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If you want to know what to expect from internships in the Philippines, you need to look beyond the obvious. This archipelago of over 7,000 islands is famed among tourists and holiday-makers for its pristine white beaches and stunning natural beauty, but there are a bounty of remarkable opportunities with internships in the Philippines too.

In this blog, we’ll give you the full picture of what to expect from an internship in the Philippines. We’ll let you know the most important things to expect during an internship in the Philippines, offer our top tips for internships in the Philippines, and suggest a few Philippines travel tips along the way. Finally, to make sure you know exactly what to expect from internships in the Philippines, we’ll recommend a few of our top programs there.

What To Expect From Your Internship In The Philippines

1. Diverse Internship Opportunities

Over the last decade, the Philippines has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in south-eastern Asia, and business there is booming. This means there is now a broad spectrum of opportunities with internships in the Philippines, and you can find programs working in thriving industries including, renewable energy, marine science, IT, and business process outsourcing. This is what we mean when we say you have to look beyond the obvious if you want to truly understand what to expect from internships in the Philippines.

However, the two most exciting sectors for internships in the Philippines are by far and away Marine science and social welfare. Situated in the Coral Triangle, the islands of the Philippines, especially Dauin on the Negros Island, have some of the highest marine biodiversity on the planet. This means the area is of unique scientific value for marine research and there are incredible marine science projects for interns to involve themselves with.

Meanwhile, Tacloban City, still recovering from the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, is a hive of impactful development work, offering diverse opportunities for interns to make a real difference in people’s lives.

2. Mentorship and Professional Growth

High on the list of things to expect from an internship in the Philippines is a very high standard of professional development for interns. The country has a well-earned reputation for offering fantastic opportunities for interns to learn new skills and put them to use under the guidance of experienced professionals. This means the essentials, like mentorship, skill-building, and practical experience, are all things to expect from an internship in the Philippines.

This real-world experience and expert guidance are hugely beneficial for students and young professionals who can get involved with exciting projects while receiving the support they need to make the most of the experience. Mentors can offer valuable advice on industry trends, career planning, and skill development, all while providing you with personalized insights, feedback, and support regarding your own performance.

3. Welcoming Culture and Work Environment

A big part of what to know about the Philippines is that the locals are famously friendly. Filipinos are globally renowned for their hospitality, often referred to as “Pinoy warmth,” and this extends to the workplace too, making it one of the key things to expect during an internship in the Philippines.

As an intern, you’ll be embraced in a work environment that is both welcoming and inclusive. Expect colleagues who are not only professional but also personable, making it easier for you to fit in and thrive. The work culture typically balances hard work and leisure, ensuring that employees enjoy a healthy work-life balance.

You might also find the office setting to be less formal compared to most Western standards, with open communication lines and a collaborative approach to projects.

4. Working Closely with Local Communities

Many internships in the Philippines emphasize community engagement, providing a unique opportunity to work directly with local populations. This hands-on experience allows you to understand the socio-economic challenges and cultural dynamics of Filipino communities.

Whether you are teaching in rural schools, assisting in public health campaigns, or supporting marine science research, you’ll be working side-by-side with Filipino locals and your efforts can contribute directly to community development. Nowhere is this more true than in the realm of social welfare work, where you’ll get to know and integrate with local communities so you can support their efforts to build a better future for their country.

This aspect of your internship not only enhances your professional skills but also enriches your personal growth. It’ll help to develop soft skills like cross-cultural collaboration and communication, but also build your global perspective and social conscience. So, some of our best advice for internships in the Philippines, and our Philippines travel advice in general, is to embrace the warm Filipino welcome you’ll receive.

5. World-Class Marine Science Projects

It almost goes without saying that world-class marine science and conservation work is a big part of what to expect from internships in the Philippines. Without a doubt, one of the best reasons to intern in the Philippines is to kick start a career spent studying and protecting our oceans.

Located within the Coral Triangle, the Philippines is a global hotspot for marine biodiversity. Marine science internships here are unparalleled, offering opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research and conservation projects. You could be involved in coral reef restoration, studying marine life, or working on sustainable fishing practices. What’s more, working in such an internationally renowned bastion of marine science and conservation will do wonders for your CV and can help you get your foot in the door for a highly competitive field of work.

Even if this isn’t the focus of your internship, our top tips for traveling to the Philippines are to get yourself some scuba gear and spend your downtime diving below the deep blue.

6. Social Welfare and Community Development Projects

In spite of the country’s fast-growing economy, Filipino people face many challenges and many lead difficult lives. Most notably the inhabitants of Tacloban City continue to show remarkable resilience as they rebuild after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. As such, there is a wealth of incredibly meaningful and impactful social welfare and development projects for interns to involve themselves with. So, some of our best advice for internships in the Philippines is to find work that supports these important causes and go where your work will matter the most.

Numerous NGOs, social enterprises, and government programs focus on social welfare and community development in the Philippines. Interns can participate in projects aimed at improving education, healthcare, housing, and poverty alleviation. You might work with organizations that provide free medical services to underserved areas, support educational programs in marginalized communities, or assist in developing sustainable livelihoods for the poor.

7. International Networking Opportunities

As a hub of international business within Southeast Asia, the Philippines provides an excellent internship destination for building an international network. You’ll have the chance to meet professionals from diverse backgrounds, including fellow interns from around the globe. Additionally, many multinational companies have offices in the Philippines, giving you exposure to international business practices and potential global career opportunities.

3 Recommended Programs in the Philippines

Social Welfare Internship

Support vulnerable Filipino communities and empower individuals through hands-on involvement in community projects. Interns will contribute to providing essential counseling and support to children facing behavioral and mental health challenges, as well as working with young women affected by abuse. Additionally, you’ll lead educational workshops on critical topics such as teenage pregnancy, health, and nutrition, and engage in community development by organizing community events and activities.

This internship is ideal for students in criminology, law, social work, psychology, or education, offering practical experience and meaningful interaction with community members, all while contributing to positive change in the Philippines.

Communications and Fundraising Internship

This internship offers hands-on experience in communications and fundraising, focusing on enhancing access to education, health, and nutrition for underprivileged children in the Philippines.

Interns will manage the organization’s website and social media platforms, create compelling content, and assist with various fundraising efforts, including grant proposals and online campaigns. Ideal for students or professionals in marketing, writing, or journalism, the role allows for significant personal and professional growth while making a tangible community impact. Accommodations include living with a host family and providing an immersive cultural experience.

Marine Research Fellow Internship

This Marine Research Fellow Internship in the Philippines offers advanced training and practical experience in marine conservation science, ideal for those starting a career in this field. Interns will conduct in-field research, lead teams, and develop independent projects, focusing on coral reef ecosystems and marine biodiversity. Responsibilities include underwater research dives, data analysis, and educating research assistants, with comprehensive training provided.

The program emphasizes locally-led conservation strategies and offers opportunities to publish findings and contribute to global marine conservation efforts.

Interning in the Philippines Will Be the Adventure of a Lifetime!

Interning in the Philippines offers a unique blend of professional development, cultural immersion, and personal growth. From diverse job opportunities and a welcoming work environment to stunning natural beauty and affordable living, the Philippines has a lot to offer young professionals and students.

If you’d like to learn more about what to expect from internships in the Philippines and how to apply for an internship, you’re in the right place. Roots Interns are long-standing specialists in international internships and we have the knowledge, expertise, and contacts to help you find the perfect program to fit your career goals.

Browse All Our Available Internships in the Philippines

This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge