Internships Abroad in Central America

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Central America

Central America is one of the most geographically and culturally diverse regions in the world. From towering mountains to dense rainforests to sprawling beaches, the intern abroad in Central America can enjoy a showcase of nature’s gifts while also earning professional experience in a developing economy. If you are looking for a place to develop your Spanish, make a positive impact on local communities, and adventure through some of the most amazing landscapes you’ll ever see, than Central America is the perfect destination for your internship abroad.

Locations

Central America is a relatively small region. It encompasses seven countries sandwiched between Mexico to the north and Colombia to the south, and is home to a total population of just over 42 million people.

From north to south, the seven countries that comprise Central America are Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Of these, Belize is the only country whose national language is English – the rest speak Spanish predominantly, with a variety of other indigenous tongues still practiced by a minority.

Each of these countries is unique from the other, shaped by intricate forces of culture and history, and each can be a rewarding place for an internship in its own right. For example Panama has a booming capital in Panama City, which can be a great place to gain business experience in a global atmosphere.  Alternatively you also might consider interning in the rural areas of Nicaragua, one of the poorer countries in the region, for quite a different experience.

The largest cities in Central America include San Jose, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, San Salvador, and Panama City. Do some research about what countries and cities offer the best opportunity within the professional field you are pursuing, while taking into account other factors such as language, safety, and global orientation.

Internships in Central America

Central America is a developing region, marked by both the burdens of poverty and the promises of future growth. Many internships abroad in Central America are accordingly in the area of community and infrastructural development. Prospective interns who are interested in education, healthcare, architecture, and urban planning for example, can find many opportunities to get hands on experience in Central America.

Environmentalism is also a popular area for internships, as Central America is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet and is under constant threat from deforestation and habitat destruction. Forward-thinkers who are passionate about green technology, activism, and preservation efforts will have the opportunity to make a change for the better by interning abroad in Central America. Not to mention nature lovers will be thrilled by the beauty of their wild surroundings!

Many internship programs will offer you the additional option of enrolling in Spanish language courses while abroad too, a great way to advance your technical skill-set while practicing in work and everyday conversation. Generally internships last from two to six months based on individual availability. Some offer academic credit as well, so be sure to check with your home school about what units might transfer over.

Salary & Costs

Internships can be paid or unpaid, depending on the industry you are working in. Generally internships for NGOs and nonprofits go unpaid. It’s the nature of the game.

Central America is an affordable place to intern abroad coming from the developed world, so on-the-ground costs should not be of too much concern. Necessities such as food and transportation will be cheap, but items that might be considered luxuries (such as souvenirs and some clothing) might be relatively more expensive.

Accommodation & Visas

Many interns opt to live in a homestay while working abroad, and this is a great way to immerse yourself fully in the local culture while gaining additional practice speaking Spanish. Homestays might not be available for every position however, and instead you might find yourself living in an apartment or in group housing with other project members. Take available accommodations into account when looking for the perfect program!

The Central American countries also differ in their visa policies, so this is an additional factor to sort out with your internship provider in the early stages of the process. For visa information about the specific country where you are interning abroad, you can check out our Embassy Directory.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Learn a Language. Interning abroad in Central America is a great opportunity to put some serious work into your Spanish language acquisition. In work, at home, in your free time – whenever and wherever you get the chance, try practice your communication skills!

Make an Impact. As a developing region, Central America can benefit from exposure in the international community. Whether you are interning for an NGO in rural Costa Rica or a multinational corporation in Guatemala City, you can help boost the region’s economy and standard of living.

Have Fun. The most important point comes last. Interning abroad in Central America will be a terrific adventure, and one that you will never forget! You will make friends from all over the world, have unbelievable experiences, and challenge yourself adapting to a different culture.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Central America

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ELI-Experiential Learning International

ELI is offering agricultural, education, health, and women's empowerment internships in Central America. Most Experiential Learning International internship program in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica require participants to have intermediate Spanish language skills and a background in the chosen field. Interns are housed with host families for the duration of the program.

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Internships Abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions

Experience working alongside locals in Costa Rica or Guatemala with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Participants can join programs for a total of 12 weeks. This CCS internship program offers a variety of field placements, some of which include, Social Sciences, Health Sciences, and Occupational and Environmental Health.

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CISabroad

CISaboad offers customized internship programs in Costa Rica. Participants get the chance to gain work experience that matches their personal requirements and career goals. They can also enjoy a host of exciting experiences while working abroad, such as zip lining in the rain forest and exploring nearby volcanoes.

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MAXIMO NIVEL

Do your international internship with Maximo Nivel - get international work experience in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. - Education (K-12) - Special Education - Micro-Business - Hospitality & Tourism - Human Rights - Medical Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been a leader in educational travel and study abroad. Our work-study-travel programs host more than 4,000 people per ye...

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Internship programs with Global Vision International

Obtain cross-cultural internship experience with GVI in Costa Rica. Interns can develop skills in their field of choice while learning more about the culture of Costa Rica. Internship placements are available in Environmental Management, Horticulture, and many more areas. Interested individuals from around the globe are welcomed to apply.

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Internship Programs with Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad offers a unique opportunity to experience the natural environment and the vibrant culture of Central America through international work placement. Work side by side with local employees and other interns in the various industries such as Biomedical Sciences, Media, and Education.

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World Internships

As the capital of Costa Rica, San José is an important city and major hub, making it an awesome location for students, recent graduates, and pre-professionals to intern in a variety of fields. Its lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems are perfect for internships in biology, conservation, education, environmental studies, and sustainable development. As a popular tourist destination, Costa Rica...

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Internship Programs with GoEco

GoEco was created by experienced volunteers for people who are eager to travel and contribute to the community, wildlife and environment they visit. Based on years of practice and in-depth field reports, GoEco presents you a careful selection of excellent yet affordable volunteer and ecological minded vacations

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Kalu Yala

The Outdoor Recreation Program’s objective is to provide the residents and visitors of Kalu Yala with high-quality recreational opportunities that promote health, education, and culture by preserving Kalu Yala’s extraordinary biological diversity. Here, you will study different land management practices and will set the standard for tourism in Kalu Yala. You will also be responsible for raising...

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Intern Abroad HQ

At Intern Abroad HQ, we connect students and young professionals with international internship programs. Whether you’re seeking practical experience to support your study, or wanting to enhance your career prospects, Intern Abroad HQ offers a diverse range of trusted and affordable options in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. Our internship programs are based on goal-setting for personal and p...

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Global Nomadic

Nicaragua, known as the land of lakes & volcanoes, has much to boast about. It has two beautiful coasts, some of the best surfing in the world, & one of the oldest cities in Latin America. And while tourism has increased greatly in this beautiful country & is now the second largest industry, it is still the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. You will work in a small and friend...

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Study and Intern at EARTH University in Costa Rica

The Office of International Academic Relations (RAI) at EARTH University offers a series of programs that contribute to the international academic development of students and professors from around the world. Our programs combine classroom work with real hands on experience and teach the fundamentals of sustainable development and strategies to tackle the toughest issues of our world today....

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Join Frontier for a Journey of a Lifetime!

Live and work with an energetic and enthusiastic staff while you complete your internship in Central America. Interns will be working with NGOs in the fields of wildlife conservation, teaching, and community building. They will be joining Frontier participants who are making groundbreaking contributions and also explore local attractions.

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Sonrisas Sanas Advanced Dental Volunteer Nicaragua

Travel to Nicaragua with Dental Clinic Sonrisas Sanas to participate in the only volunteer program that focuses on giving you practical hands-on dental experience. Our program is completely personalized and designed for pre-dental and dental students, and professional dentists who want to help low-income families. The program provides participants with an interactive dental experience helping p...

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Refugio Nacional Vida Silvestre Romelia

Romelia Sea Turtles Conservation Project conducted since 2009 has as a primary goal the conservation of SEA TURTLE populations that nest on the beaches of this wildlife sanctuary in Montezuma, Costa Rica. The project includes activities as; monitoring of nesting sea turtles females, night patrols, activities of protection and monitoring of the nests. The lands at Refugio Nacional de Vida Silve...