Monteverde, Costa Rica

Global Internship

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Information for term Global Internship

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Aug 12 – Dec 14, 2019 (18 weeks)

Application Deadline

June 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 5 – Nov 30, 2020 (12 weeks)*

Application Deadline

November 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • Dates: Jan 6 – May 11, 2019 (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:

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 CIEE’s Global Competence Course, verifying a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning.

  • 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.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.


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Sample Activities

  • Tour innovative green industries, from coffee farms to wind farms
  • Observe monkeys and more on a trek through a magical cloud forest preserve
  • Kick up your heels in a folkloric or Latin dance class
  • Whip up authentic specialties in a Costa Rican cooking class
  • Play some footy in a soccer match with local peers
  • Get artsy in a creative arts & crafts workshop with local artists



Field Trip & Day Trips

For 7 nights and 6 days, travel to a variety of interesting sites to learn about biodiversity (fall) or sustainability (spring). Enjoy hikes, hands-on activities, and talks by resource people, plus time off for fun and relaxation.

Embark on a 3-hour night hike along the trails of the beguiling Bajo del Tigre. Catch a rare glimpse of nocturnal species in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.
Get your head in the clouds! Study forest ecology and natural history up close on this 4-hour day hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Spanning six distinct ecological zones, the preserve helps to protect birds and butterflies, mammals, insects, and thousands of species of plants.

Tour a sustainable coffee farm and learn about the entire process of coffee production.

Learn all about renewable energy sources while touring hydro, geo, solar and wind power plants.

Multiday Internship Project

Work and learn alongside biologists and other professionals to help protect endangered sea turtles.

Live, learn, and work with an authentic indigenous community in the Talamanca mountains.

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 four weeks before the application deadline and receive $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 2019 18 weeks Rolling Admissions Aug 12, 2019 Dec 14, 2019


Spring 2020 18 weeks Nov 1, 2019 Jan 6, 2019 May 11, 2019


Fall 2020 12 weeks Jun 1, 2020 Sep 5, 2020* Nov 30, 2020*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?