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Embarking on an internship in Bali, with its enchanting blend of majestic landscapes and rich cultural tapestry, is an exciting adventure. Yet, interns must be well prepared to fully immerse themselves in the Balinese way of life. Here are ten tips to ensure a smooth, rewarding and enjoyable internship experience in Bali.

1. Cash and credit card management

Always have a mix of cash and a reliable credit card. Digital wallets like Wise or Revolut can handle currency exchanges seamlessly. Thanks to Wise you can have access to GoPay which is widely used in Bali. Life in Bali is known to be much cheaper than in other destinations. Discover the cost of living in Bali. Remember that bargaining is a common practice in Bali; it is not just a skill but a cultural norm. Dive into the art of bargaining practice in Bali.

2. Essential Apps

Life in Bali is made easier by apps like Gojek and Grab, which offer more than just rides; they’re your gateway to food delivery, shopping, and more. WhatsApp is crucial for communication. It’s used by locals, expats, and businesses alike, making it essential for everything from workplace communication to reserving a table at a restaurant or arranging a local service. Tokopedia and Shopee are your reference for online shopping. It’s invaluable for interns looking to shop for anything from electronics to household items and even fashion.Is good to know that Shopee offers a wider range of items. However, to download the app, your app store needs to be set to the Indonesian region.Have them installed on your phone before you arrive and configure them once you have an Indonesian phone number.

3. Avoiding “Bali Belly”

An internship in Bali should not be ruined by the famous “Bali Belly,” a common term for traveler’s diarrhea. This condition can come from a variety of sources, primarily contaminated food and water. To avoid it, be careful with street food, opt for restaurants popular with locals (a sign of fresh, consistent ingredients), always check the reviews and make sure your dishes are well-cooked. Avoid salads or fruits that may have been washed in local water and stick to bottled water, even for brushing your teeth.

Despite the precautions, if you get sick, stay hydrated and visit reputable medical clinics, we will help you find a good doctor or refer you to a good clinic. Prepare a basic medical kit before your arrival, including anti-diarrheal medications, rehydration salts, and probiotics for traveler’s diarrhea. Remember, “Bali belly” is often preventable and, with proper care, quickly manageable, ensuring you continue to enjoy and get the most out of your Balinese internship experience.

4. Reliable Insurance

Before you board the plane, purchase comprehensive health and travel insurance. Companies like Chapka, Allianz or Safety Wing offer policies designed for digital nomads and international interns. Make sure your insurance covers common medical fees. Ask your school as they might have a partnership with an international insurance company.

5. Basic Indonesian Phrases

While Bali is a global melting pot, and English is widely spoken in tourist areas, understanding basic Indonesian phrases can significantly enrich your internship experience. Not only does it help in daily interactions, but it also shows your respect for and interest in the local culture, which is deeply appreciated by the Balinese people. 

Language apps, local language schools, or online courses offer flexible ways to learn. You don’t need fluency, just a few key phrases can go a long way in workplaces, markets, and social interactions. Language shouldn’t be a barrier to your dreams ! Contact us to enroll in Indonesian or English classes.

6. Ride safely and follow the Balinese

Transportation in Bali presents a unique experience for interns from abroad, with motorbikes being the most popular mode of transport due to their convenience and ability to navigate through traffic. However, the bustling road conditions require newcomers to adapt quickly and adhere to local practices for a safe riding experience.

International driving permit

Firstly, it’s imperative to obtain an international driving permit before your arrival, as this is a legal requirement for driving in Bali. Riding without one can lead to complications with traffic police and invalidate your travel insurance if you’re involved in an accident

Wear an helmet

Helmets are a non-negotiable safety standard, both for riders and passengers. Not only do they significantly reduce the risk of severe injuries in case of accidents, but wearing a helmet is also a legal requirement in Indonesia.

Local driving

Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with the local driving. Observing and imitating how the Balinese navigate their roads gives you insight into the local driving culture. For instance, honking in Bali isn’t a sign of aggression as it might be in other countries; it’s a common courtesy to signal overtaking or presence to other drivers.

7. Honoring and respecting local customs and traditions

The island’s unique customs and traditions, which are integral to the Balinese way of life, demand respect and understanding. As you step into this cultural landscape, being mindful of local traditions is essential. 

Temples, known as “pura,” are sacred spaces, and many require modest dress to enter. Also, during religious processions or when sacred objects are being carried through the streets, it’s respectful to step to the side of the road in silence. Traditional ceremonies and temple anniversaries, known as “odalan,” are frequent, and each village may have its own schedule of festivals. If you’re invited to witness these, wear appropriate attire—typically a sarong and a sash—and follow the lead of locals in conduct. Explore the rich history of Bali

Day-to-day also requires attention. Curious on how to navigate cultural differences? Discover everything about it hereUse your right hand for giving or receiving, as the left is considered impure. When pointing, use your whole hand instead of a single finger. Refrain from touching anyone’s head, including children, as it’s considered the most sacred body part. Also, display patience and avoid confrontation; maintaining “face” and harmonious relationships is crucial in Balinese culture.

8. Respect the environment

Bali’s natural beauty is incredible, but it is vulnerable. As interns, champion sustainability: limit plastic use, support eco-friendly businesses, and participate in beach cleanups.

Respect wildlife and natural sites during your hikes to avoid disturbing ecosystems. Save water and electricity – small actions count. Learn about local environmental challenges and conservation efforts, perhaps incorporating them into your internship project. Get involved in preserving Bali’s natural beauty.

Remember that preserving Bali’s environment is crucial; your actions help maintain the island’s charm for future generations.

9. Engage in local activities

Immerse yourself in the many activities offered by Bali to understand the island beyond its tourist side. Immerse yourself in heritage by witnessing traditional dances, visiting temples or participating in local festivals. Experience adventures like surfing in Uluwatu, hiking Mount Batur or exploring hidden waterfalls and rice fields. Plunge yourself in the culinary world with a Balinese cooking class or a market tour. Find tranquility and balance with yoga or meditation sessions on the beach. Give back by volunteering in community services or environmental cleanups. Don’t miss networking events to connect with other expats and professionals. These activities are not just hobbies, they are pathways to understanding and embracing the full bali internship experience. Explore authentic Balinese experiences in less touristy places.

10. Navigating the Expat Community

Bali’s expat community is a vibrant network of diverse individuals. Capitalize on this resource by attending networking events in co-working spaces or cafes, especially in areas like Canggu and Ubud. Seek advice from fellow expats on adapting to life in Bali, and don’t shy away from asking for guidance. You can join us on social media to see what other interns are doing in Bali, which might inspire you : @baliworkgroup. Participate in skill-sharing workshops to both learn and make friends. Join clubs or groups that align with your hobbies for a sense of belonging. Stay connected and informed through online platforms. This community isn’t just a support system, it’s a gateway to a richer, more fulfilling Balinese internship experience.

Preparing for an internship in Bali goes beyond packing a suitcase. It’s about equipping you with the right tools, knowledge and mindset to fully engage in a dynamic culture and dynamic living environment. By following these tips, you will not only survive but thrive in Bali, creating memories and having experiences that are as professionally as they are personally rewarding.

Connect with us to discover more about this one-of-a-kind destination.