Intern Abroad in Costa Rica

HOW TO INTERN ABROAD in COSTA RICA

A Guide to Interning in Costa Rica

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102 Internships Abroad Programs in Costa Rica

Intern in Costa Rica with Cultural Embrace by API

Cultural Embrace by API offers internship positions in San Jose and Manuel Antonio. Interns can work in a variety of industries such as business, environmental, education, hospitality, tourism, medical and health, and social services. Internships include room and board, airport pickup, visa assistance, Spanish lessons, and medical and travel insurance, among many other services.

ELI-Experiential Learning International

Whether you are a student, a professional, or a retiree, there is a wide world to explore, with endless opportunities to learn. Welcome to ELI, a non-profit organization that creates volunteer, internship, and study abroad opportunities for the globally-minded who want a travel experience that goes beyond the ordinary.

ELI
Global Vision International

Global Vision International offers internship programs in Costa Rica. Students explore remote areas in the Costa Rican rain forest, as they work on important conservation projects with dedicated staff. Students also experience cultural activities and local excursions.

GVI
CISabroad

CISabroad features internship placements in Costa Rica that help students gain practical skills related to their field of interest. The international work experience gives students the much-needed boost to their resume, while giving them ample time to explore nearby volcanoes, have a zip-lining adventure in the rain forest, and plunge into the Costa Rican culture.

CISabroad
Intern with ISA-ELAP in Costa Rica

Based in Costa Rica, this ISA-ELAP internship program offers comprehensive placements that are meant to inspire personal and professional growth, promote language proficiency, and encourage purposeful community engagement. Placements are available in the areas of Arts/Culture, Communications, Environment/Sustainability, Policy/Human Rights, Technology, Business/Marketing, Education, Health Care...

Institute for Cultural Ecology

Join the Institute for Global Studies and work with a company in Costa Rica for a year. Worldwide participants can become immersed in the local culture while gaining international work experience in the cities of San Carlos, San Jose, or Santa Clara. Internship placements include subjects such as Marine Science, Sports Management, and Political Science.

Internship Programs with Projects Abroad

Prospective interns from all over the globe can join the Projects Abroad internship abroad program in Costa Rica. This environmental wonderland is an ideal destination for those who are looking to intern somewhere with great biodiversity and a vibrant culture. A large number of internship options are offered including Spanish Language, Journalism, and Health Sciences.

Dream Careers

In today’s competitive global economy, international internship experience is a valuable addition to any portfolio. With Dream Careers, create your own internship success by taking advantage of our internship placement guarantee.

Intern in Costa Rica with Adelante Abroad

Live and work in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, on an internship program with Adelante International Internships and Study Abroad. Select a placement from a broad range of industries, including: Environmental Conservation, Travel, and Rural Tourism. Participants should be at least 18 years old and have some degree of Spanish comprehension.

ICADS

ICAD offers structured internships in Costa Rica. The programs involve immersion that lets participants apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations. The staff evaluates individual interests, needs, and Spanish proficiency to help participants find the right placement for them.

World Endeavors

World Endeavors offers educational and rewarding internship programs in Costa Rica. Participants will be able to experience life in Atenas through volunteer programs in the Environmental Conservation projects. Two-week Spanish language training, cultural activities, 24/7 emergency assistance, and other accommodation is all offered to students all over the world by the World Endeavors internship...

Maximo Nivel: Volunteer and Internships in Costa Rica

Maximo Nivel offers internship programs in Costa Rica. The placements give students and international travellers the chance to develop skills as they work in an international setting. Participants may also do in-depth study on a specific subject area.

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Intern in Costa Rica

How to Intern Abroad in Costa Rica

A Guide to Interning in Costa Rica

Ranked the happiest country in the world, who wouldn’t want to spend time interning in Costa Rica? Not only is Costa Rica known for having five percent of the world’s biodiversity, Ticos (native Costa Ricans) are highly educated and cultured. Locals embrace traditional arts, dance, food, and music and the pace of life in Costa Rica is more relaxed and casual than in other parts of the world. Those who chose to complete an internship in Costa Rica will find plenty of adventure after hours in the land of pura vida (pure/full life).

Locations

Surprisingly, the majority of internships in Costa Rica are not located in the heart of the capital city. Nevertheless, as the national business center, there are still plenty of options available for those looking for internship placements in San José. However, the best cities for internships in Costa Rica are: Alajuela, Cartago, San José, and Liberia.

The second largest city, Alajuela, offers up a bustling city landscape that is balanced by nearby butterfly farms, waterfalls, and coffee plantations. Alajuela is a convenient location for anyone looking to go on excursions or day trips. 

Cartago, one of Costa Rica’s oldest cities and the first capital, features important religious sites and access to the Guayabo National Monument. While focused on computer technology, the city offers more than tech internship opportunities. Many placements offer the opportunity to participate in service-learning projectsduring the internships. Buses from Cartago to San José run several times an hour, so a trip to the big city is easy.

Liberia, located in the northwestern part of Costa Rica, enables interns to be in close proximity to the exquisite Pacific beaches of Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco.

Internship Placements

While its main industries are tourism and coffee production, overall Costa Rica tends to offer more internship placements outside of teaching English or harvesting coffee cherries. Alajuela, Cartago, and Liberia offer up opportunities for gaining experience in the fields of biology, social justice, journalism, women’s studies, and sports management, just to name a few.

Popular internships in Costa Rica revolve around what the country is known for, it’s environment and biological diversity. Ecology, veterinary, zoology, and conservation-based internships are very common. However, you can find internship placements in Costa Rica across a wide variety of fields, such as healthcare and social work or social justice.

Internships can last anywhere from a short week, to six months or beyond, depending on the experience you’re looking for and the program. An important item to note is that additional qualifications may be required for internships revolving around specific biology, veterinary, or conservation efforts.

Additionally, while many Ticos speak English, Spanish is Costa Rica’s official language, and you’ll need Spanish proficiency for some internships, which have a language requirement. In general, it is recommended that interns heading to Costa Rica complete at least some language learning before their departure.

Salary & Costs

Most internship opportunities in Costa Rica are unpaid as a result of certain visa regulations. In some cases, interns can receive a stipend or bonus from the company they are placed with, but in most cases international interns will have to pay for internships in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica can be either an affordable or expensive destination depending on where you live and what kind of amenities you’re used to. Rural destinations will always run cheaper than big cities like San José, and compared to other countries in Latin America, Costa Rica is on the higher end. Rent can range from $400 to $800 USD a month. If you use public transportation instead of biking or walking, your monthly costs will be higher. Buying food at local markets with fresh produce will also save you some living costs while interning abroad in Costa Rica.

Accommodation & Visas

Most intern programs arrange homestays, and many others will cover the cost of all accommodations and meals through program fees. Homestays are common across the board for internship programs in Costa Rica, as dorms are not available for university students. Costa Rican students also often live with host families during their time away from home.

U.S. citizens (and several other nationalities) who plan to intern in Costa Rica for only a short time (less than 90 days) won’t need a tourist visa. However, for longer stays, interns should plan to apply for an unpaid volunteer or intern visa. International interns should also keep in mind that it may be necessary to apply for temporary residency, depending on their contract and timeline for interning. Job contracts, diplomas, and various certifications are needed for this process.

Benefits & Challenges
  • Peaceful. Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t have an army.
  • Nature. With a reputation for being one of the best eco-tourist destinations out there, Costa Rica has a lot to offer enthusiasts of all things green and environmental.
  • Language. Costa Rica is a great place to improve your Spanish skills. Evening language classes and immersion in homestay environments are sure to help you boost your skills.
  • Safety. Traveling with expensive items in the city can be risky. Take care with your valuables and don’t leave things sitting out.