Search Search guidebooks
  • Intern
  • Prof. Development

Costa Rica Internship Guide: Opportunities & Application Tips

Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer

Are you considering an internship abroad to enhance your skills and broaden your horizons? Costa Rica, with its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and welcoming culture, offers a plethora of opportunities for interns across various fields. From conservation efforts to business roles, doing an internship in Costa Rica can be a transformative experience that combines professional growth with adventure. 

Let’s dive into how you can find the perfect Costa Rica internship and make the most of this unique opportunity.

Why Choose Costa Rica for Your Internship?

Costa Rica is more than just a paradise for nature lovers; it’s also a hub for significant professional development, particularly in fields like environmental conservation, veterinary sciences, medicine, and more. You’ll easily discover that Costa Rica internships provide a unique combination of educational and hands-on experiences.

25 Best Places to Study Abroad: 10 Countries and 25 Program Destinations - Costa Rica

Additionally, internships in Costa Rica, especially in conservation areas such as sea turtle protection or broader environmental efforts, offer the opportunity to work in some of the most stunning natural environments in the world. 

Visa Requirements for Interning in Costa Rica

Costa Rica allows tourists from all countries, and this inclusivity simplifies the process for many aspiring interns.

Volunteer Forever | Volunteer in Costa Rica

If you’re looking into internships in Costa Rica temporarily (less than 90 days) and you are not doing a paid position, you will be able to enter Costa Rica as a tourist, based on the following criteria:

  • Return Flight Ticket
  • Duration of Stay Based on Nationality
  • Economic Solvency
  • Discretion of Stay Duration
  • Valid Passport and Proof of Exit

For more details, check out the Costa Rica entry requirements here.

Finding Internship Opportunities in Costa Rica

Volunteer Forever | Volunteer in Costa Rica
  1. Start with Research
    Begin your search by exploring online job boards, university career centers, and professional networks that list opportunities for an internship in Costa Rica. Social media groups and forums for expats in Costa Rica can also provide valuable insights and connections.
  2. Contact Organizations Directly
    Many organizations in Costa Rica offer internships directly. Whether you’re interested in a Costa Rica medical internship or a Costa Rica animal internship, reaching out to hospitals, wildlife sanctuaries, and research institutions can be a fruitful approach. There’s also a demand for English teachers in Costa Rica.
  3. Specialized Platforms
    There are several platforms and agencies dedicated to helping students and graduates secure internships in Costa Rica. These services can offer personalized support to match you with an internship that aligns with your career goals.
  4. Networking
    Connecting with professionals who have interned or worked in Costa Rica can offer insider advice and potentially lead to referrals for internship positions. Use platforms like LinkedIn or your University networking boards to build these connections. You can also reach out to organizations that have Volunteering Programs in Costa Rica.
  5. Tailoring Your Application for Costa Rica
    When applying for internships in Costa Rica, customize your resume and cover letter to align with local business practices. If the internship involves working in local communities or requires interaction with locals, showcasing any Spanish language skills will be advantageous.

Explore Internship Programs in Costa Rica

Take your pick amongst these great internships by reputable providers in Costa Rica!


Maximo Nivel

Interning in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel offers a comprehensive, educational, and culturally enriching experience that prepares interns for future professional challenges. There is an opportunity to earn academic credit, issued through their School of Record, helping interns fulfill educational requirements while gaining international work experience.

Volunteer Forever | Summer Abroad Internships for Students

The Maximo Nivel campus is strategically situated in the university district of San Pedro, near the National University in San Jose, and offers diverse internship opportunities across several fields:

  • Medical and Dental Internships: Interns gain firsthand experience in Costa Rica’s advanced healthcare system, working in both the public and private sectors under the guidance of local professionals. Dental interns work closely with dentists, assisting in patient care and learning about community health initiatives.
  • Education: With a history of prioritizing education, interns in this field work alongside experienced teachers in private bilingual and public schools, gaining insights into the International Baccalaureate and other curricula.
  • Hospitality & Tourism: As a top eco-tourism destination, interns in this field engage in various aspects of the tourism industry, from hotel management to tour operations, enhancing their skills in business development and customer service.
  • Human Rights: Interns work with NGOs and community organizations to address pressing social issues, from women’s rights to refugee support, gaining valuable experience in advocacy and social justice.
  • Micro-Business: Positioned in San Jose’s dynamic business environment, interns assist local entrepreneurs and small businesses in overcoming challenges and learning effective business practices.
  • Special Education: Interns collaborate with certified teachers to provide specialized support to students with disabilities, contributing to the development of inclusive education practices.
  • Veterinary Science: Interns participate in the care and treatment of animals, learning from experienced veterinarians in clinics that prioritize ethical and humane treatment practices.

Intern Abroad HQ

Interning in Costa Rica with Intern Abroad HQ provides a unique opportunity to combine meaningful professional development with an immersive travel experience. This organization offers a diverse array of internships in picturesque locations like Manuel Antonio and San Ramón de Alajuela, catering to a wide range of interests. 


Program fees start at $1499 for two weeks, covering placement arrangements, airport pickup, orientation, accommodation in homestays, and 24/7 in-country support. This makes it an attractive option for students, graduates, career changers, and gap year travelers seeking a hands-on learning experience abroad.

Key Internship Opportunities:

  • Marine Biology and Coral Restoration: Interns work with local conservation organizations to preserve marine ecosystems and enhance their scuba diving skills.
  • Environmental Conservation: Projects focus on sustainability initiatives in Costa Rica’s unique cloud rainforests.
  • Healthcare: Suitable for healthcare students, this internship requires Spanish proficiency as interns interact closely with local medical professionals.
  • Media & Advertising: Tailored for those interested in the fields of media and advertising, offering hands-on experience in a Spanish-speaking environment.
  • Microfinance: Assist local entrepreneurs with financial planning, literacy, and marketing strategies.
  • Physical Therapy: Interns support patients under professional guidance, ideal for those looking to gain clinical experience.
  • Special Education: Provides support and teaching assistance in centers for disabled students, requiring basic Spanish language skills.
  • Sustainable Business & Tourism: Engage with nonprofits to learn about sustainable business practices and tourism development.
  • Veterinary & Animal Care: Work in veterinary clinics assisting with the treatment and care of animals.
  • Women’s Education: Focus on empowering women through education and skill-building workshops.

Intern Abroad HQ’s programs align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring that your internship experience not only enhances your personal and professional growth but also contributes positively to global environmental and social objectives. 


Interning in San Jose, Costa Rica with GoEco offers a comprehensive opportunity for medical students and professionals to deepen their understanding and skills in a global healthcare environment. This program immerses interns in a professional setting where they are paired with a dedicated supervisor to guide them through various medical fields, including healthcare, physical therapy, and dental care. 


Interns engage directly in clinical activities ranging from patient consultations to medical procedures, depending on their qualifications and Spanish proficiency. The experience is enriched with daily Spanish lessons tailored to enhance communication in clinical settings. Accommodation in private rooms with host families and two provided meals per day ensure a comfortable stay while interns complete their final project—a combination of a presentation and a detailed report, encapsulating their learning and experiences.

Projects Abroad

Embark on an enriching journey of sustainable development and environmental studies in Costa Rica with Projects Abroad. Choose from two transformative programs: the Semester Abroad or the Summer Abroad, both offering hands-on conservation projects and cultural immersion experiences. 


In the Semester Abroad program, spend 15 weeks delving into topics such as tropical ecosystems, conservation, sustainable business practices, and environmental ethics, earning 15 college credits along the way. Alternatively, the Summer Abroad program offers a condensed four-week experience focusing on conservation, ecotourism, and Spanish language immersion, earning 6 college credits. 

Both programs provide accommodation in shared cabins and homestays, daily meals, and a robust academic curriculum tailored to students from various majors, with no Spanish language prerequisites required. Join like-minded peers in exploring Costa Rica’s diverse landscapes, from the Monteverde Cloud Forest to the Pacific Coast, while making a meaningful impact on global sustainability.

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI), an Australian non-profit with over 30 years of experience, offers meaningful internship opportunities in Costa Rica for students and healthcare professionals. These internships are designed to provide hands-on experience in medical and healthcare settings, allowing interns to make significant contributions while gaining valuable professional skills. 


The programs include homestay accommodations, providing a unique opportunity to live with a local family, enjoy home-cooked meals, and engage with the community. Interns are supported with airport pick-up, local transportation, orientation, 24/7 in-country support, and a certificate of completion at the end of the internship.

  • Nutrition & Healthcare Internship: This program, located in both Manuel Antonio and San Jose, offers interns the chance to work in various healthcare facilities, assisting in the delivery of care and support to low-income families and clinics with staff shortages. Interns may engage in activities such as medical campaigns, physical therapy, speech therapy, and more. The tasks assigned will depend on the intern’s skill level and initiative.
  • Medical Internship: Positioned in the vibrant city of San Jose, this internship is ideal for healthcare professionals and final-year medical students looking to enhance their clinical skills and learn about the healthcare system in a developing context. Interns work alongside local medical staff in hospitals, clinics, and assisted living facilities, participating in health checks, creating medical campaigns, and interacting directly with patients. This program starts weekly and requires a minimum commitment of one week.

IVI is committed to offering safe, responsible, and affordable internship opportunities that allow participants to gain practical work experience and university credits while contributing positively to communities in need.

Global Vision International (GVI)

Global Vision International (GVI) offers a range of impactful internships in Costa Rica, providing participants with hands-on experience.

Volunteer Forever - Spanish Immersion Programs

Each program is designed to enhance your professional skills while contributing to significant environmental and societal benefits.

  • Sea Turtle Conservation Internship: Interns gain practical experience working with several species of sea turtles on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, participating in conservation, and research, and gaining a formal leadership qualification at Kekoldi, their home away from home.
  • Teaching Internship: Based in Cartago, this internship involves teaching English and practical skills to both children and adults, enhancing their prospects in a region where English proficiency is crucial for economic growth.
  • Wild Cat Conservation Internship: Conduct vital research on jungle cat populations such as pumas and ocelots within the biodiverse Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve, using techniques like camera trapping and visual surveys to assist conservation efforts.
  • Conservation Internship: Set in the lush Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve, interns work on biodiversity surveys, camera trapping, and data analysis, contributing to the preservation of diverse species and supporting the reserve’s role as a key biological corridor.

Each GVI internship in Costa Rica combines fieldwork with professional development, offering a unique opportunity to advance your career while making a real difference in one of the world’s most ecologically significant locations.

Embracing the Experience

An internship in Costa Rica is more than just a line on your resume; it’s an opportunity for personal growth and cultural exchange. The experience of adapting to a new environment, coupled with the professional and life skills you’ll gain, will serve you long after the internship ends. Whether you choose a paid internship in Costa Rica or a volunteer position, the exposure to diverse challenges and opportunities will enrich your life and career in unimaginable ways.


Ready to start your journey? Dive into the world of internships in Costa Rica and prepare for an unforgettable adventure that combines learning, professional development, and fun in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!