Frequently Asked Questions

What does The Science Exchange have that other programs don’t?
Few internship abroad programs are focused on the sciences, and still fewer offer you hands-on individualized research opportunities. We offer up to 9 units of college credit. Most programs offer set course dates, with group classroom experiences, where you may speak English with your classmates. In contrast, we offer you real-world settings, on the beaches, in the forests, on boats, in laboratories, where you will work side by side with your mentor. Many students complain about the lack of “real immersion” in other study abroad programs. You will be completely immersed in the native language through daily activities- at your home, bank, stores, restaurants, and bars.

Why should I pay to work?
Unfortunately, you cannot earn money in another country without the proper work visas. Your payment goes towards college credit, travel and living expenses, as well as supporting several non-profit sea turtle organizations. You will likely save money compared to paying room and board in the U.S., while at the same time taking courses that move you towards graduation! You also cannot collect data on endangered species without the proper government permits, which we organize for you.

Why should I go through The Science Exchange instead of my host university?
We encourage you to shop around for internship packages that are as competitively priced as ours. San Diego State University is one of the most affordable universities in the U.S. We will write your research plan and syllabus to meet the requirements of your host university if you choose to pay tuition there.

Is it safe to live abroad?
Your safety is our topmost concern. We place you if safe environments that The Science Exchange has previously screened. In general, because of the strong communities in small Latin American towns, many foreigners, including women, feel very safe. The host country supervisor is responsible for keeping the interns safe and healthy in the field. The Science Exchange staff are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for students, mentors, and families to answer questions or concerns.

Many questions can be answered by reading this short article by the Director.