Intern in Ecuador

Best Value
Gap Year Friendly

Live 9,000 feet above sea level in this high-altitude haven.

Work in a media facility or on a sustainable farm. Help an indigenous community grow or develop educational curriculum for at-risk children. You can learn so much about Ecuador through a hands-on, custom internship. There’s no better way to gain experience for your resume, improve your Spanish, and fall in love with this enchanting country. Markets, mountains, city culture, beaches, jungles, crater lakes, and the Galapagos are all nearby. On our Intern in Ecuador program, you will get a professional internship tailored to your skills, your interests, and your new community’s needs.

What to Expect:

  • Language: English and Spanish
  • Average Courseload: 3-12 U.S credits may be available
  • GPA Requirement: 2.5


  • Internships available in urban and rural settings, including Quito, the jungle, the coast, and the Galapagos
  • Intensive Spanish language course in Quito included in your program
  • Incredible weekend excursions—visit the lush coast, trek in the mountains, or sit in the shadow of a volcano
  • Strong on-site support from our site director
  • At least one meal per day included

Internship Placements

Biology and Ecology internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Biology and Ecology placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Biology and Ecology internships
<h4>Animal Protection Intern at Wildlife Refuge</h4>

Animal Protection Intern at Wildlife Refuge

The Amazon jungle is calling you, where dozens of birds, mammals, reptiles, and other animals live in a protected area. Most of the animals were found injured or come from inhospitable locations. As an intern, you’ll help care for the animals by feeding them and cleaning their habitats, as well as helping the staff maintain the refuge and facilitate the release and readaptation process.

<h4>Wildlife Protection Intern at National Park</h4>

Wildlife Protection Intern at National Park

Help to safeguard the marine wildlife of this national park. Accompany staff on responses to emergency calls, assist in rescues and releases, participate in veterinary and scientific research, and clean and feed the rescue animals while they are in recovery. You’ll be an integral part of preserving and restoring the natural and unique species of Ecuador!

<h4>Plant Research Assistant at Botanical Gardens</h4>

Plant Research Assistant at Botanical Gardens

Spend a semester working in a stunning botanical garden. You’ll help with research, restoration, conservation, and documentation of many plant species, including trees, orchids, and medicinal and edible plants. Ecuador has more plant species than all of North America, which means you’ll spot plants that you’ve never seen before!

Business & Economics internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Business & Economics placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Business & Economics internships
<h4>Business Development Intern with Local Artisan</h4>

Business Development Intern with Local Artisan

You’ll work with local artisans who specialize in working with Totora (a local plant). Their products include baskets, ornaments, furniture, exclusive designs, and recycled paper. Their main objective is to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of indigenous communities, and to more effectively produce and sell their products.

<h4>Agricultural Economics Intern at Ecuadorian Organization</h4>

Agricultural Economics Intern at Ecuadorian Organization

Your work will investigate the costs and benefits of guayusa production in the Napo region. You’ll work with local field teams and farmers to calculate the net present value of guayusa plantations, the opportunity costs, and the social/environmental benefits of production. Basic Spanish is required.

<h4>Intern at Fairtrade Fashion Company</h4>

Intern at Fairtrade Fashion Company

At this organization, you’ll assist a sustainable fashion brand working with New York designers and indigenous artisans in Ecuador that is launching a new accessory line. Your work will require basic Spanish.

Education internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Education placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Education internships
<h4>English Teacher at Local Middle School</h4>

English Teacher at Local Middle School

Work in a local middle or high school as an English teacher. You’ll assist the Ecuadorian teacher with lesson planning and assignments, as well as take control of your own class, teaching different classes with different levels of English ability.

<h4>Early Education Intern at Community Outreach Center</h4>

Early Education Intern at Community Outreach Center

Members of this organization spend their days out in the markets around Quito, providing a safe, educational setting for young children to play and learn while their parents work in the markets. Interns will interact with the young children on a daily basis, as well as help organize groups of volunteers and plan lessons.

<h4>Teen Education Coordinator at Community Center/Library</h4>

Teen Education Coordinator at Community Center/Library

As an intern, you’ll organize activities that are both educational and fun for local teens in this community center located just outside Quito’s center. The community center is a safe place for teens to go, and you’ll work with them and the center director to plan games, activities, and lessons for Ecuador’s youth.

Entrepreneurship internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Entrepreneurship placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Entrepreneurship internships
<h4>Business Development Intern with Guayusa-Growing Organization</h4>

Business Development Intern with Guayusa-Growing Organization

Work with a small, but growing organization that started with only two employees and now has over 20. You’ll be part of the intern team that helps grow and harvest guayusa, or you’ll join the team that markets the products to the international community. This organization moves quickly and is always adapting to both local and international changes.

<h4>Business Development Intern with Ecuadorian Artisans</h4>

Business Development Intern with Ecuadorian Artisans

Help local artisans market and sell their wares to a national and international audience. Working with people in a remote Ecuadorian village who create beautiful handcrafts, this organization helps them grow their clientele through social media, national mailing campaigns, and more. In addition, you’ll help the artists follow national and international regulations around the sustainable growth of the business.

Environmental & Sustainability internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Environmental & Sustainability placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Environmental & Sustainability internships
<h4>Environmental Education Intern at Organic Farm</h4>

Environmental Education Intern at Organic Farm

Your work on an organic farm is part agriculture, part education. In your first role, you’ll focus on reforestation through seed collection, nursery plant production, plant monitoring, and garden maintenance. In your second role, you’ll educate the local community—specifically children—on the importance of environmental sustainability.

<h4>Sustainability Practices Intern at Women' class='responsive-item cover'>

Sustainability Practices Intern at Women's Eco-Lodge

Work with a Quechua women’s organization outside Quito on sustainable farming techniques, eco-lodge maintenance, and reforestation projects. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to support this group through social media to market their jewelry and other handgoods. You’ll be involved in all aspects of the project, but you can specialize in certain areas.

<h4>Indigenous Community Support Intern at Local Sustainability Project</h4>

Indigenous Community Support Intern at Local Sustainability Project

There are a wide variety of tasks possible at this internship to work with a local indigenous community outside of Quito. You can staff their eco-tourism lodge, promote environmentally friendly trips and lead tours, or work with the Ministry of the Environment’s research project on agroforestry and reforestation. Finally, you can work with cacao farmers on their environmentally friendly farming techniques.

Health internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Health placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Health internships
<h4>Community Health Intern at Andean Hospital/Clinic</h4>

Community Health Intern at Andean Hospital/Clinic

Shadow doctors and nurses at an Andean health clinic while also focusing on public health. You’ll work with the doctors and nurses who assist patients every day, and you’ll also build education programs around dental assistance, nutrition, exercise, and more.

<h4>Public Health Intern at Preventative Care Organization</h4>

Public Health Intern at Preventative Care Organization

Intern with an organization in Quito that focuses on health education, nutrition, and general preventative healthcare. You could help lead a nutrition class for kids that includes hand washing and oral hygiene, or assist with a nutrition class for adults based around healthy eating and common health problems.

<h4>Clinical Health Intern in Amazonian Health Center</h4>

Clinical Health Intern in Amazonian Health Center

Work in an Amazonian health center gaining hands-on experience with patients. You might take patient vitals and complete intake forms, and you’ll assist with preventative health talks in the community. Additionally, there are often opportunities to accompany doctors on medical brigades to rural communities with little to no medical access.

NGOs and Non-Profit internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample NGOs and Non-Profit placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with NGOs and Non-Profit internships
<h4>Intern for Children' class='responsive-item cover'>

Intern for Children's Health NGO

You’ll assist the organization by leading a weekly healthy living class for children. The class begins with a topic about preventative health, such as good hand washing skills, oral hygiene, etc. Then the children are introduced to a healthy recipe that they prepare and eat together.

<h4>Intern for Job Skills Training NGO</h4>

Intern for Job Skills Training NGO

Help local Ecuadorians foster professional skills and aid in their business development. You’ll work with a nonprofit that partners with our organization to offer no cost entrepreneurship and job skill training to local community members. Make a lasting impact in an incredible country.

<h4>Intern for Educationally Focused NGO</h4>

Intern for Educationally Focused NGO

You’ll work within an Ecuadorian NGO educating local communities. You’ll aid in efforts to provide proper nutrition, health initiatives, and general outreach. The program directs its efforts towards communities in need, including communities with inadequate access to basic educational, medical, and livelihood resources.

Performing Arts internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Performing Arts placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Performing Arts internships
<h4>Dance Intern at Andean Culture Organization</h4>

Dance Intern at Andean Culture Organization

Work with an organization based in Quito that promotes Andean culture through music and dance. You’ll help this organization produce ethno-contemporary and pre-Hispanic dance routines. And you’ll promote the arts to bring attention to the ancient Andean way of life.

<h4>Dance and Music Therapy Intern at Disability Clinic</h4>

Dance and Music Therapy Intern at Disability Clinic

Use dance (and your passion) to help children and adults with disabilities. This organization focuses on dance and the arts as a way to provide therapy and education to people of all ages that suffer mental or physical disabilities. You’ll teach, learn, mentor, and spend some time helping the organization as well.

Social Work internships available in Ecuador

Below are a few sample Social Work placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Social Work internships
<h4>Social Work Intern in an Orphanage</h4>

Social Work Intern in an Orphanage

You’ll care for homeless children with regular and special needs in these orphanages. The environment provides physical and emotional support, spiritual nurturing, and lots of tender loving care. The children range from newborn to 19 years of age. Just playing and interacting with the children improves everything from their self- esteem to their vocabulary.

<h4>Social Work Intern for a Daycare Organization</h4>

Social Work Intern for a Daycare Organization

Your primary role will be day care, which involves looking after and teaching children and babies that are too young to go to school. This organization provides family counseling, hygiene classes, education assistance, a weekly kids and moms club, weekly feeding for night workers, and much more.

<h4>Intern for Therapeutic Recreation Program</h4>

Intern for Therapeutic Recreation Program

You’ll work in a program in which youth and adults with intellectual deficit and/or learning disabilities receive individualized therapeutic care. The programming allows them to improve their educational performance. This is an enriching opportunity for both you and they people you’ll work with.

Program Details

Intern for Credit

Want credit for your internship? We can do that for you!

A respected New Hampshire university, Plymouth State University is CIS Abroad’s accrediting partner for internship programs. Plymouth State University 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.

Learn more about interning for credit through Plymouth State University here.

Why Life in Quito

From lively indigenous festivals to lovely outdoor cafés in tranquil parks, Quito is a city of wonderful contrasts. It has a mixed history of ancient empires and colonialism. This history is visible in the ruins that dot the landscape and in the incredible Spanish-style churches and leafy plazas. UNESCO named the entire downtown a World Heritage site. They described Quito as having “the best-preserved, least-altered historic center in Latin America.”

Quito comprises several distinct neighborhoods. You’ll love the historic downtown with its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and street vendors selling everything you can possibly imagine. Equally fun is the Mariscal Sucre, the heart of the traveler scene in Quito. It’s rife with international restaurants, travel agencies, and hostels, and has a very lively dance scene. In other neighborhoods, you can visit an incredible museum that pays tribute to Oswaldo Guayasamin (Quito’s favorite artist), independent cinemas, and bohemian enclaves. If music is your passion, you can tap your feet to live traditional Andean tunes, pulsating salsa, and cumbia. Lastly, you can get lost for hours in the local parks and craft markets set amidst colonial grandeur. Most importantly, it’s all easily accessible by bus, taxi, or foot.

Volcanoes and the impressive Andes mountains surround Quito. Every day, you’ll glimpse stunning views of the Pichincha Valley and the snow-capped peaks of Cotopaxi, an active volcano. At the same time, you can access other amazing opportunities for exploration from the highest capital in the world. Ecuador is packed with adventure and amazing biodiversity, from the Amazonian jungle to crater lakes to the Galapagos Islands. Getting to these locations is easy and quick. Furthermore, you can be on the beach in the morning, Quito in the afternoon, and the Amazon jungle at night, all in the same day!

Live La Vida Local

  • Cooking classes

    Learn how to prepare the local cuisine and surprise your family when you go back home!

  • Metropolitan Park

    Walk through the woods in the middle of the city of Quito.

  • Music concerts at local restaurants / bars

    Enjoy jazz, Blues, Salsa, in a cozy environment while eating a good meal.

  • Dance classes

    Becoming a great salsa dancer isn’t takes practice!

  • Soccer games

    We love soccer and you will have plenty of opportunities to see a game.

  • Movie theater

    Tuesdays are the best days since it’s two for the price of one!

Homestay in Quito


Truly immerse yourself in Ecuadorian culture with a homestay in Quito. Participants typically say that living with a local family was their favorite part of their experience abroad. Your host family will treat you like a member of the family – and even do your laundry for you every week! This safe, comfortable, secure home will help you integrate into your life abroad.

The photos are of participants Rebecca and Victoria with their host families. Look at those smiling faces!


Your host family will prepare breakfast and dinner for you, allowing you to get to know (and love) Quiteño cooking!

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomShared
  • Bed linens
  • Laundry
  • MealsHomestay

Housing Oustide Quito


Interns in the placements outside of Quito usually live in communal bunkhouses with other international students or interns.


This housing option will include at least one meal per day.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • Meal PlanPartial

What's Included


Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Internship placement and supervision
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  • One Excursion
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Airport pickup service
  • On-site support
  • Career Launch Toolkit
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

At the airport, you’ll be met by our onsite staff and/or homestay family. They will help transfer you back to your housing and you’ll begin your orientation. During your first few days, you’ll visit the UNESCO world heritage site of old town Quito, learn about Ecuadorian customs, get tips on how to blend in, learn some common slang words and even how to deal with altitude sickness. (Yes! You will be living at more than 9000 feet in Quito!) Then there’s the welcome meal: the perfect opportunity to learn about Ecuadorian food. Did you know that in Ecuador there are more than 200 varieties of potatoes as well as a tomato that hangs up from a tree?!

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

Going home after all your Ecuadorian adventures and adjusting again to your home culture can be hard. We try to help make this process less abrupt by walking you through what to expect and, also, how to benefit from your newly gained knowledge. During our farewell evening we’ll give you some ideas as to how to integrate your new experiences into your personal and professional life back home.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in 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.
Pichincha Volcano (by cable car)

Pichincha Volcano (by cable car)

Take a cable car 12,943 feet up to enjoy a magnificent view of Quito. You can walk through the paramo (high mountain vegetation), where there’s a cool but enjoyable breeze.

Otavalo Indigenous Market and Cuicocha Lake

Otavalo Indigenous Market and Cuicocha Lake

Visit one of the biggest and most colorful indigenous markets in Latin America, where you can buy traditional trinkets and eat delicious local food. Plus, take a boat ride in Cuicocha Lake, which is at the foot of a volcano.

Quilotoa Volcano

Quilotoa Volcano

Hike down to the historic crater lake and ride donkeys back up to the top, while admiring the spectacular view!

Site Director

Diana Balarezo
Travel Tip:

Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and home to 14 different indigenous nationalities. Be prepared to experience new landscapes, aromas, tastes, sounds and people. Respect the places and the people you will be with and never stop learning!

Travel Tip:

Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and home to 14 different indigenous nationalities. Be prepared to experience new landscapes, aromas, tastes, sounds and people. Respect the places and the people you will be with and never stop learning!


Diana Balarezo is a trilingual (Spanish, English and French) Ecuadorian that has worked in the tourism industry for many years. An active volunteer of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Development and Hospitality and a Master’s degree in Social and Environmental studies. Diana was the Ecuador national coordinator of a volunteers’ non-profit organization with more than eighty member countries, as well as the US market leader of the biggest tourism company in Ecuador. She lived in the US as a student and after, as a restaurant manager at a Ski Resort in Idaho, where she learned to snowboard and still misses it. She has traveled extensively around Ecuador, backpacked in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala and Mexico. She has camped in some National Reserves in the US and Canada and has visited Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Austria, among others. Diane’s hobbies include sports such as trail running and mountain biking, as well as watching movies and reading a nice book.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team
Travel Tip:

We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us—be it through a text, phone call, email or personal visit—you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Michelle Everard
Travel Tip:

Journal, journal, journal! Write down the little things, the strange details & whatever made you laugh. It’s the little things that make a trip amazing and are easily the most forgotten.

Alexandra Woolner
Travel Tip:

Expect the unexpected! Sometimes culture shock is stronger in countries where you expect things to be more similar to your home country and environment. Traveling abroad is an excellent way to learn more about your own culture, habits, style, and adaptability.

COVID-19 Plan

COVID-19 Plan

We believe that study abroad is still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain policies and procedures will need to be in place to ensure every student can be safe and healthy during their semester abroad.

We monitor international indicators and health standards in the country and our risk management team makes decisions based on those and our own policy. We will make a decision no less than 45 days before a program starts what options are available to you and what the contingency plan is for your program. We will do all that we can to support you during this time.

Learn more about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team’s three step process for operating  our programs around the world and important program refund policies.

Program Suspended

This program is currently not available for the Academic Year 2020/21. Please consider other options by exploring our Open Spring 2021 Programs or consider a Virtual Internship.


One-Week Workshop at the Amazonian Wildlife Rescue Center

Want to cuddle and nurse animals back to health during your time in Ecuador? Great news! You can add on an intensive workshop at an Amazonian Wildlife Rescue Center, and get the opportunity to cuddle all the animals you want. The best part? There’s no additional cost!

Cuddling Animals at The Amazonian Wildlife Rescue Center

Let’s cut to the chase. We know you’re down for cuddling animals in Ecuador, but WHERE will you get to do it? At the Amazonian Wildlife Rescue Center of course!

The main objective of the center is to rescue and take care of animals that have been victims of hunting or illegal trafficking and to return them to their natural environment, if possible.

Located only four and a half hours from Quito (where most of you will do your internships), and 10 minutes away from the closest city, the Rescue Center is fully immersed in the huge biodiversity of the Amazon!

But don’t worry, you’ll still be close to shops and restaurants when you have free time.

What’s Included in this FREE Workshop Add-on?

  • A week before your internship spent cuddling animals in Ecuador (did we mention the animal cuddling??)
  • Introduction to operant conditioning in wildlife
  • Tools used for conditioning
  • Training of wild specimens for veterinary practices without stressing animals
  • Handling and rehabilitation of raptors, mammals, reptiles (plus newborn animal management and care) Yes, you read that right, animal BABIES!!

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline: Jun 1
  • Arrival: August 28
  • Departure: September 26 | October 24 | November 7 | November 21
  • Price: $3,490 - $6,290
  • Application Deadline: Jul 1
  • Arrival: September 25
  • Departure: October 24 | November 21 | December 5
  • Price: $3,490 - $6,290
  • Application Deadline: Sep 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 8 (Estimated)
  • Departure: February 6 | March 6 | March 20 | April 3 (Estimated)
  • Price: $3,590 - $5,990 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Nov 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: February 5 (Estimated)
  • Departure: March 6 | April 3 | April 17 | May 1 (Estimated)
  • Price: $3,590 - $5,990 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Feb 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: May 29 (Estimated)
  • Departure: June 27 | July 25 | August 8 | August 22 (Estimated)
  • Price: $3,690 - $6,290 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Mar 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: June 12 (Estimated)
  • Departure: July 11 | August 8 | August 22 (Estimated)
  • Price: $3,690 - $6,290 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Apr 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: June 26 (Estimated)
  • Departure: July 25 | August 22 (Estimated)
  • Price: $3,690 - $6,290 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

4 week internship: $3,690
8 week internship: $4,890
10 week internship: $5,590
12 week internship: $6,290

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

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