Costa Rica is one of the most stable and dynamic countries in all of Central America, and nowhere are the prospects so bright for an internship abroad than in the capital city of San Jose. The intern abroad in San Jose will find themselves in a vibrant urban environment which is the nucleus of political, cultural, and economic activity for this progressive and diverse country. Whatever your professional interests are, an internship abroad in San Jose will undoubtedly set you off on the right foot to global success.
Internships in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, and much of this is due to the soaring performance of San Jose. Internships abroad in San Jose in business, education, and tourism are all great opportunities to gain professional experience in top industries while further contributing to local growth. Learning Spanish while you intern abroad in San Jose in any of these fields will just be the icing on the cake.
Another extremely popular area where to intern abroad in San Jose is ecological conservatism. Located just north of the equator, Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and also boasts some of the most successful environmental protection policies to boot. Many professional aspirants thus flock here to intern abroad in San Jose in areas such as sustainable development, wildlife preservation, and environmental studies.
Internship programs in San Jose vary in length and structure, giving the intern abroad a good degree of flexibility in customizing their own experience. Most choose to intern abroad in San Jose for durations of three months, six months, or one full year, depending on availability. If you are still enrolled in your studies, many intern abroad programs in San Jose further offer the opportunity for academic credit in combination with your internship!
Life in San Jose
Over one-third of the population of Costa Rica lives in the San Jose metropolitan area, which gives you some idea of just how important this city is to the small Central American nation. On top of this San Jose is also considered to be one of the safest cities in all of Latin America, in comparison to many other cities in the region which unfortunately continue to be afflicted by violence. Just one more reason to intern abroad in San Jose!
While not many locals live in the downtown area, over 1 million people come to work here everyday, which means that many international interns will be joining the buzz in the exciting city center. When you are not hard at work there is plenty else to do across the city to occupy your time – from local landmarks such as the National Theater of Costa Rica and National Museum of Costa Rica to the many sprawling plazas and public parks, you will have your hands full exploring all there is to do as an intern abroad in San Jose.
San Jose sits within a tropical climate zone, though its elevation protects it from the more severe weather effects of lower lying areas. May through November are the rainy seasons here, so if you are planning a summer internship in San Jose be ready the wet weather!
Salary & Costs
San Jose is actually a moderately expensive city to live in by Latin American standards, though costs of living are still significantly lower than in most of the industrialized world. The local currency is the Costa Rican colon, which runs at about 537 CRC to $1.
As in many other countries, internships can be either paid or unpaid in San Jose. Browse through as many different internship programs in San Jose as you can to get a good idea of what your pay will be like. Many internships that are unpaid will still compensate you by other means such as covering the cost of transportation, food, or housing.
Accommodation & Visas
While homestays are sometimes made available, many international interns in San Jose choose to live in an apartment or flat instead. As with most major cities, renting costs are significantly less expensive the further you move away from the city center. Many internship programs in San Jose will help applicants secure housing in an area which is close to their work, and may help organize for roommates as well.
Costa Rican visa regulations require that visitors apply for a visa after a 90 day stay within the country. This policy may apply differently to you, however, if you are enrolled in a paid internship because of labor restrictions. Consult your internship program about what documentation you may need to obtain prior to your arrival in San Jose, and also check out our Costa Rican Embassy Directory for more information.
Benefits & Challenges
City on the Rise. San Jose is the heart of economic activity in one of the fastest growing and most stable countries in Latin America. Not a bad place to begin as an intern abroad.
Language Immersion. The decision to intern abroad in San Jose is also the decision to fully immerse yourself in a Spanish speaking city. Even if becoming fluent isn’t a priority, you might be surprised by how much Spanish you pick up.
Biodiversity. Costa Rica is internationally renowned for its beaches, rainforests, and adventure travel opportunities; don’t work too hard at your internship in San Jose where you miss out on the rest of the country!