Internships Program

Internship program structure

The ten-week program consists of an intensive Spanish language-training course, and a structured internship experience.
The program is administered in two phases:

Phase one

Language training and internship preparation (4 weeks flexible)

A major part of the program is its language component. During this first four weeks, students are given intensive Spanish language training to help them prepare to enter the field. The idea is to boost language skill level and confidence by providing an informal but rigorous training course in the Spanish language that consists of four and ½ hours daily of structured conversation and grammar. The classroom work is enhanced by half-day field trips, special lectures and participation in planned cultural activities and events. Spanish is always used to the greatest extent possible in all activities outside the classroom.

It is important to note that the Spanish instruction phase of the program is typically four weeks, but is flexible. Students with a high skill level in Spanish may choose to spend less time in the classroom in order to have a longer period in the field. Conversely, those who feel they need more language preparation before beginning the internship have the option to continue with classes for an additional week or two in order to better prepare. This would however, shorten the internship phase of the program. Each student is encouraged to set his/her own learning priorities.

Concurrent with the language training, students are counseled and advised on all issues relevant to the internship experience. Each student is presented with a series of options based on expressed interests. Each opportunity is evaluated by both student and supervisor along a series of dimensions relevant to the student’s needs. We work carefully with each individual student to understand her/his particular educational and personal goals, needs and interests and work diligently to help each student identify the right country, community and work setting to allow each to meet his/her own personal objectives.

Phase Two

The Internship Experience (6 weeks flexible)

By the end of the first phase, students are ready to begin the internship. All preparations are in place for a new family, sometimes a new country and always a new community. The internship is usually six weeks long, but can be customized to provide either a longer or shorter period in the field.

As the internship work begins, we remain available to students at all times. Guided supervision and monitoring of each student’s environment is our highest priority during this phase of the program. The goal is solve quickly any problems that occur along the way. We work to help students adjust both logistically and socially to their new setting and facilitate any changes or adjustments that may be necessary in the course of the internship. We are attentive to any potential health issues that may arise or to anything that could make a student feel either insecure or ineffective, either on the worksite, or with the family.

During their time in the field, students are expected to keep daily journal entries that reflect on the nature of the work itself as well as perceptions of integration into communities and personal growth experiences. These journal logs will eventually serve as a point of reference for a final presentation where each will have the opportunity to share her/his work experiences with other students.

Areas of internships and volunteer

Our internship and volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to the following areas:

Women Issues

Physical therapy

Community Deployment


Peace studies


Living Arrangements

Students live with local Costa Rican families. Home stay living arrangements serve to facilitate integration into the culture and accelerate language learning. Students often rate their home stay as one of the most wonderful aspects of their time in Costa Rica.

The host family accepts each new student as a new family member and includes the student in all family activities. Families are carefully screened, and accepted for their “openness” and willingness to embrace students of all races, religions, nationalities, and gender preferences.

Each family provides the student with two healthy daily meals and laundry service. Family members will help with homework and may share many of their own views of their country, stimulating conversation and language fluency.

We work with families who specialize in all types of cooking, including vegetarian and vegan menus. While the family home stay experience is highly recommended, we can make alternative living arrangements if a student should so desire (prices vary).

Internship costs

Program Dates

For the Gap Year programs, the dates are open and flexible. Students may arrange to begin the program at any time but should try to begin on the first day of the month they choose.

Additionally, the staff at CIME can plan, coordinate and facilitate individualized programs that fall within our internship areas, in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We can accommodate both small and large groups.

We have the resources and contacts necessary to create affordable specialized programs in many fields including but not limited to, diverse types of health care, teaching opportunities (including special needs education), environmental programs, as well as many others.

Evaluation and Credit

Any student who wishes to receive academic credit for work completed at CIME must consult with the appropriate administrative office at his/her university. Academic credit is not granted by CIME but rather by the participant’s home school.

Upon request, students will receive a certificate of participation detailing the number of classroom hours completed and an overall written performance evaluation of the internship work.

| 2023 |

  • Winter: From Monday, January 2nd to Friday, March 10th.
  • Spring: From Monday, January 30th to Friday, April 7th.
  • Summer: From Monday, June 5th to Friday, August 11th.
  • Fall: From Monday, September 4th to Friday, November 10th.

*These dates are open and flexible.

| 2024 |

  • Winter: From Monday, January 8th to Friday, March 15th.
  • Spring: From Monday, January 29th to Friday, April 5th.
  • Summer: From Monday, June 3th to Friday, August 9th.
  • Fall: From Monday, September 2nd to Friday, November 8th.

*These dates are open and flexible.

| 2025 |

  • Winter: From Monday, January 6th to Friday, March 14th.
  • Spring: From Monday, January 27th to Friday, April 4th.
  • Summer: From Monday, June 2nd to Friday, August 8th.
  • Fall: From Monday, September 1st to Friday, November 7th.

*These dates are open and flexible.

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Get in touch today with our admissions department, you can’t miss this experience.

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