Overview

Join our vital sea turtle conservation project on Greece’s Mediterranean coast plus choose from additional research or career experience!

Our short-term internship is the perfect opportunity to work alongside an international conservation team and make a real contribution to one of the most important Loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in the region. Interns assist with collecting data, conduct surveys to protect the nests and the turtles from predation and educate the local people about conservation issues. Join us for an instructional internship to gain practical conservation skills and do your part to help preserve this unique environment!

Photo of a cliff lined bay and blue seaTravel to the beautiful Kyparissia Bay in the western Peloponnese of Greece and discover the local area whilst you learn more about the critical conservation efforts of these turtles. Our interns are based in Giannitsochori, one of the most important Loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in the whole of Greece. Here they will have a unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in protecting the environment and developing their own skills. The project is geared at providing long term benefits to the local environment and community.

Interns will engage in daily morning surveys to record the nesting activity of female turtles during the months of June and July. These surveys occur daily so that any nests laid overnight can be protected. Once nests has been located you’ll have the task of protecting them from predation and relocating some of the nests to reduce risk of flooding by the rising ocean tides. After the females have nested you’ll also get involved in recording nest hatching events during August and September. After a nest has hatched you’ll excavate the nest to get data on the hatching success of the nest. During these activities, interns will be able to share their passion for conservation with international visitors and the local community members. All our internships are geared at developing your leadership skills, allowing you to develop a variety of soft and hard skills that will boost your marine conservation experience. In Giannitsochori we work to educate the local community and visitors as to conservation efforts being conducted around turtle nesting. We have a group of highly experienced field staff who will work with you to develop and improve your skill and in so doing giving you a fantastic starting point for developing your conservation career.

 

Highlights

  • Working with one of the most endangered species in the Mediterranean and discovering the beauty of Greece’s Mediterranean coast.
  • Monitoring turtle nesting activity on the beach and, depending on the seasons, watching hatchlings make their journey to the sea.
  • Experiencing the Greek culture first hand in a beautiful area which you can explore in your free time
  • Take a great first step towards your career in practical conservation and make a lasting one-off contribution to the preservation of endangered turtles.

Photo of a loggerhead turtle hatchling

Our Award-winning Partner

Conservation Careers has teamed up with an award-winning, mission-driven organisation with a team of passionate experts across the globe who will make your experience a truly unforgettable one.

Founded in 1998, they run programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the objectives of local partners. They welcome participants from all around the world and help facilitate their development into global citizens. This is how they achieve their mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Their commitment to running high-quality sustainable development and experiential education programs has earned them recognition from numerous organizations such as Panthera, the Seychelles Parks & Gardens Authority, as well as Stanford, NYU, Duke, and Ohio State.

If you register your interest below, you’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!

To see all our Conservation Careers Internship opportunities, please click here.

Photo of interns conducting research to conserve turtle nests

Enhance your internship with Career or Research opportunities

You can choose to do only the Core Internship, or extend and specialise your experience by choosing between Career or Research internship options.

Career Internship

A career internship will give you a leg up into your career as a conservation or sustainable development practitioner. Career internships are best suited to participants who are looking to gain additional experience collaborating on impactful initiatives with our global partners.

The main focus of our career internships is for you to complete practical work at a base and then a range of virtual project work with our international partners.

Your career internship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:

  • pre-program training
  • three online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond
  • training on our partner’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your internship location and project focus
  • practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts
  • a remote internship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance
  • a project with a partner
  • a professional reference upon successfully completing your internship
  • a LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your internship
  • access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development
  • preference on opportunities to work for our partner
  • An employment guarantee (if your career internship was longer than 6 months).

You’ll also get the opportunity to gain insight into how projects are implemented in a variety of our career internship locations, when you meet and collaborate virtually with other career interns, and partners, across our locations around the world.

Research Internship

Are you in the process of completing a research paper, thesis or dissertation?

The main focus of a research internship is to support you in collecting and/or analysing the data that you’ll use to write up your paper. And thanks to our partner’s involvement in global conservation and sustainable development, you’ll be able to supplement your research with insights from existing datasets that were 20 years in the making.

Research internships also help you to prepare for your future career in the industry by giving you experience with field research methodologies.

Your research internship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:

  • pre-program training
  • three online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond
  • training on our partner’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your internship location and project focus
  • practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts
  • a remote internship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance
  • support with completing a research paper or thesis
  • a professional reference upon successfully completing your internship
  • a LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your internship
  • access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development
  • preference regarding opportunities to work for our partner
  • An employment guarantee (if your research internship was longer than 6 months).

Not to mention unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track, life-changing experiences!

Photo of a tent and a hammock tied to a tree

Life On Base

Located in the Peloponnese region of Greece, wake up to breathtaking views from our base in Giannitsochori, which is a five-minute walk from the beach. Morning surveys are spent finding turtle nests and hatchlings, and the afternoons include bamboo collecting, beach cleanups, and bio surveys. Your evenings might involve nest checks, excavations, creating shading for hatchlings. In between your survey shifts, you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the sun on the sandy white beaches on your doorstep, or relax with your fellow teammates back at the campsite. The climate is hot and can get humid, but living so close to the beach, you’ll be able to cool down with a quick dip in the sea. End the day watching the sunset over the Mediterranean.

Accommodation

The hub is completely outdoors and accommodation is in a tent located in a private section of the campsite – allowing you to enjoy Greece’s coastal beauty from the campsite’s beach, while keeping an eye on the biggest turtle nesting site in the Mediterranean. The West Peloponnese mountains are to your south and the nearby Neda River runs into the mountain range. The campsite has a number of facilities available and there is a communal charging station for participants to use. There are shared bathroom facilities. On the base, participants share camp duties, including cleaning, cooking, and other chores – it’s part of the experience. Minimal impact is important –and we like to “grow our own” with our herb garden. The campsite also has a lot of cats and dogs to keep us company.

Transportation

We provide transfers from the airport to our base in Giannitsochori, which is about a 4-hour drive. The beach is a five-minute walk from base, should you and your fellow participants wish to swim or play beach games during your free time. To travel further afield, you can make use of a taxi.

Communication

You’ll have limited access to long-distance communications whilst on the programme, so make sure your friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Participants typically use the public Wi-Fi at the campsite to keep in touch. Be aware that there is no WI-FI in the camp and that the Wi-FI at the campsite can be very slow as it’s shared between everyone. Cellphone reception is fairly good so you may want to buy a Greek SIM card in Kyparissia to use with your unlocked cellphone.

Meals

Breakfast is self-service, with cereal, oats, toast, fresh fruit, and Greek yoghurt on offer. Lunch is prepared by participants and usually involves a combination of healthy and varied Mediterranean produce, along with a variety of spreads, meats and cheese. Dinner is cooked by the participants and you’ll take turns to prepare meals for the group – this is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your cooking skills. Dinner is mainly vegetarian and options range from lentil burgers and fajitas, to stir-fries and pastas. There is a taverna nearby that offers traditional Greek food.

Climate

Greece gets very hot during the summer months of June to August (sometimes reaching up to 40ºC!), so make sure to bring your bathing suit. The sea in Greece is warmest in August, making it perfect for swimming while on project. Temperatures can drop however during the night to offer a pleasant reprieve to the heat of the day.

Photo fo a campsite with a van, tents and hammocks. A person walks through the site.

Training

This program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.

FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS | COURSES

All internships include three courses (Leadership, Careers in Sustainable Development and a specialisation course) offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS | ORIENTATION

Orientation: Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Learn about COVID-19 pre-departure guidelines, base expectations, personal and area hygiene practices and what we are doing to keep you safe.

Orientation: Travelling Responsibly and Ethically

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.

Orientation: UN Sustainable Development Goals

Introduction to the history and evolution of sustainable development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and how these related to your project work.

Orientation: Further Opportunities for Impact

Learn about our country locations and further opportunities available to you during or after your program.

FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS AT GIANNITSOCHORI

Conservation: Survey Techniques and Logistics

An introduction to different survey techniques and best practice guidelines for surveys; introduction to different types of data and how to record information via a datasheet.

Conservation: Biodiversity & Target Species Identification

Learn about biodiversity and how biodiversity is measured, and classifying different species and how to identify species that indicate the health of the habitat.

Marine Conservation: Pollution and Plastics

Learn about issues with plastic and measures that can be taken to help reduce plastic consumption.

Marine Conservation: Coral Reefs

Learn about what a coral reef is, its importance, how it is formed, how this ecosystem works.

Public Speaking and Demonstration Training

How to conduct demonstrations on the impacts of plastic pollution on the natural environment and human health.

Research Training

Learn how to conduct research, such as monitoring the beach for turtle tracks and nests, and where to find the egg chamber. You will also learn how to put measures in place to protect nests and capture data, such as the number of nests on the beach.

Monitoring Induction

Monitoring Induction training from our local partner, that has been conducting conservation research in this area since 1983.

Photo of interns excavating an old turtle nest to collect data for conservation

Your Impact

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the UN SDGs. Then once you arrive on base, you’ll learn about the specific goals we have in this particular location, our various objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to be an active global citizen after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Experiences

During your program, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience tailor-made adventure and wellness activities. These have been specially designed to further immerse you in the diversity and richness of the habitats and cultures around you.

  • Take a walking food tour of Kyparissia
  • Enjoy the sunset from the Old Town
  • Go stargazing and learn Greek mythology
  • White-water raft through a tunnel of trees
  • Trek the Neda river gorge
  • Hike through a gorge to a local spring
  • Explore the birthplace of the Olympic Games
  • Visit a local farmers’ market

Photo of a person looking out at boats anchored in a bay

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches global awareness, adaptability and critical thinking – skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and will also be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many different activities that you can get involved in during your free time, or before and after your program.

On our community programs, the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore topics like local cuisine and religion, or how sustainable development challenges are affecting local contexts.

Spirituality and religion

While Greece is a secular state, the majority of the population identify with the Greek Orthodox Church faith.

Local handcrafts

Greece has a thriving tourist souvenir industry and sells many locally made souvenirs such as hand-woven carpets and rugs, beautifully decorated jewellery, and leather items. Greece is also known for producing the highest quality virgin olive oil and olives.

Cooking and dancing

A large part of Greek cuisine features fresh Mediterranean ingredients, often featuring staples such as pita bread, olive oil, and feta cheese. Some of the traditional dishes Greece is known for include moussaka, tzatziki, the classic Greek salad (no lettuce), spanakopita, souvlaki and its many traditional treats made with local honey. Greece is a food lover’s delight, with a rich selection of tastes to be enjoyed.

Traditional Greek folk music incorporates popular songs and music from across Greece and its islands. This music is often used by Cretan dancers in their performances, and is danced on special occasions by Greek families.

Festivals

The Greek people’s most notable holiday is the celebration of Greek Independence Day on the 25th of March. There are also many festivals throughout the year, such as the Patras Carnival and Athens Festival.

Languages

Greek is the official language of Greece and spoken by the vast majority of the population. Other languages spoken in the country are Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Arumanian and Bulgarian.

View of a village with green hills in the distance

Duration, Dates & Costs

Duration of fieldwork: 4 – 12 weeks

Start Dates:

  • 2022 – 06 Aug; 20 Aug
  • 2023 – 10 Jun; 24 Jun; 08 Jul; 22 Jul; 05 Aug; 19 Aug; 02 Sep

Costs

  • 4 weeks – £2,845.00
  • 6 weeks – £3,495.00
  • 8 weeks – £4,095.00
  • 10 weeks – £4,845.00
  • 12 weeks – £5,445.00

Career and Research Internships have an additional cost. Please register your interest below for more information.

What’s Included

  • 24-hour emergency desk
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All project equipment
  • Food (except on long-term internship placements)
  • Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
  • Group introductory call
  • Welcome presentation
  • Endorsed Specialisation Course
  • Endorsed Leadership Course
  • Sustainable project work
  • Leadership responsibilities
  • Program training
  • Remote Internship Supervisor
  • Preferential recruitment on our partner’s positions
  • Job portal access
  • Endorsed Careers Course
  • Career coaching sessions
  • PDF reference – upon request

What’s Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • COVID-19: Health and Hygiene Fee
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs

Photo of waves breaking on rocks under a blue sky

Register your interest!

Reserve your place or ask a question