Health and Safety Emergencies: (541) 737-7000

Sustainable Agricultural Sciences | Turrialba, Costa Rica

More photos of this internship may be found here.

Join this internationally-renown leader in sustainability, with particular emphasis on sustainable agriculture!  Research and initiatives cover a range of topics, including silvopastoral systems, integrated pest management, carbon-neutral dairy operation, cacao farming, and more.

Internship Start Dates:

  • Flexible start dates at the beginning of any academic term.  July and December will have limited field activities, as they are common vacation times for Costa Ricans.  Specific duties may vary with seasons.

Duration of Internship:

  • 10-12 weeks, minimum.

This well-respected international organization works towards sustainable agricultural management and natural resource conservation in Caribbean Rim countries  Headquartered in the agricultural province of Cartago, Costa Rica, this organization combines scientific research and exploration, graduate education programs, and outreach efforts to local communities to address broader issues of sustainability.

Exact job duties will vary based on current projects and intern candidate’s qualifications.

Examples of agricultural projects through CATIE have included (subject to change):

  • Organic Production and Silvopastoral Systems:
    • Organic fertilization
    • Integrated pest management
    • Silvopastoral systems
    • Carbon-neutral dairy operation
  • Cacao Production:
    • Collection of cacao
    • Cacao farming
    • Processing cacao
    • Research on cacao

Activities primarily take place at CATIE, and may include some time on nearby farms.

Academic Background:

Agricultural Sciences and related fields.

Skills / Experience:

Willingness to learn new skills and to take the time to learn them well.

Language Requirements:

Minimum of basic-intermediate level Spanish.  At a bare minimum, candidates should have Spanish proficiency equivalent to having recently and successfully completed first-year university-level Spanish.  Specific opportunities or projects may require a higher level of Spanish proficiency.

Other Requirements:

Willingness to work early in the morning

Moderate physical ability to be able to participate in activities such as preparing the land, trimming and pruning plants, and small building projects.  Interns will be working on farmlands can be uneven and on hillside slopes.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees: $525
  • International Travel: $800-950
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400*

* Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: covered in Host Site Fee
  • Food: $300 ($75/wk)
  • Local Transportation: $120 ($30/wk)
  • Recreation: $150 ($37.50/wk)
  • Personal Expenses: $120 ($30/wk)

Additional Expense Information

The Host Site Fees Includes:

  • Housing
  • Access to facilities and labs relevant to your project.
  • Administrative costs
  • On-site support

Housing in on-campus apartments are arranged by the host site.  It typically includes three bedrooms, a shared kitchen, solar area for drying clothes and bathroom.  Candidates should expect to have a shared bedroom, although they may have single-occupancy rooms.  Interns may need to supply their own basic items like bedding, kitchen utensils, etc.

Check out pictures from this internship.


Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

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

Basic Requirements

- See Qualifications and Requirements section