Monteverde, Costa Rica

Global Internship

Apply by 5/1 and get $400 off!
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Information for term Global Internship

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2020
  • Dates: Aug 17 – Dec 19, 2020 (18 weeks)


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What’s your passion? Choose your own internship track and let your learning run wild, from the cloud forest to the sea.

Learn the ropes and gain critical skills for a range of sustainability careers — all while living the ultimate green lifestyle at CIEE’s new Global Institute – Monteverde, a 55-acre, eco-friendly campus nestled next to the cloud forest. Live in a bungalow, learn from the locals, and practice your rapidly expanding Spanish while working in an internship tailored to your choice of topics. You can also choose an optional two week homestay experience to further immerse yourself in the local culture.

Sustainable Landscaping

Get in on the ground floor by helping to create sustainable landscaping plans to promote biodiversity on the CIEE Global Institute campus. What will you do? Design native plant gardens for butterflies, hummingbirds and bats, cultivate plants in the greenhouse and field, or conduct horticultural experiments with native species. Build garden paths, eco-friendly furniture or features. Produce videos or booklets, design signs and interactive educational materials to spread the word.

Climate-Smart Livestock Production

Emissions come from more than just cars! Here you’ll work to lower the carbon footprint from dairy cattle and pig production at the CIEE Global Institute Farm. In the greenhouse and out in the field, you’ll experiment with emissions-lowering forages for dairy cattle, monitor food sources and record data on gas emissions and water quality. You’ll also work with the farm biodigester and test waste water as a fertilizer for crops.

Sustainable Coffee and Crop Production

Imagine a campus with 100% farm-to-dining food service. That’s the ultimate goal and interns play a key role. You’ll work as a diverse team to expand organic, sustainable coffee, fruit and vegetable crop production on the CIEE Global Institute farm. Along with cultivating and caring for plants, you might conduct experiments to optimize compost quality, investigate natural products for pest and pathogen control, or explore low-impact irrigation effectiveness on plant growth.

Carbon-Neutral Blue Flag Certification

Your mission: Help the CIEE Global Institute-Monteverde campus balance its carbon budget and reach a net carbon emission rate of zero. (If achieved, it can then apply for carbon-neutral certification, advancing Costa Rica toward the goal of national carbon neutrality!) Are you up to the challenge? On this track interns work directly with a skilled professional in carbon accounting. Along with monitoring factors like fossil-fuel powered vehicles, student/staff international flights and livestock production, you’ll also assess carbon inventories of standing biomass on the farm, which serve as a carbon sinks to help neutralize the campus emissions.

The Take-Aways


    CIEE knows that interns need a balanced experience that includes correlating activities, workshops, and seminars.


    Have a better sense of what you want to study in college or even pursue as a career.

  • Certificate

    A Certificate of Completion

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • said their level of independence increased


Location & Culture

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Explore science and sustainability among the natural wonders of Costa Rica, one of the world’s most unique, innovative, and wild countries on the planet.

You have to see this site to believe it. Set right next to the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, CIEE’s new Global Institute is an amazing 155-acre campus complete with a working organic farm, open-air classroom and multiple science labs. Dorms are bungalow style and the sustainable dining hall serves fresh produce straight from the farm. Although you’d never need to leave this eco-friendly preserve, there’s much to explore on excursions and adventures planned to round out your experience.

Set more than 4,500 ft. above sea level, Monteverde (or “Green Mountain”) finds itself enveloped with fog and clouds year-round. The moisture trickles from tree branches down to the organisms below, helping to sustain an amazingly rich ecosystem. With 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, and 2,500 varieties of plants, it’s no wonder National Geographic called this “the jewel in the crown of cloud forests.”

Far below the mountains are small coastal towns offering pristine beaches, basic shops and restaurants, and tidal shores ripe for exploration.

Did you know?

Costa Rica is the happiest and most sustainable country on Earth, according to the World Economic Forum. The country generates nearly all its electricity renewably and plans to be carbon neutral by 2021.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog.


  • Housing

    Shared rooms in bungalows on campus and an optional two week homestay experience.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities & Excursions




Spend a few days exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its well-preserved Spanish architecture, stunning skyline, and surrounding volcanoes.


Take a bus to southern Costa Rica where you will stay in the beautiful town of Manuel Antonio on the edge of Costa Rica's most-visited National Park. Experience white sand beaches, lush rain forest, and the local wildlife by taking a guided tour, kayaking, or horseback riding!


Take a bus to northern Costa Rica to visit the Volcano Tenoio National Park. Home to the spectacular Catarata Rio Celeste (Blue River Waterfalls), this park is also famous for the tropical forest shrouding the mountain and harboring wildlife, including tapirs and jaguars.


Take a bus to the northern province of Guanacaste to stay near the Wildlife Refuge Junquillal, where white sand beaches stretch out against the backdroop of tropical dry forests. Relax on the edge of the gentle Pacific Ocean Waters, wade through estuaries, hike through forest, and view marine and terrestrial biodiversity.


Explore tiny Mayan villages that dot the countryside around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The lake, formed in an extinct crater, is ringed by volcanoes and a stunning mountainous landscape. The tiny towns, most only reached by boat, have distinctive textiles, arts, and crafts as well as dialects that set them apart.


Take a 2-night excursion to the Rincón de la Vieja National Park where you can hike forests, visit hot springs, or relax against a spectacular backdrop of forested mountains and volcanoes.

  • Take cooking classes and learn how to prepare traditional Costa Rican dishes, such as tamales, gallo pinto, and empanadas de chiverre.
  • Learn traditional handicrafts such as wood carving, sewing and embroidery, and weaving from local craftsmen and women.
  • Take classes on salsa, merengue, and other common Latin dances.
  • Attend a local poetry session and hear historical and

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

What People are Saying

  • Taking a gap year was the best decision that I could have made before heading off to college. I have come out a more mature, open-minded, culturally aware, and ultimately happier person. I entered college with a sense of accomplishment for already having spent a year in transition and I find that it is already paying off both socially and academically. If anyone is considering taking a gap year, the answer should be yes!

    Kira F., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: December 1
Contact CIEE for more information


High school graduates in good academic standing.
Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
Students must be 18 years or older at the time of their departure.
No previous language experience required.

Application Fee


You can create a duo program by combining any two CIEE Gap Year Abroad semesters and get 10% off the second semester.

Apply to a Fall Semester or Academic Year term by our 5/1 priority deadline and get $400 off the cost of your program

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Fall 2020 18 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 17, 2020 Dec 19, 2020


Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?