Do I have to be a British National to apply?
No, we accept any nationality, however if you are not British you will have to check the Visa requirements for your country of origin. In particular, US citizens need a Tourist Visa to enter Bolivia.
What if I am not a native English speaker?
You do not have to be a native speaker to apply, however you must be sufficiently fluent in English to be able to write for the magazine. If you are not a native speaker we will expect some proof of your standard of English, such as an examination result, or evidence of study or residence in an English Speaking country. We will also assess your English level in our phone conversation. That said, we don't expect your English to be impeccable; you will be working alongside editors who will ensure your written work is worthy of publication.
What is the Salary?
The packages we offer are voluntary work experience opportunities, it is not salaried employment. The magazine can be published and distributed for free thanks to the people who come and take part in these training programmes. In fact, given the non-commercial nature of the project, the magazine wouldn't exist if it weren't for the income it gets from the training programmes. You are effectively subsidising the production of a well-respected and much-loved publication. Any additional revenue earned by BX (e.g. advertising) is reinvested in the project.
We organize your arrival, accommodation, classes and provide you with our infrastructure, whilst you have the possibility gain work experience in the exciting environment of La Paz. We also put you in touch with contacts who may be able to help with your article, or who are just interested in cultural exchange, getting to know you and hanging out. With your press pass in hand, you will be entitled to certain discounts, and gain access to special places. If you tell businesses you are writing about them you may be able to negotiate some form of exchange or discount, or even a free meal.
When is the deadline?
There is no official deadline, applications are ongoing. However, we are limited to seven places per month, so the earlier you apply the better chance of getting a place in your preferred time period. We sometimes receive applications for up to a year in advance, but in general you should be fine if you apply about four-six months before you expect to take up your position. Nevertheless, if you happen to be struck by a whim to come right now, there's never any harm in applying in case we still have spaces.
What costs should I factor in for my whole trip?
You will need to pay:
- Your flights
- Programme cost (£880 per month for the journalism training programme, and £1180 for BXTV)
- Personal medical/travel insurance (if your existing one does not cover you abroad)
- Cost of living in Bolivia: food, transport around town, going out, any trips you want to make
- Cost of a visa, if you need one. This can be found at this page: Bolivian visas.
What is the cost of Living in Bolivia?
As a general guideline, Bolivia is a cheap place to live - many locals live comfortably on less than £250 a month including accommodation. However, as a tourist you are likely to want to travel and indulge in local treats, including eating out. We recommend you put aside at least £250 for your day-to-day expenses. Meals cost anything from less than a pound (for street food), to eight pounds for three courses of a fancy Japanese meal. Transport is inexpensive but you might be taking a few taxis, which cost anything from £0.60 to £2.50 within the city. The cost of Minibuses, the most common form of transport, varies but should never rise about £0.30 for a trip in the centre.
What does the programme cost cover?
- Pre-trip guidance.
- Air-port pick-up and local orientation.
- Accommodation in one of our residences, which have Wi-Fi and satellite television.
- Lunch at the residence from Monday to Friday
- 6 hours of Spanish class a week.
- Photography and journalism tutorials (BX Magazine) or TV Production tutorials (BXTV).
- Bolivian mobile phone and a press pass for the duration of your stay.
The programme cost covers all of the above, plus the administration of your stay in Bolivia: our staff will be helping you to settle in, providing you with contacts, holding newsroom meetings, coordinating the publication, design and printing of the magazine. If you stay on for a few months and want to get involved in this process they will be more than happy to include you and show you how the running of the magazine works. The longer you stay, the more you will be able to be involved. In case of trouble they are only ever a phone call away. A part of what you pay is your contribution to the printing costs of the magazine: as it is distributed for free we rely on the contributions of people coming over to keep it alive.
How much should flights cost me?
You should always be able to get a flight out from the UK for about £1000. Depending on when you fly, or how far advance you book you can also get deals for as little as £750. If you see websites that try to sell it to you for more, do not be put off, a little hunting around and internet trawling should get you a price in the right bracket. ebookers is an excellent website for good deals, as is kayak.com. You can also try Skyscanner to compare offers. STA Travel and Journey Latin America also tend to offer competitively-priced flights.
Are there any accommodation arrangements?
You are automatically housed in the Bolivian Express residence for the full duration of your stay.