internships in Peru are available, especially if you’re interested in Nursing, Dentistry and Midwifery. Come visit this beautiful country and help make a difference in these patient’s lives.

Social Work

While foreigners from all over come to Peru for it’s unique tourist attractions and the chance to explore the modern city of Lima, it might be easy to forget that Peru is still known as a third world country. Unfortunately, many people in Peru still live in poverty and are in need of support. The chance to gain professional experience in Community Development and Human Rights is abundant in Peru and is a great place for those seeking to learn more about Social Work.

When and Where to Look for an Internship

With two very distinct seasons, wet and dry, the best time to land an internship in Peru is during their drier months which include May through October. To avoid tourists, try not to go in July and August which is their peak season for travel and many Peruvians tend to go on their own vacations between january and March. Depending on what type of internship you’d like, the locations may vary. Especially if you’re interested in giving back to the community, don’t be surprised if you’re placed in a more rural area.

Work and Labor Laws in Peru

A tourist visa is only needed if US citizens are planning to stay in Peru for more than 183 days. While your internship will most likely be unpaid, you may be able to acquire a bonus, living allowance, or other types of perks for your efforts depending on your employer.

Cost of Living

Fortunately, if you choose to intern in Peru, you won’t have to worry about busting your wallet. Overall, you will be able to get a lot for your money. For those coming from the US, the dollar is strong and Peruvian ATMS actually dispense both local currency (nuevos soles) and US dollars. If you’re staying in an expensive city like Lima or visiting high tourist spots such as Machu Picchu, you should expect to pay more but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stretch your budget during your time there. For more information, visit Numbeo.

Etiquette

In Peru, people are a lot more laid back so you can expect longer lunches and business meetings or social functions to begin and end late. This country is also old fashioned in the sense that organizations are more hierarchical so expect decisions and ideas to often come from the top and while the business world is still dominated by men, this is rapidly changing with more Peruvian women entering the workforce each and every day. Last but not least, Peruvians are conservative when it comes to their business attire but don’t be surprised if your co-workers ask you about your personal life. Peruvians are very friendly and often like to mix their private and professional lives together.

Language

While Spanish is the dominating language in Peru, many indigenous tongues are still spoken. If you are not a proficient Spanish speaker, it might be best for you to bring an interpreter to meetings since many high level executives may only have a working knowledge of English. However if you are feeling confident in your Spanish, don’t be surprised if there are slight regional variations in the language. Changes in pronunciation or common expressions may occur and often correspond with Peru’s three geographic regions.

Networking

Peru is proud to be a multiethnic country and it’s people are known for their welcoming hospitality. Cultivating relationships is important if you want to excel in your internship and networking is a great way to achieve friendships. Many expat networks exist online for those looking to interact with the international community that currently live in Peru.

There are helpful resources on LinkedIn's Peru Expat Network, Expat Peru, and Expat Blog's Peru section.

Programs

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