Sustainable Agriculture

When: April - July / August – December; 4 or 5 months or full 9-month positions, annually. Applications accepted on a rolling basis with intention to fill the position at least 6 months prior to the internship start date.
Where: University of Georgia (UGA) Costa Rica Campus, San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica
Who is eligible: Applications will be considered for students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate study in agriculture or for people who have at least 18 months relevant work experience. Graduate students are also eligible to apply, and thesis research may become part of the internship.

Job Description:

UGA Costa Rica offers an annual sustainable agriculture internship at the UGA Costa Rica Campus in San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Agriculture interns will help manage a one acre vegetable plot as well as the animals on the plot and at a nearby stable at UGA’s Costa Rica campus in the rural mountain town of San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. The intern will be actively involved in all aspects of the growing process, including composting, bed preparation, trellising, seeding, transplanting, weeding, mulching, harvesting, record keeping, and future planning. In particular, the intern will be responsible for coordinating production with the fluctuating menu demands of the campus dining hall. This requires direct coordination and planning with the Kitchen Department Head on the UGA Costa Rica campus staff. Other activities include, but are not limited to: tending to the animals on site including the chickens, pigs, and cows (daily milking); leading farm and milking/biodigester tours for student groups and guests of UGA Costa Rica’s Ecolodge San Luis, and supervising student volunteers in Service Learning courses.

The agriculture intern may also be asked to assist with agriculture-related courses offered as part of education abroad programs at the UGA Costa Rica campus. The agriculture intern may also be asked to assist the UGA Costa Rica campus maintenance staff with annual or special projects, particularly those related to farm infrastructure maintenance.

Prior to beginning the position, the agriculture intern will meet with the UGA Costa Rica Director and College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences faculty and/or staff to review the internship expectations and desired products. During the time in Costa Rica, the intern will provide an e-mail update every 2 weeks to the Director and to the campus General Manager to review progress, help answer questions, etc. The intern should also schedule regular update meetings with the campus General Manager and department head of maintenance at UGA Costa Rica.

The UGA Costa Rica Director will facilitate a mandatory pre-internship orientation, and the UGA Costa Rica Academic Programs Manager and/or UGA Costa Rica campus General Manager will provide an in-country orientation to the campus and facilities during the first days following arrival to the UGA Costa Rica campus.

Sustainable agriculture interns will deliver a comprehensive report of all work carried out during the internship to the UGA Costa Rica Director within the week of departure at the end of the internship.

Long term goals:

The intern will gain a hands-on experience with concepts of sustainability and organic agriculture. He/she is expected to communicate and extend this knowledge to others on campus and in the local community, as well at the University of Georgia in Athens. As the farm becomes an interactive part of campus, the intern must be willing to commit to experimenting and contributing new information about sustainability and farming in this part of the tropics. This information must be extended to students, campus staff, future agriculture interns, visitors to UGA Costa Rica of all ages and backgrounds, and residents of the local community. In addition to managing daily responsibilities, the intern will be responsible for (in communication with previous interns) developing a work plan for the farm based upon the length of his/her stay. This could include introducing new crops to enhance the diversity of the farm, new methods of growing crops to increase output while maintaining/increasing sustainability, or expansion of farm size and amount of produce brought to the kitchen.

Desired Skills:

Applicants for the sustainable agriculture internship will be considered based on the following skills and criteria:

  • Must have proven ability as a self-starter, able to carry out a project with little direct supervision;
  • At least six months vegetable gardening experience;
  • Demonstrated interest in organic agriculture, animal husbandry, and sustainable agriculture systems;
  • Degree in agricultural sciences preferred;
  • Good communication skills. English fluency and conversational Spanish required;
  • Excellent mental and physical conditioning required.

Compensation and Expenses:

  • This is a full-time internship position, 40-hours per week.
  • As in-kind compensation, UGA Costa Rica will provide room and board at the UGA Costa Rica campus, weekly laundry service at the UGA Costa Rica campus, Internet access at the UGA Costa Rica campus, and workspace with computer access at the UGA Costa Rica campus.
  • UGA Costa Rica will provide logistical support services to assist the sustainable agriculture intern for arranging ground transportation and off-campus lodging within Costa Rica.
  • The sustainable agriculture intern will be responsible for international airfare, in-country ground transportation for personal travel, fees for off-campus activities and entrance fees (e.g., zip lines, rafting, etc.), off-campus lodging and meals, exit tax upon leaving Costa Rica, personal phone calls, and all personal items.
  • Sustainable agriculture interns are required to obtain and provide proof of supplementary international travel health insurance for the duration of the internship in Costa Rica. Upon request, UGA Costa Rica will provide contact information for the insurance company that provides service to UGA study abroad programs.
  • Should this internship be arranged for academic course credit, the intern will be responsible for associated tuition and fees and paperwork. The UGA Costa Rica Director will provide an official acceptance letter for the interns.

Application Procedure and Deadline:

To apply for the sustainable agriculture internship, complete the application form.

Sustainable Agriculture Internship Application.pdf