Internships Abroad in Ecuador

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country straddling the equator with a geographic diversity ranging from the Amazon rainforest, to the Andes Mountains, to the Galapagos Islands. The people straddle two worlds, the colonial world of Catholic churches and town plazas, and the indigenous culture of the villages and rural Ecuador. Internships in Ecuador range from social welfare projects related to Ecuador’s developing status, to wildlife and natural science internships owed to the country’s location and nature, to international relations and journalism internship placements in the vibrant cities of Ecuador.

Locations

Quito and Guayaquil are the country’s main urban hubs, and they are also the key centers for internships in Ecuador as well as experiential placement organizations. Cuenca is also a large charming city with intern opportunities. While there are wildlife, biology, and environmental studies internships in both the rainforest and the Galapagos Islands, they are typically short-term internships.

Quito is a colonial city with an ancient Incan history. Cobblestone roads lined with churches built on top of indigenous temples dot the city. Quito offers both modern marketing, advertising, and journalism internships and the indigenous population provides placements in social welfare projects, human rights, and other development agencies. The climate in Quito is also appealing and much milder than Guayaquil in the south.

Guayaquil was once a major port city with little appeal to tourists, and not so pleasant for the natives either. Today, thanks to the Malecón 2000 urban redevelopment project, the downtown area is one of the most beautiful city centers in Latin America. The addition of museums, banks, businesses, urban renewal, and even an eco park on an island have all helped to create some great internships in Guayaquil.

Cuenca is another beautiful destination located in the highlands of Ecuador. The city itself is a UNESCO world heritage site. Cuenca and its surrounding communities afford some professional internships, with meaningful, customized agendas.

Internship Placements

Placements range from business, international relations, journalism, tourism, and marketing to ecology, marine studies, and agriculture. Human-focused internships in Ecuador are most often related to human rights, social work, health, and education.

Ecuador is a relatively welcoming country so arranging an internship in Ecuador can be quite easy and the types of commitments vary. From short three week internships to two months or more.

Some of the more unusual internship programs in Ecuador include: working with the national bank (which helped change Ecuador’s currency over to the US dollar), interning with a marketing firm that managed the Nike account in Guayaquil, interning with an animal reintroduction project in Quito, and working with an agricultural co-op in a small indian village outside Quito.

Salary & Costs

Virtually all internships in Ecuador are unpaid. Occasionally, a rare paid internship will be promoted on GoAbroad, but responses are typically overwhelming and the program listing does not stay up very long. Paid internships offer certain advantages including solid support services, flexibility in duration and orientation, as well as housing and Spanish language classes. Prices range from a couple hundred US dollars for placement only, to a couple thousand euros for an all inclusive placement.

While unpaid internships are the norm, Ecuador is incredibly affordable even by South American standards. An intern can expect to spend a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars a month for room, board, and local transportation. With most development internships, housing is included.

Accommodation & Visas

Accommodations range from shared apartments to shared rooms in a homestay. Most housing options for interns in Ecuador, which are provided by placement organizations, are private flats or rooms which are included for an additional price. Ecuador is a great place to stay with a family if you have the option. You will get to speak Spanish, have live in cultural consultants, and get to eat truly authentic local cuisine.

Visitors will receive a 90-day visa upon arrival. Visa extensions can be arranged once you’re in Ecuador. While the labor laws in Ecuador are extensive and support the working class, they do not extend to interns. Internships are not a common practice for local students. As such, internship placement organizations in Ecuador will sometimes pay a local organization to make sure you receive support and have a high quality experience. Other placements are familiar with the rewards and challenges of hosting an intern, and are doing so because they enjoy it or benefit from it.

Benefits & Challenges

  • Internships in business require a more formal approach to interning, professional dress and attitude are required.  
  • Respect, titles, and cordialities are all expected. While Ecuador often practices a Latin American approach to punctuality and time in general, you will still be expected to be on time. 
  • Since the country in general is not accustomed to hosting interns, placements often do not know what to expect. Sometimes those who intern in Ecuador like the independence they are given to create their own projects, but other times they dislike the lack of structure.
  • Interns in Ecuador who do best are serious, focused, and self driven.
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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Ecuador

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ELI Abroad – Exciting Internships in Ecuador

Our interns choose from many options, including hospital placements, law, veterinary clinics, microfinance, urban planning and more. Ask ELI Abroad about an internship created just for you. Intermediate Spanish or higher is usually required. For the trip of a lifetime, devote weekends to exploring Ecuador’s stunning beaches, mountains and islands,

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Adelante Abroad – Intern in Ecuador program

Low on funds? But still want to be competitive with an international internship experience? Apply to our Intern in Ecuador program then! Available fields include Medical, Large Animal (Equine) Veterinary, Law/Human Rights, Marketing, Social Work, Teaching English. Housing is your own room, with a family, so MEALS INCLUDED in the already low program price.

Intern in Ecuador - Adelante
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Internship Programs with Performing Arts Abroad

Stand out by doing an international internship in Ecuador with Performing Arts Abroad. Programs centered in Theater, Drama, and Dance are offered throughout the year. Interns will contribute their talents and abilities while exploring the country along the way.

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CISabroad

CISabroad offers internship opportunities in the lovely country of Ecuador. The placements are tailored to the participants’ skills and interests, while taking into account the community needs. Students participate in the local community development efforts and benefit from the resume-boosting experience and strong staff support. They also have the time of their lives with the amazing sites in ...

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Intern in Ecuador with World Internships

Individuals who are at least 18 years of age can partake in tailored internship placements offered by World Internships in Ecuador. Located in Quito and the Galapagos Islands, interns can enhance their Spanish fluency while working alongside Ecuadorian locals. Gain new experiences by going on a canopy tour or scuba diving in the bright clear waters of the amazing country.

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[Pre-med and MD] Shadow Doctors 20+ hours/week in Ecuador

Shadow doctors 20+ hours/week in Ecuador through the Atlantis Fellowship: 1.5-8 week Fellowships during winter or summer breaks. Atlantis (formerly known as the Atlantis Project) has been providing university students in healthcare-related fields with the opportunity to gain clinical experience in hospitals in Europe and Latin America since 2007. We are committed to the safety of our Fellows...

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Internship Programs with Projects Abroad

Work on the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos archipelago with Projects Abroad international work program. A wide array of fields are offered to international participants including Environmental Studies, Zoology and Wildlife Sciences, and Agriculture. This program is open throughout the year.

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Intern & Volunteer Abroad: from USD180

CrossContinental offers affordable intern abroad, volunteer abroad, culture/language immersion programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Gain hands-on experience, improve your resume, enhance cultural understanding, and build global network. Stay with a host family for culture and language immersion.

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Child Family Health International

Child Family Health International's program offerings in Ecuador include Urban and Rural Comparative Health, Infectious Disease Eradication, Dentistry and Oral Health, and more. Programs are specifically tailored to meet the needs of those in health care and the sciences sector. Courses are available throughout the year. Students live with local host families, experience the Ecuadorian way of l...

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International Medical Aid

Whether you are a pre-dentistry student or a professional, International Medical Aid (IMA) offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in your choice location. We have Global Dentistry Volunteer Placements for pre-dentistry and dental school students as well as dental hygienists and dentists. Together with these experts from around the globe, you will work in a busy healthcare setting. At the same ...

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The University of Minnesota

Gain international work experience in Ecuador with the University of Minnesota. Live and work in Quito, an Andean city that houses a mix of colonial and modern society and demonstrates the culture of the Ecuadorian plain. Interns from all over the world can work in an international or domestic company for a semester or a full academic year.

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Life-changing internships with IOI in Galapagos

Be an IOI intern and support the Galapagos National Park! In our turtle nest monitoring or eco-tourism internships you will have the rare opportunity to spend up to 3 months working in cradle of evolution. Interns work directly with the Park staff to contribute to a larger conservation effort, and help make decisions that may critically impact wildlife preservation efforts down the road.

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Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)

Work in a prestigious company in Ecuador while studying with Knowledge Exchange Institute. International students can take classes at the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo for a summer, a semester, or a full academic year. Live in Guayaquil with a host family and explore the local community, and Ecuadorian culture and lifestyle through social activities. The program includes professi...

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Internships Abroad through Get Ecuador

Want to add your résumé with impressive credentials? Gain work experience abroad. Landing a job in another country can be difficult if you don’t have previous experience. With the assistance of Get Ecuador, you can start building up a successful career. Get Ecuador partners with local and international organizations, companies, and firms in Ecuador. These partnerships allow us to provide you...