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Environmental Education Internships in Costa Rica

Environmental Education Internships in Costa Rica

Education is one of the greatest tools available! The ability to share insights, resources and knowledge with local communities and visitors empowers grass-roots environmental projects, which require support in order to succeed. Environmental Education interns are involved with projects that collaborate with local schools and community groups. In addition, there is scope to offer workshops with local tourism companies and visiting tourists to the region.

Internship Highlights:
  • Gain confidence and experience as an educator within schools and communities
  • Learn relationship building skills that enable you to work and communicate with others
  • Develop your understanding of how conservationists foster support for environmental priorities
  • Enjoy spare time in Manuel Antonio, one of the world’s most biodiverse destinations
Type of host organizations:
  • Non-profit organization
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Fully hosted experience from US$2,544
Includes accommodation & meals
Start dates every other Monday
Minimum duration 4 weeks, up to 24 Weeks maximum
Spanish language lessons available
Get job-ready with our Experiential Learning Curriculum
Internships align with UN Sustainable Development Goals
Eligibility requirements and Associated career paths
Eligibility requirement

Suitable for high school graduates and up, aged 18+. Interns must be committed to environmental education for all ages. Experience with developing materials is recommended, as (depending on experience) there is scope to produce digital media to supplement educational programs. This may include use of Microsoft suite, Canva or Indesign.

Language requirements

Intermediate level Spanish is desired but not required, as all education programs will be in both English and Spanish.

Associated career paths

Educator / Teacher, Learning Mentor/Tutor, Conservationist, Environmental Consultant, Community Relations and Outreach Manager, Chief Sustainability Officer, Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Marketing and Public Relations, English as a Foreign Language Teacher, Social Worker, Community Health Worker

Internship details

Environmental Education interns collaborate with a local Marine Conservation non profit organization, which is dedicated to developing sustainable relationships with community stakeholders. Through the provision of ongoing educational support, interns prioritize outreach activities which inspire others to become conscious custodians of their environment.

This is an in-country internship, with accommodation and meals included. You can explore remote Education & Youth Development internships, if you are looking for an internship program that you can undertake from home.

International Internships for Marine Sciences

Costa Rica has one of the highest biodiversities on the planet, both on the land and in the water. This incredible environment has influenced Costa Rican culture and its economy, as communities and businesses seek to use unique natural resources to an advantage, while also striving to understand and protect the delicate ecosystems.

Environmental Education interns can expect to assist the Marine Conservation NPO, as it works with local schools and the community. This includes running workshops, field trips, and talks on marine conservation topics. Interns contribute to the development of educational outreach programs and curriculums for schools, colleges and the general public. Educational content / curriculums must be designed to cover all ages, so there is a diverse range of content to be produced and adapted. Resources developed for the general public can contribute to ongoing awareness campaigns which are disseminated by the NPO.

In addition to general environmental education, interns can lend their support to building community outreach projects. For example, these may include beach clean ups, underwater clean ups, presentations for local groups, and awareness campaigns through art. A number of marine conservation courses are also provided by the NPO, which introduce visiting students and tourists to the flagship coral restoration project, along with the principal techniques and protocols that are used to conduct research.

There is a high expectation for interns to exercise initiative and manage a flexible schedule during this internship. Progress reports are expected on an ongoing basis.

Typical Schedule

  • Approx. 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Career Benefits

Environmental Education interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Assist with projects that collaborate with local schools and community groups

  • Offer workshops with local tourism companies

  • Develop digital media to supplement educational programs

Professional development opportunities:
  • Learn about local environmental challenges and how to overcome them

  • Develop relationship building skills with schools and communities

  • Gain organizational skills preparing and accommodating educative lessons

  • Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.

Recommended online TEFL course

Recommended online TEFL course

For all interns with an interest in developing skills as an educator, we also recommend an interactive Online TEFL Certification Course. The training offers tools and techniques over a 100-hour program. Upon completion, you’ll have earned experience in planning, designing, and adapting diverse language activities and materials. No previous teaching experience or training is required. You can sign up for the Online TEFL Certification Course anytime and you’ll pay the discounted Intern Abroad HQ rate.

Get TEFL certified online

Costa Rica photo gallery

Program fees

It’s free to apply for this internship. Once we have reviewed your suitability and accepted you onto this program, you’ll need to pay a deposit of US$449 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$449 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.

Coral Restoration and Marine Biology

Duration
Program Fee (USD)
4 weeks $3,242Equivalent to $115/day
6 weeks $4,272Equivalent to $101/day
8 weeks $5,302Equivalent to $94/day
10 weeks $6,382Equivalent to $91/day
12 weeks $7,412Equivalent to $88/day
14 weeks $8,467Equivalent to $86/day
16 weeks $9,497Equivalent to $84/day
18 weeks $10,527Equivalent to $83/day
20 weeks $11,582Equivalent to $82/day
24 weeks $13,692Equivalent to $81/day

Sustainable Business & Tourism and Environmental Education

Duration
Program Fee (USD)
4 weeks $2,544Equivalent to $90/day
6 weeks $3,254Equivalent to $77/day
8 weeks $3,964Equivalent to $70/day
10 weeks $4,724Equivalent to $67/day
12 weeks $5,434Equivalent to $64/day
14 weeks $6,169Equivalent to $62/day
16 weeks $6,879Equivalent to $61/day
18 weeks $7,589Equivalent to $60/day
20 weeks $8,324Equivalent to $59/day
24 weeks $9,794Equivalent to $58/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Dedicated support before, during, and after your internship
  • In-country guidance for social and tourist activities
  • Sourcing and securing your internship placement
  • Personalization of your internship plan
  • Coaching from your supervisor
  • Documented portfolio of your experiential learnings
  • Academic credit facilitation
  • International reference letter
  • Certificate of Internship Completion
  • Visa (if required), flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check
  • Transfer back to the airport at the end of your internship program
  • Optional extras, such as language lessons
  • Souvenirs and leisure activities during your free time
  • Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, public transportation, and any meals not included in your Program Fee
  • A deposit of $449 USD is required to secure your internship
  • Coral Restoration and Marine Biology internships include diving activities. If you are not currently PADI certified, then you are still welcome to participate. However, you will be required to complete an “intro week”, at an additional cost, prior to beginning the Coral Restoration internship. During the intro week, you will complete Open Water and Adventure Diver with PPB certification. This introductory week will include the necessary online materials and certifications that you need.
  • Balance of your Program Fee is due 60 days before your internship start date.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.

Arrival and Orientation

Internships in Manuel Antonio begin on the first and third Monday of each month. Exceptions may be made to this when start dates are shifted to avoid public holiday disruptions or closed when the program has already reached capacity. Interns may choose to spend a minimum of 4 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 weeks.

Note that Coral Reef Restoration and Marine Biology internships are unavailable from mid September, through till the end of October. This is due to heavy rainfall in October. The Environmental Education and Sustainable Business & Tourism internships are available year-round.

Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee:

  • The accommodation is covered from the Sunday night before the Monday start date - interns are required to arrive no later than the Sunday before their Monday start date, as all orientations are held on Mondays.
  • The typical port of entry is the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). Upon arrival, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred to the accommodation.
  • Interns are asked to arrive at SJO no later than 3pm on Sunday (before the Monday start date), as Quepos / Manuel Antonio is approximately 3 hours drive from San Jose. It’s advisable to have an early night, to avoid being overtired on the start date.
  • The last night of the accommodation is the Saturday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on Sunday.
  • Extra nights of accommodation can be arranged in advance, if requested, and are subject to availability.

If you are planning to spend time independently in Costa Rica prior to your internship and will not require an international airport pick up, we can discuss alternative arrival logistics with you.

Orientation covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. Your specific internship placement orientation will follow the general orientation, as you’ll be shown how to travel to and from your internship and be introduced to the team you’ll be joining.

Please note that all internship participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.

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Accommodation and WiFi

Interns are accommodated in various local homestays, which are typically situated in the “Zona Americana” neighborhood of Quepos. This is an extremely convenient location, being within walking distance of the world class yacht yard of Marina Pez Vela (just 5 minute’s walk of the dive center), the local farmers market, central market, bus station, abundant shops, restaurants, cafes, and the “malecon” boardwalk. Both the Quepos airport and the Manuel Antonio National Park are approximately just 5-10 minutes’ drive.

Each homestay will, on average, accommodate between 4-9 program participants. Bedrooms are basic and each can sleep between 2-3 guests, with space for guest storage (rooming arrangements are not shared between genders). Bathrooms and common areas are shared. Breakfast and dinner is provided, as well as laundry service and basic WiFi.

Please note that the accommodation pictured in the photo gallery of this webpage is provided as an example. Since we work with more than one option for accommodation, the exact accommodation that you’re assigned may differ from the photos. However, you can expect a similar standard and similar amenities, to what is shown.

Meals

Internships include two meals per day provided by the host family (daily breakfast and dinner). Breakfast in the homestays is served at 6.30am. Interns will usually spend lunch time around the marina, where you can purchase sandwiches and snacks from the commercial plaza. There is also sufficient time to walk into downtown Quepos, where there are many affordable eateries. Dinner at the homestays is served around 6.30pm. If you choose to opt out of breakfast or dinner, any day of the week, you should communicate this back to your host family.

A typical Costa Rican breakfast may consist of cereal, fruits, pinto and eggs, accompanied with coffee. Dinner commonly consists of starches (rice and beans), as well as meat (often chicken) and salad. Meals are basic, hearty and nutritious, but may not be what you’re used to eating at home. Tap water may be consumed in Costa Rica. If there are special snacks you like to have, please budget for them. Alcohol consumption and smoking is not permitted in any of the homestay accommodation.

Let us know in advance if you have any specific dietary requirements. Bear in mind that strict vegan diets can be more difficult to accommodate. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are available but specific substitution products, such as non-dairy milks, are very expensive in Costa Rica.

A weekly budget of approximately US$100 should be sufficient for covering weekly lunches, while also having extra for snacks/treats/drinks and public transportation. (If you want to eat at fancy restaurants every day, it will be easy to spend more. However, there are great local eateries and markets which are affordable).

Language lessons

Fluency in Spanish is not a requirement for interns in Manuel Antonio, however; lessons with a at a local language school can be arranged for those who wish to learn. Lessons are coordinated directly through our team in Costa Rica and can be confirmed in advance or at the orientation.

Weekends and travel

Hosted within the Quepos region of Costa Rica, you’ll find everything you need in an area renowned for its rich biodiversity, accessible National Park, popular beaches and modern amenities. The area is a popular destination for tourists, so you’ll find it user-friendly to get around and find things to do. Nevertheless, local coordinators are on hand to assist with the booking of safe and reliable activities with the most recommended vendors, so be sure to ask them for advice about maximizing your experience. It’s wise to research what you’d like to do in advance, given that certain activities will have a higher cost than others. Whether you want to swim, shop, surf, scuba, enjoy yoga, hiking, or more, there is an abundance of natural beauty, adventure, and excellent cuisine to soak up!

Essential country information

Capital San Jose
Population 5.094 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Time zone UTC−06:00
Weather and climate:

Costa Rica experiences a tropical climate year-round. Although you get much cooler temperatures in the mountains, the average annual temperature for most of the country lies between 21.7°C (71°F) and 27°C (81°F). In the Quepos / Manuel Antonio area, the temperature typically varies from 78°F to 92°F (25°C to 33°C) and is rarely below 75°F or above 94°F (24°C or above 35°C).

There are just two seasons - the dry season, from December to April, and the rainy season, from May to November. Due to the large amount of rain in October, the diving internships (Coral Restoration and Marine Biology) are unavailable from Mid September until November 1st. The non-diving internships are available year-round.