Top 20 Questions Asked About Internship Abroad in Jamaica
Internships are a great way for students, recent graduates, and current professionals looking to change careers to all gain valuable work related experience. But valuable internship experience can sometimes be hard to come by where you live.
In addition, some individuals would like the opportunity to combine their internship experience with the opportunity to travel to another country, learn more about another culture, and learn more stuff themselves.
Having an internship in Jamaica can be a great way to combine all of these goals into a single experience. To help you learn more, let’s discuss the top questions asked about internships abroad in Jamaica.
An internship is a great way for students and experienced professionals to gain real-world work experience in their particular field of interest. Interns work beside professionals in their chosen field, and can build skills and develop new relationships that will give them an advantage in their local job markets. Our interns are comprised of students, recent graduates, and experienced professionals looking to take their careers in an entirely new direction.
Coming to Jamaica as an intern should be contrasted with the volunteer programs (and other cultural professional programs) we also offer. Volunteers also offer their time and skills, but they’re generally doing so because they’re looking to help others. While both interns and volunteers may work at the same location (such as the local orphanage), their reasons for doing so may not be exactly the same, and the types of activities they do may also differ.
The exact nature of your activities will depend on the type of internship you have. The day-to-day tasks will be based upon your area of specialty, the skills you currently possess, and the current needs of the organization you are interning with.
But every one of our internships in Jamaica will provide you with a range of different types of learning opportunities. Rest assured that you will receive the industry-specific training you need, and that we will work with you to be sure that the internship experience is a positive one.
The single most important qualification is that you have an interest in the type of internship you’re considering!
As far as educational requirements are concerned, at a minimum you need to be a senior currently enrolled in high school. You can also become an intern if you are a high school or college graduate, or are still currently enrolled in college. For some specific internship placements, we may also ask that you be enrolled in (or a graduate of) a particular course of study.
Absolutely! We fully believe that the best internship experience includes not only time spent gaining skills and learning about a particular profession, but also learning more about the cultural context. We offer a variety of cultural immersion trips and activities throughout the year for your consideration. You also have your own free time to explore and interact with people in the areas around your internship.
For a list of our current organized trips, click: http://jamaicavolunteerprograms.com/adventure.
The expectations for your attire will depend on where you are interning in general, teaching and office based positions generally dress to a standard referred to locally as “casually elegant.”
For male interns this is generally understood to mean a shirt with a collar, long pants, and either closed toed shoes or sandals with straps (but not flip-flops). Female interns will generally choose to wear pants or a skirt, and a shirt or blouse that covers the shoulders and midsection. Please note that local schools and offices generally don’t allow shorts, or sleeveless or sheer (see-through) blouses.
Medical internships might allow a slightly more casual standard of dress, and you will not need to bring a white lab coat. You can, if you desire, choose to bring a set of scrubs or two.
The dress code at the orphanage is generally more casual, and shorts and T-shirts are generally acceptable (as are flip-flops and other open to choose). But female interns who choose to wear shorts should note that the preferred length is for the shorts to stop just above the knee.
In general, clothing with a fairly loose fit and made of light (and lightly colored) fabric will be your best choice for the Jamaican climate.
Our organization provides you with transportation between your accommodation and your internship. We have our own in-house transportation service, with drivers comprised of family members and trusted staff. We also have a list of trusted transportation operators that we use for all other transfers and tours.
You can be confident that any time you use one of our tour guides or drivers, they’ll know not only all of the best and safest places you might want to visit, but they also can help you better understand all the local customs of Jamaica. This type of assistance can be invaluable
Each organization that sponsors interns sets its own schedule. Most of the schools in which we place volunteers will ask for approximately 30 hours of your time per week. Other professional organizations generally run on a 40 hour work week, and the work week does not include Saturdays or Sundays.
If there are reasons you do not feel that you can work the normal hours of the organization in which you have your internship, please contact us and we’ll try to work out a mutually agreeable schedule.
After paying the placement fee, you’ll pay for your accommodations, food and transportation. On our website we’ve provided the current rates for dormitory style accommodations at Smokey Manor, which includes breakfast and dinner each day, Internet access, Jamaica orientation upon arrival, and other assistance to get you ready for your internship before you arrive. Individuals seeking private accommodations can expect to pay a higher rate.
Please note that the costs generally do not include your return trip to the airport when it’s time to leave Jamaica, your lunch each day, a small tip (at least $10 US) to the housekeeper at Smokey Manor or any costs for weekend or other local travel.
The staff at Jamaica Volunteer Programs is made up of trained and experienced coordinators. We strive to match your individual interests and skills with the most suitable placement. We also work one on one with each of our interns to provide them the highest level of personalized support. Our primary goal in arranging intern placements in Jamaica is to get you the best possible training and experience to enable you to advance your career.
If you already have suitable accommodations and internal travel arrangements in Jamaica, and only need assistance in finding an appropriate internship, we’d be more than happy to help. Feel free to contact us and discuss the ways that we can help you find the best internship to help you reach your career and professional goals.
If you’d like to apply for one of these exciting Jamaican internship opportunities, the first step is to complete the online application at: http://jamaicavolunteerprograms.com/apply-now.
We will review your application (our goal is to process your application within 24-48 hours after you submit it) and then schedule a telephone or Skype interview. We’ll work with you to find a convenient time to conduct the interview.
After the interview we’ll ask that you pay a nonrefundable program fee that will enable us to source your internship placement and contact the local agencies or organizations that will be the best fit for your skills, your goals, and your needs.
The final step is to submit copies of the following documentation:
• two letters of recommendation
• a copy of the first page of your passport
• a police check (verifying that you have no criminal record)
• proof that you have purchased travel insurance
• a copy of your CV or resume (if you did not already include it as part of your online application)
No. Jamaica Volunteer Programs welcomes and accepts applicants and coordinates internships with individuals from all across the globe.
Unless you have visited certain high risk countries during the six-week period prior to arriving in Jamaica, you should not need to get any new or special vaccinations. But it’s also a good idea to check with the Jamaica Tourist Board prior to finalizing your travel plans, to learn about any new or updated travel-related information. You can find the Jamaica Tourist Board at: www.visitjamaica.com.
When you are in Jamaica your safety & security is our #1 priority. We take this so seriously that we do not think our job is complete until you have reached back home safely. Jamaica is a small island and often times the news about crime is very sensational. However, we do have crime as you have in your own country, but it is usually confined to specific areas that are not included in our internship programs. As you do in your own country, we ask that you use precaution and common sense when moving around.
To ensure your safety, here are some of the things we do.
• Our property is located outside of Kingston in the parish of St. Andrew which is safe and is situated in the beautiful hills where you have a panoramic view of the city. You may not be aware that the owners live on the same property where interns are located. This means so you will always be surrounded with people that are like friends and family.
• While on your internship, you will be placed with a local mentor who will give you tips and support. This means that at all times you will be surrounded by caring and trusted people to keep you safe.
• When you arrive, we ask you to get a local cell phone or have roaming so we can contact you on your mobile phone. In this way we can always offer support.
• Our intern and volunteer home has panic buttons installed on the property. If there is an emergency, in minutes, we can have security back up. If you have a medical emergency or illness we only need to squeeze this button and an ambulance will be available. In the case of a fire, we have fire extinguishers available all over the property.
• To ensure your safety we also provide our own transportation driven by family members and when we use other transportation, we pre-screen the operators. A list of our trusted transportation operators is available for all our transfers and tours. As part of your transportation package, you’ll have a tour guide/driver who not only knows all the safe places to take you but also knows the customs of Jamaica.
• When you are in Jamaica you will never be alone. Help is always available – 24/7 for emergencies and other support. Our team is there to support you. One of the major goals of our organization is to have you feel as if you are visiting family overseas.
Once you complete your application, have your interview and pay your program fee, you can expect our search for the ideal internship opportunity to take up one to two weeks. In some cases, we may need up to 30 days in order to find the best possible internship match with your skills and interests. Once we identify this position, will send you a letter by e-mail with all the relevant details, including the name of the company, the name of the individuals you’ll be coordinating with, and a description of the work you do as part of the internship.
As part of the internship application process, we make every effort to find a suitable match between your skills and interests and the opportunities that are available. However, if you find that you are not comfortable at the organization you’re interning with, we will make every effort to resolve whatever problems are occurring. In many cases, issues can arise from miscommunications or other cultural differences, and the problem can be resolved with our help in facilitating an open dialogue.
If we cannot reach a suitable resolution of those problems, then we will make every effort to assign you to a new internship placement.
It’s important that you learn as much as possible and feel comfortable with the internship process before you come to Jamaica. So it’s important that we provide as much information to you as possible. Please feel free to contact us at any time by phone or email if you want to learn more about what we can do to help you.
In addition, Jamaica Volunteer Programs is active on major social media websites, so please visit us at the following links in order to learn more: