Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation Internships in Greece
Gain experience with an established Conservation Institute, dedicated to researching and defending the biodiversity of the Aegean. If you’re passionate about marine and terrestrial conservation, this internship will provide experience in understanding real-world scientific efforts to support critical conservation initiatives.
- Experience in a diverse and stunning marine environment around the Greek islands.
- Conducting remote studies from a research vessel in the Mediterranean.
- Supervision and guidance from experienced marine scientists and conservationists.
- Opportunities for independent research for longer term interns.
Type of host organizations:
- Research bases on the Greek island of Samos (primary) and Lipsi (secondary - subject to availability)
Gain a unique experience on this marine conservation internship in Greece. Spend some time on a research vessel and work at a top research center alongside qualified scientists.
This is an in-country internship, with accommodation and meals provided. Click here to view the remote version of this internship you can undertake from home.
The Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation internship program in Greece is primarily based in Samos, which is a Greek island, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. The location of Samos Island provides excellent opportunities for ongoing conservation activities, including access to another research base and marine mammal sanctuary on Lipsi island. Samos island also has a steady tourist industry. Having been inhabited by many civilizations since the 3rd millennium B.C. (Samos was the birthplace of Pythagoras), the location is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Interns collaborate to assist the ongoing research projects which are led by dedicated Marine Ecology and Marine Mammal Research & Conservation teams. Daily briefing starts at 9am to cover the day’s activities. Interns work in teams and their research primarily covers marine ecology, marine mammals, and mapping using GIS. Work starts after the briefing.
The nature of activities that interns are involved with varies depending upon seasonality, as all internship activities are subject to weather conditions. Conservation and research priorities vary throughout the year. However, the key fields of action relate to:
- Marine Ecology (i.e. invasive species analysis, assessing seagrass habitats, assessing blue carbon in seagrass meadows, artificial reef assessment etc)
- Marine Mammals (i.e. photo identification, assessing pod structures, population monitoring, bioacoustics etc)
- Terrestrial Conservation (i.e. monitoring biodiversity, flora and fauna studies etc)
- Laboratory Research (i.e. water, soil, and microplastic analysis)
- Law and Policy (i.e. IUU fisheries, marine protection areas, protection of habitats against destructive fishing practices etc)
- GIS & Remote Sensing (i.e. mapping of seagrass meadows, mapping of coralligenous reefs etc) Environmental Education (i.e. conservation and sustainable teaching etc)
It is important to note that this internship requires a lot of self-motivation and self-guided work. There is a large intern-to-supervisor ratio, so interns should come prepared with what they want to study and work on, as well as specific questions in order to achieve your goals. It will greatly enhance your participation to take initiative and proactively ask for help from the supervisors when required.
Short term interns (those joining for less than six weeks) should expect an introductory experience. This typically involves gaining an understanding of the Marine Institute and how it operates to advance research and conservation, while also learning basic research principles and methodologies (for example, learning species ID, completing tests that will allow you to join surveys, proposal writing, literature review, GIS and remote sensing related activities, etc).
Short term interns (e.g. 8 weeks) must come prepared to be adaptable, proactive and collaborative in nature. Activities are frequently related to practical conservation field work but are commonly accompanied by office-based tasks as well. For example, assisting with media campaigns that raise public awareness of environmental issues, etc.
The Marine Institute routinely works with students conducting long-term research, who can remain onsite for extended durations of up to 6 to 12 months. In many cases, these students may take on “team leader” roles and assist other interns. Interns are always encouraged to commit to longer term durations if possible. This enables interns to come prepared with their own research objectives, along with the time to dedicate to autonomous, self-directed study.
It is important to note that all conservation work is subject to change due to weather conditions and seasonality. Conservation operations run year-round although a flexible mentality is required if weekly activities need to be rearranged due to weather events. The best time of year to visit for hot-weather activities is from mid June to mid September. The colder months are from late November through late March. The coldest day of the year is typically recorded in February and the wetter season lasts from early November through early April.
Full time, Monday through Friday. Schedules can vary based on weather conditions and seasonal projects.
Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
Gathering data on marine mammals, coastal biodiversity, environmental conservation and microplastics
Sea and land-based surveying
Anthropogenic impact studies
Environmental law and policy
GIS and remote sensing
Assisting media campaigns and raising awareness
Wildlife and landscape photography
Graphic design and animation
Professional development opportunities:
Practical research experience in Mediterranean marine environments.
Gain real-world understanding in a range of marine science and conservation fields.
Producing content for genuine conservation campaigns.
Enhanced practical skills and employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.
Greece photo gallery
Read reviews from our Greece Interns
”This program has given me the opportunity to develop the skills necessary in order to prepare for the real world in my career field. This has made a huge contribution to my personal and professional development by allowing me to freely think and actively view how life will become for me once I officially join many other skilled and intelligent scientists in the marine science field.”
Read reviews from our Greece Interns
Academic credit available for all internships
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing an internship abroad or remote internship program with Intern Abroad HQ.Learn about course credit
It’s free to apply for this internship. Once we have reviewed your suitability and accepted you onto this program, you’ll need to pay a deposit of US$449 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$449 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.
Program Fee (USD)
|8 weeks||$3,040Equivalent to $54/day|
|10 weeks||$3,640Equivalent to $52/day|
|12 weeks||$3,915Equivalent to $46/day|
|14 weeks||$4,345Equivalent to $44/day|
|16 weeks||$4,945Equivalent to $44/day|
|20 weeks||$5,925Equivalent to $42/day|
|24 weeks||$6,370Equivalent to $37/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- Airport pick-up
- Program orientation
- Dedicated support before, during, and after your internship
- In-country guidance for social and tourist activities
- Sourcing and securing your internship placement
- Personalization of your internship plan
- Coaching from your supervisor
- Documented portfolio of your experiential learnings
- Academic credit facilitation
- International reference letter
- Certificate of Internship Completion
- Visa (if required), flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check
- Transfer back to the airport at the end of your internship program
- Optional extras, such as language lessons
- Souvenirs and leisure activities during your free time
- Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, public transportation, and any meals not included in your Program Fee
- A deposit of $449 USD is required to secure your internship
- Note that internships in Greece are provided through an organization which is accredited to run projects under Erasmus+ Volunteering and the European Solidarity Corps. European students are encouraged to speak with their university Erasmus office regarding funding and grants for this internship.
- Balance of your Program Fee is due 60 days before your internship start date.
- All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
Arrival and Orientation
Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation internships take place on Samos Island in Greece. Start dates are available on the first and third Tuesday of each month only. Exceptions may be made to this when start dates are shifted to avoid public holiday disruptions or closed when the program has already reached capacity. Interns may choose to spend a minimum of 8 weeks, up to a maximum of 12 weeks (or 24 weeks, with advance visa arrangements). Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee.
- Interns are asked to arrive on their chosen Tuesday start date. The accommodation is covered from the first Tuesday night of the program.
- After having time to settle in, a formal orientation will take place the following day. Orientation covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about customs, rules, expectations, safety, and more.
- The typical port of entry into Greece is the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH), the largest international airport in the country. From this airport, interns need to connect onto a further domestic flight to Samos Island, via Samos International Airport (SMI). Upon arrival at SMI, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred to the accommodation. No airport meet-and-greets are provided in Athens.
- The last night of the accommodation is the Friday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on Saturday.
- Return transportation to the airport is not included in the internship program fee.
- Extra nights of accommodation can be arranged in advance, if requested, and are subject to availability.
Please note that all participants are advised not to book flights or confirm any other travel bookings until they have first paid the internship program fee deposit, in order to confirm placement and receive further guidance.
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Accommodation and WiFi
Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation internships primarily take place on Samos Island, as this is where the main research base is located. This is just a short distance from the town of Pythagorio, and a short walk from the beach. The base is equipped with a cinema room, gym, and recreational room.
Living is comfortable and the shared accommodation offers electricity, shared common kitchen/dining areas, running water, laundry machine and clothing line for drying, and shared western bathrooms.
The accommodation can sleep about 30-35 guests. Rooms are simple and each room can sleep approx. 3-4 guests. All have an ensuite toilet and shower. Private rooms are unavailable, so all program participants should expect to share with 2 - 4 other program participants, of the same gender.
It’s important to note that there can occasionally be short-term power or water cuts, which cause temporary inconvenience. In such cases, local staff will ensure that proper reports are made to local authorities so that services can be restored as soon as possible. The base has back-up water tanks for such events. Interns are recommended to keep their devices charged, in case of short-term power outages.
Showers are heated partially by solar power, so they are warm but not always piping hot. At times, the showers may be cold or lukewarm. During the colder months of the year, temperatures can be quite low, so it is important to pack accordingly with warm clothing.
Accommodation is not air conditioned. If you are sensitive to hot temperatures, this should be considered when planning a summer internship. (Likewise, if you are very sensitive to cold conditions, then it is better to schedule your internship outside of winter months).
Wi-fi is available but the speed can often be slow during busy periods. It should not be used for streaming videos or music during working hours, as this will affect connectivity for people who are working and conducting research. Wi-fi is also very easily accessed in towns, with just about every cafe and restaurant offering connection to customers.
Interns are strongly advised to ensure that their own smart phone has data for personal use, and encouraged to rely on their own mobile plan for personal connection needs, while also being able to hotspot to their laptop, if need be. Sim cards can be purchased locally for this purpose or you may speak with your own provider about an international roaming plan.
Please note that the accommodation pictured in the photo gallery of this webpage is provided as an example. Since we work with more than one accommodation base, the exact accommodation that you’re assigned may differ from the photos. However, you can expect a similar standard and similar amenities, to what is shown here. Occasionally interns may spend time on the research base at Lipsi, where there are similar accommodations available for interns.
Internships in Greece include three meals per day, served at the accommodation/base. Breakfast is available from 8am until 8:45am. Catering is self service.
The style of food is typically Greek and dishes are simple, including dishes such as pastas, salads, legumes, seasonal fruit and vegetables. The meals provided are intended to be hearty and healthy (based on seasonal produce which is locally available), but not indulgent.
Please let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance, so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations accordingly. However, come prepared to budget independently for your own treats or extra snacks to supplement, according to individual needs and preferences.
Interns usually report that they spend approximately €30-40 per week on extra food supplies and shopping at the supermarket/bakery (including a meal out). There are many tasty eateries around, so you can enjoy supporting local businesses and trying the delicious specialties.
Activities and tourism
Samos has emerged as peaceful destinations for relaxing away from the hustle and bustle. While the island receives tourism, it is not considered to be a destination for the masses. The island is relatively small and rural, with tight-knit communities, where social cohesion is expected. Spare time during the weekends is available to unwind and explore. There is no shortage of things to see and do, as the islands have ample scenery, hikes, beautiful beaches, restaurants, tourism attractions, culture and history. In the major towns of Pythagoreio, Vathi/Samos City, Karlovasi and Marathokampos, there are numerous shops and supermarkets, tavernas, cafés/restaurants, museums, archaeological sites and pharmacies. The Samos Island medical services include a general hospital in Vathi/Samos City, a health clinic in Pythagoreio, as well as pharmacies in most towns. Note that sometimes internship activities can take place over weekends, so a flexible nature is required.
Essential country information
|Currency||Euro (€ - EUR)|
Weather and climate:
In Samos, the climate follows typical Mediterranean patterns. The summers are hot, arid, and clear; the winters are long, cold, wet, and partly cloudy. It is windy in the Aegean Islands year-round.
The main summer period runs from mid June to mid September, with an average daily high temperature above 84°F / 29°C. The hottest month of the year is July, with an average high of 90°F / 32°C. The summer months are also the driest. The Spring period is moderate and (as it’s not so hot) also a popular season for tourism.
The winter months are from late November through to late March. The coldest month of the year is usually January, with an average low of 43°F / 6°C and high of 54°F / 12°C. Rainfall is more common and the winter months on the Greek islands are fairly slow with tourists.
The nature of activities that interns are involved with varies depending upon seasonality, as all internship activities are subject to weather conditions. Therefore, over the winter months, interns should expect less boat surveys (and tasks related to marine mammals) and more tasks related to marine ecology, microplastic assessment in the laboratory, and (subject to availability) marine sanctuary project priorities.