Intern in Costa Rica

Spend a few months at a customized internship in fields as diverse as tropical biology, business, education, and art.

We can help you boost your resume. Immerse yourself in the Spanish language with courses at a local school or university while getting hands-on experience with an internship in Costa Rica tailored to your interests and skills.

We will help you before, during, and after your program. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. And most of us have worked overseas, so we know what that’s about. We will help you find a practical internship in your field and be with you every step of the way!

We are as green as your host country (and you can be too)! Your round-trip flight to San José will be offset by the work of volunteers around the world. Plus, you’ll have opportunities to give back to the local community while you study and intern in Costa Rica.

You will most likely be living in Costa Rica’s capital, beautiful San José, where you’ll work at a custom international internship placement. You can gain practical skills in your major and really boost your résumé with international experience! When you’re not working, you can look forward to exploring Costa Rica’s rainforests, going zip-lining and sipping coffee at local cafés. 

Spanish language classes – Study Spanish abroad and learn in a more immersive environment than you ever thought possible!

Custom internship in Costa Rica – Gain practical experience in an internship selected for you from among fields as diverse as business, education, design, art, journalism, tourism, and engineering. Get a leg up in the job market!

An astounding country – Great excursions are included with your internship in Costa Rica. Take a city tour with your fellow study abroad students, wander through the local markets, and try some exotic tropical fruit as you explore the rain forest!

Idyllic setting – You’ll be just minutes from the heart of the capital of Costa Rica, and you will get to explore both the city and the beautiful national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns found nearby.

Fun outside the classroom – Your school has weekly dance classes, yoga, intramural sports, martial arts classes, Costa Rican cooking classes, religious organizations, volunteer opportunities, and more.

360° Networking Toolkit - You will receive business cards, resume/interview coaching, and an internship completion certificate. You’ll also gain access to a seminar series on topics such as developing and maximizing a LinkedIn account, interview expectations, adding the experience to your resume, and more! Jump-start your career with the CISabroad global network!

If you've always wanted to work or volunteer in Costa Rica or just gain experience in the profession of your dreams, check out all Intern in Costa Rica has to offer. Here are just a few of the key highlights that make this program unique:

  • One of the most biodiverse countries on the planet!
  • Intermediate and advanced Spanish-language classes
  • International students in your Spanish classes
  • Excursions throughout Costa Rica
  • Internship in Costa Rica — from business to tropical ecology to photography
  • Give back by volunteering during your time abroad!
  • Cooking classes, dance classes, and sports events help you bond with your classmates

Depending on the length of your internship, you may have the opportunity to go on day and weekend excursions throughout Costa Rica.  These could include:
Monteverde Cloud Forest
This forest offers the unique opportunity to view a rainforest at high altitude (over 1,000 meters!) that is able to trap moisture from clouds in the trees to for a “cloud forest.”  It creates an incredible hotspot for biodiversity, which you can view from suspended skywalks and bridges within the forest canopy
The city of Tamarindo is located on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica and offers visitors the perfect chance to relax and take a break from classes.  You can swim, surf, go boating or horseback riding, or visit a Leatherback Turtle reserve!
Poas Volcano
The Poas Volcano is located within the Poas Volcano National Park.  The summit of the volcano contains two unique crater lakes (Lake Botos and Laguna Caliente) that you can explore while visiting the park.
Costa Rica is known for hot springs, waterfalls, and a number of other natural wonder, and this one is no different.  The waterfall falls 300 feet into the mouth of an extinct volcano, making Cataratas del Toro one of the most unique sights in the world!

Universidad Veritas and Costa Rican Language Academy are well regarded for their Spanish-immersion coursework and hands-on internships. San Jose is a great place to learn more about Costa Rica’s history, culture, environment, politics, and more! Placements are available throughout Costa Rica, from urban to rural and in fields as diverse as banking and tropical rainforest protection.


For the Intern in Costa Rica program you may choose 8, 10, or 12 weeks as your duration. There will be a 2 - 4 week intensive language class at the beginning and then you will start your internship. Longer duration options are possible as well. Keep in mind that a longer internship duration often offers more specialized placements and greater opportunity for growth and responsibility within the internship. 

Internships are available in the following fields*:

    •    Advertising
    •    Economics
    •    Entrepreneurship
    •    Event Planning/Management
    •    Hospitality/Tourism
    •    Human Resource Management
    •    Marketing

    •    Communication
    •    Journalism
    •    Public Relations

Social Sciences & Humanities
    •    Anthropology
    •    Criminology/Law
    •    Social Work
    •    Sustainable Development

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
    •    Environmental Science

Visual/Performing Arts & Design
    •    Architecture
    •    Design
    •    Graphic Design

    •    Early-childhood Education
    •    Special Education

Don't see your field? Contact an advisor and we'll be happy to help find the best internship for you!

*Placements in the fields above are not guaranteed due to the changing needs of the local businesses/organizations and applicant qualifications. We always try to make the best match for you!


You may be able to receive undergraduate academic credit for your internship through CISabroad’s partnership with Plymouth State University or through your school. 

Option 1: Credit through CISabroad
Through our partnership with Plymouth State University, you can earn between 3-12 credits in the fields listed below. Note: the field is listed, the Plymouth State University course number that will appear on your transcript, as well as the range of credits available. Contact an advisor to see if the the following fields are available in your study abroad location. 

Course Name/
Credits Applicable Fields for Transfer Credit
Art History AH 4880 3-6 Museum Studies, Curation
Anthropology AN4610 3-12  
Business  BU 4600 3-12  Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Finance, International 
Communications and Media Studies
CM 3950 3-6  Advertising, Communication, Film and Television, Journalism, Public Relations.

students must have taken "Intro to Media and Cultural Studies" and "Intro to Communication"
Criminal Justice CJ 4580 3-6  Criminology, Law, Political Science
Dance DN 4410 3-12      
English  EN 4950 3-12 English and Literature 
only offered as pass/fail. 
Environmental Planning  EPL 3960 3-6  Environmental Science and Sustainable Development
Geography GE 3960 3-6
Graphic Design
AG 4900 3-6  only offered to students with senior status (students must have completed the equivalent of 90 credits).
History HI 4000 3-6       
Music  MU 4410 3-12      
Philosophy  HI 4000     
Political Science PO 4010 3-12  
Social Sciences SO 3910 3-6 Psychology, Political Science.
Sociology SO 4601 3-12  
Theater  TH 4410 3-12      
Tourism Management  TMP 4000 3-12  Eco-tourism, Hospitality, Tourism, Recreational Management.

To receive credit from CISabroad through Plymouth State University, interns must have completed a minimum of 60 hours (approximately 2 full years) of college or university credit before going on the program and be majoring or minoring in one of the fields listed above.

GPA 2.5 

There is an $800 fee for interns who wish to receive credit from Plymouth State University. There is no price difference for 3, 6, 9, or 12 credits.

How is credit given?
Credit will be assessed and given based on the successful completion of a variety of assignments. Assignments include an essays, journals, and evaluations and will be assessed based on the grading rubric.

  • Minimum 3 page pre-departure paper based on intern’s goals for the program
  • Directed, reflective internship journal completed by intern during the program (four entries)
  • Mid-term Online Evaluation completed by intern
  • Evaluation completed by internship supervisor
  • 8-10 page reflective essay on overall learning experience

Credit is given in letter grade format (A,B,C,D,F) in a specific academic discipline. The amount of credit is awarded based on the number of hours interned: 120 hours = 3 credits, 240 hours = 6 credits, 360 hours = 9 credits, 480 hours = 12 credits. Interns will receive a transcript 6-10 weeks after the program ends stating the grade and the number of credits earned. The number of hours that can be completed depends on type of internship and location.

Plymouth State University, CISabroad’s accrediting partner, is a NEASC accredited institution with over 20 years of experience awarding internship credit both domestically and internationally. Plymouth State University has been nationally recognized for its commitment to the environment and for innovative programs that are making an impact both regionally and globally.

Option 2: Credit through your university

Many students are able to arrange for credit through their home universities. Contact your study abroad office, academic advisor, or career services to see if this option is available at your school!

We’ve tried to make the internship placement process as smooth and simple as possible to ensure a quality experience for you. Follow the 8 easy steps below to a fantastic time working internationally!

Step 1: Complete the CISabroad Internship Application. After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms.

Step 2: Pay the $200 application deposit*

*This is NOT an extra fee, but is a non-refundable deposit applied towards your total program fee.

Step 3: Complete all application pieces in your portal. After being introduced to your Program Coordinator, your Program Coordinator will add program-specific application pieces to your portal. (Please note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program-specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

Step 4: After all of your materials have been received at CISabroad, wait for your acceptance decision!

Step 5: Once you’ve been accepted, we’ll conduct a skype or phone interview to aid our placement team when we begin the process of matching you in an internship. We want to know more about your skills, your interests, and what type of internship you are looking for. This will give us a chance to talk through the placement process in more detail, and answer any questions you may have.

Step 6: $500 Internship Deposit

Step 7: As your internship departure date approaches you will receive a Program Handbook and Pre-Departure Guide to help you know what to expect and how to prepare for your time abroad.

Step 8: Off you go and the fun begins!

Once you’re in-country: We’ll meet you at the airport and give you an on-site orientation. Your internship coordinator will accompany you to your first day of your internship. Additionally, your site director and internship coordinator will check in with you throughout the internship program, and make sure you’re doing okay. Finally, with our Intern in Costa Rica program, you'll receive an Internship Completion Certificate and a written evaluation after your return home.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? Scholarship and grants are awarded for everything from applying early to blogging about your intern abroad experience to taking photos of the fabulous scenery on a weekend excursion or volunteering with a local green organization!


For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Enjoy Costa Rica’s year-round warm climate and peaceful, democratic culture! The “Switzerland of Central America,” as it’s come to be known, has been labeled as one of the happiest and most environmentally friendly nations in the world. In the 2010 Environmental Performance Index, Costa Rica was ranked as the 3rd in the world!

Costa Rica is bordered on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on one side by the Pacific Ocean, giving it miles and miles of beaches along its shores! Nearly a quarter of the country is protected as national parks, meaning that you can explore and enjoy beautiful rivers, rainforests, and volcanoes and the astounding variety of plants and wildlife that call these areas home.

Adventures abound in this country, as well. Try whitewater rafting, zip lining, surfing, hiking, and more during your stay in Costa Rica! While you’re living in San José, you will enjoy mingling with local Costa Ricans, who are known for being friendly and relaxed. You’ll never be bored with the endless restaurants, theaters, markets, and salsa clubs that can be reached through the city’s easy-to-use public transportation.

Living in San José guarantees that you can find something new to do every day! The affordable city offers art exhibitions, theater events, music and dancing, film festivals, and much more. The school works hard to make sure that international students are integrated into life in Costa Rica, and provides salsa dancing lessons, sports teams, a partner program with Costa Rican students, cooking lessons, city excursions, and free martial arts and self-defense classes.

Intern in Costa Rica offers an extensive orientation program. This helps you get comfortable, get energized to start classes, and meet fellow study abroad students from all over the US and the world. On-site staff help prepare you to immerse yourself in a new culture and make the most of your time in San Jose.

If you are doing an environmental placement, you will most likely be outside of San Jose and staying in a guesthouse. Most students will live in local Costa Rican family’s home, an opportunity that many students say was their favorite part of their study abroad experience. This homestay will let you become completely immersed in Costa Rican culture and life! Your host family will usually be within walking distance of the university, and will also have easy access to public transportation to get around.

Your homestay will include your own private room and towels, bed linens, blankets, and pillows courtesy of your host family. In addition, you’ll get to use the kitchen, a weekly laundry service, and will have traditional Costa Rican breakfasts and dinners cooked for you.

CISabroad’s Site Director in Costa Rica:

Lisa was born in Costa Rica and has lived in the United States on several occasions. She is an alumni of Veritas University, where she majored in photography, and is currently pursuing her bachelors degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She is passionate about travel, and has had 10 years of experience leading study abroad groups all throughout Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. In her free time Lisa enjoys going to art exhibits, watching movies, dancing and learning new languages. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese, and is currently learning French.

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Intern in Costa Rica can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program Fees for Intern in Costa Rica are due based on the start date of your internship. Final payment deadlines are usually 1-2 months before the program starts. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms, and you will have a pre-acceptance interview with an advisor from our Global Advising Center. 

The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We do also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application deadlines can be found here.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

For almost all CISabroad programs, you WILL NEED A PASSPORT. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. A visa for the Intern in Costa Rica program is not necessary.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For Intern in Costa Rica, the GPA requirement is 2.5, although this can sometimes be flexible. Interns will need to speak an upper-immediate to advanced level of Spanish. Contact an advisor for more info at

6. What are my housing options?

The Intern in Costa Rica program uses local homestay families that have been hosting international students for many years. They are thoroughly vetted and evaluated on a regular basis. Homestays are a great way to get to know the local culture and eat delicious, homemade food.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. Are the internships paid positions?

No, the internships are not paid positions, but they are an irreplaceable way to build your resume! If you are interested in receiving academic credit for your internship, you should contact your academic advisor or education abroad advisor to see if your university offers course credit for internships. 

9. What is the internship matching process?

We custom match each intern with the organization that best meets the interests, skills, and goals of the intern. To best accomplish this, all interns must go through the application process, which includes indicating their top two fields of interest. Interns will also interview with the CISabroad Program Coordinator and/or the On-Site matching team. Once the $500 deposit has been paid, the On-Site team will move forward to match the intern with an organization in his or her top two fields of interest.

10. What is the difference between an Intern Abroad and a Study Internship program?

The difference between an intern and a study intern with CISabroad is that a study internship allows you to take classes, earn credit, and participate in an internship in the same program! The intern program is solely focused on your professional experience and may or may not include credit.

11. Can I intern in my major?

Yes! It is possible to intern in your major. The process is highly individualized so that your placement is the best match! For the Intern in Costa Rica program, check out our placement and credits page to see sample placements. 

12. Why do I have to pay a $500 internship deposit?

The $500 internship deposit is an extremely important part of the matching process and is part of the program fees. It is not an extra fee. The deposit represents a commitment from you to participate in our internship program, which allows CISabroad to confidently contact organizations on your behalf in order to find the best match possible!  

Term: Summer 2017
Arrival Options Approx. May 6 | June 3 | July 8
CISabroad Orientation May 7 | June 4 | July 9
Classes Start May 8 | June 5 | July 10
Departure July 29 | August 26 | September 30
Application Deadline January 1 | February 1 | March 1
Term: Fall 2017
Arrival Options (12 Week Program) September 2 | September 30
CISabroad Orientation September 3 | October 1
Internship Begins
October 2 | October 30
Classes Start September 4 | October 2
Classes End September 29 | October 27
Departure November 25 | December 23
Application Deadline May 1 | June 1
Term: Spring 2017
Arrival Options January 7 | February 4
CISabroad Orientation January 8 | February 5
Internship Begins
February 6 | March 6
Classes Start January 9 | February 6
Classes End February 3 | March 3
Departure April 1 | May 6
Application Deadline September 1 | October 1
Term: Summer 2017 Price: $4,590-6,890 more info
Term: Fall 2017 Price: $4,590-$6,890 more info
Term: Spring 2017 Price: $4,590- $6,890 more info

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

For the Costa Rica intern program you may choose 8, 10, 12, or 16 weeks, typically. Prospective interns should keep in mind that a longer internship duration period often offers more specialized placements and greater opportunity for growth and responsibility within the internship.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  •     Internship placement and supervision
  •     Housing
  •     Excursions
  •     Medical and accident insurance
  •     Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  •     Financial aid counseling
  •     Assistance with travel arrangements
  •     Airport pickup service
  •     On-site support
  •     Carbon offset of travel