Internship: FAQ

Potential Intern Applicants

In which countries does Ambala Foundation offer an internship program?
The internship program is only available with the Ambala Foundation operations

How do I apply for an internship?
Download the  application form. The process is described there.

Is there a fee?
There is no processing fee for interns placed into programs of Ambala Foundation. However, we charge $50 for interns coming from abroad and BDT 1000 for interns from local institutes as processing fee for exposure trip. Please note that, participants of exposure trips need to deposit their field expenses as per pre-circulated budget along with the processing fee at the beginning of the program.

What is the climate like in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh has a subtropical monsoon climate characterized by wide seasonal variations in rainfall, high temperatures and humidity.

I can’t speak Bangla. Do I still qualify for an internship?
Yes you do.Ambala Foundation receives foreign interns who have no knowledge of Bangla every year.Ambala Foundation also offers translator services if requested by an intern, especially when engaged in field work. Interns have to pay for these translators’ services, as well as for their food and accommodation. Most Ambala Foundation staff stationed in the head office can communicate fluently in English.
 

Accepted Interns

LOGISTICS:

How do I get a visa and what are the requirements?
Bangladesh requires that most foreign nationals get a visa earlier to arrival. The procedure differs depending on your nationality and country of residence. We are not skilled to give suggestion on the type of visa you should apply for. Please contact your nearest Bangladesh Embassy for further information. When applying for the visa, make sure you ask for enough time to cover your expected duration. It is very problematic, time-consuming and often impossible to apply and get approval for an extension from Bangladesh.

Should I contact my Supervisor before arrival?
We advise you to be in touch with your Supervisor at Ambala Foundation from pre-arrival to discuss and fixed your internship duration and to have an idea about your role and schedule. You may discuss assignment details, your areas of interest and strengths, field visits and you can also request reading material via email.

What devices, if any, will I need for my internship?
All interns are recommended to bring their own laptops as the organization may not be able to provide sufficient resources. Interns usually have a laptop, camera and voice recorder upon them. The camera and voice recorder are supportive for field work.

How will I get an internet connection and a cell phone in Dhaka?
Local telecommunication service providers have their centers at the airport as well as locations all over Dhaka. Both cell phone and internet services may be obtained from them at reasonable prices.

Can I get any facilities from my embassy as a foreign national in Bangladesh?
We advise our foreign interns to register with their embassies in Bangladesh, as soon as they arrive. Once registered, the intern may be able to use some facilities provided by the embassy, receive updates and alerts about national emergencies and help in case of emergency removal etc. You can search the contact details of your country’s embassy here: follow link

How much money should I plan to carry for my stay in Bangladesh?
It depends on how long you stay in Bangladesh. Dhaka city provides to all levels of spending capacity. On average, interns should be ready to pay costs of approximately 500 USD per month. It is also recommended that you have access to at least an additional 200 USD for emergency purposes. ATM’s and banks are widely available in Dhaka. Bringing both a debit card and a credit card would be most suitable and interns are advised to own a VISA card (as opposed to Master card or any other providers) since it is the most widely accepted card in Dhaka.

Will somebody from Ambala Foundation pick me up from the airport?
No. Taxis are available at the airport. Make sure you have the address of your destination written down.

Where will I exchange currency when I arrive at Dhaka?
Currency exchanging points are available at the airport and also widely available in Dhaka.

What should I know about public transportation in Dhaka?
Rickshaws (tri-cycles with ornate hoods) and CNG’s (green motorized three-wheelers) are convenient, available everywhere and safe public transport options. Details will be provided during orientation.

What happens if I find myself in a difficult situation?
The safety plan will brief you on how to act in case of an emergency. The internship coordinator will also be available to teach you in such conditions.

What should I do in case of a medical emergency?
The safety plan includes a course of action in case of a medical emergency. Details will be addressed at the orientation. During office hours a doctor at the A handout will be provided to all interns/volunteers with important phone numbers of the police and fire departments, hospitals, ambulance etc. if ever needed in case of emergencies outside of office hours.

What is Ambala Foundation’s policy about alcohol and drugs?
Ambala Foundation operates as per the regulatory laws in Bangladesh. It follows the controlled substance laws. Foreigners are allowed to consume alcohol at their private premises. Details will be provided at the orientation.

Can you recommend a packing list for my trip to Bangladesh?

General:

  • Three passport size photos for registration
  • Laptop (preferably with wireless internet setting)
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Raincoat and umbrella (for rainy seasons)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen

For the field:

  • Durable shoes
  • Dry food
  • Clip board
  • Backpack
  • Flash light
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Bed sheet, pillow cover
  • Flask to carry water
  • A book to read
  • Portable music player and headphones
  • Medicine kit once in Dhaka and instructed by coordinator
  • Camera (preferably digital)
  • All interns, including locals, are recommended to bring their own laptops as the organization may not be able to provide sufficient resources

CULTURE:

What will be my mode of transportation in the field?
Interns usually move around on foot, in rickshaws and in three-wheeler auto-rickshaws, popularly known as CNGs, when out for field work.

What food will be available to me in the field?
local Bangladeshi foods are available in the field which include rice, dal (lentils), fish/chicken curry and curried vegetables. Filtered water will also be available.

What is Bengali food like?
Rice is a staple for Bengalis. Other than that, fish curries, chicken/beef curries, dal (lentil soup), curried vegetables and mashed potatoes make a very basic Bengali food. A great variety of spices are used in Bengali cuisine and snacks involve lots of deep-fried items such as shingaras and samosas.

Is western food widely available in Dhaka?
Yes it is. Supermarkets in Dhaka offer a large selection of local and international foods. Many restaurants and bakeries also provide to people with a taste for international cuisines such as Continental, European, Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese, to name a few. A lot of these places will be at a close proximity from the interns’ residence.

Will I have to drink bottled water in Dhaka?
Yes. Interns are advised to drink bottled water.

What is considered appropriate clothing in Bangladesh?
As a foreigner going to a Muslim country, you would be expected to show respect for the cultural differences in Bangladesh. Interns are thus advised to conform to social norms when in the country. Men are advised to wear full length pants (shorts should not be worn to the field, nor at the head office) paired with t-shirts, shirts (long, traditional shirts for men). Women are advised to dress in local wear (shalwar kameez/fotuas with a long scarf) especially when out at the field. As long as the clothing is made of light material like cotton, covers the arms and legs and isn’t tight fitting, you should be comfortable moving around.

What recreation options does Dhaka offer?
There are several restaurants, hotels, clubs and museums that offer recreation options. The internship coordinator will be able to advise you upon arrival.

What is the expected output from the internship?
The ToR (Terms of Reference) will specify the expected output from the interns specifically. Depending on conversations with the supervisor, most interns involved in research projects are expected to produce a report highlighting their research analysis and results. You can also offer a presentation to your department to explain your findings and foster discussion.

Will I get a recommendation letter or a certificate upon completion of my placement?
A Letter of Appreciation will be given to you upon completion of your assignment. Your direct supervisor may also be willing to write a personal recommendation.

 

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