With a beautiful landscape of rolling hills, Ukraine is a hidden gem for history buffs, cultural enthusiasts, and curious travelers. Enchanting Turkish and Polish castles on the west and the Greek ruins of Chersonesos provide evidence of previous foreign influences and give the country an air of fantasy.
In fact, Ukraine’s somewhat tumultuous history with civil war, the Great War, and break from the Soviet Union has led it to develop an air of independence. Interning in Ukraine is a great way to immerse yourself in a dynamic country and gain some international work experience at the same time!
Journalists are always on the go and ready to travel to wherever the news takes them. One of the best ways to expand your journalistic skills is to intern in Ukraine and conduct report from abroad. Don’t be afraid to encounter any language barriers, cultural taboos, or different working styles. The challenges that come from interning abroad in Ukraine as a journalist will be extremely rewarding. Build your portfolio with reports from Ukraine!
Why not study Ukrainian public policy and intern with the Ukrainian Parliament? For those interested in international relations, political science, law, or government, interning in Ukraine can be a great professional experience. Not only will you be able to literally work with an international governmental entity, but also be exposed to politicians and foreign ambassadors that have the power to influence an entire country’s public policies. Get some real hands-on experience with a government internship in Ukraine!
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
While it is entirely possible to cold-email or cold-call a potential employer, internships in Ukraine are usually organized through third party internship program providers. These providers often make it easier to plan your trip, as they may organize housing arrangements and networking opportunities in addition to your internship placement. The length of your internship may vary based on your personal preferences as well as the opportunities available in Ukraine. Apply for internship programs online, and pay attention to the deadlines and extra fees.
Cost of Living in Ukraine
The cost of living in Ukraine is quite low. Groceries, education, and communication costs tend to be much lower than clothing and housing. Like most other countries, living costs in metropolitan areas tend to be much higher than those in smaller towns. The majority of your living expenses will most likely come from housing and food, if you eat out more often. Below are some examples of living costs in Ukraine. Keep in mind that 1 Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) is approximately equivalent to 0.12 USD.
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Center: 3,260 UAH
- 1 inexpensive meal: 57 UAH
- 1 way transportation ticket: 2.13 UAH
Work and Labor Laws in Ukraine
The Ukrainian labor laws set guidelines for employment in Ukraine and outline employee and employer rights. While some minors are allowed to begin work, international interns in Ukraine tend to be unpaid.
The Ukrainian work culture is somewhat relaxed in the sense that they do not observe some of the formalities of Western Business.
Ukrainians are often a little bit late to meetings and schedules or deadlines are not strict. In general, the workplace is very open and warm; people highly value developing good relationships between colleagues and managers. To be safe, dress relatively conservatively, even though the work environment may seem more relaxed than other countries.
While Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine, Russian is also popularly used in professional environments. Most internships in Ukraine will require interns to understand and speak at least a basic level of Ukrainian or Russian in order to ease communication. If you are a journalism intern, fluency in Ukrainian will be especially helpful when you interview local Ukrainians.
Networking in Ukraine is extremely important. People often rely on personal connections to conduct business or discuss new opportunities. Ukrainians tend to place heavy emphasis on the emotional aspects of communication to judge others’ trustworthiness and true intentions.
With that said, expect to do most of your networking in person, where you can directly interact with others. If you are interested in joining some professional networking groups, feel free to check out the Ukraine Professional Network or Expat Network Ukraine for foreigners living in Ukraine.