Internship Pre Departure

internship pre-departure

We hope this information helps ease your mind before your programme. A lot of information specific to your programme can be found on the Pagoda Portal. You will be added to the destination page for your internship after the Pre-Departure session (approximately six weeks before departure). If you have any questions in the mean time, please do not hesitate to contact us. 



Participant Registration Form submitted yet? If not, then please do it ASAP!

Booked your transport? Great! Fill in the Travel Form and we’ll pick you up!

Ready to on-board? Sign up to the Pagoda Portal here.

Using Pagoda’s Insurance Policy? Check below to see if you are covered.

What is Pagoda’s Policy on COVID-19? Click through to view a summary.


In a sector which contributes to a lot of carbon emissions through international travel, we believe it’s our own responsibility to make a positive impact, through climate education and taking action, as individuals and a community.


If we provide accommodation for you, details will be sent to you prior to your programme start date.

As standard, you will have the following:

  • Private bedroom
  • Shared bathroom
  • Shared living room
  • Shared kitchen, with basic cooking utensils
  • Wi-Fi
  • Within a reasonable distance of public transport

Bangkok, Hanoi, HCMC, Lisbon & Madrid:

We will provide accommodation information to you prior to arrival. We aim to make this within 40 minutes of your internship company, where possible.


Accommodation is not provided for you by Pagoda Projects, for the Manchester programme. You need to book your own accommodation, and cover the cost yourself. Accommodation is usually in the range of £200-£300 per week. We recommend you look for accommodation around the city centre, Fallowfield, Rusholme or Victoria Park.


We recommend shopping around to try and find the best deal for your accommodation. You could look on sites such as Housemates or Spare Room, as they tend to be student-friendly and have lots of options available.

After you have booked your accommodation, please can you fill in the Manchester accommodation form so we know where you will be staying.

If we provide accommodation for you, we will try to house everyone within a similar part of the city so that you can visit and socialise with other participants on the programme, however we cannot guarantee that you will be housed with your friends. It is also important for us to consider your commute times when placing you in your accommodation. However, if you put in a request to be housed with a friend we will consider it and see if it is possible.


Where possible, we highly encourage you to book a train. This is because the environmental footprint of trains is far less than that of planes. You can read more about this here.

However, we understand this may not be possible, particularly if you are travelling long haul. It’s a good idea to research the carbon footprint of your flight, and some airlines and third-party providers will provide you with details of this, so you can choose the best option for the environment.

It is often cheaper to book a flight with a connection/layover in another country. HOWEVER, before you book a flight with a connection, please check the following:

  • Do you require a transit visa to change flights in that country? Even if you have travelled via that country without a visa in the past, PLEASE CHECK. The regulations for visa-waivers can change.
  • If you are required to have a transit visa for that country, have you checked how long it takes to obtain it and how much it costs? Transit Visas may take months to apply for.
  • If you do not need a Transit Visa, you may be required to stay in the International Zone of the airport. If you have a long layover, this could make your journey more uncomfortable.

If you are unsure about any of the above. Please submit a support ticket via the form below.

It is completely up to you. If you want to know what flights other participants have booked you can send us a quick email and we will check if others are happy to share, so you can travel together.

Many reputable international airlines fly here, usually connecting through one of the other major transport hubs in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, etc.).

We advise you to make one booking directly with the airline and not a third party for your flights, all the way to HCMC, rather than splitting your booking and/or using a third-party provider. That way in the event of cancellations or delays, the airline company should provide support and/or compensation during transfers.

Things to think about before booking a train/flight:

  • Flexible Tickets – it is always wise to buy flexible tickets where possible so that the dates of travel can be changed if needed
  • Carbon Offsetting – have you considered carbon offsetting your flights?

WARNING! If you are buying a flight with a connection in Europe, the USA or elsewhere please CHECK IF YOU REQUIRE A TRANSIT VISA before you book the flight. Applying for transit visas through the USA or a European country can cause delays and add extra cost to your journey.

For most locations, we recommend booking your flights after you have booked your visa appointment.

For Hanoi & HCMC, we work with a university in those cities to handle the visa process, which could otherwise be quite complex. As a result, you can book your flights after you have confirmed your programme with Pagoda and returned your signed Programme Agreement! This will allow time to find the cheapest possible flight and choose the most suitable for you.

In some cases Pagoda my request that you delay booking your flight for logistical reasons. We appreciate your patience in this situation. If you are unsure, please just ask the staff member that has been handling your application.

For programmes outside of the UK, your Programme Coordinator will meet you at the airport and take you over to your accommodation.

Your Programme Coordinator will arrange an orientation to run through the programme in more detail, what to expect from your time with us, health & safety information, hints and tips to make the most of your internship and social time, and of course, all the emergency procedures.

Arrangements will be made for you to get to your company, whether that is by giving you directions, assisting you by travelling there with you, or arranging for your host company to collect this. This varies by location, depending on what transport is available. You will be visited in the first week by your Programme Coordinator, to make sure you are settled in and happy with your company and working location.


All participants are covered under the Pagoda Participant Business Travel Insurance Policy (“Pagoda Policy”) unless you have specifically been told in writing via email from a Pagoda Staff member that you are not.

You may also be covered under the university’s own insurance policy for your in-person internship programme.

IMPORTANT! Please note that you are only covered for travel during the Programme dates as stated in the Programme Agreement you signed with Pagoda Projects. If you intend to continue travelling independently after the programme end date, you will no longer be covered by the Pagoda Policy. Before you start your journey, you are advised to purchase your own insurance policy for the full duration of your time abroad.

If you have chosen to purchase your own the coverage details must be passed to the Pagoda team to support in case of emergency.

Check your Programme Agreement to see if you are included on Pagoda Projects’ Participant Insurance Summary or not.

Yes? Great, click on the Insurance button at the top of the page to see the insurance summary.

No? Not a problem, please make sure you submit details of your personal travel and health insurance policy via the Participant Travel Form at the top of the page.

Packing & Preparing

When packing your suitcase, there are a few essential things to consider bringing. These essentials include:

  • Copies of passport and insurance
  • Other important documentation (in your hand luggage)
  • Laptop
  • Power adapters for your Destination
  • Medicine (especially prescription medicine, allergy medicine etc.)
  • Deodorant, hand sanitizer, and other toiletries (can be expensive & difficult to find in other countries)
  • Clothes and shoes, in case you cannot find your size while abroad
  • Sanitary products

There are many international shops and large supermarkets, so you don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe with you! Depending how long you are coming for, we would recommend that you only bring what you really need!

It can be extremely hot in many of the Pagoda Destinations so make sure the clothing you bring is light and comfortable.
We recommend:

  • Smart casual clothing for your internship
  • At least one formal attire for special occasions / important meetings
  • Poncho and/or umbrella & waterproof shoes for downpours
  • Sun cream & insect repellent
  • Sandals/flip-flops (shoes that can get wet!)
  • Cardigan or light jacket for in the office (in case of powerful aircon)
  • Towel (in case your accommodation doesn’t provide one)

Bedding is provided in all Pagoda-provided accommodation.

Daily costs are what you will need to budget for, including things such as food, drink, social events, and transport.

It may be useful to refer to our blogs about budgeting in our various destinations, found here:

Use this link to find out the current daily exchange rates:

Yes, you can. Please ensure you unlock your phone to be able to use other network’s SIM cards as Pagoda will provide you with a local one to use for the duration of your time on the programme.

There will be credit provided to get you started, which would typically last one week. Any further credit will need to be covered by yourself. Pagoda will be on hand to provide advice on how to add further funds to your phone should you need it.

If you have a smartphone we would recommend you download these apps before coming:

  • Pagoda Portal
  • Whatsapp
  • Uber / Grab
  • XE (Currency Converter)
  • Google Translate (or a similar Dictionary/translation app)

Hybrid working is something to expect from the post-COVID world across the globe and more details on this can be found here.

Many offices tend to be fairly casual, however, you will still be expected to wear work appropriate clothing (as opposed to beach-wear!). Ties/suit jackets/pencil skirts/formal trousers are normally not necessary, but we encourage you to check with your supervisor what the dress code is, before departing so you know what to pack.

TOP TIP! Try to dress relatively smart on your first day of work. That will leave a good impression on your colleagues. Then you can assess how formally your colleagues are dressed and dress appropriately for the remainder of the internship.

The visa you’re issued for the Pagoda programmes, in all destinations, does not permit you to earn a salary of any kind for the duration of the programme.

Any participants who are found to be earning a wage of any amount for work complete outside of their internship will risk fines and even deportation from the country.

Passport & Visas

Valid passport signed by the holder, valid for at least 6 months beyond the programme start date. The passport needs to have at least 2 subsequent blank pages. 

For Lisbon and Madrid, your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago.

Please submit a photo of the ID page in your passport to Pagoda Projects via the Participant Travel Form above.

There is a general summary of the visa process here: 

If you require a visa to take part in the programme, you will be contacted by a member of Pagoda Staff who will explain the process in more detail, probably through a Visa Workshop.

A brief overview of each location can be found here, however, please be aware that this is subject to change by different governments. 


Most participants will require a visa to participate in an internship, with very few exceptions.

Hanoi & Ho Chi Min City (HCMC):

Most participants will require a visa to participate in an internship, with very few exceptions.

Madrid & Lisbon:

If you hold a valid passport for the following countries or regions you do not need to apply for a visa prior to the Programme:

  • Member States of the European Union
  • Member States European Economic Area
  • Member States European Free Trade Area
  • Canada, Japan, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, US, Korea, UK

If you do not come from any of the above-mentioned countries, you will need a visa to attend your internship programme.


Your current study visa for the UK is sufficient for the programme, since you are doing this programme as an accredited part of your university course. 

Mexico City:

If you are a citizen in the Schengen Area, UK, USA, Canada or Japan or if you have a permanent residence permit or a valid visa for any of those countries, you DO NOT REQUIRE A VISA to visit Mexico under the following conditions:

  • The purpose of your visit is tourism, studies or business.
  • The duration of your stay does not exceed 180 days.
  • You will not receive any remuneration at all from Mexico.

However, it is necessary to have:

  1. A valid passport with more than 6 months of validity (Mexican authorities require a passport to be valid for the duration of the stay in Mexico, but the transit countries and airline companies may have other requirements).
  2. A properly completed Multiple Migratory Form (FMM). The FMM can be obtained from the airline or at the port of entry, but to expedite your registration at the border, you can now fill out and print it in advance in this link.

Remember to keep the FMM in a safe place during your trip! You will be asked for it at your departure from Mexico.

  1. The Immigration Authorities at the port of entry may request certain documents to prove the purpose of your visit depending on the activity you will undertake in Mexico.

Pagoda Projects will assist you with the necessary documentation for this.

If you do not fit the above-mentioned criteria, you will need a visa before you travel to Mexico for the programme.


Most participants will require a visa to participate in an internship, with very few exceptions.


Pagoda provides access to digital resources for all our internship participants.

Pagoda Projects have developed a series of skills courses set to encourage the development of students and recent graduates’ current skillset with the fundamental elements needed to improve their ‘work readiness’. The skills series includes courses focusing on:

  • Intercultural Fluency
  • Employability
  • Digital Competency

We believe this framework provides the learner with the agility needed for a global and ever-changing workplace, preparing them with the knowledge to communicate effectively within an international work group or team, and to tackle the job market with awareness, preparation, and confidence. As qualifications remain a vital measure of achievement, a certificate is provided following each completed course.

The Pagoda Portal, where you can access these resources, comes with life time access, so you can continue to see the events and skills courses after your internship with us.

All the events in-country are optional and most will come with a cost associated with taking part. We do not make a profit, and run all our social activities at cost price. We arrange these for our participants to take the stress away from organising them yourself, so you can enjoy your new surroundings to the full!

You will be invited to a weekly meet-up that may be at a restaurant, park, museum etc., so you can meet up with each other and your Programme Coordinator to do a fun activity.

Feel free to research things to do and if your Programme Coordinator isn’t planning to run events there, they can try and provide advice on how to arrange it yourself.

24/7 Emergency support is provided as standard for all participants.

Should you need to visit the hospital for example, your Programme Coordinator will accompany you to ensure there are no language barrier issues, and you receive the medical attention you need.

On your arrival, you will be provided with the Pagoda emergency number, so please save this in your phone.

Pagoda will be on hand throughout your programme to support you with your internship, give advice on how to maximise your social time, provide recommendations for places to eat/drink, and generally be there to support during your programme.

We will ask you to complete a quick weekly check-in via the Pagoda Portal, to summarise how you’re feeling, if you have anything you wish to raise, and what went well that week. We will check these to make sure everything is going well, and support you if and when needed.

We can provide internship coaching,  so if you do not have work experience, domestically or internationally, we can help you with guidance when needed.

City Information

For location-specific information, please go to ‘My Programmes’ on the Pagoda Portal and look for your city location, or scan the QR code below: