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Marine Conservation, Research and Biology Internships Abroad

Sarah
Written By
By Sarah Vandenberg
Director of Partnerships
Marine conservation, research, biology, scuba internships

Updated for 2024

As the job market becomes more competitive, now is more important than ever for college seniors to graduate with and new grads to possess the knowledge, skills, and practical experience to land a position in their chosen career path. Depending on your major, local internships can be difficult to come by – but the great news is if you’re up for adventure and want to explore the world, you can almost definitely find an amazing internship that will let you expand your skill sets and gain valuable experience abroad.

If you’ve chosen marine conservation or marine biology as your focus, there are lots of wonderful opportunities to make new connections through internships abroad. From PADI Divemaster internships in Fiji, to dolphin research in Greece, to sea turtle and coral reef protection in Costa Rica, there are so many ways you can learn and work alongside researchers, scientists, conservationists, and other professionals in your field.

Intern Abroad HQ is actively recruiting for marine biology and conservation interns for 2023 and 2024. They offer 230 internship opportunities across 23 career fields in 21 countries. Learn more and apply here to jump start your career!

The programs highlighted here all offer hands-on internships for students and recent graduates to gain new skills, enhance their leadership abilities, and even pursue job opportunities onsite or with trusted partners worldwide. Read on to learn more and to get started with your marine conservation or marine biology internships overseas!

Dive right in with Projects Abroad and tackle a shark tagging program in Fiji, surveying the Belize Barrier Reef System, conserving sea turtles in Mexico, or collecting oceanographic data in the Gulf of Thailand. If your heart is set on Africa, then definitely check out African Impact’s marine conservation programs in Mozambique and Zanzibar.

Maximo Nivel

volunteer to help the environment

Founded in 2003, Maximo Nivel offers volunteer, intern, study, and teach abroad trips to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. To date, 25,000 volunteers, interns, and teachers have traveled to Latin America with Maximo Nivel, which partners with local organizations on initiatives where you’ll learn, explore, and make a difference. Maximo Nivel’s internships are very affordable, starting from $1525 for a four-week practicum – this covers placement, housing, meals, and Spanish lessons. Internships through Maximo Nivel also are flexible, starting from one month with the option to stay as long as you would like, and with the option to earn university credit.

Sea Turtle Conservation

Based in Costa Rica and El Salvador, Maximo Nivel’s sea turtle conservation programs give you the chance to support local biologists and researchers who are managing sea turtle nesting grounds. A few tasks you can take on include patrolling beaches at night, tagging nesting turtles, relocating nests to hatcheries for protection, counting eggs and hatchlings, cleaning up the beach, and engaging in community outreach programs. This program last two weeks or longer, and you can expect to work five to six hours each day. Learn more and sign up here!

Intern Abroad HQ

VolunteerForever

Intern Abroad HQ began in 2007, a division of IVHQ, has 240 internships across 24 fields of interests. A trusted name for internships abroad, Intern HQ promotes cross-cultural competency, while giving interns the opportunity to develop themselves professionally. They’re absolutely a great choice if you’re looking for marine conservation internships abroad. Cost start at $1044 for two weeks. 

Aegean Marine Conservation

This is one of the best marine biology internships, because the Aegean Sea has incredible biodiversity. A coastline stretching more than 18,000 kilometers and large-scale fishing operations make preserving the area difficult, and that’s why your help as an intern can have such a big impact.

Designed for those that have completed at least a year of college/university study in the fields of marine, environmental, or related sciences, your main role for this internship is to collect and analyze data on fish, invertebrates, and marine flora. This data is meant to provide more detailed insights into local ecosystem conditions and changes, as well as any threats to sea health. The information you obtain is used in research papers and other content that has a direct influence on marine conservation strategies. To gather that data, you’ll be snorkeling, free-diving, and/or kayaking. For example, you may kayak around to map seagrass meadows. How exciting does that sound?

During free time, you’re free to enjoy the beauty of the Aegean Sea. THe intern program is recommended at least 6 weeks at $2,495. You can intern for up to 24 weeks. Interested to learn more? Read here.

Intern Abroad HQ’s sister organization, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) also offers several marine conservation volunteer programs.  Since its founding, IVHQ has hosted over 130,000 participants. IVHQ’s programs last from one week to six months:

Marine Conservation in Australia

Dive “down under” with IVHQ’s marine conservation program in Australia. This could be the perfect marine biology gap year program as you volunteer to support the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Based in Queensland, this exciting opportunity takes you out to two islands, both close to the Port of Cairns – gateway to the largest reef system in the world. Spend your time as a marine conservation volunteer surveying and monitoring the coral and researching and collecting marine debris. Stay for two weeks or more, and you’ll be trained to assist with the care of sick and injured sea turtles in the rehabilitation center. No formal experience or qualifications are needed, as you’ll receive comprehensive training onsite. You’ll need to be a confident swimmer, and able to float and swim at least 50 meters. Spend your free time enjoying the beaches of Cairns, and dive, surf, kayak, swim, and snorkel in some of the most beautiful spots in the world. Fees for this program start at $1,035 for one week. Learn more and apply here!

Environmental Scuba Diving in Portugal

This IVHQ marine conservation volunteer program based in Lisbon, Portugal is open to experienced divers as well as beginners without any diving experience. You will assist in cleaning up underwater pollution and conserving marine life while gaining diving experience. If you are not certified yet, you will complete diving training in the first week or take specialty diving courses if you’re already certified. You’ll work in a local diving school with tasks that may include trash removal on the seafloor, recording items collected, observing, identifying and counting fish, and learning how to protect the marine ecosystem. Program fees start at $1015 for a week (recommended 2 weeks for those without diving experience), and includes scuba certifications and training with full scuba equipment. Learn more and sign up here!

Turtle Conservation in Bali

The beach is your office when you work with sea turtles at the Turtle Conservation Center on the island of Nusa Penida, a world-class scuba diving site. This IVHQ project in Bali allows you to develop your interest in wildlife and conservation. A few ways that you will be able to help include feeding and cleaning turtles, participating in beach cleanups, and learning how to handle waste management to improve sea turtle habitats. Be proactive and help educate children and the local community about Indonesia’s endangered sea turtles. Program fees start at $767 and you’ll spend a minimum of two weeks on the project. During weekends, you can explore the rice terraces and temples of Ubud, or consider a cycling and trekking tour to Mount Batur. Click here to learn more and apply!

 

GoEco

marine conservation volunteering in Fiji

GoEco began in 2006 with a focus on environmental, wildlife, and community initiatives. To date, GoEco has placed more than 17,000 volunteers in programs abroad. Because of their great work, they’ve earned numerous recognitions, including the 2018 Top Volunteer Abroad Organization from GoAbroad. They’ve also been featured in publications like The Guardian and The Boston Globe. 

If you’re looking for high-quality marine conservation internships abroad, put GoEco’s programs at the top of your list. They have opportunities around the globe. 

Diving and Marine Conservation Internship in Fiji

Intern on a tropical Fijian island! During the program, you’ll collect data through underwater research dives. That data helps experts develop coral reef restoration plans and figure out how to protect vulnerable marine species. If you don’t yet have a diving certification, you’ll take training to obtain your PADI Open Water certification during week one and PADI Advanced Open Water certification during week two. In addition to diving for marine research, you’ll educate local children about environmental conservation and help the community better manage natural resources. 

What’s great is that the location of your marine conservation internship: Fiji! During free time, you can enjoy life on Caqalai Island. Imagine yourself relaxing on the white sand beaches and hiking through the gorgeous jungle. Interested? Internship fees begin at $3,750 for four weeks ($7,080 for 12 weeks). Learn more here!

Marine Conservation Internship in Mexico

Is the sparkling Caribbean Sea calling your name? During this diving and marine research expedition in Mexico, you’ll explore the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest reef system. If needed, you’ll spend the first two weeks in diving classes and earn PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open Water certifications. During your dives, you’ll monitor the health of the coral reefs, assist with seagrass monitoring and mapping, collect data on fish and sea turtles, and note any lionfish you see (an invasive species). You’ll also participate in weekly beach cleans, turtle nesting area protection efforts, and outreach work in schools and the community to boost conservation awareness. 

When you’re not doing intern work, take it easy in the peaceful village of Puerto Morelos. The beaches here are world-class! Internship fees begin from $3,390 for four weeks ($6,580 for 12 weeks). Get more details here!

Volunteering Solutions

VolunteerForever

Founded in 2007, more than 17,000 international volunteers and interns have chosen Volunteering Solutions. With 150+ projects across 27 countries, Volunteering Solutions offers plenty of intern abroad opportunities in marine conservation and biology. 

Known for high-quality, affordable programs, Volunteering Solutions has internships that will boost your resume, equip you with new skills and allow you to help local environments and communities.  

To learn more about Volunteering Solutions and interning through their organization, visit their website here. (UK readers, please visit their UK site here). Also, check out the three great marine conservation internship programs.

Beach Conservation Program in Ghana

Spend amazing days on the beaches of Ghana, cleaning up garbage and debris with local environmentalists. You’ll also get the chance to do educational outreach in Accra to teach locals about the importance of having clean beaches and waters. Additionally, you’ll plant trees along the coasts to protect against erosion.

This program is great for learning about beach conservation, as well as for showing you how community awareness is built. Program fees start at $1130 for 4 weeks ($1911 for 8 weeks). 

Interested? Apply here!

Marine & Coast Conservation in Spain

Make your way to Valencia, a beautiful region of Spain known for its gorgeous coast. During this project, you’ll have a variety of amazing duties: 

  • Monitor whales, dolphins and seabirds
  • Do surveys on coastal flora and fauna
  • Work at the wetlands and improve the ecosystem

This program will teach you how to do proper research, data collection and ocean monitoring, as well as how to use your findings to create successful conservation strategies. Program fees start at $1182 for 2 weeks ($2982 for 8 weeks). 

Interested? Apply here!

Marine & Coral Reef Conservation in Bali

Journey to beautiful Bali, and do your part to reduce ocean pollution. There, you’ll help locals develop skills that are focused on sustainability, rather than extracting resources from the sea. You’ll even get to teach children about sustainability practices, eliminating plastic waste and more. 

This program teaches a lot about sustainable strategies to protect coral reef ecosystems and marine life. Program fees begin at $695 for 2 weeks ($1956 for 8 weeks). 

Interested? Apply here!

Projects Abroad

marine conservation volunteer in Belize

Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad is a leading international volunteering organization offering volunteer and gap year programs, internships and research projects in more than 50 countries. Projects Abroad has provided more than 120,000 travelers with meaningful experiences worldwide. Cultural exchange is the mission of this organization, as it works across language, cultural, and geographic lines with some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Through its sustainable projects, Project Abroad and its volunteers have a massive global impact on the economy each year.

Gain valuable marine conservation experience with endangered ecosystems and species on Projects Abroad’s Marine Conservation projects. You’ll work directly with conservationists and marine biologists who will guide you as you learn how to scuba dive, identify species, collect scientific data, and more. These programs provide the perfect balance between practical learning and actively making a difference.

Dive with Sharks in Fiji

Work on the frontlines of marine conservation by diving with bull sharks in Fiji. On this project, you’ll collect data on shark populations and habitats. You’ll add the data you collect to international databases, which governments and conservation groups use to inform conservation policies. You’ll also get to:

  1. Earn a PADI scuba diving certification
  2. Gain a specialized species identification certification
  3. Watch shark dissections
  4. Observe juvenile shark tagging
  5. Deploy BRUV equipment

This practical experience will add to your resume and set you apart if you’re looking to pursue a career in marine conservation. Learn more here!

Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Mexico

Tackle sea turtle poaching by working with experts at a wildlife conservation center on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. During night patrols, you’ll learn to spot newly laid turtle nests. You’ll collect the eggs and move them to safe corrals, protecting them from poachers. Once the eggs hatch, you’ll release the hatchlings on the beach and watch as they scuttle down to the ocean. You’ll also:

  1. Study the biodiversity of the surrounding coastal ecosystems
  2. Help with environmental education in nearby communities
  3. Learn from conservation experts
  4. Support staff at a crocodile park
  5. Clean and maintain turtle tanks

You’ll gain research experience and practical skills, perfect for if you’re looking to pursue a career in marine and coastal ecosystem conservation. Click here to read more.

African Impact

VolunteerForever

African Impact is a responsible, sustainable volunteer travel organization that has won multiple industry awards, including being voted the world’s Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by volunteers on GoAbroad four years in a row. Since 2004, they have hosted over 35,000 participants on 20 projects across 7 countries. The organization believes in the spirit of Africa and that the volunteer experience is just as important as the impact made. It is also recognized as a trusted specialist on volunteering and interning in Southern Africa. African Impact offers internships, as well as group, family, and high school projects. The minimum age requirement for their projects is 16, making African Impact a great option for teen and high school volunteers. 

African Impact manages its own projects and is able to provide tangible, real achievements on a regular basis. The organization has a clear Child Protection Policy and ensures that volunteers complete a criminal record check prior to involvement. Experienced staff is on the ground to support volunteers day-in-day-out and the organization does not use volunteer support in replacement for a local person.

In addition to making a positive impact, African Impact also believes that volunteering abroad should be enjoyable. The organization offers a range of activities for volunteers, including teaching children in South Africa, assisting with wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe, working in hospitals or clinics in Kenya, and carrying out dolphin and marine research in Zanzibar.

Volunteering with African Impact allows individuals to gain new skills, knowledge and practical work experience, while also making a lasting impact on local communities and conservation efforts. The organization believes that volunteering in Africa helps to change perceptions and stereotypes about Africa and its people, while providing local communities with an exchange of culture, mindsets and ideas.

Dolphin and Marine Conservation Project 

Volunteer in Zanzibar on African Impact’s Dolphin and Marine Conservation Project and make a real difference to the sustainability of dolphin tourism. As a volunteer, you will monitor human-dolphin interactions, promote ethical dolphin tours, and contribute to the conservation of marine life in the area. This project is ideal for those passionate about marine conservation and the environment. In your free time, you can explore the beautiful coastlines and vibrant culture of Zanzibar. You will live in a private volunteer house near the coastal village of Kizimkazi and work with local communities and organizations to protect the marine ecosystem. This is a unique opportunity to make a lasting impact while enjoying a truly amazing location.

Humpback Whale Research & Marine Protection in Mozambique

There are several reasons why volunteering on the humpback whale research project in Mozambique could be a rewarding and meaningful experience. First, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to important conservation efforts and help protect these majestic creatures. Humpback whales are an integral part of the marine ecosystem, and gathering data on their behaviors, distribution, and abundance can help inform efforts to preserve their habitat and ensure their long-term survival. Second, you’ll have the chance to learn from and engage with world-leading conservationists and researchers, and to gain valuable skills and knowledge in the field of marine biology and conservation. You’ll participate in boat-based research expeditions and have the opportunity to collect data and record whale songs, as well as track the sex, age, and behavior of the whales. Third, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and make a positive impact on the community by teaching young Mozambicans about the importance of understanding and caring for their marine environment. Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the beauty and wonder of the Southern Mozambique coast, with its stunning beaches and vibrant marine life. You’ll have the chance to relax and enjoy the daily sunset show, learn to surf, and explore the coast during your free time. All of these factors make volunteering on this project a truly unique and fulfilling experience.

Global Vision International (GVI)

coronavirus outbreak volunteering abroad

Founded in 1997 by Richard Walton, Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides volunteer and internship opportunities in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. GVI is unique from other volunteer programs in three ways:

  • They operate their own volunteer projects to ensure real, sustainable impact on the ground
  • They provide 360 degree support before, during, after your placement
  • Their alumni network provides increased access to higher education and career development opportunities.

At GVI, they offer three different types of marine conservation internships: internships, professional apprenticeships, and research fellowships. These are based on your current experience and your future career path. And all of these follow the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which means the interns’ work projects are ensured to contribute to long-term conservation goals. The programs range from 2 – 24 weeks. Below are some samples of the projects that you can intern with.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation in the Canary Islands

If you’ve ever been fascinated by dolphins and whales, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about these magnificent mammals, contribute to a sustainable conservation project, and have fun exploring a beautiful island! Based in Tenerife, you will help with whale and dolphin conservation research by taking pictures, observing and recording their behaviors and numbers while on a boat. You will be able to see pilot whales and buttlenose dolphins but also possibly humpback whales and killer whales. Another part of your volunteering will be teaching tourists in choosing ethical whale and dolphin watching tours. In your free time, there are many experiences such as tours, cooking classes, and biking included in your program fees! For detailed information, click here!

Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico

Dive into this amazing opportunity based in the Mexican coast of Riviera Maya to help coral reef conservation. You will get to see and help preserve the second largest coral reef in the world, MesoAmerican Barrier Reef. Professional diving experts and marine conservation experts will train you to do underwater surveys safely. You will earn the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver with the Coral Reef Restoration Diver speciality. Other tasks include collecting waste from beaches and ocean floors, and sea turtle monitoring depending on the season, and also educating the public in environmental workshops. On the weekends, you can venture out to the Mayan Ruins, go snorkeling with whale sharks, or explore caves to swim in. To get started on this adventure, click here!

Marine Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles

Check out this amazing tropical marine conservation program in Seychelles! You will be diving into the Indian Ocean to learn underwater data collection on coral reefs, fish and invertebrate research. The data you’ve collected will help increase awareness of marine conservation issues and for policy makers to make well-informed decisions on the importance of marine conservation. But first, you will need to be PADI Open Water certified to dive to survey the coral reefs before the start of the program. If you are not certified yet, there are local recommendations to help you to get qualified. GVI and PADI will provide training and certification for the PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty segment (requires at least 2 weeks). You may also help with plastic pollution clean ups on beaches and dive sites, and participate in environmental awareness education. To learn more, click here!

Plan My Gap Year (PMGY)

coronavirus volunteer abroad

An award-winning volunteer abroad organization, Plan My Gap Year offers programs in 17 countries across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Known for their transparent, safe, and immersive projects, PMGY has a wonderful reputation with volunteers, specifically because they’re very supportive and their projects deliver meaningful experiences.

For marine conservation, research, and biology internships abroad, Plan My Gap Year has plenty of high-quality, affordable options for you. PMGY partners with local communities to ensure they’re always working towards long-term sustainable goals. So, you know your work won’t just be boosting your resume; you’ll be making a big impact.

Sound like the organization for you? Check out some of Plan My Gap Year’s marine conservation and research programs.

Volunteer for Sea Turtles in Sri Lanka

Sea turtles face many risks off the coast of Sri Lanka, and they regularly turn up in fishing nets with severe injuries, such as lost limbs. For this project, you’ll be working with sea turtles on the beaches and at a rehabilitation center in the town of Ambalangoda. You’ll learn how to collect turtle eggs, identify different species, and how to carefully send turtles back to the sea. At the rehab center, you’ll clean tanks, feed the turtles, and clean turtles’ shells. At the beach, you’ll care for the nesting area, keeping it clean and ensuring hatchlings can safely head out to sea. You can also join in education efforts at local schools to raise awareness about sea turtle conservation. As you can see, this is truly an amazing project that has a real impact.

During free time, explore the local culture and relax on the beaches (they’re great in Ambalangoda!). Project fees begin at $549 for one week, with stays up to 24 weeks available. Interested to learn more? Read here.

A Broader View Volunteers Corp (ABV)

marine volunteer

Since 2007, A Broader View has offered volunteer programs and internships worldwide for students, groups, and solo travelers. To date, this charity has donated more than $3 million to their overseas partners to enhance community building and sustainable development initiatives, which are made possible through assistance from volunteers and interns working alongside local team members. Right now, A Broader View is offering one marine conservation internship, which invites you to work with sea turtles in Costa Rica.

Sea Turtle Internship in Costa Rica

On this sea turtle conservation internship, you will be able to work with other volunteers and local team members to develop and improve investigation projects and assist with conservation of areas of biological importance in Costa Rica. Through A Broader View’s beach investigation program, you will help with efforts to protect sea turtle nests, develop information leading to proper planning of tourist activities, and much more. A few tasks you’ll take on during your internship in Costa Rica include:

  1. Collecting data on beaches related to sea turtle monitoring
  2. Releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean
  3. Helping volunteers with their work in harvesting, replanting, removal, and monitoring and surveillance of nests
  4. Recording and reviewing project information

This internship lasts 12 weeks, and is open year-round. You’ll stay onsite with fellow interns and researchers in a beach cabana, with three meals provided each day. Click here to learn more and to apply!

The Intern Group

Volunteer Abroad for Women’s Empowerment & Girls’ Education - The Intern Group

The Intern Group offers professional development placements in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Founded in 2011, this award-winning social enterprise works with students and other individuals to develop customized internships with renowned NGOs and more than 1,000 leading employers globally. With more than 30,000 applications received each year, the Intern Group selects top applicants from 600 different universities. It’s been featured in Forbes, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN, and is generous with discounts for alumni travelers, as well as students receiving financial aid. Benefits include assistance with visas, developmental workshops, career training, social and cultural events, quality housing, and in-country support.

Environmental Sciences and Sustainability Internship in California, USA

Focus on your passion for marine conservation with an environmental sciences and sustainability internship. When you choose a placement with the Intern Group, you can work with important NGOs like Earthwatch, and spend your time helping scientists to collect data, conduct field research, connect with nature on an expedition, or become an ambassador for sustainability. Gain hands-on experience in the field on science-focused research, or through assisting the administrative efforts of an NGO that works for wildlife preservation, environmental engineering, eco-business, or science. Choose from a variety of destinations, or use this opportunity to learn more about the United States’ West Coast and the Pacific Ocean with an internship in California. Fees for this placement are $7,500 for eight weeks, with stays available up to six months. Read more and apply here!

Science Internship in Shanghai, China

Located along the Yellow Sea, Shanghai offers comprehensive professional development and immersion into the Chinese culture. Choose a science placement with the Intern Group here and you’ll gain invaluable work experience in one of the most important cities of all China, guaranteeing you important global connections. Learn from leading researchers, engineers, and academics, and choose to focus on biomedicine, biotechnology, or marine conservation. While in Shanghai, you’ll be escorted on a guided day tour of Suzhou and Tongli, an ancient water town known for its picturesque canals, bridges, and UNESCO World Heritage gardens. You’ll also take in the acrobatic show of a traditional kung fu performance, and enjoy a Chinese cooking class. Spend four weeks or more with placement fees starting at $4,120. Read more here and apply today!

Government and Politics Internship in Barcelona, Spain

Learn how to influence others and affect conservation policy when you accept an internship in government and politics in Spain. Travel to Barcelona and conduct research for a leading political party, and help direct change to benefit the wellbeing of the planet. Once the world’s most important seafaring community, Spain is nearly surrounded by water, with the exception of its border with France, and marine conservation is of utmost importance to the country. Work with professionals in partner organizations that will take your knowledge beyond the classroom and learn the skills necessary to excel in your future career. Your internship in Barcelona includes a spectacular night tour of Antoni Gaudi’s La Pedrera, a multi-sensory, multimedia event. You’ll also enjoy a day trip to the Dali Museum in medieval Girona. Program fees start at $4,648 for six weeks, with stays up to six months. Learn more here and start your application today!

International Conservation Marketing Internship in Australia

Combine a career in public relations and conservation when you choose to work on an international marketing internship in the wildlife mecca of Australia. Join the Intern Group and deepen your understanding of PR topics such as environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef, and how B2B marketing can help with trends towards conservation. This is just one of many topics you could pursue when you work in the field to generate interest in an individual cause, company, or product. Learn how to write press releases, contact media outlets, represent clients at events, and more. During free time, take a walking tour of the city, and check out the 360-degree view at the Eureka SkyDeck, Melbourne’s tallest building. Take in a major sporting event, such as the Australian Open Tennis, or a Formula One Racing event. Learn how to scuba dive while you’re in the coastal capital of Victoria. You’re invited to stay six weeks or longer and program fees begin at $4,617. Click here to sign up today!

Fronteering

volunteer for wildlife

If you’re looking for marine conservation and biology internships abroad, chances are you want a unique, impactful, and challenging program. Fronteering offers you just that with plenty of their marine biology projects throughout the world. Known for their commitment to preserving natural environments and keeping unspoiled locations free from human destruction, Fronteering has made a point to develop numerous great marine conservation projects. What’s also nice is that they’re committed to affordability, which makes it possible for even more people to help out in their mission.

Dolphin Conservation in Western Australia, Australia

Venture to Bunbury to swim with the dolphins! In addition to having fun interacting with one of the world’s most intelligent creatures, you’ll help with the conservation, education, and research of the bottlenose dolphins. You’ll also assist with eco-tourism activities. Typical tasks include educating tourists about bottlenose dolphins, maintaining aquariums, monitoring dolphin activity, and recording data. Your work goes a long way into building a sustainable future for the dolphins.

When you’re not busy helping these precious dolphins, explore the region, which includes sites like Ngilgi Cave and Tuart Forest National Park. Interested in the internship? Fees begin at $1,495 for six weeks, with stays up to 12 weeks available. Get more info here.

Pantanal Guide Experience in Mato Grosso Do Sul, Brazil

Visit the world’s largest wetland in Southern Brazil’s Pantanal, an area home to one of the highest concentrations and diversities of flora and fauna. The program, which is designed to support the development of sustainable tourism in the region, takes you to one of the last real frontiers on earth. As you train to be a guide for the Pantanal, you’ll learn all about the area’s ecosystem and get involved in tasks like mammals tracking, bird identification, and astrology and geology. You’ll even get the chance the guide guests yourself after you’ve gotten to know the Pantanal well enough.

In short, this is an incredible program that combines biology research with tourism work. You’ll even have the opportunity to learn Portuguese during your stay. Interested in this volunteer opportunity? Fees begin at $2,495 for four weeks, with stays up to 16 weeks available. Get more info here.

Shark Diving and Conservation in Western Cape, South Africa

This is probably one of the most exciting marine biology internships: if you want the thrill of a lifetime during your marine research internship, get closer than you’ve ever been to the great white shark. For this internship, you’ll work in a small coastal town, diving to research the great whites and understand more about the challenges these amazing creatures face. While in the shark cage diving vessel, you’ll assist with gathering important data, which will be used to formulate insights and strategies for how to protect great white sharks. You’ll learn how to tag and take genetic samples and even practice ethical handling and angling techniques for small sharks.

When you’re not on the water, you’ll help with hosting community outreach workshops designed to educate people about great white sharks and the importance of conservation initiatives. You’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy the beach and local culture. Soak up the sun! Interested in this volunteer internship? Fees begin at $1,750 for one week, with stays up to four weeks available. Get more info here.

Frontier

Volunteer Forever - Travel Photography Internships

Since 1989, Frontier has combined community development, capacity building, ecosystem protection, economic growth, and the development of civil society through collaboration between local communities, researchers, and volunteers and interns. From their first program in Tanzania – a marine park developed in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund – Frontier has expanded to offer over 400 projects in more than 60 countries. This nonprofit organization prides itself on innovations in developing quality volunteer programs and internships worldwide, and right now is offering nearly different 60 intern placements throughout Latin America, the Pacific, Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Costa Rica Climate Change NGO Internship

On this internship, you will visit Costa Rica and contribute to vital research and conservation work that aims to understand and combat the effects of climate change in this gorgeous Latin American region. Based on the pacific side of the country, you will live and work with other staff, interns, and volunteers at a research camp while helping to carry out surveys to learn how global warming is affecting endangered species and threatened habitats. Among other projects, you will be able to assist with sea turtle monitoring and research, which can include:

  1. Patrolling beaches to gather information about sea turtle populations and to deter poachers and predators
  2. Conducting nest cleanings
  3. Recording clutch size as well as numbers of successfully and unsuccessfully hatched eggs
  4. Helping to free hatchlings into the sea

As an intern, you also will help out with additional projects such as recording data on jungle species – such as big cats, primates, and amphibians – and other work that will help with important conservation efforts. During your free time, you’ll have the chance to go white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, snorkelling, and much more. Click here to apply!

Madagascar Marine Conservation NGO Internship

Another excellent marine conservation internship you can sign up for right now with Frontier brings you to Madagascar, where you’ll chart extensive coral areas, record healthy coral and fish populations, learn to identify marine animals, and much more. Through your work, you’ll help to supply important information about island country’s coastline to enable sustainable natural resource management and protection of endangered areas within the region. Each day, you can expect to go on diving and snorkel surveys, mangrove searches, beach cleanups, and much more to record information about live coral cover and the communities existing on them. You also will be able to take on additional responsibilities such as training volunteers, assessing volunteer work to ensure quality of data collection, and other tasks to help boost your marine conservation and research experience. Learn more and apply here!

Global Nomadic

marine conservation in Greece

Since 2009, Global Nomadic has provided volunteer and intern abroad placements for travelers who want to expand their education and get a head start on their career overseas. Global Nomadic works in partnerships with community-based organizations to effect worthwhile, positive change through the assistance of volunteers and interns like you. To date, more than 1,000 interns, volunteers, and TEFL travelers have embarked on Global Nomadic’s programs worldwide, which range from human rights, to environmental conservation, to wildlife protection and beyond.

Dolphin Research Internship in Greece

Based in Alonissos, Greece, Global Nomadic’s dolphin research internship is a great way to learn about marine conservation while gaining practical experience in your field. As an intern, you’ll work aboard a research vessel alongside marine scientists to monitor dolphin populations and areas of importance, develop a photo catalogue of common and bottlenose dolphins, analyze their movements and social organization, and much more. Throughout your stay, you will have the opportunity to learn about cetacean behavior and identification, threats faced by marine animals, photo-identification techniques, how to use research data for conservation activities, and many other skills. Learn more and sign up here!

Marine Conservation Internship in the Philippines

Another of Global Nomadic’s many different internships abroad is their marine conservation program in the Philippines, which gives you the chance to work alongside international NGOs, experienced scientists, and marine biologists. On this program, you will coordinate with the Green Fins conservation project, which supports scuba and snorkeling industries in implementing environmental standards to protect coral reefs. As an intern, you will help to carry out important conservation policies and projects, with tasks that may include:

  1. Conducting environmental consultations and impact assessments
  2. Developing education and outreach programs in local communities and schools
  3. Supporting national and local governments to meet international conservation commitments
  4. Establishing reef surveys
  5. Helping with beach and reef cleanup

Throughout your stay, you will take a two-week training program, followed by a six-week experience placement, with staff support and mentoring along the way. You also will have a personal assignment as part of your internship tailored specifically to your skill set, individual strengths, and interests, which will go a long way to helping you find the best career placement possible upon successful completion of your program abroad. Learn more and apply here!

Ready to Travel?

If you’re ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime – one that will help you kickstart your career while meeting amazing new people and exploring and protecting our oceans – we’re here to help! Click here to create a profile on Volunteer Forever and begin fundraising for your internship overseas – and if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these articles:

2017 Best Internships Abroad: Medical Care, Marine Biology & More

Summer Abroad Internships for Students

Wildlife, Marine Animal & Veterinary Conservation Volunteer Abroad