Below is a list of programs that offer short term (less than one year) work opportunities in Spanish speaking countries.
Note: There are University Travel Warnings issued on some of destinations listed below. It is the participant’s responsibility to research this information & to adhere to the University’s Travel Policy if going to one of these destinations as a University of Michigan student. See the University’s Travel Policy for further information, including a current list of countries with travel warnings and restrictions.
U-M based Programs
- Cultural Vistas
Cultural vistas offer short-term internships in Argentina, Chile, and Spain. U-M students should contact the LSA Internship Office about this opportunity.
AIESEC is a worldwide student-run organization that generates over 6,000 paid internships each year in nearly 90 countries. Internships range from those with a business or technical focus to teaching English. Most placements are in South America, and recent destinations include Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia. There’s a fee that includes placement, visa costs and a preparation program before going abroad. To apply U-M students should contact the U-M AIESEC chapter. Lengths of internships vary. Placements are open to continuing students & those who will be graduating.
- Amigos de las Americas
Placement in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Paraguay. Volunteers typically spend 5-8 weeks during the summer working in rural communities on public health projects. At least two years of high school level Spanish or Portuguese is required. Volunteers work with one or two other volunteers and live with local families.
Placement in Bolivia, Brazil or Mexico for volunteer, service learning courses and study abroad courses.
- Child Family Health International
Placement in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico. Program open to graduate, med and pre-med students. Volunteers assist local counterparts with “primary and preventative care and the training of local health care promoters in rural and urban clinics and hospitals.” Spanish language skills may not be required, depending on the program. Costs do not cover airfare.
- Cross-Cultural Solutions
Non-profit organization that sends volunteers abroad to provide humanitarian assistance with volunteer programs in Brazil, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Peru. Programs range from 2-12 weeks. CCS offers volunteer placements and internships. There is no age limit.
Earthwatch Institute is a nonprofit volunteer organization which directly involves members of the public in scientific field research expeditions worldwide. Work as short-term field assistants to leading scientists in disciplines ranging from archaeology to zoology. Apply at least 2 months ahead of fielding, but applications are accepted year-round. Projects range from 1-3 weeks. Financial aid may be available. Knowledge of Spanish is generally not required.
- ISA (International Studies Abroad)
ISA offers a wide range of short-term internship and service projects through Latin America and Spain. Placements vary and include opportunities in the arts, business, communications, education, environment, health care, policy/human rights, social work, technology, and tourism. Placement durations vary.
- Foundation for Sustainable Development
Placement in Bolivia, Argentina and Nicaragua. FSD provides college students, graduate students, and professionals internship and volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations.Interns are placed in their own family homestay and own internship for complete immersion. Internships range from 9 to 52 weeks. Short-term (1 to 8 week) volunteer programs are available.
- Xeritas/Global Citizens Network
Placement in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru. Trips last one, two or three weeks. The teams work with local villagers on projects initiated by the local community for the benefit of the community. Volunteers must be 18 or older and there is a participation fee.
- Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village Program
Habitat for Humanity places volunteers for short as well as long-term periods in many countries in Latin America. Jobs include helping local committees build low-cost homes in partnership with the needy. Long-term volunteers must be at least 18 and occasionally receive a monthly stipend, housing, health insurance or reimbursement for travel expenses. The minimum age for short-term (1-3 wk.) projects is 18, and cost varies according to the location.
- The Institute of International Education (IIE): Latin America
The IIE is the largest US higher educational exchange agency. Interns have the opportunity to work within the Scholarship Division or the Educational Advising Division. Interns receive a monthly stipend to help cover living costs in Mexico City.
- Projects Abroad
Offers service projects and internships in a wide range of Central and South American countries. Projects durations are customizable and often start at one or two weeks. The type of projects also vary and include topics such as teaching English, public health education, sports coaching, conservation and environment, etc. Opportunities are unpaid and program fees are charged.
- SCI-International Voluntary Service
Placement in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Offers short-term volunteer projects (2-4 weeks). Longer term projects last from 3 months to a year. Work ranges from physical labor to social work and activism. There are also many project opportunities in Spain.
- Volunteers for Peace
Placement in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Spain and Venezuela. Short-term (2-3 week) international voluntary work camps as an effective means of intercultural education and community service. There are also some long-term volunteer placements.
U-M Student Organizations
There are numerous University of Michigan student organizations sending students to Spanish-speaking countries to engage in service-oriented work over the summer, as well as Spring Break. An example of a long-standing program is The Quito Project, which sends U-M undergrads and graduate students to Quito, Ecuador to work on projects ranging from health education to teaching English.
For a complete listing of U-M student organizations, search U-M Maize Pages (search terms such as “International” or “Service/Service-Learning” to narrow down options) .
Additional Work Abroad Websites
Following is a list of additional web sites for finding work abroad:
Excellent site has sections for volunteering abroad, working abroad, internships, teaching abroad, and study abroad.
Has postings of volunteer, internship and job opportunities. Site includes organizations in the U.S.and worldwide.
- IIE Passport
A great place to look for study abroad programs, including those with internships and volunteer opportunities. Using the detailed search, check the “Format” box for internships or volunteering.
- LatPro: Latin America's Professional Network
Positions in Latin America and the U.S. for professionals who are bilingual in Spanish or Portuguese.
- Quaker Information Center
By Peggy Morscheck. This very comprehensive web site includes links to hundreds of organizations sponsoring overseas volunteer, internship and study programs with a focus on social justice, relief, and development.
- South American Explorer's Club
Offers a database of options to members for volunteering in Latin America.
- Transitions Abroad
Web site of this well-known magazine for working, volunteering, and studying abroad has articles on these topics and lists programs.
- International Volunteer Program Association
Web site with listings of organizations around the world.