Program Overview

Are you ready to explore one of the most magnificent countries in the world while you advance your career goals? In Costa Rica, you can have your cake and eat it too! On our Intern in Costa Rica program, you’ll live, study, and work with Costa Ricans in the bustling capital of San José. We’ll tailor your internship placement to match your passions and interests. You’ll gain practical skills and boost your résumé with international work experience. Off the clock and out of the classroom, you can venture into Costa Rica’s famous rainforest, explore nearby volcanoes, and understand what it means to embrace “pura vida.”

GPA Requirement
2.6
Application Deadlines
Summer: January 1 | February 1 | March 1
Fall: May 1 | June 1
Spring: September 1 | October 1
Avg Course Load
U.S credit may be available through CISabroad and/or your home university
Language(s) of Instruction
English and Spanish

Key Program Highlights

  • Internship placements ranging from business or social work to marine biology or environmental conservation
  • Variety of activities and social events throughout the program
  • Cooking classes, dance classes, and sports events, where you can bond with your fellow interns
  • Each internship includes a beginner, intermediate, or advanced Spanish-language class
  • Networking opportunities with international students from around the world

Your Journey Begins Here

  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Life in San José

Welcome and Orientation

On your first day in Costa Rica, you’ll have a chance to walk and get to know your new city. See important landmarks in downtown San Jose, such as the National Theater and Gold Museum, and enjoy the welcome lunch where you’ll try some local goodies! During orientation you’ll learn all about excursions, the university, your home stays, and life in Costa Rica.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to Costa Rica.

Housing Options

Your housing depends on your internship placement. If you’ve signed up for an environmental placement, you’ll most likely live outside of San José in a guesthouse. This allows you to be in the very place you’re working to protect on an everyday basis. However, most students will live in a local Costa Rican family’s home in San José. This homestay will help immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture and life. Your host family will usually be within walking distance of your placement, and you’ll also have easy access to public transportation. Many students proclaim the homestay as their favorite part of life in Costa Rica.

Some features of your homestay will include the following:

  • Private room
  • Towels, bed linens, blankets, and pillows
  • Kitchen and a weekly laundry service
  • Two traditional Costa Rican meals for you each day, typically breakfast and dinner
overlooking colorful buildings in san jose

Local Life

  • National Theater: Enjoy the tour and learn all about the history and architecture of this gem of San Jose!
  • Coffee, coffee, coffee!: Try some of the world's best coffee in one of the many coffee shops around town, or take the Coffee Tour, where you'll learn about the history of Costa Rica and coffee production in the country.
  • Art City Tour: Take advantage of this one night where all the museums in San Jose are open to the public (that's right, they're free!!). You'll also have a chance to see some amazing dance and music performances, as well as buy designer products made by locals!
  • Volunteering: Take part in a volunteer project and give back to the community. Paint a school, work with children, or visit Territorio de Zaguates, a local dog sanctuary home to over 900 lucky dogs! Take some time to go play with the pups in this Dog Heaven and help out the organization.

More About San José

San José is the bustling capital of Costa Rica and the place to learn about the country’s fascinating culture. Food, art, and people flow in from all directions. Likewise, you can use the capital as your launching point to discover the rest of this friendly country. Beautiful national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns are nearby and easily accessible. Spend your weekends exploring volcanoes, zip-lining through the jungle, or visiting a sloth sanctuary.

As a CISabroad student in San José, you'll get to know local Costa Ricans (aka Ticos), who have a friendly, laid-back demeanor. Local classmates will show you the meaning of pura vida. Being minutes from the heart of the Costa Rican capital, you can explore the city with ease. Imagine sipping some of the best coffee in the world and nibbling on a churro with friends at a local café.

Chepe, as the city is known locally, is famed for its National Theater, busy market life, and easy-to-use public transportation. There are plenty of international restaurants, ranging from Lebanese to Italian, in addition to local sodas, where you can eat large helpings of gallo pinto, the delicious national dish. Visitors and residents adore the street food in San José or grabbing a cheap and cheerful meal at Mercado Central. After class, you can head to one of the many local theaters, concert venues, cinemas, or salsa clubs. Then, spend the evening with new friends in the Plaza de la Cultura watching the pigeons and a marimba band. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program monteverde costa rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The mountainous area of Monteverde is dense with tropical rainforest. At an altitude of over 1,000 meters, the trees capture cloud moisture, often giving the area 100 percent humidity. In this reserve, you'll see the staggering environmental diversity from skywalks and bridges suspended 60 meters up in the canopy.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program costa rica beach excursion

Tamarindo

Located on the northwest Pacific coast, Tamarindo Bay is ideal if you're looking for an adrenaline rush or some down time on the beach. You can surf, swim, sail, kayak, jet ski, and even ride horses in the ocean. Plus, you can visit the leatherback turtle reserves to spot these incredible creatures.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program arenal volcano and baldi hot spring excursion costa rica

Arenal Volcano and Baldi Hot Springs

Take a hike down to the La Fortuna Waterfall, where you'll be able to swim in the cool water. Soak in the naturally heated waters of Baldi Hot Springs and enjoy the view of Arenal, which is a perfect cone volcano.


Internship Placement

Advising and Guidance

Step 1: Complete the CISabroad Internship Application and pay $200 application deposit. Then, an advisor will grant you online portal access and schedule an interview to discuss your experience, internship goals, and go over any questions.
Step 2: Start working with your Program Coordinator! You’ll finish your application by completing the forms in your online portal.

Placement and Preparation

Step 3: Upon acceptance, we will schedule another interview between you and the placement team so they can learn more about your skills, your interests, and what type of internship you are looking for.
Step 4: Pay $500 Internship Deposit and work with your Program Coordinator who will help you know what to expect and how to prepare for your time abroad.

Earn Credit Through CISabroad

Through our partnership with Plymouth State University, you can earn between 3-12 credits in the fields listed here. Alternatively, many students are able to arrange for credit through their home universities. To learn more please click here.

Internships are available in the following fields:

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!

Art & Design Fields

Business Fields

Communications Fields

Education Fields

Health Science Fields

Humanities Fields

Natural Sciences Fields

Social Sciences Fields

Student Feedback

CISabroad student study abroad semester program head shot photo
Studying abroad enhanced my Spanish-speaking skills, gave me deep friendships, and positively challenged the ways I viewed my own family, culture, and country. I’ve become a better student, sister, daughter, and friend. I can never see the world through the same lenses again. To that I am forever grateful.

Jacqueline Mullen - Point Loma Nazarene University

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

Your Support Staff

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

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
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program