Living & Breathing
If you haven’t already realised, our trekkers and leaders do a hell of a lot in country. If we had to sum it up in one sentence however, we’d say: you’ll be developing a business that addresses a specific social issue, to create a long-term and sustainably beneficial solution for local communities. But there’s a whole lot more than just that!
Throughout your time on your internship you’ll be working in a team to develop a specific social venture. Our projects operate within the sectors of environmental sustainability, agriculture and food security, social consulting, and health, and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We operate with a social enterprise model, meaning that we solve social issues through business-based solutions. It’s vital that our projects are solving a genuine need amongst the communities that we operate in, so validating and iterating our business solution to accurately address the local social issues is core to the project development.
Each of our ventures, regardless of the country, is at a different stage of development due to the nature of the project and how long it has been in place. We follow the methodologies of design thinking and lean start up in the development of our ventures, so you might be working at an early stage of your project, involving the application of systems thinking and primary research; or a later stage, working on the feasibility of the business and financial models or building prototypes and co-designing. Regardless, your day will be chock-a-block with learning and applying the skills required to develop a business, as well as building soft skills, integrating knowledge from your university degree, and working closely with the local community.
For more information on our current projects and where they’re running, visit our ventures page.
Living in Country
No matter what country you trek in, your accommodation will be fairly similar and very basic. You won’t be staying in any 5 star resorts or fancy hotels, but what would you gain from that? Yes, we rarely have hot water, and the mattresses aren’t as luxurious as home, but living like a local gives you a much more valuable perspective to better empathise with the community. For most projects, your accommodation doubles as your workspace, and in some countries the teams will be divided amongst multiple houses. Don’t worry though, with your team and leaders working and living around you, the house quickly feels like home.
Like our accommodation, we want you to experience what it is like to eat traditional food, so your meals will be based around local cuisine. We have fantastic local cooks in each country that will prepare dinner (and breakkie if you’re lucky) for you every week day. Meals generally consist of a combination of rice, cassava, noodles, eggs, toast, curries, meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc.), vegetables, and of course, coffee. Be aware that your project fee does not cover lunch, but there are plenty of very affordable local options to explore (do we hear 25c chicken skewers…?).
Getting around in country can be a whole lot of fun, whether it’s on a tuk tuk, a microlet, or in one of our vehicles. All transport fees and logistics will be managed by your leaders whilst on project. Weekends are left up to you (see culture and exploration). Please note that you are NOT permitted to drive whilst in country.
Everyone is expected to have a charged, serviced phone on them at all times. A local sim card must be bought on arrival in country BEFORE induction. WhatsApp is our primary means of communication in country, and you will be briefed on the relevant processes to do so during your trekker training immersion and in-country induction.
Health & Safety
Your safety and wellbeing is our priority whilst in country. Project Everest has a high degree of support from International SOS (ISOS), who provide live updates on country conditions across environmental, political, social, and economic factors. ISOS have 24/7 medical advice available, where PE members may speak to a medical professional over the phone and receive immediate advice, support and direction to ISOS approved medical facilities. ISOS also provide evacuation support and can coordinate with local and international partners to ensure a smooth response to health and safety issues.
After many months of running projects in each country, you can rest assured that the leaders also know the system back to front, whether it is the route to the nearest medical centre, embassy, or just the supermarket for an emotional pick-me-up, we’ve got you covered. Senior leaders also run a preliminary reconnaissance in country leading up to induction. Our experiential leadership training covers in-depth incident response, crisis management, and logistics coordination across a range of scenarios, and have vehicles to be used in the case of an emergency. We also require that everyone from trekkers to staff support are required to have a valid first aid and CPR certificate for the duration of project.
Culture and Exploration
Perhaps the most valuable part of an international internship is just that: it’s international. We love operating in Fiji, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Malawi because the local community are incredibly welcoming with rich cultures, and local sites to explore and experience. We want you to immerse yourself in the culture as much as you can: not only will it help you to empathise with the community, but it will increase your work practice in a cross-cultural environment and give you a deeper, more unique perspective of the world.
Whilst weekdays are dedicated to project development and will predominantly be spent in the local area or city, you will have the weekends and after-work hours to explore. We encourage you to get out of the city and see what makes the country so special and unique, whether this is visiting traditional temples or religious sites, going snorkeling and diving in the stunning reefs and lakes, or heading off on a weekend Safari (if you’re in Malawi of course!). Almost all of your leaders will have spent at least a month in the country before so will be able to give you some top tips and recommendations for activities and must-sees!