Published on May 26, 2015
The media industry grows more competitive every day and employers are increasingly looking to hire experienced professionals even for entry-level positions at their publications. An international internship in journalism and media is an ideal way for a budding journalist to earn real-world professional experience while living abroad and gaining a multicultural perspective. Learning about Latin American political and social issues will also give a media professional a unique perspective and experience that will help them land their first big media job.
A journalism and media internships in Colombia are both a challenge and opportunity for potential interns. Besides the professional development an up-and-coming journalist earns at an international internship, the experience of living abroad is a great way for a young journalist to develop their multicultural communication skills. Being comfortable in a wide range of cultural environments is element to a career in journalism and living abroad is a great way to learn how to manage many different cultural contexts. In terms of positions, the Colombia internship program offers roles in both print and broadcast journalism. Previous interns have worked at newspapers, magazines, websites, TV stations and communications departments at local firms.
Living in Medellín
Journalism and Media interns in Colombia are based in Medellín's safest neighborhood, the upscale and secure El Poblado district. Journalism interns have the choice of living with a Colombian family or rooming in a shared apartment with either program participants or local Colombians.
Colombians are known as speaking the best Spanish in Latin America, making it an ideal place to learn the language. Moreover, Colombians are very open and friendly towards foreigners, making it easy to strike up a conversation with locals. Interns interested in improving their language skills can also take optional Spanish language classes at Universidad EAFIT. The school is located in the El Poblado district and offers classes for students at all levels of Spanish. Learning Spanish will give a journalist access to a whole new population in the world, as some 405 million people globally speak native Spanish.
A region on the rise
Despite the recent hit Colombia's oil industry is taking with the drop in oil prices, the country's middle class continues to expand, along with the economy. As the country advances in Farc peace talks, Colombia also is working on eliminating poverty and violence. Colombia has already has made major improvements in security, especially in its second-largest city Medellín. Once one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Medellín has been transformed into a place characterized by innovation, strong public services and safety. Homicide rates have even dropped below rates in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans.
In 2013, Medellín even won the distinction of "Innovative City of the Year" by the Urban Land Institute thanks to the city's modern and well-planned public transportation systems, social innovation, infrastructure and technological investments. Tying with Santiago, Chile, the city has also been named the best Latin American city to live in, according to rankings by the consultancy Indra.
Medellín isn't a tropical beach city but rather sits within the spectacular Aburrá Valley as part of the Andes mountain range. The city is located within the Antioquia province, which is part of the region that identifies strongly with the paisa culture. In fact, instead of being called Medellínenses, locals sometimes prefer to be called Antioqueños or paisas. The term paisas comes from paisano, or “fellow countryman” and implies a cultural and regional identity encompassing Colombians in the states of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío and a few towns of Tolima and Valle del Cauca. Paisas speak faster than most other Colombians and have their own way of living and dressing.
For foreigners, a beloved element of the paisa culture is a traditional regional plate called the “bandeja paisa” or the paisa platter. The bandeja paisa traditionally includes fried egg, sausage, an arepa, avocado, chicharrón (fried pork belly), white rice, powdered meat, plantain and beans. It may take a while to eat, but it's thoroughly enjoyable.
While the rest of the world is either shivering mid-winter or spending their day next to the AC to beat the summer heat, in Medellín locals enjoy beautiful spring weather year-round. The city has some of the best weather conditions in the world, which is why Medellín has been nicknamed “the city of eternal springs.” The temperature is always somewhere between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for outdoors activities like walks, runs, concerts or a picnic.
In addition to its ideal weather conditions, Medellín also hosts a beautiful flower festival called Feria de flores, which draws in tourists from all over the world. In August, rural farmers make their way into the city from the province to show off their colorful flower presentations. The festival also includes an antique car parade, a horse parade and a flower float parade featuring dancers, singers and performers.
Journalists are made to explore the world. Dive into Colombian culture with a journalism and media internship in Medellín. It’s a great way to earn real-world experience while also gaining that vital multicultural perspective.
Apply now and boost your career!