Internships are a great way of advancing your skills and gaining cross-cultural work experience. Often, interns will be in the process of pursuing a degree, and will be looking for additional experience to round out their resume. Although of course, there are a number of graduates who intern as a way to see the word or begin a career change.
Internships in Africa are almost always unpaid, and many will request that you pay a fee that covers your living expenses and makes a donation to the organization. It is critical to find the right match so that the relationship is beneficial to both intern and company.
To secure an internship aboard, it is usually necessary to find a company that sets-up the internship. Internships are commonly set-up through a university for its students.
Internships in Ghana are almost as prevalent as volunteer positions. Though many organizations use the terms interchangeably, internships do technically expect a higher level of skill and offer a more specialized opportunity.
As with volunteering, there is a wide range of international and local organizations that set up internship opportunities. Generally, internships will cover the same broad sectors (education, healthcare, economics, community development, etc.), but more specialized opportunities do exist for those who search harder.
There are a number of online search engines that can help you find an internship. Check out:
You can also apply directly to organizations of interest. This requires more research and initiative, but may give way to a less expensive and more unique position. Remember that not all local organizations will advertise internships online.
When searching, it is important to note whether internship opportunities are available to non-Ghanaian nationals or not. A number of locally based international companies are opening up opportunities for Ghanaian students (only) to get more work experience.
Networking is another effective way of securing internships in Ghana since often, search engines and organizational databases will not profile all the available opportunities. In addition to looking through your network and the networks recommended below, check out the great resources from EasyExpat.
Internships can be organized with either large international organizations or with smaller local organizations. The former will often offer pre-departure processes and added support, but they do charge more money. Smaller organizations require more initiative and self-preparation, and charge a lower cost. It is rare - but possible - to find internship agencies that do not require a fee of some kind.
Popular internship organizations include:
If you are hired through an organization, they will usually guide you through the visa process. Most interns will be instructed to obtain a single or multi entrance visa for tourists.
For more information on visa, consult the section on "Passport and Visas".
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