FAQs internship in Ecuador

1. Do I need a special Visa for Ecuador?

You do not need to apply for a Visa in advance for stays that do not extend a period of 90 days. The maximum duration of your stay may not exceed 180 days. You need to apply for the extension of your Visa at the appropriate authority in Ecuador. To enter the country(,) European citizens need a passport that is valid for at least another 6 months after your departure date and a return flight ticket.

2. How dangerous is it in Ecuador?

Crime is also a problem in this South American country, but if you follow some safety advice you should be as safe as in every big European city.  (Nevertheless) in the bigger cities, at touristic attractions and in public transport theft and robberies are not uncommon.  Therefore you should always have an eye on your bags and valuables.  Do not flash your jewelry, cameras and watches. Once it’s dark you should always use a taxi, even for short distances.

3. Do I need special vaccination?

The usual vaccinations for Tetanus, Diphtheria and Hepatitis A are recommendable. In case of longer stays vaccinations against Hepatitis B, Rabies, Typhus, Malaria and Yellow Fever should not be forgotten. Prior to your trip you should in any case see your doctor or a tropical disease specialist just to avoid possible incompatibilities.

4. How do I get money in Ecuador?

The US Dollar is the official currency of the country since 2000. It replaced the old currency, the Sucre. But the national Centavo coins are still in circulation. Due to a manifold of faked bank notes, 50 and 100 USD notes are not accepted in shops and banks.  You can use Traveler Checks and credit cards, but you should only withdraw money during the opening hours. And it’s advisable to never carry large amounts of money on you!

5. Do my European electrical devices work in Ecuador?

Ecuador uses, like the US, a 100V A.C. system.  Electrical devices should therefore be able to be switched to this voltage.  Moreover, you need an adapter. You can buy one of those in your home country, but also in Ecuador.   

6. Can I use my mobile phone in Ecuador?

Using your European mobile phone in Ecuador can be quite a challenge or might not work at all. Only mobile phones functioning on 850 megahertz work.  We recommend the many small internet cafes which can be found everywhere.

7. Do I need health insurance during my stay abroad?

You should get international health insurance for the duration of your stay in Ecuador. We recommend the ADAC or STAtravel to our German students. 

8. What about the climate and temperatures in Ecuador?

Ecuador is considered one of the countries that are worth a visit all year round.  Temperatures hardly vary between the seasons. Due to the different altitudes there can be extreme variations in temperatures.  Therefore the temperatures are between 15 and 35 degrees.

9. Can I apply for an internship even if I do not speak Spanish?

In general you can also apply for an internship in Ecuador even if you do not speak Spanish. You should, however, not forget that Spanish is the official language and you will have to deal with only Spanish speaking staff at your work place.  Therefore a good basic knowledge of the language is a requirement. There is, however, the possibility to visit an intensive Spanish course to learn, refresh or to deepen your Spanish in Ecuador prior to your internship. 

10. Will I get paid for my internship in Ecuador?

Internships in Ecuador are not paid in general as there are strict regulations by the government regarding the work of foreigners.  

11. Where will I live during my internship?

During their stay in Ecuador, interns and volunteers live with host families. You have your own room and 3 meals a day. All guest families are chosen carefully and usually already have a few years experience with foreign students.  Your hosts could be a married couple, but also a single person with or without children.  All guest families live close to your internship company. 

12. Is it possible to see more of the country after my internship?

You will, of course, have the possibility to travel or make day trips within Ecuador. During your internship you can do that after work or on the weekends. It is also possible after your internship. But you need to keep in mind that the maximum duration of your stay may not exceed 180 days.  You should coordinate your travels with your internship company, especially in regards to the Visa.

13. What touristic attractions are worth a visit?

Ecuador offers various possibilities for trips. You can go on  „Whale Watching“ tours, go hiking in the Amazon area, climb the mountains, discover the markets in cities like Quito or just enjoy the beaches. You definitely should not miss the world famous Galapagos Islands.

14. On what altitude is Quito situated and could that lead to problems?

Quito is situated at an altitude of 2.850 m. The highest mountains in Ecuador are more than 6,000 m high. You need some time to get used to the climatic conditions, but after 2 to 3 days the body should have adapted to the altitude.  Everyone - not only people with respiratory diseases - should go for a checkup before their trip!

15. What about public transport?

City buses and taxis are rather cheap in Quito. The destinations of the different buses are listed on their front windows.  The buses stop at almost every corner if hand signaled, so that you can easily get on and off.  A trip costs between 10 and 25 Centavos, no matter the distance within the city.  There are also more than enough taxis in the cities. Drivers stop at hand signal and during the day the taximeter is ticking. At night you should negotiate the price in advance. 

16. Can I drive by myself in Ecuador?

To drive in Ecuador you need an „International Driver’s License“, which needs to be presented when renting a car.