a Artisan Chocolate Production | IE3 Global
Health and Safety Emergencies: (541) 737-7000

Artisan Chocolate Production | San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica.

More photos of this internship may be found here. Photo courtesy of Sibu Chocolate.

Founded by two master chocolatiers committed to making the highest quality chocolate, this internship provides the opportunity to learn about chocolate production from bean to bar (and bonbon!), to apply your culinary skills in a real-world setting, and help this business develop new products and production methods.

Internship Start Dates:

  • Flexible start dates at the beginning of each academic term.

Duration of Internship:

  • 10-12 weeks

Interns will work with the master chocolatiers who trained in France and Italy before cofounding this small, fair-trade, organic chocolate production company.  Their line of chocolates is created from start-to-finish in Costa Rica and includes flavors drawn from local ingredients and historical records written during the European conquest of the Americas.

Historically, cacao has been harvested cheaply in Central and South America and shipped to wealthier countries for further production and greater profit.  By contrast, this company’s business model is designed to give back to the local community and provide fair wages to the cacao growers in the birthplace of chocolate.

There is also has an environmental slant to their chocolate production.  In addition to using organic cacao, they have developed packaging made from cacao husks to replace plastic wrappers and work to source cacao as sustainably as possible to encourage habitat corridors for local wildlife.

Interns will work at the company’s San Isidro location, which includes a workshop, café, and small retail shop.

This internship is project-based, and the exact projects will vary depending on current business needs.  An example project may entail working with sugar alternatives in order to help develop a line of sugar-free chocolates.  Once that project is completed to the satisfaction of the business owners, future interns will undertake new projects, as defined by the needs of the host organization.

Interns will have access to the facilities to develop and test their ideas.  They will be expected to present quality results to the owners, so interns should expect to do thorough research in advance of embarking on their internship abroad, as they are will be expected to arrive with knowledge of the subject on which their project is based.  Potential projects will be discussed in advance of the internship, so that the intern has time to prepare.

Academic Background:

Completed coursework in culinary arts, food science, or related fields is preferred

Skills / Experience:

Basic chocolate experience is preferred, for example, tempering and molding chocolate, preparing ganache and caramel.

Completion of basic pastry class or module on working with chocolate is preferred.

Language Requirements:

Minimum of basic Spanish skills are required, and comfort with conversational Spanish is strongly recommended.

Spanish skills help facilitate daily life and some job duties.  To illustrate, language skills will help interns secure local housing, shop for groceries, commute independently via public transportation, and communicate with roommates, coworkers, and customers.  Workshop and kitchen staff are Costa Rican and speak Spanish.

Other Requirements:

Valid Food Handler’s card.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3Global Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees: $0
  • International Travel: $800-950
  • Visa Fees: $0*
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400**

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: Costs vary depending on housing situation.  Approximately $448/month for a hostel.
  • Food: $560 ($140/wk)
  • Local Transportation: $400 ($100/wk)
  • Recreation: $75 ($18.75/wk)
  • Personal Expenses: $45 ($11.25/wk)

Budgeting Note: Estimated costs are based on typical internship-related costs and a modest standard of living. Each intern’s costs will vary based on lifestyle choices (eating out vs. cooking, taking public transportation vs. taxis) and recreational spending (travelling on days off, hobbies, etc.).

* No visa required for U.S. citizens

** Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage

Some basic guidance related to locating housing will be provided, and interns are responsible for locating their own housing.  Past interns have stayed in hostels.


Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

- See Qualifications/Requirements section