Summer is the most flexible time in a student-athlete’s schedule and our Playa Flamingo Internships are the perfect opportunity to have an immersive international experience while continuing to train for your sport. Students in this program intern 4 days a week, complete a weekly service project under the supervision of our full-time staff, and adventure on weekend excursions to some of Costa Rica’s most popular natural landscapes.
2020 Dates Coming Soon!
Flamingo Internship is open to ALL majors!
Live just blocks away from one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches
Enjoy the amenities of our three-acre campus which includes a basketball/volleyball gym, strength and conditioning facility, yoga studio, classrooms, kitchen, and spacious dormitories
Make a lasting impact on the local community through your internship and community service work
Coach your sport to disadvantaged youth at SAA’s community sports clinics
Wildlife Rescue/ Rehabilitation
Students choose from a variety of internships offered in Playa Flamingo depending on their interests and academic focus. Local staff will assist with the placement process and will be available on site for support throughout the program. Students wishing to complete the internship for academic credit may do so as well. In addition to interning four days a week, students will participate in weekly service-learning projects, have dedicated time for workouts and training, and travel to some of Costa Rica’s most attractive destinations.
Students stay at our Flamingo Campus, located in the province of Guanacaste. Our campus is equipped with a strength/conditioning facility, yoga studio, basketball gym, student lounge area, cafeteria, staff apartments, and air conditioned dormitories. The whole campus is WiFi accessible. Breakfast and dinner are provided daily in the cafeteria. And the campus is about a 10 minute walk from both Playa Flamingo and the small beach town of Brasilito.
You can maintain your training using any of the facilities on campus. Your day-to-day schedule will include free time, so you can incorporate workouts as you like. You will have additional opportunities to coach local youth either on the campus or within the local community.
This program includes two pre-planned group excursions lead by SAA staff. One is a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park known for its phenomenal beaches and array of Costa Rican wildlife. The second excursion is to the town of La Fortuna where you will zipline through the rainforest, hike Volcano Arenal, and soak tired muscles in the world’s largest natural hot springs!
These are some of our selected internships to give you an idea of what’s available in Flamingo. The organizations listed below are sample internship sites and final placement will depend on professional experience, Spanish fluency, and availability. We are also able to work with students interested in a custom internship. Contact us for more information!
Social Work & Community Services: Interns will work with a network of organizations dedicated to providing social services within distinct sectors of Costa Rican society, each with different needs. Social work internships focus on caring for children in underprivileged and high social risk communities.
CEPIA is a non-profit organization involved in social and community services. They offer free programs such as after-school activities, psychological and legal support, professional trainings, development of micro-business and social enterprises, education for youth at high risk, sports programs, and more.
Wildlife Rescue/ Rehabilitation: Interns work within a network of local non-profit organizations and foundations that are committed to the well-being of local wildlife and the development of sustainable environmental practices.
Monkey Park is a non-profit foundation that provides a safe environment for the rescue and rehabilitation of indigenous wildlife in Guanacaste. Monkey Park strives to nurture a natural environment for the animals and local flora while also providing educational and service opportunities for visitors.
Education: Interns work directly with local teachers through a number of different roles including teaching English, helping students with homework, providing additional tutoring and assisting with recreational activities.
Escuela Brasilito is the only public elementary school serving the small seaside community of Brasilito. Following an earthquake that damaged their school building, the school is now housed in a large gymnasium structure where the classes are separated by partitions. Though understaffed and without many resources, the school is committed to serving the community and providing a welcoming educational space for Brasilito children.
Hospitality Management: The province of Guanacaste is one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist areas. Interns will work with various stakeholders in the local tourism economy including local hotels and condominiums.
Paradise Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa is a locally owned beachfront hotel. It is one of Costa Rica’s ecotourism resorts and implements best practice in water use, energy use, waste management, purchasing policies, and the protection of flora and fauna.
Submit completed Online Application Form
Interview with SAA staff member
Approval from university if from a non-affiliate partner school
Submit Supplemental item(s): Current resume
Upon admission to the program, you will connect with our site director for more information about the internship placement process.
Program Cost: $2,995
Housing at SAA Flamingo Campus dorms
Breakfast and dinner daily
Weekend Excursions to Volcano Arenal for hiking, zip lining, and hot springs
Strength and conditioning workouts
All service-learning activities
International Health Insurance through GeoBlue
SAA program T-shirt
Roundtrip airfare to Liberia International Airport (LIR)
Passport and associated fees if you do not already have one
Lunch, snacks, souvenirs, and optional entertainment expenses
The entire experience was one massive highlight. The work experience was really great. I think that's what stands out the most. I enjoyed getting to use my skills in a new environment and meet new people. I really really loved working at Monkey Park.
- Matt Higgins, SAA 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the internship placement process entail?
After you are accepted to the program, you will set up a phone call with the in-country program director to learn more about the specific internships available. You will share your interests, academic background, and professional experience and will be matched accordingly. We encourage you to apply as early as possible for priority placement.
Is there a foreign language requirement?
Our programs are built to accommodate students who speak no Spanish at all, fluent speakers, and anyone in between. One of many factors in determining your internship placement will be your Spanish speaking ability.
Do I need to get any vaccinations?
No, you are not required to have any vaccinations to travel to Costa Rica.
What’s the weather like during the summer months?
June and July are considered the rainy season in Costa Rica. Temperatures remain high (mid 90s) during the day, and rain is sporadic, usually falling in the afternoon or early evening hours.