Why do I have to pay for an internship?
The cost of the internship covers housing, the fees for the different activities and the classes that are part of the internships. (Spanish classes are optional and if you opt for these then the cost will be higher.) We try to make the internships as affordable as possible.
Do I need a Visa?
- Current U.S. Passport must be valid for at least 6 more months.
- Complete the sworn visa application.
- One full color passport size picture (80% of the image must be of
face, no glasses). This is VERY important.
- Copy of travel itinerary, round trip ticket. (Only your entry and exit of Bolivia, your local flights aren’t required for this).
- Copy of yellow fever vaccination certificate.
- Letter of Invitation.
- Visa Fee: $160.00 US in as much exact change as possible. Make sure that none of the bills that you bring to Bolivia are torn in any way. Torn bills and extra crumpled bills are not readily accepted here. Also check the serial numbers on all your bills and make sure none of them start with CB as those bills also will not be accepted.
We know this all sounds crazy but welcome to Bolivia.
What will I be doing for the Internship?
That depends on the internship that you will be participating in.
For the Business Internship, you will spend most of your time in Cochabamba taking seminars on sustainable business and attending presentations made by guest lecturers. You will also have a project to work on. Some projects that other interns have done in the past include recycling, marketing for the company and the social responsible aspects of the business.
For the Ecology internship, the first week will consist of traveling to two different ecological projects in the department of La Paz, Bolivia. The next three weeks will consist of lectures and seminars by different guests. Each intern will also choose a specific project to undertake as part of the internship and the last two days will be devoted to having the interns present their chosen project.
For the Architecture internship, it will consist of classes and lectures on architecture. The internship will also include visits to different architectural structures and projects around the city of Cochabamba. There will also be practical design projects and also construction projects so that the intern gets a sense of how something is built in all its stages.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. Please be sure to purchase emergency travel insurance before you arrive – we recommend World Nomads. You will need to send us a copy of your policy confirmation before arriving.
Where will I be living?
You will be living in quarters provided by the specific program you apply for. Regardless of the program, you will be put up in shared apartments with other interns. The programs may have their accommodations in different parts of the city so that it is easier for the interns of that specific program to get to their internships.
We also want to let you know that regardless of where you live you CANNOT throw toilet paper in the toilet. This will clog the toilet and lead to plumbing problems. There is a trashcan provided for this very reason and we ask you to please use it.
Can I do extra traveling during the program?
You can plan to arrive earlier or extend your stay in Bolivia to travel and visit. But you are not officially a part of the program until the program is supposed to start. The program is not responsible for you during these days that you decide to travel on your own.
How old do I have to be to participate?
You have to be over 18 to participate in any of our programs.
What should I pack?
The months for the internships are mostly during the winter in Bolivia. We advise to pack warm clothes but also bring some clothes for hot weather if you are deciding to travel to the tropical part of the country. We also advise to pack all the medications you require because pharmacies here may not carry those medication or the specific brands that you may need.
How is the food?
Bolivian food is different from region to region. This being said some common traits are that the meal usually has some sort of meat. It is hard to be a true vegetarian in Bolivia, it is easier if one lives alone and can cook for yourself.
Also we recommend that you do not eat off of carts in the street. The food may not be fresh and the cooking process may not be hygienic. But there are a large amount of restaurants that serve good, clean food at a decent price.
We also recommend that you do not drink the water out of the faucet. This water is not purified and you may get sick. We recommend you buy bottled water for your consumption.
What is the transportation situation?
Cochabamba has many transportation options. There are trufis (minibuses), micros (buses), taxitrufis (taxi buses) and taxis. The trufis, micros and taxitrufis are a great, safe and cheap way to get around the city. They cost very little and run certain fixed routes throughout the city. The only down side is that if it is a rush hour then you sort of get squished. But still is is a convenient way to get around. As in any mode of public transportation you have to keep an eye on your personal belongings but that’s just smart traveling.
If you want a faster and/or more comfortable way to get around then taxis are a better option. But we recommend that you only use licensed radio taxis. These taxis have logos of their companies on their doors. There are many gypsy cabs that roam around the city but these may be untrustworthy. There have been instances of people getting mugged and/or kidnapped in these cabs. So all in all we recommend that if you use a taxi use a radio taxi.
This may all sound alarming but it is not that bad we just want to remind you that Cochabamba is a city and as in any city to take the appropriate precautions.
Do I need to know Spanish?
No. Spanish is not a requirement for the internships. Some of the projects require knowledge of Spanish but if you do not speak the language there is always a project that you can do that does not require it. If you know Spanish that’s great and if you would like to improve your Spanish or start learning it there are classes available. (An additional fee may apply.)