This program has been suspended for fall 2021.
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Virtual Internship in Sustainable Community Development

Gain professional, intercultural experiences interning at a Panamanian sustainable community development organization or NGO seeking to create positive change.

At a Glance




2 semesters Spanish

Courses taught in

Spanish, English


Aug 30 – Nov 19

Online Component

Aug 30 – Nov 19

Program Countries


Program Base


Critical Global Issue of Study

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality 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 seminar will focus on the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in sustainable community development. Panama is known as the gateway to the Americas and Panama City is a regional base for international NGOs, offering a variety of internship possibilities.

Your program will begin with an introduction to the broader cultural, social, and political context of Panama, workplace norms, and the ethics of interning in another country in an online context. Then, you will complete an online internship in community development, education, indigenous rights, agritourism, or another field related to your interests and career goals.

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 socioeconomic, political, and cultural concepts of community well-being. 
  • Complete an internship with a local community organization or NGO. 
  • Develop your professional Spanish-language skills. 
  • Participate in weekly group reflection and assessments led by your academic director. 
  • Build your résumé and professional experience in an internship related to your interests. 


Two semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent. Online seminar will take place in English. Virtual internship placement will be according to student Spanish language level.



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 the 12 weeks.  
  • Engage in synchronous reflections and discussions with your cohort led by the academic director. 

Virtual Internship & Seminar

Career Paths

  • Director of a sustainable energy program

  • Immigrant labor rights advocate

  • Conservation biology professor

  • Manage a community garden

Faculty & Staff

Panama: Virtual Internship in Sustainable Community Development

Alyson Dagang, 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.

Sample Student Internship: Few for Change

Read more about the internship here. Few for Change is a non-profit founded by SIT alumni. Few for Change is a nonprofit organization that works to increase educational opportunities for students, currently operating in the indigenous Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé region of Panama.