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Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation Internships in Greece

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.

Internship Highlights:
  • 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 Lipsi (primary) and Samos (secondary - subject to availability)
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Fully hosted experience from US$2,445
Includes shared lodging accommodation
Start dates every Monday
Minimum duration 6 weeks, up to 24 Weeks maximum
Greek language lessons available
Get job-ready with our Experiential Learning Curriculum
Internships align with UN Sustainable Development Goals
Eligibility requirements and Associated career paths
Eligibility requirement

Suitable for undergraduate and/or postgraduate students looking for field experience related to relevant studies (i.e Environmental Sciences, Biology, Environmental Law, Conservation Science etc). High School graduates aged 18+ may be accepted, depending on the strength of their application (including any relevant experience, with a desire to learn and grow within this field).

Language requirements

This internship is conducted in English.

Associated career paths

Marine Biologist, Oceanographer, Environmental Management, Fisheries Biologist, Biological Technician, Geographer, Microbiologist, Hydrologist, Biochemist, Environmental Scientist (Policy/Planning/Law), Environmental Impact Assessment Specialist, Ecologist, Education and Outreach Program Coordinator, Climatologist and Media, PR and Communications

Internship details

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.

International Internships for Marine Sciences

The Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation internship program in Greece is primarily based on the small island of Lipsi, where a multi-functional research base is situated. 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.

Internship duration

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 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.

Conditions

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.

Typical Schedule

  • Full time, Monday through Friday. Schedules can vary based on weather conditions and seasonal projects.

Career Benefits

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

  • Bioacoustics

  • Photo identification

  • Anthropogenic impact studies

  • Environmental law and policy

  • Environmental education

  • GIS and remote sensing

  • Assisting media campaigns and raising awareness

  • Wildlife and landscape photography

  • Producing documentaries

  • Graphic design and animation

Professional development opportunites:
  • 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

”I feel more empowered to be successful in my field by learning how to do research surveys. The surveys have given me an idea of what being a researcher in marine science would be like.”

Read reviews from our Greece Interns

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Program fees

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.

Duration
Program Fee (USD)
6 weeks $2,445Equivalent to $58/day
8 weeks $2,990Equivalent to $53/day
10 weeks $3,590Equivalent to $51/day
12 weeks $3,805Equivalent to $45/day
14 weeks $4,295Equivalent to $43/day
16 weeks $4,895Equivalent to $43/day
20 weeks $5,875Equivalent to $41/day
24 weeks $6,320Equivalent to $37/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 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
  • 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 Lispi Island in Greece. Start dates are available on the first and third Tuesday of each month only. This schedule is based on the availability of ferry transportation, from the Piraeus Port of Athens to Lipsi Island. Although guidance and recommendations will be provided, interns who choose this program must be prepared to independently manage their own ferry transportation to Lipsi Island.

The typical port of entry into Greece is the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH), the largest international airport in the country. No airport meet-and-greets are provided and all interns must make their way independently from the airport to the Piraeus Port of Athens ferry terminal, to commence their journey into Lipsi. Given the arrival logistics required, this internship is only recommended for self-reliant participants who feel confident with navigating such arrangements. Upon arrival at Lipsi, interns will be met, greeted, and escorted to the accommodation.

The accommodation is covered from the night of your arrival (as above - based on the ferry schedule). Interns may choose to spend a minimum of 4 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 weeks. The ferry typically travels from Lipsi, back to the Piraeus Port of Athens, on Thursdays and Saturdays. Therefore, accommodation is covered until the Thursday of your final week. (The last night of accommodation that’s covered via the program fee payment is the Thursday night of your final week. Ferry departure times on Thursday are usually very early in the morning. You may pay for extra nights of accommodation, if you wish to depart on a later date).

Orientation covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about customs, rules, expectations, safety, and more. Your specific orientation details will be provided to you by on-site staff, after you have arrived and settled in.

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. Travel details can be subject to change - please consult the Intern Abroad HQ team if you would like more clarity on any of the details listed on this page.

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Accommodation and WiFi

Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation internships primarily take place on Lispi Island. Occasionally interns may spend time on the research base at Samos, where there are similar accommodations available for interns.

On the island of Lispi, there are four accommodation bases available. They are centrally located within Lipsi, not far from the office and main research base. The town is picturesque and the community is very welcoming. Local produce such as honey and fruit can be purchased from local markets. The base is located alongside the harbour front, where the boats used for research work are stationed. Each of the accommodation bases can sleep about 18-20 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.

Living is comfortable and accommodation offers electricity, shared common kitchen/dining areas, running water, laundry machine and clothing line and shared 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 base on Lipsi Island has 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. (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.

Meals

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 in Lipsi and Samos, so you can enjoy supporting local businesses and trying the delicious specialties.

Activities and tourism

Both Lipsi and Samos are Greek islands that have emerged as peaceful destinations for relaxing away from the hustle and bustle. While the islands receive tourism, it is not considered to be a destination for the masses. The islands are 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. Note that sometimes internship activities can take place over weekends, so a flexible nature is required.

Essential country information

Capital Athens
Population 10.75 million
Languages Greek
Currency Euro (€ - EUR)
Time zone UTC+02:00
Weather and climate:

The climate of Greece is primarily Mediterranean, featuring mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. In Lipsi, average temperatures can vary greatly throughout the year and there is a low chance of precipitation year-round. August is usually the hottest month of the year, followed by July and June. (Summer highs are regularly around 94.3°F / 34.6°C with night temperatures rarely dropping below 77.1°F / 25.1°C). The summer months are also the driest. From March through till May, the spring season is moderate. Highs range from 80.4°F / 26.9°C and 59.2°F / 15.1°C. Due to the more moderate temperatures, Spring is the second busiest time of the year for tourism. Winter time, from December through February, is a lot colder, so warmer clothes are required. The average high during winter is between 62°F / 16.7°C and 55.4°F / 13°C. Rainfall is more common and the winter months on the Greek islands are fairly slow with tourists. In Samos, where program activities may also be based, 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.