The Aegean Marine Science and Island Conservation internship is based between primary research bases (with adjacent accommodations) on Samos Island and Lipsi Island. However, interns may also spend time on research vessels and smaller surrounding islands, such as Ikaria and Leros. The research vessels also serve as important mobile platforms for research and conservation work.
The internship structure follows a field course approach, with a weekly focus that rotates across diverse conservation areas such as:
- Marine Mammals
- Coastal Biodiversity
- Environmental Conservation
- Microplastic Research
Throughout these various components, interns also have scope to gain valuable insight into environmental law and policy, boat and land-based survey, bioacoustics, photo identification, and anthropogenic impact.
|“Best decision I’ve ever made! The placement supervisors were great and had an awesome sense of humor and being surrounded by a new culture was a great experience. This internship led directly to a job just two weeks after my internship! I strongly recommend anyone to participate in this program!.” - Kevin Herrell, USA|
The internship schedule begins at the research base on Samos Island, located about 3.5 km from the town of Pythagoreio. This base is a multifunctional facility and serves as the main center for activities related to terrestrial conservation, as well as cultural and tourism activities related to archeology and history. In ancient times, Samos was said to be the most important city in the world, due to its location at the crossroads of sea routes connecting Greece with East Asia and Africa. Pythagoreio itself is approximately a 10 minute drive (5 km) from the Samos International Airport. Terrestrial research and conservation activities which may be conducted on Samos include a focus on:
- Mediterranean Chameleons
- Golden Jackals
- Bird species
- Island Flora
In addition to time spent on Samos, interns can also expect to progress to Lipsi Island (typically after their first orientation week in Samos, subject to conditions and project priorities) and may also visit other smaller nearby islands, such as Ikaria, Leros, as well Arki and Marathi Islets. Note that visits to other islands (outside of Samos and Lipsi) are always subject to availability, conservation priorities, and seasonality. If conducted, such visits are likely to be short-term and made via research vessel.
Practical conservation field work should also be expected to be accompanied by office-based tasks related to media campaigns that raise public awareness of environmental issues. Such media work may include, but not be limited to, wildlife and landscape photography, documentary production, graphic and animation design for conservation, etc. For interns with a special interest in media, they can present their professional portfolio for guidance on how their talents may be best utilised for conservation efforts.
Interns who join for a duration of 3 to 6 weeks will primarily be focused on the field course activities and rotate across focus areas accordingly. However, interns who commit to longer durations (such as up to 8 or 12 weeks, or longer) are expected to gain increased understanding and initiative during the internship, enabling them to become more proactive. Long term interns are therefore expected to establish and develop their area of focus over time to work more independently. This may include self-directed research project time (to do more analysis, spend more time in the laboratory, creation of media contact, photo identification work of marine mammals, etc), working with supervisors as colleagues to assist with research projects, taking on a team-leader role to assist with short-term interns, and helping with the ongoing operations of the Marine Conservation Institute. Priorities can vary depending on the season and changing projects.
It is important to note that the rotating weekly schedules for 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.
Want to get started?
Taking the first step is easy! Our team is here to provide friendly assistance, from your initial research and planning phases, right through until your internship completion. To get started, submit an application. It is free to apply and takes just 5 minutes.
How to intern
The internship schedule begins at the research base on Samos Island, located about 3.5 km from the small town of Pythagorio .
Pythagorio itself is approximately a 10-minute drive (5 km) from Samos International Airport. This base is a multifunctional facility and serves as the main centre for activities related to terrestrial conservation, as well as cultural and tourism activities related to archaeology and history.
Airport pick-up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee. The accommodation is covered from the Monday night of the Monday start date. Interns are required to arrive on their selected Monday start date in order to join the orientation accordingly. To receive the airport pick-up and be transported to the accommodation, all internship participants fly into Samos International Airport (SMI).
Upon arrival to the base / accommodation, interns are met by a local team member, who will greet them and assist with settling in. A short orientation of the base, as well as basic guidelines, are provided. Afterwards, there is free time to get settled in and rest. Full orientation and introductory meeting normally takes place the following day.
Please note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.
Internships in Greece are based between primary research bases (with adjacent accommodation) on Samos Island and Lipsi Island. The initial accommodation site and base is located on Samos Island or Lipsi Island. The arrival point for all program participants will be dependent on the program start date. Interns are likely to spend time at the bases on Lipsi and Samos Island, with the potential to also overnight on nearby islands. In all cases, interns should expect to share a room with 2 - 4 other program participants, of the same gender. Bathrooms are shared.
Living is comfortable and accommodation offers electricity, shared common kitchen/dining areas, running water and western bathrooms. 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 bases on Samos Island and Lipsi Island have back-up water tanks for such events. Interns are recommended to keep their devices charged, in case of short-term power outages.
It’s important to note that 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.
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.
Internships in Greece include three meals per day, served at the accommodation/base. The style of food is typically Greek and dishes are simple, including dishes such as pastas, salads, legumes, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Please be sure to 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.
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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.
- To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
- All Intern Abroad programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 in addition to the Program Fee.
- All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
- * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
- Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
- Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program.
- Souvenirs + tourism/leisure activities during free time.
- Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, and public transportation. Interns generally find US$30 per week to be sufficient.
During the internship, informal Greek Lessons are provided at no additional cost, so interns can brush up on local language skills. Spare time during the weekends is available to relax, explore Samos, Lipsi, and other surrounding Greek Islands. There are no shortage of things to see and do, as the region has ample scenery, tourism attractions, culture and history.
In ancient times, Samos was said to be the most important city in the world, due to its location at the crossroads of sea routes, connecting Greece with East Asia and Africa. Ancient structures remain alongside more modern infrastructure, reminding residents of the island’s important past as a commercial, financial and intellectual hub.
The Archaeological Museum of Pythagorion, built in the center of Samos, hosts approximately 3,000 exhibits. Make sure you spend some time taking in the precious antiquities on display, to gain an appreciation of the area’s colorful history from the 5th millennium BC to the 7th c. AD. While you’re brushing up on your history, also visit the Archaeological Museum of Samos, where priceless treasures are on display, that were once brought by pilgrims to the sanctuary of Hera. The Heraion of Samos was one of ancient Greece’s most important sanctuaries, although the impressive temple was apparently never completed.
If you’ve an interest in engineering, don’t miss checking out the Eupalinos Tunnel, which was part of the island’s ancient water-supply system. Construction of the opening of the tunnel began simultaneously on both sides of the mountain, and the two independent crews of stone masons met in the middle, with almost no deviation from the straight line that Eupalinos had calculated - a truly astonishing feat.
Note that sometimes internship activities can take place over weekends, so a flexible nature is required.
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Weather and climate: The climate of Greece is primarily Mediterranean, featuring mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. In Samos, where the program is based (an island of the Eastern Aegean Sea, a short distance from the Turkish coast), the climate also 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 best time of year to visit for fine weather activities is from mid-April to late-October. During this time, the average daily high temperature is above 84°F / 29°C. The colder months are from late November through late March, when the average daily high is below 61°F / 16°C. The coldest day of the year is typically recorded in February. The wetter season lasts from early November through early April and the drier season lasts from early April through till early November.