Scholarship Series: Streisanne on 5 reasons to do an internship in Colombia
Since arriving in Medellin, I really have fallen in love with this city. Medellin has truly surpassed all of my expectations and I am so grateful to be spending 4 more weeks here as a Latin America scholarship winner!
When I first applied for an internship as part of The Intern Group’s internship program, deciding which city to apply to was a fairly easy choice for me. Here are a few reasons why I decided to apply for the Latin America scholarship.
1. Colombia is the perfect place to practice Spanish
If you’re looking to immerse yourself and improve your Spanish, like I am, an internship in Colombia is perfect. When I was first learning French and living in Quebec City, anytime I struggled with my French, someone would switch to English to help me. Although this seems to be the kind and helpful thing to do, this is actually extremely frustrating for someone who is trying to learn a new language. Since very few people in Medellin speak English, this doesn’t happen. I’ve definitely had my share of struggles with my Spanish since my arrival. A notable example is ordering Guatape, a town in Colombia, rather than Guarapo, a type of juice. Other than that, I haven’t messed up too terribly (yet).
2. Colombia has amazing scenery
So far, as part of my internship in Colombia we’ve had the opportunity to travel to Guatape. Guatape is a small, lagoon-side town a couple hours away from Medellin. The town of Guatape has beautiful, bright-coloured buildings which are mainly quaint shops and restaurants. The main attraction, however, is not the town itself, but “The Rock of Guatape”. To reach the top of the rock there are over 700 stairs. It’s not as hard as it sounds (though we were lucky and the weather wasn’t too hot), and is completely worth it! The view from the top of the rock was spectacular. Not only can you see the small town of Guatape, but also a 360 degree view of the lagoon, and even water-skiers gliding through the lagoon.
This day trip was fantastic, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone, whether as an Intern Group intern, or a traveler to Medellin.
3. In your free time, you can travel around other parts of South America
Another reason for choosing to apply for the Latin America scholarship was so that I could have the opportunity to explore the continent. So far, I’ve lived in both North America and Europe, and have traveled to Africa. I had never, before this internship, had the opportunity to go to South America. My experience in South America, or at least Colombia, has exceeded all of my expectations.
4. It’s affordable
Although travel around South America isn’t as cheap as it is in Europe, it’s still fairly affordable. Some interns and I are going to Bogota this weekend for a moderate price, especially considering that we booked the trip so last minute. I also know of other interns who have taken trips to places like Rio Claro and the coffee region of Colombia quite affordably. Although I’m only here at my internship in Colombia for 6 weeks, I hope to visit at least one other city after Bogota while I’m here.
5. Medellin is underrated
Overall, I hope to elaborate more on the city of Medellin itself and my travel experiences once I’ve settled in a bit more. For now, I basically want to get across that Medellin is not only a fantastic city in itself, but that it is the perfect place to learn Spanish. It’s also a great base for traveling around and outside Colombia. Although it has only been two weeks, I am so glad that I have had the opportunity as a Latin America scholarship winner to live in Medellin, and I would not even hesitate to recommend the city as a tourist or living destination.