If you want to make a difference, consider internships in Laos. Commonly referred to in the West as Laos, the country's proper name is actually the Lao People's Democratic Republic, or Lao PDR. With an internship in Laos, you may not only help the local community, but also immerse yourself in a fascinating culture. In addition to gaining professional experience, you could practice speaking a new language, and learn about life from a new perspective. All this, in beautiful Southeast Asia amongst a culture that dates back to the fourteenth century.

Internships in Laos: Getting Started

An international internship in Laos could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Working in Lao PDR may allow you to help the people and community around you. For example, if you’re interested in education, you might find an internship teaching English to children or adults. You may also be able to help with community development projects, or in the tourism industry.

The fields you work in are only part of what may make internships in Laos fulfilling. For example, working alongside your Lao neighbors, you might come to understand the perspectives of a new culture. You could develop your language and communication skills. Or practice your leadership and cooperation by working with people from all walks of life. Whether you gain experience in the field you want to work in after you graduate, or try something new, much of the experience you gain as an intern in Laos may benefit you throughout life.

Some of the types of internships in Laos you may be able to pursue may include:

  • Conservation
  • Education
  • Community development

For more information on the types of experience you might be able to find in internships in Laos, reach out to your preferred program.

Internships in Laos: Living & Working in Laos

Work is one thing, but what is it like living in Lao PDR? If you want to experience life as far removed from what you may be used to in the West as you can, internships in Laos might be a great choice. Lao PDR is a single party Communist state. But that’s only one aspect of their culture. Religious beliefs and practices, particularly Buddhism, play a significant role in Laotian culture, as exemplified by many of Lao PDR’s public festivals. As of 2014, 66% of the population identifies as practicing Buddhism. An approximate additional 30% cite folk religous practices.

Lao PDR is also home to more than one hundred ethnic groups, each with unique beliefs, traditions, and in some cases, even languages. While Lao is the official language of Lao PDR, 82 different languages might be spoken among the various ethnic groups. Of these, Hmong and Khmu are the two most widely spoken, in addition to Lao.

Linguistic, culture, religious beliefs… those aren’t the only sources of diversity.  From forests, to mountains, plateaus and valleys, Lao PDR boasts varied landscape, rich with flora and fauna. To the north, you might find rainforests and monsoon forests, home to a wide range of native plants and animals, some unique to the region. These natural resources are valuable not only for reasons of biodiversity, but also to sustain the local communities that live there.

To this end, deforestation is an issue of concern in the country. The government has outlawed techniques like slash-and-burn agriculture and put measures in place to encourage the conservation of endangered plants and animals. However conservation efforts remain a work in progress, facing competition from industries such as valuable hardwood exports like teak, and mining. If you’re interested in getting involved with conservation, then an internship in Laos may be a great opportunity for you.

Of course, there's one other important reason to consider internships in Laos: pushing your boundaries! By living and working in a new culture, on the other side of the world, you’ll experience life from a new perspective, learning more not only about your career, but about the world and even yourself! And who doesn't want to develop a little independence?

Getting Ready to Intern in Laos

When it comes to preparing to intern in Laos, one invaluable resource may be your potential internship program! Make sure you follow up with them for any relevant information, especially when it comes to making sure you obtain the right visa and other documentation. You might also want to follow up for other details, such as confirming your housing arrangements, and other potential costs you might need to prepare for, like food, housing, transportation, or insurance.

If you’re still looking for ways to fund your internship in Laos, in addition to utilizing your savings and student loans, you may also be able to apply for grant or scholarship programs. A variety of organizations, possibly including your school or program, might offer grants or scholarships to qualified applicants to help fund an experience abroad.

Getting ready to intern abroad for the first time might feel like a big task, especially if you’re going somewhere off the beaten path. But by using your resources, you could prepare yourself to make the most of what is truly a unique opportunity.

Find Your Internships in Laos

Are you ready to take those first steps toward your internships in Laos? If so, StudyAbroad.com wants to help! We have information on programs to connect you with the internships in Laos you may be looking for. Read up on these sponsored programs and reach out to them for additional information, or even to start applying. Don’t wait any longer; seize your opportunity to intern in Laos!