This program has been suspended for fall 2021.
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Virtual Internship in Environment, Conservation & 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

Courses taught in

Spanish, English


Sep 13 – Dec 3

Online Component

Sep 13 – Dec 3

Program Countries


Program Base


Critical Global Issue of Study

Climate & Environment

Climate & Environment Icon


Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

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 approximately 12-15 hours a week both on synchronous and asynchronous course activities. Synchronous activities may include orientation sessions, seminar country and theme specific lectures, initial meetings with your internship advisor, group reflection sessions, and project presentations. Frequency, duration, and scheduling of synchronous activities will be determined the first week of the course in conversation with participants to find mutually convenient times. In the event that a student cannot attend a live session, every effort will be made to provide a recording, transcript, or summary for off-line viewing.

Asynchronous activities may include seat time at your internship, break-out groups, check-ins with your Academic Director, internship coordinator and your internship mentor, writing progress reports, discussion boards, completing assignments and a final paper, and using audio or video to record reflections on the internship experience. Students are required to demonstrate a strong online presence by participating in group discussions, answering questions, and interacting with course participants and staff.


  • 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. Virtual internship and online seminar will take place in Spanish. Previous college-level coursework or background in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields is highly recommended.



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.

Virtual Internship & Seminar

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 & Ecosystems

Xavier Silva, PhD

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

    The tuition for this program is $1,950. You may be able to use financial aid from your home school, if applicable. Contact your study abroad, advising or financial aid office for more information. SIT Admissions is also available for questions.