Published on February 19, 2015
There's no better time to make a government and politics internship in Colombia a reality. The international internship program based in the modern city of Medellín offers interns a unique on-the-ground perspective of the rapid economic growth and development underway in Colombia. The stable democratic republic has made huge leaps in innovation, particularly in Medellín, while a massive national infrastructure investment program is underway.
There are few Latin American cities that measure up to Medellín in terms of quality of life. In 2014, the city tied with Santiago, Chile as best Latin American city to live in, according to consultancy Indra. The city has been touted for its strong public services, security and sustainable development.
An internship in government and politics in Colombia could mean working in a variety of sectors, depending on the intern’s interests. Previous government and politics internships in Colombia have involved work with local government in trade, commerce, education, environmental policy, culture, marginalized communities, public health, public policy, human resources and communications.
Interns in the government and politics program in Medellín live in the young, wealthy commune, El Poblado. The area is now the city’s industrial and commercial center, filled with squares and malls. Several reputable universities are also located in the commune.
The internship program in government and politics in Medellín is part of The Intern Group's Emerging Markets program due to the city's recent growth. Named the Wall Street Journal’s innovative city of the year in 2013, Medellín has transformed in the past 20 years due to modern and well-planned public transportation systems, social innovation, infrastructure and technological investments. The city is no longer haunted by crime, poverty and the drug trade like during the years of Pablo Escobar.
An internship in government and politics in Medellín will not only build professional experience, but also allow interns to make huge leaps with their Spanish, an important language in the global economy. With some 320 million speakers, Spanish is the third most commonly spoken languages in the world. Those participating in government and politics internships in Medellín are required to speak an intermediate level of Spanish, unless they can take Spanish classes beforehand. The Intern Group program also provides optional Spanish language classes for all levels at Universidad EAFIT in El Poblado. Colombians are known for their clear, easy-to-understand Spanish, making the country an ideal place to learn and speak the language. During a government and politics internship in Colombia, interns will use Spanish at their internships and while exploring Medellín and surrounding areas.
Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia, located in the Aburrá Valley among the Andes mountains and is surrounded by seven hills. The metropolitan area’s 3.5mn people produce 11% of the entire Colombian economy. Locals are often called either Antioqueños after their home province or paisas rather than Medellínenses. Paisas derives from the word paisano, or “fellow countryman”, and generally implies someone from an area encompassing the Colombian states of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and a few towns of Tolima and Valle del Cauca.
Interns are sure to be content with the weather in Medellín, known as the “city of eternal springs.” Year-round the weather hovers within 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm weather means there are many exotic fruits and vegetables are available to locals and dining outside is frequent.
For some fun after intern hours, Medellín has a thriving nightlife, which includes an array of theatres, live music venues, bars and discotecas. Discotecas in Medellín often play crossover music, which is a mix of salsa, vallenato, cumia, reggaeton, merengue, popular rock, electronica and bachata.
On their weekends, government and politics interns in Medellín also have a slew of tourist attractions to choose from. The scenic Laguna de Guatape is a favorite day trip of travelers, located a short bus ride from the city. The Parque Explora in central Medellín is a zoo, aquarium and botanical gardens, the perfect place to get to know some of Colombia’s natural life. And though the El Castillo Museo y Jardines isn’t a traditional castle, a tour of the residence and gardens is the perfect place to spend a lazy Saturday.
The Medellín metrocable is widely thought of as the first cable propelled transit system in South America. Though two of the lines are used for public transport, the line L is set up for tourists and offers gorgeous views and transportation to Arví park, which is both an archeological site and an ecological nature preserve.
Like in most Latin American countries, futbol is treasured and widely watched among Colombians and is considered the national sport. Along with national matches against other countries, many Colombians enjoy watching their favorite local soccer clubs and regional tournaments. The internship in government and politics with the Intern Group includes the opportunity to see a local soccer game or travel to nearby village Guatape, depending on the season.
While interning in Medellín, there is flavorful culinary world waiting to be discovered. Many typical dishes in Colombia are made using the region’s staple products, including beans, avocado, banana, rice, chicken and pork. The “bandeja paisa” is among the most traditional dishes. It includes beans, ground beef, egg, rice, banana, sausages, chicharrón, arepa (white corn tortilla), potatoes and hogao.
Colombians also enjoy soups called “mondongo” and “sancocho”, as well as peto, which is sweet white corn cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar cane.
The multicultural experience of living abroad in the bustling, diverse city of Medellín combined with the real-world experience working with the Colombian government offers interns personal and professional opportunities that will open a lifetime of doors and windows.
Apply now and boost your career!
Photo 2. based on Fotomaraton Medellín 2007 Momumento a la Raza – Rodrigo Arenas Betancur by Luz Adriana Villa, CC-BY-2.0