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Antigua, Guatemala

Program Description

Looking to bulk up your resume with an international internship experience? Want to brush up your Spanish language skills? Hiking an active volcano on your bucket list? You've come to the right place. This program, open to students from all majors, is sure to be the highlight of your JMU experience. You'll spend six weeks in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Antigua, Guatemala, building work-based skills in your future career field. Get hospitality management experience working with a local tour company, communication studies experience at a small non-profit, or project management experience at an area coffee farm. Many other options are available within areas of marketing, social work, international business, graphic design, entrepreneurship, health sciences, along with many other fields. Most internships involve working five days a week, but hours and expectations could vary depending on the placement. This program also includes one-on-one Spanish language lessons several hours a week to match your current Spanish level. Spanish knowledge is helpful, but certainly not required to be successful in this program.

Students will enroll in IDLS 486. All students will be evaluated based on an evaluation from their supervisor and a reflection paper. If students are interested in receiving internship credit for their specific major, your major's advisor, internship coordinator, or Academic Unit Head may email Katie Sensabaugh at with approval.

Location Description

Antigua, Guatemala is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's a charming colonial city nestled in the central highlands of the country, and is known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant cultural scene, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city itself is very walkable and vibrant, with coffee bars, rooftop restaurants, and produce markets easy to find. And if your feet get tired, don't worry -- tuk-tuks are the most popular (and extremely affordable) mode of transportation and just around every corner. Oh, and the food! Between desayuno tipico in the morning and Mole de Platano after dinner, the whole day will be a feast for the palette. Just outside the city limits are numerous coffee farms (fincas) and nature trails (including on active volcanoes where roasting marshmallows is possible...!), and many other activities to fill a sunny Saturday. Weekends are also great for exploring other areas in Guatemala, including Lago de Atilan -- a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes with lovely little neighborhoods in between (it's almost impossible to get more picturesque than Antigua, but Lago de Atilan might have it beat). The Tikal National Park is also a must-see, with ancient Mayan ruins and pyramids to explore. And for those looking for a little water adventure, Semuc Champey should be on the list. It's located in the Guatemalan jungle and is a turquoise paradise of natural pools, caves, and waterfalls.


Katie Sensabaugh | | Center for Global Engagement


Students will stay in apartments in Antigua.

Students will receive a nominal stipend to offset food expenses during the program.

Additional Items to Consider

Any student wishing to enroll in HM internship courses must pay an additional $300 for instructional expenses. Please visit the CDC's website to find a list of recommended health precautions, including vaccinations.

Some Spanish knowledge is not required, but is recommended.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5

Open to sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Attendance at program info session may be required
  • Interview with program director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


IDLS 486: Internship and Field Experience

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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