Published on October 13, 2015

10 wonderful things you’ll discover about Medellín as an intern in Colombia

1) It's innovative

Prized with the title “innovative city of the year” in 2013, by the Urban Land Institute, Medellín boasts a modern and well-planned public transportation system, innovative civic spaces and infrastructure as well as technological investments. Colombia's second-largest city has also been named the best Latin American city to live in by the consultancy, Indra. Chosen to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2016, the city is also buzzing with entrepreneurial energy, having developed their own international start-up community.

 

internship in Colombia

 

2) The weather is the best ever

People call it “The City of Eternal Spring” as Medellín experiences temperatures resting between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. The weather in Medellín is hard to beat. It's always the right temperature for a picnic, futbol game or for exploring the city.

 

3) The locals are the nicest people you'll ever meet

Medellín people or "Medellinenses" are as warm as the climate. Smiling and friendly to foreigners, most locals are accommodating and genuinely kind to strangers. As an intern in Colombia, you'll immediately feel at home with all the "cariño" coming your way.

 

4) The city really knows how to pull together a flower festival

Medellín is famous for a 10-day flower festival called Feria de las Flores, which attracts tourists from across the globe. In early August, rural farmers make their way to the city from the countryside to display their intricate and awe-inspiring flower designs. Festivities also include an antique car parade, a horse parade, and a flower float parade featuring dancers, singers and performers.

 

internship in Colombia

 

5) You can walk barefoot in the park

The free and interactive Parque de los Pies Descalzos or "Barefoot Park" is a great place for interns to spend a Saturday afternoon. With a touch of "zen" the park features bamboo, pebble footpaths, a maze and a foot bath.

 

6) It's got a memorable public transportation system

Interns with a fear of heights may not be a fan, but the rest will simply love the metrocable gondola lift system which offers one of the best views of Medellín. Over 1,000 feet tall it's public transportation with a view.

 

7) Two words: Parque Arvi

During their internship in Colombia, interns will fall in love with Arvi Park, an ecotourism destination known for its hiking trails and wildflowers. This stunning nature reserve is located in northeast Medellín and can be accessed through the city's metro system. The park has 54 miles of trails for cycling, hiking and nature tours.

 

 

8) It's affordable

For all it offers, Medellín is an inexpensive city known for low property costs and low overall living expenses. With tasty, cheap food and fresh produce markets with low prices, Medellín is a place where you can live big and save.

 

9) It's safe!

Medellín is not the city it used to be - in fact it's seen tremendous improvements in the last two decades. Once one of the most dangerous cities in the world, it has been transformed into a place characterized by innovation, strong public services and safety.

 

10) The epic Bandeja Paisa

Medellín's traditional “bandeja paisa” or the paisa platter, is a famous regional plate that will fill you to the brim. The bandeja paisa generally includes fried egg, sausage, an arepa, avocado, chicharrón (fried pork belly), white rice, powdered meat, plantain and beans. The best part? All of this delicious grub will only set you back $5.

 

 

Sources: The Guardian, Wikipedia, ValueWalk, Wikipedia Metrocable

Photo 1. based on Medellín - 2015, by Iván Erre Jota, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 2. based on Desfile de Silleteros, by Guía de Viajes Oficial de Medellín, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Arvi salida 3, by Luis Pérez, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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