Ohio University

skip to main content
Ohio University  >  Global Affairs and International Studies  >  Office of Global Opportunities  >  Programs  >  Ecuador: Food Studies Internship

Ecuador: Food Studies Internship

Houses in the 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 garddening, 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 skillsets, 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 aligns with the Food Studies thematic track and fulfills a requirement for the Food and Society Certificate .

Program Dates

Please monitor for Summer 2020 updates. Summer 2019 - rolling start dates*. Students can arrive in Quito on any of the dates listed below. The program ends 4 weeks later. Program will total 27 nights/28 days. Exact start dates and internship placement details will be confirmed after students apply and are accepted to the program.

May 17

May 31

June 14

June 28

July 12

July 26

*Those wishing to complete this program as their TEFL Certificate Practicum must arrive May 17 or May 31 to ensure the community school is open and in session.


Eligibility and Selection Process

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.

Applicants must be matriculated OHIO students. Non-OHIO applicants must have successfully completed high school or its equivalent.

Application Deadline : February 15, 2020


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.


Courses and Credits

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)




Summer 2019 Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet

Summer 2020 Cost TBD - please monitor for updates

Non-resident surcharge waived for this program.


Additional Information on Ecuador

To learn more about this study abroad destination, please visit the   CIA World Factbook .


Health and safety

Ohio University Office of Global Opportunities suggests you follow the   recommendations  of the Centers for Disease Control for healthy travel to your destination. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.

Refer to the   State Department site  for information related to safety and security at this destination.

Also refer to   International SOS  for information related to safety and security at this destination. To log in to the International SOS website, please use the OHIO membership IS: 11BCAS000010.


Requesting accommodation for disabilities

If you plan to participate in an Ohio University-sponsored study abroad program and wish to request accommodation, you should contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services  to schedule an appointment to complete an   Global Opportunities Disability Accommodation Request Form . We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations may be made for this program.


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 and reside in the country.  Entry and exit requirements for this country can be found   here .  US citizens will not need a visa or other special documents 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 a program.

For more specific visa related information please visit OGO's    Visa Information Page .  

Information for   Non-US citizens  can be found   here .  


For more information contact:

Dr. Theresa Moran, Program Director


Ellie Koewler, Program Coordinator






Section Menu