9 reasons to do an internship abroad in Colombia
Updated: Jan 8, 2019
Here are 9 reasons why you should choose Colombia as your destination to do an international internship.
Colombia has re-branded itself and is a nation re-born now firmly on the path to peace and prosperity. The country's new image has led to a rise in tourism & Colombia is now one of Latin America’s hot new tourist destinations.
Colombia is a unique destination The dynamic environment and cultural vibrancy make Colombia a unique destination to undertake an internship abroad. Colombia is now an emerging global player with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and over the last decade Colombia has re-branded itself and is a nation re-born now firmly on the path to peace and prosperity. The country's new image has led to a rise in tourism, a new found positivity and energy, and a flood of foreign investment. There really isn't any other place like this in the world at the moment.
The culture and people Colombia has the most Public Holidays in the world, following India. So, it’s not surprising that Colombia is the second Happiest Country in the World according to the Global Barometer of Happiness and Hope by WIN/Gallup International, and previously has topped the list. Ask anyone who has been to Colombia what they enjoyed most about their experience and they almost always say – the people! They are some of the most friendliest, positive, and outgoing people you are ever likely to meet.
Colombia has a hugely diverse cultural heritage, due to the coexistence of Indigenous, African, and Spanish cultural influences, and this all adds to the excitement and variability you'll find in Colombia every day.
Economy & Peace
Colombia’s economy is booming and represents a fantastic opportunity to gain experience in an emerging economy through an internship abroad. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bogotá’s GDP alone is bigger than the GDP of Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguary and Bolivia.
Following an historic peace agreement on 30 November 2016, Colombia is finally shedding its security concerns once and for all. What does this mean? An increase in Foreign Direct Investment, greater stability, greater confidence in the economy, improved security, and a new chapter in the history of Colombia.
PWC projects the Colombian economy to rank 31st out of the most powerful economies in the world by 2030, in their report, titled “The long view: how will the global economic order change by 2050?".
Here are a few interesting facts for you from the World Bank:
Between 2010 to 2014 Colombian GDP grew 15%
GDP per capita has doubled since 2005
FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has increased by more than 100% since 2010
Colombia is on path to become a member of the OECD
In 2017, the country ranked second in the World Bank's Doing Business report for Latin America
Biodiversity & Climate
Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world, following Brazil. From the snow-capped mountains of Tolima, the seven types of blue of the Caribbean Sea, the sweltering heat of the colonial city of Cartagena, to the breath-taking beaches on both the Pacific & Caribbean coast (over 300 in total), stunning wildlife, dazzling plants, exotic fruits, beautiful villages, castles, colonial squares, or one of Colombia’s 19 Natural National Parks - there is so much to see and experience in this magical country.
Colombia is located close to the equator and therefore it tends to have a warm and tropical climate throughout the year and temperatures are fairly consistent all-year-round.
Exotic fruits abound Colombia’s exotic fruits are a highlight of any visit. Head to a local market with one of our local experts and sample the colourful exuberant fruits: from gorgeous guanabana, heavenly maracuya, tasty dragon fruit to the luxurious lulo fruit. If you’re from Europe or North America, you're guaranteed to discover fruits you have never seen before in your entire life – getting your five-a-day has never been so easy!
Easy accent for Spanish learners Colombian Spanish is generally one of the easiest accents to understand. Although accents can vary across Colombia, in the major cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Cali it is very similar. As a bonus, most Colombians will be intrigued to know why you are in Colombia and are usually happy to have a chat with a foreigner - the majority of Colombians do not speak English, so your Spanish skills will really be put to the test!
Music & Salsa
Colombia is a land of music, and dancing is in the blood of every Colombian and represents the very essence of Colombian culture – energetic, vibrant, diverse, outgoing and passionate. It's almost near impossible to get through a trip to Colombia without hearing or dancing to Salsa. Don’t be shy! Beginners can take salsa classes to get familiar with basic steps, and those who do not wish to take classes, will easily find Colombians to be very warm and open, and most will be happy to show you some introductory moves on the spot!
Other popular music genres include Vallenato, Merengue, Cumbia, Bachata, and Reggeaton.
Check out our Intern Colombia Playlist on Spotify!
Cost of living
When interning abroad in Colombia, budgeting for your expenses is fairly simple as the cost of living is fairly low compared to the rest of the world. You’ll need approximately 100 to 200 USD per month - this obviously depends on your lifestyle.
Undiscovered tourist hotspot Since 2006, tourism in Colombia has grown by more than 250%, when only 1 million foreigners visited the country. Tourism is fast becoming a pillar of Colombia’s economy. Even between 2016 and 2017 tourism grew by more than 27%, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism.
Yet, you may feel like the only foreigner in certain places. How so? Well, increasingly safe and less burdened by mass tourism than other South American countries, Colombia is home to some spectacular untouched, authentic, raw, rustic, and beautiful small towns, villages, beaches, valleys, mountains and even cities, making it a thrilling experience to discover and explore this dazzling country.
This blog post was written & published by Intern Colombia on 28 February 2018