Programs: Social Justice and Development Internship

«I don't know of any other program that puts as much emphasis on community-and truly living in a community, and working to give as much as you receive. I also don't know of any other program that trusts its students to take on this challenge for themselves. The experience of building deep relationships and discovering how I can best work with people has taught me more than I can express, pushed me beyond all limits I thought I had and made me stronger than I could have imagined

Julia Sendor, Williams College
Semester Intership Program
Spring 2007.


This hands-on program offers a structured internship that helps to integrate theoretical concepts and real-world experience. Students will move from the classroom theory to actual practice in their internship placement, learning how communities are seeking to create lasting social change.

The Social Justice and Development Internship Program is divided into three blocks:

- Block I: 5 weeks - Spanish course and Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development Course
- Block II: 8 weeks - Structured Internship
- Block III: 1 week - Written work, oral presentations, final evaluations and reentry presentation/discussion

2016: dates / fechas
- Feb 1 - May 6
- Sep 5 - December 9

- To apply click HERE
2015: dates / fechas
- January 26 - May 1
- August 31 - December 4

- To apply click HERE

Member - Forum on Education Abroad

GSA Partner


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«ICADS language professors are among the best I have encountered. I sat in on an advanced class and was deeply impressed by how the professors moved students through complex sentence structures both paying attention to teaching grammar and spoken language while making the class fun and engaging. ICADS, through its extensive network of relations with social organizations, also provides amazing internship experiences. I highly recommend ICADS to my students at Swarthmore College.»

-Miguel Díaz-Barriga
Professor and Chair Sociology Antropology and Latin American Studies, Swarthmore College.

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More info


Check out our FAQ's to find out the differences between the Internship Program and the Field Program.


Program Description

Block I (5 weeks): Spanish and Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development Semester Course
Study in San Jose and the Central Valley. Students live in San Jose with Costa Rican families and study Spanish for four hours daily in the morning. In the afternoon students learn about different topics pertinent to the Central American context such as globalization, health care systems, environmental issues, and history, among others. A constantly evolving reading anthology, expert guest speakers and local field trips are the tools used in getting at these topical issues. One week in Block I is spent in Nicaragua where students are able to see first hand the current economic and political conditions in Nicaragua, and are challenged to compare and contrast its reality with neighboring Costa Rica. Students prepare for their field internships during this first month by choosing the country in which they will work and by planning their particular internships in consultation with faculty advisors who are experts in the culture of the country chosen and in the students’ areas of interest.

Block II (8 weeks): Structured internships
After the first block in which staff closely evaluate students’ specific educational needs, interests, and Spanish proficiency, students are placed in an individualized internship to gain experience in urban or rural areas in a field of their interest. Only one student is placed at each internship site. ICADS offers over 65 structured internships and research opportunities in Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the areas of environment, education, health, development, and wildlife conservation, and women’s studies. Internship placements are determined based on a number of factors, including student interests, previous experience, formal education, and level of Spanish competency. Internships with stricter requirements include those in the medical field and all placements in Nicaragua.

Block III (1 week): Written work and oral presentations
Upon completion of the eight-week internship, students return to ICADS to complete written work and oral presentations, while processing their experiences as a group and together with their faculty advisors (including a reentry workshop).
Students have done internships including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Assisting in a regeneration project at the Iguana Reintroduction Farm with the Bribri indigenous tribe.
  • Working at Las Hormiguitas, a support center for children and adolescents who work in the streets of Matagalpa, Nicaragua.
  • Working with women and children who are victims of violence at a non-profit organization in San Ramon, Costa Rica.
  • Setting up a workshop on birth control and sexually transmitted disease prevention for mothers in the community of Rio Azul, San Jose.
  • Turtle conservation work in the Cahuita National Park.
  • Assisting a healthcare workers union in Nicaragua.
  • Working with a campesino small farmer’s organization to promote sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Working in a soup kitchen for children and developing a worm composting project for waste management in the same organization.
  • Participating in medical brigades and workshops with an institute of psychologists.
  • Creating a publicity documentary for a Nicaraguan farmers’ cooperative agro-eco tourism project

- Credits
- Cost
- Apply now!

More Info
To request additional information please use our contact form. To APPLY for this program click HERE.