A Hotel internship abroad is the perfect way to get to know a foreign country without spending much money, or even get paid for doing so. In another post I’ve already talked about the benefits and drawbacks of internships abroad. Here I wanna talk about my own experiences.
If you are more into big city life and Asian culture you can check out my post about my internship in Beijing, China.
What to find out in this post
About my hotel internship in Maldives
Duration: three months
Found: by an agency
Costs: ca. 900€ (without flights)
Compensation: ca. 120€/month + accommodation, catering + medical care
After I haven’t gotten any answer to my numerous applications and since I got some good memories from the other agency I decided to give it another try letting an agency organize my internship.
The agency I chose I found due to my university. Even though they told me that so far none of my fellow students have made experiences with this agency, but it was shown on TV before and therefore probably trustworthy.
Short after I made a request for my dream internship for Hotel marketing in Maldives, the boss herself called me and told me about her own experiences with Maldives and Dubai.
I felt like she gave me good advice but somehow it felt like she tried to push me into changing my mind and going to Dubai instead as I never asked her about Dubai in the first place.
Anyway, she told me that an internship in Marketing for a duration of three months wasn’t possible but anyway she would try her best to find a similar position.
After organizing everything and a job interview on skype and being accepted by the hotel I finally got sent the internship contract just to find out it said “Guest relation”.
A little worried I asked the agency for help but she calmed me down saying that this was only how they call it there. My internship would take place in a similar position to sales. Even though her explanation sounded a bit weird to me I believed her and signed the contract.
To get all the information about my arrival and the visa I felt a little left alone as the hotel usually took up to weeks to get back to me and the agency often just asked me to get in touch with the hotel.
As around three weeks before my departure I still haven’t received my visa papers I contacted the agency again just to make sure that everything was fine.
But what she responded was actually everything else but fine: Probably they had forgotten about my arrival papers and no one got back to her either from the hotel, the same recently has happened to another intern.
And without even asking whether I would be interested she told me to resend her my CV and she would get me a spontaneous internship in Dubai.
Anyway, two days later I finally got response from Maldives that they were working on my papers and would get back to me shortly.
Around 14 days before my flight finally I received the necessary papers by email. Looking through the email they said they had to write into the papers that I’d be working in front office but I shouldn’t worry as I’d be working in recreation team as they have confirmed before.
However, around one week before leaving to Maldives I got another email saying that they confused me with another intern. I should ignore the last email as I would be working in front office.
Telling the agency those bad news suddenly she reacted really rude telling me she’d never promised me anything and I just wouldn’t have an idea of how hotels work. (I just finished a class about hotel management in my University)
During my stay in Maldives
From my first day on I tried to change my department into the recreation one because I was scared that my university might not acknowledge an internship only completed in front office.
However, my colleagues were all really nice and when my working schedule fit the meals times I was allowed to eat in the tourist restaurant. (if not I could eat in the canteen).
Besides a 48-hours schedule per week (6 days a week) I usually found time every day that I could spend on the amazing white beach enjoying the perfect Maldivian weather.
I was accommodated in a room that I shared with five other female interns (two other Germans, one Austrian and two local girls).
The European girls all had been there with the same agency and all kinda had the same troubles with her before coming.
One girl had to leave in the end just after half of the time she was actually supposed to stay there because she didn’t have the time she needed to prepare her bachelor thesis as she was promised by the agency beforehand.
What did we do in our time off?
Our off time from work we could spend in the staff area which was located in the middle of the island. It included a little gym, a billiard room, a kiosk, a little restaurant, some tables and places to sit, as well as a room with playstation and karaoke machine.
Moreover, there was a staff ferry going three times a day to Malé and back, so you could spend your free day/night in Malé doing some shopping or have a drink. (alcohol free of course, as alcohol is only allowed on tourist islands)
Once a month they organized a trip to another island for the departments Front Office and Recreation, in which we visited another island resort to drink and party together.
Working in Front Office… or not working at all
The work in Front Office was interesting in the beginning, but sadly there wasn’t enough work for all of us because besides me there were four more trainees.
Anyway, when German guests arrived usually I was allowed to do the check in for them, especially when they weren’t able to speak English.
During my last month in Maldives I was finally allowed to change into the Recreation department.
Usually, there was a lot more to do. Once a day you could guide one of the trips that was offered like island hopping or dolphin tours.
My last week anyway, I suddenly had to work in the reception of the gym for whatever reason. I used to sit alone during most of my shift, answering the phone and provided towels to one of the few guests that went to gym in the hot weather of Maldives.
Most of my time I spent with learning vocabularies preparing for future life in Spain that would start right after my return.
In General, I had a nice time in the Maldives and it was a pleasant experience and obviously, the island was amazingly beautiful.
However, the internship itself was not as professional as I would have expected it from such an agency.
During my stay, I didn’t receive any message of her asking whether I was fine and everything was how I expected it to be. (Well, obviously, it wasn’t. Probably that’s why she didn’t ask)
If you wanna do such an internship to stay in the Maldives for a long time for a small price I can recommend this experience. But if you are looking for a professional internship and want to gain experience that you could be using in your future carrier, you should definitely be looking for an internship yourself and not with an agency. (at least not this agency)