Virtual Internship in Environment, Conservation, and Ecosystems

Gain professional, intercultural experience interning with an Ecuadorian nongovernmental organization working on environmental and conservation issues.

At a Glance




2 semesters Spanish, Relevant previous coursework


Sep 14 ‎– Dec 4

Program Base


Critical Global Issue of Study

Climate & Environment

Climate & Environment Icon


This virtual internship and online seminar will focus on the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working on research, conservation, and environmental issues. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, however it is also facing environmental challenges such as deforestation, pollution, overfishing, and resource depletion.  

Your program will begin with an introduction to the environmental, social, and political context of Ecuador; workplace norms; and the ethics of working with an NGO in another country. Then, you will complete an online internship focused on environmental issues in Ecuador, such as: online environmental campaigns, planning environmental education programs, monitoring key habitats and species, environmental activism, indigenous rights, or another issue related to your interests and career goals.  

Your program will be academically rigorous and will cover topics such as ecosystems functioning, key flora and fauna, impacts of the mining and petroleum industries, deforestation and fragmentation, agroindustry, pollution, and others. You will be expected to devote 180 hours to this program, including 1012 hours a week “on” the internship site, 24 hours in synchronous discussions led by the academic director, and up to 25 hours writing six progress reports and a final paper. Virtual attendance is required for all discussions and oral presentations. 


  • Engage in discussions about environmental campaigns, environmental education programs, habitats and species conservation, and environmental activism.
  • Complete a virtual internship with an Ecuadorian community organization or NGO.
  • Develop your professional Spanish-language skills.
  • Participate in weekly group reflection and assessments led by the academic director.
  • Build your résumé and professional experience with an internship related to your interests.


Two semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent. Previous college-level coursework and/or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields is highly recommended for this virtual internship.



The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • Consider the ethical implications and consequences of interning in another culture.
  • Describe, analyze, and synthesize the internship experience in a paper and oral presentation.
  • Spend 10-12 hours a week “on” the internship site over 12 weeks.
  • Engage in synchronous reflections and discussions with your cohort led by the academic director.

Internship & Seminar

Internship & Seminar – syllabus
(ITRN 3000 / 4 credits)

Career Paths

  • Researcher on ornithological projects at the Jocotoco Foundation, Ecuador

  • Forestry / carbon sequestration manager / advisor at La Hesperia Reserve, Ecuador’s Western Cloud Forest

  • Researcher on poison dart frogs with National Geographic Society, Peru

Faculty & Staff

Ecuador: Virtual Internship in Environment, Conservation, and Ecosystems

Xavier Silva, PhD

Discover the Possibilities


    The tuition for this online internship program is $1,950. Financial aid may apply. Contact your study abroad office or SIT Admissions for more information.