Summer Abroad Ag Science & Sustainability Internships


StatusPlanned for 2018

Info Session: 11/2/2017, 5-6pm, International Center 2119

Costa Rica—Ag Science & Sustainability

On Location

Costa Rica is the #1 destination in Latin America for U.S. students studying abroad (Open Doors). With some stunning views of Costa Rica’s rural countryside, Turrialba is a charming little town in the lush and beautiful Central Valley in Cartago province. Famous for being a white water rafting hotspot and base camp, this town lies 53 km east of the capital city San Jose and is an excellent place to tour the pre-Columbian ruins at Guayabo, or the Turrialba Volcano National Park. (Source)

This program is based at the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), in Turrialba, Costa Rica. CATIE is a regional center dedicated to research and education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Tour of CATIE Video (in Spanish)

CATIE photo gallery


Participants in will be housed at CATIE. Participants in will be housed at CATIE. All participants will be hosted in Centro American Apartments Complex. Each apartment has stove, refrigerator and basic cooking equipment.  Each apartment has three dorms and a shared bathroom. Dining area and laundry facility available.

UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging. Please note that elevators, air conditioners and other modern conveniences may not be available.


Meals are not provided as part of the program fees, but you have access to a kitchen, and there is a cafeteria (approx. $5 per meal) on site and restaurants in town


Below are samples of internships available. While there are many options for students with beginning (or no) Spanish, there are some internships that require intermediate to advanced level Spanish. Internship placements take place on a rolling basis, so students are encouraged to enroll early.

Track 1: Beginner Spanish recommended (completion of SPA 1 or equivalent)

  1. Organic Production and Silvopastoral Systems
    Organic fertilization, integrated pest management, silvopastoral systems, carbon neutral dairy operation.
    Location: CATIE Collection Area, Botanical Garden, and cattle ranch
  2. Small Scale Production and Sustainable Consumption
    Alternatives to conventional production, Fair Trade, consumption education.
    Location: CATIE Sustainability House and Schools at Turrialba
  3. Silvopastoral Systems
    Climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental payments services, and farm productivity.
    Location: CATIE Farm and GAMMA Building, Turrialba Area
  4. Applied Sustainability Research
    Resource use alternatives, sustainable consumption practices, sustainability education and global challenges.
    Location: Sustainability House and Botanical Garden at CATIE

Track 2: Intermediate to Advanced Spanish required (completion of SPA 21 or equivalent)

  1. Conservation of Genetic Material and Production
    Plant reproduction and propagation, seed bank management, interface with production and food security.
    Location: CATIE’s Banco de semillas, áreas de colecciones de café y cacao.
  2. Biotechnology of Coffee
    Micro-propagation processes, multiply the F1 coffee hybrids, somatic embryogenesis, cryopreservation of seeds and different vegetative propagules.
    Location: Biotechnology Laboratory at CATIE
  3. Biological Corridors and Biodiversity
    Monitoring, planning and governance for biological corridors.
    Location: Turrialba, CATIE and natural protected areas in Cartago Province
  4. Community-based Tourism
    Community enhancement, sustainable tourism, monitoring, good practices
    Location: CATIE and Mollejones and Santa Cruz communities (homestay part of the time.)
Excursions and Day Trips
  • CATIE and surrounding areas: Learn from classmates by visiting their internship program assignment.
  • Rawlings factory (It’s estimated that the Rawlings factory in Turrialba produces 1.8 million baseballs per year for the major leagues.)
  • Day trips, excursions and social activities will be scheduled during the 6 weeks
Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About Costa Rica

Currency: Costa Rican colon (CRC). Current exchange rate.

Language Spoken: The official and predominant language of Costa Rica is Spanish; the variety spoken there is a form of Central American Spanish.

Weather and Climate
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