Eligibility requirement: Suitable for pre-med school students and medical/nursing students. All interns must be prepared to submit a motivational letter written in Spanish. A high degree of communication, patience and flexibility is required.

Language requirements: Advanced Spanish

Associated career paths: Midwife, Maternity & Child Health Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, Paediatric Nurse, Doula, Childbirth Educator, Lactation Specialist, Pediatrician, Obstetrician, Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

Minimum duration: 4 weeks

Internship details

Midwifery internships in Peru provide a privileged opportunity to gain experience assisting at birthing homes and clinics for new and expecting mothers. Interns are placed with local midwives, supporting and assisting them as they work with expecting mothers at various stages of their pregnancies, as well as with new mothers and infants.

Midwives provide immensely valuable support for expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy, as well as in the birthing process and beyond. It is a highly emotional time for mothers, so having an experienced and understanding midwife makes a huge difference in the process. Midwifery interns can learn a lot from shadowing and observing professional and experienced midwives as they work with new and expectant mothers in Peru.

Interns placed in birthing homes help to provide an intimate space for women to connect, gather strength, and deliver babies with love. You’ll help midwives to support women at various stages of their pregnancies, learning about the needs of pregnant women and how best to assist them. Interns also help on outreach visits, accompanying midwives on home visits.

Midwifery internships in Cusco

In addition to birthing home placements, midwifery interns can also be placed in maternity clinics around Cusco. As well as assisting midwives, you can help to prepare materials, help with administration and patient records, and take part in home visits to provide support for new and expectant mothers.

Flexibility is a key requirement for this placement as there are no standard business hours for childbirth and no telling when mothers will require help from the midwifery team. Interns are encouraged to purchase a local sim card in-country, so that you can remain in-touch with the senior midwife. Just as there can be busy times, interns must also be aware that babies may not be delivered every week.

The longer you can stay, the greater chance you’ll have to assist with a delivery (if the mother grants her consent). Tasks may typically be related to pre and post-delivery sessions, utero stimulation, Doula assistance, postpartum care, and Waltaska (an ancestral technique that involves newborn care and allows for the speedy recovery of the mother). Not all interns will be able to assist with an actual birth, but those who are able to build a connection with mothers will have a better chance of helping in a delivery suite.

In all tasks, the level of responsibility you’re given will depend on your midwifery experience and Spanish language ability. Advanced Spanish is strongly recommended and the ability to communicate confidently in intermediate Spanish is required. English is not commonly spoken and the ability to communicate effectively with both mothers and midwives is crucial. In some cases, patients may only speak Quechua, so interns should be prepared to encounter language barriers at times.

Midwifery interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Observing maternity departments and birthing homes
  • Shadowing and assisting midwives
  • Preparing materials for consultations and births
  • Assisting in births
  • Support in administrative work: admission of incoming patients and history reports
  • Visiting new and expecting mothers in their homes
Professional development opportunities:
  • Experience how midwives support expecting and new mothers
  • Gain understanding of the needs of mothers at various stages of pregnancies
  • Experience how to build relationships with mothers throughout their pregnancies
  • Practice and develop Spanish language proficiency within a professional setting
  • Gain an insight in the Pervian healthcare systems and culture and differences
  • Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence
Typical schedule:
  • Monday - Friday, 4 hours per day. Interns should be prepared to work odd hours if required
Internship highlights:
  • Support expecting mothers throughout their pregnancies
  • Work closely with a local midwife, with the opportunity to assist with a birth
  • Experience Cusco, one of the world’s most popular tourism cities
  • Polish your Spanish language skills
Types of host organizations:
  • Both private and public clinics
  • Birthing homes
“I had the opportunity to work with a local midwife in Cusco, Peru this summer and it was fantastic! I worked with her side-by-side visiting patients in their homes, where we assessed their vitals, monitored their progress, assessed newborn vitals, conducted consultations, and held group antepartum classes/support sessions. I learned so much about the process of antepartum care, birth plans, health and wellness, and ancient Peruvian techniques for pain management and coping with labor and delivery. I worked with the midwife for 8 weeks, traveling with her to the Sacred Valley to see her patients two or three times a week. The days were very long, we usually left Cusco around 7am and got back around 10pm, sometimes later. There were three or four deliveries during the time I was interning, but unfortunately, I was not able to attend any of them. I think this was due to the language barrier (fluent Spanish is definitely necessary) and the haste required to travel to the Sacred Valley when delivery was imminent. I also took Spanish lessons during my internship. The lessons were great, and they organized weekly outings/events/parties for the interns, so it was super easy to meet people. Intern Abroad HQ was wonderful in helping me prepare for my trip. They were always there to answer questions, provide information, help me book excursions, and make sure everything was taken care of before I left. Everything with them was perfectly smooth and easy, I can’t wait for my next internship trip!” - Nikki Castro, USA

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Program fees

It’s free to apply for this internship. Once we have reviewed your suitability and accepted you onto this program, you’ll need to pay a deposit of US$449 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$449 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.

Internship Duration Program Fee (USD)
2 weeks 2 weeks $994
3 weeks 3 weeks $1,129
4 weeks 4 weeks $1,264
5 weeks 5 weeks $1,399
6 weeks 6 weeks $1,534
8 weeks 8 weeks $1,804
10 weeks 10 weeks $2,074
12 weeks 12 weeks $2,344
16 weeks 16 weeks $2,884
20 weeks 20 weeks $3,424
24 weeks 24 weeks $3,964

Please note: The medical internship programs (Physician’s Assistant, Dentistry, Midwifery, Psychology and Physiotherapy) have an extra surcharge of US$15 per week, for extra supervision, materials and logistics involved. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you when you apply.

  • To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
  • Terms and Conditions apply

Program fee for abroad internships

What it covers
  • Securing your internship placement
  • Personalization of your internship plan
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Accommodation
  • Meals (for selected programs)
  • Experiential Learning Curriculum
  • In-country guidance for social and tourism activities
  • International reference letter

Intern review: Emma Bray

"Stunning and Inspiring! I went to Peru with Intern Abroad HQ and it was one of the best experiences I have had! My host family was incredible and really helped me improve my Spanish throughout my stay..." read more

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Arrival and Orientation

Programs begin on every Monday of each month and participants may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 week. All participants fly into the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) in order to be picked up and transported to the accommodation, unless alternative arrangements for an overland arrival have been made. Orientation is given by our local hosts at their offices in Cusco every Monday and covers important details concerning introductions, support, culture, customs, safety, rules and expectations, things to see and do, and more. Regular meetings are also held on Mondays, in order to provide long-term participants additional support.

Accommodation

All program participants are hosted in various homestay accommodations, which are usually located approximately 20 minutes walk to the central office (which is located just off the Plaza De Armas). In some cases, accommodation may be located closer to the internship placement than the central office for convenience. If so, then the central office may be about 20 minutes away via public bus. There are 2 - 5 bedrooms in most homestays and everyone has their own bedroom (unless special requests are made in advance to share). Host families typically have their own bathrooms and there is a separate bathroom which is shared amongst the program guests. Living is comfortable, however it’s important to note that the infrastructure in Cusco is different from other developed cities. Water is cut-off intermittently at various times during the day. Most of the time, the water is running early in the morning, in the afternoons and evenings. It’s advised to shower in the morning and early evening (shower pressure can be low, and the water is typically warm but not steaming hot). On occasion, the water can be cut-off for longer periods of time (but with a fair warning). There is usually 24-hour electricity but from time to time the power can be cut-off without warning. It is endeavoured to provide WiFi in the home-stay accommodation, but the signal may not always be strong and from time to time, may go down.

Meals

Internships in Cusco include three meals per day, served at the homestay. A typical Peruvian breakfast is provided and consists of bread, spreads, juice, coffee or tea, and fruit. Lunch is generally the biggest meal of the day, and often consists of a soup and a main dish Dinner commonly consists of meat (often chicken), soups, pastas, starches and vegetables. Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance, so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations accordingly.

Activities and tourism

Spanish lessons

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for all of the Peru internship programs, however basic Spanish skills are required. This is in order to encourage maximum engagement and enjoyment of the learning experience. Basic Spanish skills (Level A2) includes the ability to exchange brief information with questions and answers, use and understand simple language in daily situations and cultural aspects.

We strongly recommend that all program participants take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to Intern Abroad HQ participants by our host organization. These Spanish lessons can be arranged directly with the local team once registered for the program (ask about online Skype lessons) or at the orientation in-country. Language lessons are tailored to each individual’s current level of Spanish and classes run from Monday through to Friday.

  • Online Spanish lessons (20 hours) US$280
  • Group Spanish lessons (20 hours) US$133
  • Individual Spanish lessons (20 hours) US$182
  • Individual Survival Spanish (10 hours) US$95
  • Medical, Business or Technical Individual Spanish lessons (15 hours) US$165

Weekends and travel

During the weekends, free time is available to relax, engage in tourism activities and explore other parts of Peru. The program is based in Cusco at an elevation of approximately 3,400 m (11,200 ft). As the historic capital of the Inca Empire and UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a lot to see and do within the city center alone (not to mention all the excellent restaurants!) Spanish colonial buildings mix with pre-Columbian sites in this truely remarkable city. Buy a “Boleto Turístico del Cusco”, which covers admission to sixteen excellent attractions within the Cusco and Sacred Valley region (valid for 10 days). If you have an International Student I.D. Card, use this to secure discounts!

  • Machu Picchu: It’s rare to visit Cusco without planning a trip to Machu Picchu. A truly stunning creation, the 15th-century Inca citadel is the quintessential icon of Peru and the Incan empire. The town below Machu Picchu, “Machu Picchu pueblo” or “Aguas Calientes” may be used as an overnight base before and after visiting the archeological site - especially when journeying from Cusco via bus/train, which takes about 3 hours (one way). Make sure you book entrance tickets in advance (including for Huayna Picchu if you wish to access the other peak).

  • The Classic Inca Trail: Sanctuary authorities have imposed a limit on the number of people that are allowed to hike the Inca Trail at any given time. Therefore, these excursions book out months in advance so it’s important to plan ahead by booking through a licensed guide or tour agency if you want to arrive to Machu Picchu by foot - especially during the high season, which is from May to September. Allow four days walking to arrive at Machu Picchu via the classic Inca Trail.

  • Inca Jungle Trek: This adventurous route to Machu Picchu includes walking, biking and sometimes even some rafting. From Cusco, the route leads into the Sacred Valley, from where you bike to Santa Maria, then walk to from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa, before arriving to the village of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes). After visiting Machu Picchu on the fourth day, the return to Cusco is via train. This option is not recommended during the months of January, February and March, due to unfavorable weather conditions (rainy season).

  • Salkantay Trek: This is considered an Inca trail alternative - it is more physically demanding but arguably offers more picturesque scenery, including waterfalls, plantations, mountains and jungle. The trek reaches a height of 4,650 m (15,255 ft) on its first two days, passing over snowy mountaintops. However, during the third and fourth day of the trek, you pass through jungle conditions in more tropical climates. On the fifth day, trekkers reach Machu Picchu.

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Country profile

Capital Lima
Population 29.99 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone UTC-05:00

Weather and climate: Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current causes great climatic diversity within the country. In the mountainous region, rain is frequent during summer and temperatures and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The Jungle is characterized by heavy rainfal​l​ and high temperatures, with the exception of its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.