Ohio University

Ecuador: Food Studies Internship

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Program Feature


Program Term


Program Type

OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

Humanities and Social Sciences
Sustainability, Food, and Environment

For more information contact:

Dr. Theresa Moran
Program Director

Global Opportunities


Forested Hills


Intern in the Cloud Forest of Ecuador for 4 weeks this summer!  Contribute to sustainable community projects while gaining professional experience in issues of food security and access.

You will support economic and community development initiatives while working alongside 40 local families. The community families, with the support of NGOs, started a forestry project which has grown to incorporate organic gardening, small dairy processing factories, jam making, and ecotourism. The initiative is now supported by scientific research projects, making for the perfect location to host many academic fields of interest of OHIO students.

You will work with local organizations (approx. 20 hours per week) in and around the Cloud Forest in Yunguilla on a broad set of issues connected to food, from security and access, to food culture and education. The Cloud Forest is a vital part of life for many in Ecuador, providing copious amounts of vegetation, flora and fauna that are used for medicine, food and more. The area is designated as a protected area, meaning the community has avoided monoculture, agrochemical use, logging, and mass tourism.

Internship placements focus on the following areas: Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL Practicum), Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy Sources, Restaurant Hotel Tourism, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education, and Food Studies.

Your program begins with a few days in Quito, where you will have the opportunity to stand at the Middle of the World (where the two hemispheres meet).

After spending your first weekend in the capital city of Quito, you will venture to Yunguilla - a small community in the Cloud Forest. Once in Yunguilla, you will get an orientation and meet your host family. Your internship project work begins on day 5 and will be catered to fit your skill-sets, interests, and academic needs.

You can expect to have free time in the evenings and on the weekends to build relationships with community members. Optional excursions will be organized on the weekends for you to participate in at your own cost if you choose.

This study abroad program fulfills a requirement for the Food and Society Certificate.

Good to Know

  • This is a highly independent and immersive internship experience. Academic oversight will be provided by OHIO faculty directors online via Blackboard, email, and Skype when possible.

Living Arrangements 

For the first few days, student will stay in a centrally located hostel in Quito in either a single or shared room. Once students move to the Cloud Forest, students will be staying with homestay families. Breakfast and dinner are served with the family, while lunch is generally packed. Meals while living with the host family are included in program costs.

Program Dates 

This program will next be offered during summer 2021 - rolling start dates*. Students can arrive in Quito on any of the dates provided. The program ends 4 weeks later. Program will total 28 nights/29 days. Exact start dates and internship placement details will be confirmed after students apply and are accepted to the program.

Study Away and COVID-19  

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial and academic risk. Please click here to read information related to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.


All students will enroll in 3 credits total:

CAS 4911 - Internship in How Food Works in the Community (3 credit hours)


LING 4920/5920 (2 credits) + LING 4912/5912 (1 credit)


LING 4912/5912 (3 credits)


The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations, most meals, in-country transportation, excursions (guided with tours), airport transfers, welcome and farewell dinner and international medical health insurance. 

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 6 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Check back for updated program dates and costs.

  • An itemized Student Budget Worksheet will be published when the next travel dates are available.

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 

Funding Opportunities 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

Applicants should have demonstrated interest in issues surrounding sustainability, food, and the environment. An interview and letter of recommendation are also required.

This program is open to all OHIO undergraduate students in good academic and conduct standing. 

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy.  

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country.

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here