Eligibility requirement: A background in education and/or psychology is desirable but not essential.

Language requirements: Interns must be confident enough to verbally communicate in basic/intermediate Spanish

Associated career paths: Psychologist, Social Worker, Primary/Secondary Teacher, English as a Foreign Language Teacher, Learning Mentor/Tutor, Careers Adviser, Family Support Worker

Minimum duration: 2 weeks

Internship details

This Women’s Education internship in Costa Rica helps vulnerable local women overcome tough situations and empower themselves through education and psychological support.

Women’s Education interns are placed in local organizations that work directly with vulnerable women in the community, helping to provide dedicated and targeted support to their needs. Interns can expect to help to teach women income generating skills, assist in educational workshops, teach basic finance classes, and provide emotional support to women who have endured individual challenges.

Interns can also help local organizations to raise awareness of women’s issues by assisting with public relations, writing articles for websites or media publications, marketing, event planning or producing content for social media, as well as contributing to fundraising campaigns. Assisting these organizations with administrative tasks is also hugely beneficial to enabling staff to focus their time on providing support to vulnerable women.

Interns with a background in psychology and social work can make a valuable contribution, as can those able to help with the design of educational resources for women. It is important to be proactive and maintain an open mind and willingness to assist where it’s most needed - especially during your first two weeks, while you’re still establishing a rapport and routine.

Women’s Education interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Teaching skills or English language lessons, that enable women to get jobs
  • Hosting finance classes
  • Providing emotional support to local women
  • Public relations, marketing and event planning to raise awareness of women’s issues
  • Producing social media content
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • General administration
Professional development opportunities:
  • Work in well established NGOS
  • Help women with a variety of backgrounds and problems
  • Contribute to workshops alongside experienced communicators
  • Gain an understanding of women’s issues
Typical schedule:
  • Working hours are usually 6 hours per day, 5 days per week
Internship highlights:
  • Make a genuine difference to the lives of underprivileged women
  • Learn from experienced women’s education professionals
  • Raise awareness of women’s issues through a range of content and campaign initiatives
Types of host organizations:
  • Women Empowerment NGOs
“As an intern, I actually assisted at two different organizations related to Microfinance & Women’s Empowerment and split my time equally between the two. They were both very similar organizations, sharing a common mission of helping and empowering vulnerable women within the community. At one of the internship placements, I assumed many responsibilities and administrative roles, such as filing, organizing, and transferring hand-written psychological assessments to an online database. I also assisted with a variety of group therapy classes. Finally, I created and taught an English class for a community of women. At my other placement, I was able to perform many tasks under the business umbrella including: public relations, fundraising, marketing, social media management, and event planning. My time interning on this Microfinance & Women’s Empowerment program empowered me to be successful in my future career. I believe that I am now a well-rounded employee, capable of communicating within a bilingual context. After working in such a variety of areas and with a diverse group of people, I am absolutely capable of accomplishing any task sent and adapting to any environment in the future.” - Kelsie Gronauer, USA

Intern review: Kelsie Gronauer

"I spent 6 weeks interning at an NGO in San Ramón, Costa Rica. The work was challenging yet very rewarding and fostered spiritual, professional, and personal growth. I am so appreciative to have had this amazing opportunity and to have met such fantastic people. The memories made and the life lessons that I acquired will remain with me forever. I really enjoyed staying with a host family. This helped me to work more on my Spanish and become further acquainted with the culture. By the end of my time in Costa Rica, my host family became a second family to me. I would make the decision to intern through Intern Abroad HQ a million times over. Signing up is a very easy and organized process and the organization provides amazing support before, during and even after your time interning."

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Program fees

Internship Duration Program Fee (USD)
2 weeks $908
3 weeks $1186
4 weeks $1464
5 weeks $1572
6 weeks $1681
8 weeks $1900
10 weeks $2073
12 weeks $2246
16 weeks $2593
20 weeks $2939
24 weeks $3286
  • To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
  • All Intern Abroad programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 in addition to the Program Fee.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply

What extra costs will I have?

  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program.
  • Language lessons.
  • Souvenirs + tourism/leisure activities during free time.
  • Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, and public transportation. Interns generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient.

Registration fee

What it covers
  • Dedicated intern support
  • Personalized internship abroad plan
  • International internship reference
  • Experiential learning curriculum
  • Affordable internship fees
  • Flexible booking options

Program fee

What it covers
  • International internship placement
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Accommodation
  • In-country guidance for social and tourism activities

Keen to get started?

Taking the first step is easy! Our team is here to provide friendly assistance, from your initial research and planning phases, right through until your internship completion. To get started, submit an application. It is free to apply and takes just 5 minutes.

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Arrival and Orientation

Programs begin on the first and third Monday of every month and participants may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 week. All participants fly into the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in order to be picked up and transported to the accommodation, unless alternative arrangements for an overland arrival have been made. Orientation is given by our local hosts at their offices in San Ramon and covers important details concerning introductions, support, culture, customs, safety, rules and expectations, things to see and do, and more.

Accommodation

All interns in Costa Rica are accommodated in various homestay accommodations. Interns are matched to an appropriate host family, taking into consideration convenient proximity to their internship placement. Typical host families in Costa Rica usually comprise of two parents and children or a single parent with children (the ages of a host family’s children can range from young and still living at home, to adults living independently). There are usually 1 - 2 bedrooms in most home-stays and everyone has their own bedroom (unless special requests are made in advance to share with a friend or partner). Bathrooms are shared. Living is comfortable and home-stays offer electricity, running water and western bathrooms. However, showers can be low pressure and unheated/tepid. WiFi is provided in most of the home-stays but it is important to note that it is not guaranteed.

Accommodation upgrades are available at an additional cost, for those who would prefer more independent accommodation and social interaction with other travelers. Interns who have confirmed their participation may opt to arrange hostel accommodation, in either a dorm (sharing a room with 4-8 beds) or a private room. Dormitories provide lockers, so that guests may securely store their personal items. Bathrooms are typically shared. Amenities include WiFi and a common area for guest use. Please note that hostel accommodation is subject to availability (depending on the location of your internship) and includes daily breakfast only. Interns who are interested in arranging an accommodation upgrade are welcome to speak with their Internship Program Manager for more information.

Meals

Internships in Costa Rica include two meals per day, served at the home stay. A typical Costa Rican breakfast is provided and may consist of bread, spreads, fruit and eggs accompanied with tea or coffee. Dinner commonly consists of meat (often chicken), soups, pastas, starches and vegetables. Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance, so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations accordingly.

Activities and tourism

Spanish lessons

Internships in Costa Rica require interns to have varying levels of Spanish language proficiency, from either a confident level of basic Spanish to a more developed grasp of intermediate language skills. The definition of having basic Spanish skills (Level A2) includes the ability to exchange brief information with questions and answers, use and understand simple language in daily situations and cultural aspects.

Keep in mind that despite you level of proficiency, a language barrier can still be encountered to a certain extent. Interns should be prepared for the very natural and normal frustration of not always understanding what is being said around them. Most interns are able to have a successful internship experience and it is essential to come prepared and willing to surmount a language barrier, as opposed to being intimidated by it.

We strongly recommend that all interns take advantage of the affordable language lessons offered exclusively to Intern Abroad HQ participants by our host organization in Costa Rica. These can be arranged directly with the local team once registered for the program (ask about online Skype lessons) or at the orientation in-country. Language lessons are tailored to each individual’s current level of Spanish and classes run from Monday through to Friday.

Weekends and travel

During the weekends, free time is available to relax, engage in tourism activities and explore other parts of Costa Rica. The program is based in the canton of San Ramon, in Alajuela Province. This is 55 km/34 mi northeast of Puntarenas (the nearest coastal town), 58 km/36 mi from the capital city of San Jose, and 31 km/19 mi from Juan Santamaría International Airport. The Pan-American Highway is easily accessible to the south and a northern route provides direct access to the popular tourism destination of Volcan Arenal.

Popular tourist attractions in and around the Alajuela Province include visiting Poás Volcano National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, Los Ángeles Cloud Forest and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Within the city of San Jose, there are various museums and galleries, such as the Precolumbian Gold Museum, Jade Museum, National Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design - just to name a few!

Our local team in Costa Rica are also able to assist interns with trip bookings, to experience more of the country. These can be coordinated directly once you’ve registered to confirm your internship program. Options include:

  • Tortuga Island: This sightseeing full-day trip includes return transportation from local pick-up points, guides, snacks and entertainment, catamaran tour, and lunch in Tortuga Island. Located within the Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island is a paradise archipelago which has maintained the Ecological Blue Flag status for more than twelve years. The turquoise waters are beautiful to swim in and the trip is not to be missed while you’re exploring the coasts!

  • Poás Volcano National Park, Doka Coffee Tour and La Paz Waterfall Garden: This full day excursion covers some of the region’s highlights. You’ll want to bring your camera and comfortable walking shoes for the three adventures, all across different eco-systems. Within La Paz Waterfall Garden, you’ll have a great opportunity to check out some of the amazing wildlife. There’s a hummingbird garden, serpentarium, aviaries, butterfly garden and tropical frog exhibit.

  • San Luis Canopy Tour: This tour departs from San Ramon and only takes half a day. Enjoy views of the Cataraticas River, bring comfortable clothing and a sense of adventure! There are 12 cables on this zip-line tour, with lengths from 56 to 550 meters, connected across 18 platforms. You’ll also get to experience the Tarzan swing and Superman cable - woohoo!

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Country profile

Capital San Jose
Population 4.805 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Time zone UTC−06:00

Weather and climate: Costa Rica is unequivocally a tropical country, situated between 8° and 11° north latitude, fairly close to the equator. Although you get much cooler temperatures in the mountains above 2000 meters, the average annual temperature for most of the country lies between 21.7°C (71°F) and 27°C (81°F). The coolest months are from November through to January, and the warmest months are from March through to May. San Jose stands at approximately 1170 meters altitude and has a mean annual temperature of 20.6°C (69°F).