Intern in Bali with Intern Abroad HQ! Programs are available from two weeks in the areas of NGO Management and Administration and Tourism & Hospitality Training. Longer-term internship opportunities include Event Management and PR, Graphic Design, Marketing and Media, Renewable Energy Engineering, Architecture and Design, Early Childhood and Primary Education, and Endangered Starling Conservation.
Internship placements are spread throughout Bali’s cultural center of Ubud, as well as northern Kuta (Canggu and Kerobokan), South Kuta (Nusa Dua) and Sanur (coastal Denpasar). We caught up with Carolin from our local team in Bali, to give further insight and guidance for internships. Here’s the inside scoop!
- What do you love about living in Bali and working with international interns?
- Describe our local team in Bali and what makes it special.
- What are the most popular internship programs for students in Bali?
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to do a short-term internship in Bali?
- What kind of personal attributes help an intern to have a great time?
- What might a typical day look like for an intern in Bali?
- How can interns spend their weekends and what activities are a “must do”?
- What are the cultural customs unique to Bali that interns should be aware of?
- What items should definitely be on a person’s “pack list” for Bali?
- Sign me up! How can I start planning my internship in Bali?
What do you love about living in Bali and working with international interns?
Bali has a particular vibe, that everybody feels who stays here for a while. It is very hard to explain, a kind of comforting feeling, free and inspiring. This is the consequence of many factors: the sun, the people, the enjoyment of everyday life, the motorbikes, the street food, the different cultures living close to each other.
No matter where you are, you are always in close proximity to the ocean, and people in Bali seem to share an affinity for the outdoors and natural environment. We think it is not a particular thing, that we and Bali’s visitors love about Bali, it is just the well balanced mixture of everything!
We love the motivation with which international interns approach their internship. Also, we love to see how many of them become a part of the host company/organisation! They spend their free-time with their colleagues, are invited to spend time with their families, and they are totally immersed into the new culture and way of life. We observe how interns are thankful to have the chance to experience a kind of simple life like this, and that they leave Bali just happier for having had the experience.
Describe our local team in Bali and what makes it special.
We are a team of 5, with Rifka, Rima, Laura, and Larissa as the student and project coordinators. We are a quite young team, yet we have been hosting international students and placing them into meaningful local internships for about 8 years now, with the aim of encouraging intercultural learning. We love yummy lunch breaks, chocolate and good music!
What are the most popular internship programs for students in Bali?
In general, all of our Marketing & Media internships are very popular. These are great for people who want to develop their skills and experience. In the past year we have experienced increased interest in the Engineering - Renewable Energies internship. These internship placements are typically based at environmental consulting companies, which are focused on promoting energy efficiency. In Bali, the surfing and green living culture is a source of inspiration and aspiration for many, so internship placements in Bali often reflect this.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do a short-term internship in Bali?
Intern Abroad HQ offers two short-term internship options in Bali. They are NGO Management & Administration and Tourism & Hospitality Training. They’re both available from a minimum duration of 2 weeks. If you have 4 weeks available for an internship abroad, there are also options in Endangered Starling Conservation (for bird lovers!) and Early Childhood & Primary Education.
Short-term internships are typically not “9 to 5” roles, as more longer-term internship placements can be. However, they provide a great introductory experience and we encourage interns who are only here for a few weeks to focus on the cultural immersion, to get to know a different lifestyles, to learn about the stories of your host organization, and to engage as much as you can. The reflective-learning program, which is included in all Intern Abroad HQ internships, also helps with this process for personal and professional development.
What kind of personal attributes help an intern to have a great time?
Be open, flexible and try to enjoy every single bit of it! Be aware that most companies where interns are placed are small or medium-sized, which creates a warm and family-like atmosphere. Responsibilities may shift depending on the current projects and priorities, and you may have the opportunity to realise a project of your own during the internship duration.
Bring new ideas and be innovative! Most of all, interact with your local host company team! We’re all here to help and welcome ideas and communications. The great thing about international internships, is that everyone brings a unique perspective with different talents and skills to share. We believe that the cultural exchange, and the exchange of knowledge and ideas, is an essential aspect of the internship programs and professional development.
What might a typical day look like for an intern in Bali?
Most host companies start their daily work at 8 or 9 am, Monday through Friday. (So, if you’re able to get up early in the morning, there is time for a refreshing morning surf before starting the day at your internship placement!)
Every host company takes a lunch break of about 30 minutes to an hour. Lunch breaks are always taken outside of the office, as there are so many inexpensive and tasty local restaurants everywhere.
At 4 or 5 pm, work is called off for the day, and then you are free to head to the beach or to meet your fellow interns for free time and dinner plans. If you feel comfortable to ride a scooter while you’re in Bali, then this will provide you with the flexibility to plan your day according to your needs.
Internships in Bali include breakfast served Monday through Friday, at the program accommodation. For all other meals, including during weekends, interns are free to source and prepare their own food.
Be aware that local food can be spicy… even if you ask for not spicy food! There is a great variety of dishes to try in Warungs (local restaurants) which consist of rice, noodles, cooked vegetables, chicken, beef, soy products (in the form of tempe or tofu), peanut sauces and chilli sauces. As a vegetarian, or even vegan, you will also have plenty of options in Bali.
If you stay in touristic areas, there are also many restaurants offering fair-priced Western dishes, such as delicious smoothie bowls, fresh salads, toast, pizza, and burgers.
You can definitely survive with US$30 per week, but from our experience, we understand that interns enjoy visiting some of the more touristic cafés, so you might calculate US$60 per week for spending money if you’d like to have more of a flexible social budget.
The accommodation that is provided through the internship program is not fancy, but it is clean, safe, and comfortable! Temporary power and water cuts can sometimes occur, however interns are provided with a reliable and friendly host, available to contact anytime for support and guidance.
It’s important to know that some of the Bali wildlife might find its way into your accommodation - it’s not unusual to have small geckos climbing the wall! They are everywhere but they are not dangerous or noisy. Small geckos like to eat the mosquitos and any other bugs they find, so consider them as your best friends and room-mates!
How can interns spend their weekends and what activities are a “must do”?
There are plenty of things to do in Bali! From surfing lessons, or hiking/cycling excursions around Mt. Batur, and trips to islands, such as the Gili islands, Lembongan or Nusa Penida. Once a month, our local team in Bali host a gathering, which all interns are encouraged to attend. This provides a nice social opportunity to meet new friends and share stories. We have a dedicated Activity Manager, who’s available to help plan fun things for interns to experience.
If you arrange to hire a scooter during your internship, it provides you with the flexibility to drive around local villages, passing rice paddies, exploring beaches, and making plans to meet up with other international guests on the program. Surfing is a great way to refresh your head after a long week, provides a good workout, and is a nice way to meet other people with similar interests. More and more skate parks are being built in the south of Bali, which also attract young people - locals and foreigners alike. If you want to relax, you can also spend time in one of the many beautiful resorts and enjoy infinity pools with gorgeous ocean views.
What are the cultural customs unique to Bali that interns should be aware of?
Above all other customs is: be friendly and respectful to locals, even if they approach you in a rather unfriendly way. Moods of people change immediately if you are polite and smile first. There are also various other customs, which include:
- Don’t step on offerings on the street or step over them – walk around.
- Don’t point at people.
- Don’t eat with your left hand. Use your right hand when receiving things or shaking hands.
- Don’t touch people on their head.
- Take off your shoes when you are entering a house.
- Make sure that you bend politely and apologize if you pass people who are sitting down.
What items should definitely be on a person’s “pack list” for Bali?
As an intern you should definitely bring one or two outfits that you can wear during formal meetings or visits. These should consist of proper closed shoes, long pants or skirt (at least knee high), a blouse or a shirt with sleeves, that does not expose your décolleté. A comfortable jacket or jumper that keeps you warm. Even if you are in the tropics, especially during dry season, nights get chilly. A light waterproof jacket and sneakers are great to heave during the rain season (from October through April). A waterproof case for your smartphone is very helpful. Mosquito repellants might be useful, but you can also purchase them here. We recommend to bring sunblock though, as the brands here are usually quite expensive.
Sign me up! How can I start planning my internship in Bali?
Internships in Bali have two start dates available every month (usually the first and third Monday). Opportunities are flexible and there’s something for everyone! It can be challenging to take the first step, but once that decision has been made, the experience only gets better.
Apply online first. The application process is non-obligatory and free.
After applying, you’ll receive more details on how to confirm your internship placement.
To confirm, you’ll register online after your application has been accepted. This means taking care of the US$299 Registration Fee, which enables us to provide services and pre-departure support. Bali internship fees can be reviewed online.
Once you’re registered, the adventure begins! Intern Abroad HQ will support you with prepping for your trip… and we will look forward to seeing you here in Bali!