Information for parents

We understand you’ll probably have lots of questions about us and the program we offer. So we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions from parents.

What is Start Me Up?

We help undergraduates and recent graduates learn in-demand skills abroad. By organizing structured internships with (mainly) tech startups across several locations, we provide students with a structured, safe and supportive educational experience.

Who is behind Start Me Up?

Start Me Up was founded and is run by Clare Harrison, a future of work enthusiast and former business editor with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. The program has been developed in conjunction with an experienced educational board comprising PhD students and experts from industry from over five countries.  

When did the program launch?

The program has its origins in 2013 when the first co-working space in Bali was opened by a group of expats from the UK and Canada. Not long afterward, Clare helped launch one of the first ever coding bootcamps in Bali for junior web developers.

Where have Start Me Up alumni ended up?

Our students now work at McKinsey, Amazon, Google, Deloitte, PWC, Roland Berger, Capgemini – to name a few. Others have gone on to found and run their own businesses.

What is the aim of the program?

The aim is to equip young people with in-demand skills and experience that will fast-track their careers – in an amazing location. Working in conjunction with leading educators, we’ve run programs across three continents for students from Ivy League and Russell Group Universities including Cornell, Oxford, Cambridge and UCL.

What happens during an internship with Start Me Up?

Our internships allow students to develop key workplace skills and get practical experience to help them get hired.

We’ve developed curricula on topics ranging from entrepreneurship and programming to UX. Students can attend workshops and complete materials while completing practical project work at a startup.

All students join as part of a group and receive training and onboarding before they start work. We also run workshops, field trips and additional trainings so students get exposure to a wide range of business areas, sectors and skills during their time with us.

What determines the length of the program?

In our experience, most students want to fit in as much learning as possible into a short time frame because many students on gap years or vacation breaks want to allow time to travel and explore before and/ or after their internship.

Are the areas where you operate safe?

The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to us and we go to great lengths to warn about and mitigate the potential risks to students of working and living abroad. The overwhelming majority of visits to places like Bali and Australia are trouble free. And every year, in the region of five million people visit Bali to go on holiday.

Here is what Lonely Planet has to say about Bali:

“It’s important to note that compared to many places in the world Bali is fairly safe. There are some hassles from the avaricious, but most visitors face many more dangers at home.”

How will my son or daughter be rewarded for the work they do?

We offer between five and ten hours of contact time a week which could be from mentors, instructors or via access to workshops.

What happens when they arrive at the airport?

Everyone on our program is met by a driver and/or a representative from Start Me Up clutching a sign with your son or daughter’s name on it (and our logo). We then provide transportation to the accommodation before onboarding begins.

What does Start Me Up do before my son or daughter arrives?

All applicants are put through a three stage application process. They are interviewed twice to assess their suitability for the program. We are a selective program and we work hard to create a personalized educational experience for all program participants.

We provide information about relevant visas, checklists and things to do prior to departure. We arrange transportation from the airport to the accommodation. We house interns in their own room, most have access to an en suite bathroom and stay with other interns from their cohort.

Can I see the accommodation?

Yes. Here are some examples of recent intern accommodation.

How do you work with the students during the program?

Start Me Up mentors check in with all students regularly to make sure they are settling in well and to address any concerns they might have. Throughout the program we organize various group activities. This could be anything from a surf lesson to a guided trek. There are lots of opportunities for your son or daughter to make friends and develop contacts throughout the program.

What determines the destinations that you are located in?

The growth of ‘destination’ co-working spaces with reliable internet all over the world offers more options for people looking to run successful businesses (and learn in-demand skills) outside major cities.

We started Bali because there is a dynamic and interesting startup community there enabled by the rollout of fast internet and world-class co-working spaces. Bali is home to eight co-working spaces which frequently top ‘the best co-working spaces in the world’ tables. From Spain and Bali to Thailand, we’ve already placed Start Me Up interns in four out of the 20 top co-working spaces in the world.

The emergence of these great shared workspaces with reliable internet has enabled a growing number of entrepreneurs and freelancers to work from anywhere. There are countless articles that have been written about this trend. If you’re curious, Google ‘Startups in Bali’.  

What’s a co-working space?

A co-working space is like a shared office space where lots of different entrepreneurs, corporates and freelancers work under one roof.

Big corporates are increasingly recognizing the importance of working from these dynamic spaces. Barclays has innovation teams stationed out of co-working spaces and in 2017, IBM in New York announced it had arranged to manage an entire WeWork building to house over 600 employees.

Microsoft also made headlines at the end of 2016 with their decision to give 30 percent of their employees (their sales departments) in New York City access to WeWork locations.

What do the fees cover?

The fees cover screening, interviews, 24/7 support, accommodation, airport pickup, access to a co-working space training, local and international staff, the backing of an educational advisory board, insurance, a first week excursion and workshops provided by professionals and entrepreneurs.

We also pay instructors and full-time coordinators on the ground to find opportunities and provide ongoing support.

I have more questions. Can I speak to someone?

Drop us an email on

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