At the tip of Latin America, Venezuela is a beautiful country filled with deep rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and flat top mountains. The country’s biodiversity and gorgeous landscape put it at the top of many tourists’ bucket lists.
With 22 indigenous Native American tribes, Venezuela’s culture is a distinct mixture of South American and native influences. More than just another tropical getaway spot, Venezuela is a great place to explore different professional industries. Interning in Venezuela is the perfect way to combine work and play!Photo Credit: ferjflores.
Venezuela’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 Venezuela. Several non-profit organizations and environmentally focused companies are investing time and research into assisting with wildlife conservation. Intern in Venezuela to get some hands-on experience and help the world preserve its diversity!
Help out the rural communities of Venezuela by taking a medical internship. You don’t necessarily need to be on the track to become a medical professional—an interest in health-care services or development is enough to help out the Venezuelan people! Whether you are interested in nursing, physiotherapy, or any other aspect of medicine, there is most likely a need for the service. Interning in Venezuela is a great way to gain some experience in the medical field and make a difference in an international community.
When and Where to Look for an Internship
If you are looking to intern in a Venezuelan company or organization, you can try to cold-email or cold-call for opportunities. However, most internships in conservation or medicine are easily organized through internship program providers. These programs often provide extra added benefits and support to ease your transition into a new country. As with any other job or internship, application deadlines often apply, so pay attention to those dates.
Cost of Living in Venezuela
While the cost of living in Venezuela is actually quite high. Venezuela was recently ranked as the 15th most expensive countries to live in. Food, housing, and medical expenses rank amongst the highest costs, while gas is nearly free due to the country’s petroleum industry. Living in a major metropolitan city will be much more costly than residing in a more rural village. Below are some examples of living costs in Venezuela, listed in USD to help you give you a better gage. Note that 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 6.29 Venezuelan Bolivars.
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Center: $1180
- 1 pair of jeans: $114
- 1 way transportation ticket: $0.64
Work and Labor Laws in Venezuela
Venezuela recently put new, updated labor law into place in 2012. Although the specifics of the changes do not necessarily apply to international interns, you might hear about the politics involved in the labor law debate. Foreign interns are usually unpaid in Venezuela, but are treated in a similar manner as other Venezuelan workers.
The Venezuelan culture heavily emphasizes establishing good relationships with others. Venezuelans also tend to care about their appearance, so dress conservatively yet stylishly in the business environment. If you are working outside of an office, the dress code may vary. In general, it is a good idea to be respectful to everyone you encounter while working and act professionally at all times.
The official language of Venezuela is Spanish, although over 40 languages are spoken throughout the country. Learning to speak Spanish as fluently as possible will be a great advantage as an intern in Venezuela. Although the country has a large immigrant population, knowing Spanish will make it much easier to communicate with locals and professionals in daily life.
Networking is extremely important in Venezuela. Since the culture is centered on the family, having multiple friendly relations is always a plus. Venezuelans place great emphasis on doing business with people that they trust, and prefer to engage in face-to-face interaction. With that said, it often takes a bit of time to develop good personal relationships, so be patient!