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Study Abroad Programs & Internships

Henry Wells, Cornell 2012, assisting Mexican NGO to build stoves for indigenous women leading to improved health.

Henry Wells (2012) assisting Mexican NGO in building better-designed stoves for indigenous women leading to improved health.

Henry Wells, Cornell 2012, stove for Mexican indigenous women.

End result - stove for Mexican indigenous women.

An international experience is not only a core requirement for a BS in IARD, but it's also an exciting opportunity! Finding the right fit can take time, so plan ahead and do lots of research. The internship can be arranged through the Cornell Abroad or the CALS Student Exchange programs, all of which are credit bearing. Some students do it this way, especially those who have financial aid, because financial aid will pay all the costs. For students who don't have financial aid, these programs can be expensive. IP-CALS encourages students who don't have financial aid or don't need credit to consider hands-on field internships that are not part of the Cornell Abroad or the CALS Student Exchange programs. To help place students in field internships, IP-CALS works directly with organizations working overseas such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, international agricultural research centers (e.g. CGIAR centers), Kellogg Foundation-funded projects in Mexico, private companies, and other institutions with which faculty are already engaged. The internship can occur in a developing, emerging, or advanced country depending on the student's career path and other factors already mentioned, such as whether the student needs credit and/or receives financial aid. Students undertaking an IP-developed internship do so in summer- or semester-long affiliations. Upon completion of his/her internship, every student is required to complete a web-based survey and write a reflection paper which is posted on the IP-CALS website as a guide for other students - see below.


Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)Several countries

Students work closely with FAO in-country staff and national programs. Applications are sent out in late January and students read the job descriptions and apply to the ones they like. Students are selected by videoconference interview with FAO staff. These are excellent internships for students wishing to get valuable experience working with FAO. They provide a per diem in country for any field trips during the assignment. Travel costs are not included.

  • Several countries including: Gabon, Sri Lanka, and Cuba
  • Summer
Kellogg FoundationMexico

These excellent programs are presently available with some Kellogg foundation funding. Students undertake these programs after completing the IARD6010 two-week trip to Chiapas in Mexico in the summer. Students get assigned to a Kellogg funded project in this Mexican State. Knowledge of Spanish is essential and taking a Spanish conversation class in the spring is encouraged. Students choose programs during the early Spring IARD4940 class and develop links with their programs before they leave for the 6010 trip in June. Home stays encouraged.

  • Chiapas, Mexico
  • Summer
Cornell Global Health ProgramTanzania

This is an excellent 8-week summer program in Moshi, Tanzania. There are home stays. Half the time is spent working with Tanzanian students on a project and the rest with a hands on experience with a local NGO. We still need to develop some programs in agriculture. Applications are on-line before October 31st 2013 for the next summer.

Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD)Several countries

Founded in 1995, Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) enhances the capacity of community organizations around the world to address local health, social, environmental, and economic issues. Their model incorporates four programs that support underserved communities in a collaborative and sustainable manner.

  • Argentina, India, Bolivia, Kenya, Uganda & Nicaragua
  • Flexible timing
Episcopal Relief and DevelopmentBurundi

Episcopal Relief & Development partners with the Anglican Church of Burundi implement a comprehensive community development program aimed at transforming livelihoods through support in the areas of agriculture and the environment, health, and gender-based violence. Students work with local farmers to develop, disseminate, evaluate and document improved and sustainable technologies for smallholder farmers.

AIESEC/CornellSeveral countries

AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) is a student-run program. It has a pre-departure program and there are programs around the world.

  • Several countries including: China, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary & Egypt
Princeton in Africa and Latin AmericaSeveral countries

Princeton in Africa and Latin America matches talented and passionate college graduates with our partners working across Africa for yearlong service projects. Since this opportunity is for one full year, students need to take a leave of absence to participate. See your advisor for more information on this opportunity and taking a leave of absence. Application deadline is in November for the following service year. This is alos a good opportunity for graduates whom want to gain some internatinoal experience.

Aquiares Coffee EstateCosta Rica

This is an excellent opportunity to work on a coffee farm and learn various aspects of coffee production, processing and marketing. This estate covers 2,265 cares that is planted with coffee mixed with native shade trees. They have their own coffee processing and cupping facility and have strong links with CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center).

Earth University InternshipsCosta Rica

Earth accepts interns throughout the year and can be tailored to student needs and timings. Students with specific field research projects or specialized areas of interest are welcome to conduct their research and expand their knowledge here at Earth, under the supervision of a faculty member in their chosen field. Programs on tropical crops, organic agriculture, integrated livestock farming and peri-urban agriculture.

Global Mountain ActionPeru

This is a group of scientists and professionals concerned about the neglect to support sustainable use & well being of mountains, their people, their ecosystems, their cultures, their health, their diversity and their spirit. They are against promotion of evermore destructive, extractive use of mountain resources with few or negative benefits for mountain inhabitants, conducted without concern for to the environment, which they believe is detrimental ultimately also to national and international stability and security. This program is willing to take a few Cornell students to intern in Peru (possibly Nepal) for a very hands-on experience. They are very interested in conserving biodiversity. Spanish is needed.

International Sustainable Development Studies InstituteThailand

Academically challenging and intensely experiential, ISDSI courses are expeditions into the cultures and ecology of Thailand. Each course is focused on understanding sustainable development and is designed in collaboration with local communities. Host family and independent living experiences in Chiangmai, Thailand. Social science and natural science programs. Thailanguage training is part of the program.

  • Chiangmai, Thailand
  • Summer and semester programs
Para La TierraParaguay

This is a not-for-profit conservation organization that protects habitats and species in Paraguay through scientific research and community outreach. They also promote a responsible approach to reserve management where tourists contribute to social, scientific and conservation projects that are designed to have a positive impact on Paraguay. Cost is $850 per month. The main goal of the internship is to expose students to new cultures and ways things are done. To see first hand what the issues and problems are directly rather than in a classroom. In a way it doesn't matter what the students do for the hands-on experience. Will work with student to design a program to fit the student needs and interests. Spanish required.

  • Paraguay
  • Summer and semester programs

Students taking the Cornell Abroad and CALS exchange programs spend a semester abroad and transfer academic credit from courses they take overseas to their Cornell program.

Cornell Nepal Summer ProgramNepal

This is an excellent program for an internship. This was a semester program but they are now offering summer programs.

SIT Study Abroad ProgramSeveral countries

Another excellent program that many students have traveled and studied with. Some funding possibilities - available by application.

Living RoutesSeveral countries

Living Routes provides intentional integrative education programs with sustainable communities, inspiring powerful leaders to take action, one relationship and one community at a time. Academic credit and financial aid possible.

  • Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Peru, Scotland
  • Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter programs
Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)Several countries

This unique interdisciplinary study abroad programs will inspire you with a new vision of what is possible and will transform how you look at yourself, your community, and your world. Not only are these programs an incredible educational adventure, they are also an opportunity to join a community of learners committed to making our planet more sustainable.

  • Central America, East Africa, Iceland, and Middle East
  • Summer, Spring and Fall programs
Sustainable Development StudiesCosta Rica

The School for Field Studies (SFS) creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Our educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by our local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where we live and work. The SFS community is part of a growing network of individuals and institutions committed to environmental stewardship.

  • Costa Rica
  • Summer and semester programs
2Seeds NetworkTanzania

2Seeds is building a network of community-based development projects in East Africa. 2Seeds recruits and trains young people to live in rural Tanzania for one year and develop projects in partnership with subsistence farmers. 2Seeds' mission is Human Capital Development: we help our Tanzanian partners achieve their productive potential to grow more food and generate more income from what they produce, and help young people fulfill their potential as values-driven leaders.

  • Tanzania
  • One year program (for graduates requiring international experience)
International Service Learning AllianceUganda

Have office based and partner based internships.

Global Service Corps (GSC)Several countries

An international volunteer service-learning and community development organization that offers short and long-term programs. Two IARD students have completed an internship in Tanzania with this program. + Read their reflections.

  • Cambodia, Tanzania, and Thailand
Institute de Formation et de Researche Demographiques (IFORD)Cameroon

This is an internship program being developed by Dr. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue in DSOC. The University is based in Cameroon and mainly covers social science topics but has links with various agricultural institutions. Would be a good place to intern and do a senior thesis. French is useful but there are students and programs from several countries.

Agricultural Challenges and Solutions in Organic FarmingChina

Through Cornell's Horticulture Department, students intern with Hebei Qimei Agriculture Science and Technology Co, Ltd., a privately held, multinational corporation headquartered in HeiBei, China. Students grow organic food, use green manures and improve soil productivity and health.