Wildlife Conservation Internships in Thessaloniki
Wildlife Conservation internships in Thessaloniki provide an exciting opportunity for participants to provide hands-on assistance to qualified vets and other experts, who are involved with wildlife protection. The internship is located within the Axios River National Park - a protected wetlands, home to a diverse range of wildlife including birds, foxes, turtles, otters and wildcats. Interns will gain practical conservation experience and knowledge from an experienced team, dedicated to ongoing conservation awareness, research, care and rehabilitation for injured wildlife, and facility maintenance.
- Support conservation and wildlife preservation efforts
- Help protect endangered animal populations
- Develop your communication skills through teamwork and outreach programs
- Enjoy traveling and living in Thessaloniki, with easy access to wider Northern Greece and the Mediterranean
Type of host organizations:
- Non-government organization dedicated to the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals
Wildlife Conservation interns in Greece contribute to conservation efforts in one of the country’s more significant wetland reserves. Spanning over 230 square miles, the Axios River National Park is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, bird species, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Located just outside of Thessaloniki, Greece, interns are placed with an experienced NGO, which has been focused on the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals, for over a decade.
This is an in-country internship that includes accommodation. Click here to view remote Environmental & Marine Sciences internships, which you can undertake from home.
Unique to northern Greece, the NGO collaborates with a wildlife hospital to tackle the harm caused to wildlife through environmental pollution, habitat loss, hunting and trapping. In addition to activities designed to support and protect the region’s wildlife, the NGO drives public awareness and projects related to environmental education
Interns are guided by qualified professionals who are passionate about the environment and conservation. Interns must come prepared to collaborate as a team and (depending on conservation priorities at the time) assist with:
- Conservation efforts and wildlife protection
- The provision of veterinary and rehabilitative care to injured wildlife
- Conservation awareness events and workshops
- Facility Maintenance
- Reintegration programs
- Habitat assessments
- General clean-up of the park and surrounding areas
Come prepared to be flexible and adaptable to conditions and site priorities. It’s important to be aware that conditions can be hot in the summer, and outdoor activities can be physically demanding. A reasonable level of fitness is required, along with a passion for the environment and the great outdoors.
Greek language proficiency is not a requirement to join. However, interns should expect that a language barrier can still be encountered to a certain extent. Interns should be prepared for the very natural and normal frustration of not always understanding what is being said around them. Come prepared and willing to surmount a language barrier (and ask for help when needed), as opposed to being intimidated by it.
Situated near to the city of Thessaloniki, interns can also visit a range of historical, archeological, and cultural sites in their free time. Thessaloniki has a large student population, excellent “coffee culture”, and is near to beautiful beaches which are perfect for day trips.
Wildlife Conservation interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
Assist with daily treatment and feeding activities, for species under veterinary care
Assist with the cleaning and maintenance of facilities, including spaces where animals are being care for
Support conservation and wildlife preservation efforts and events
Assist with facility maintenance
Contribute to reintegration programs
Learn about animal health and behavior in the wild
Professional development opportunities:
Assist local team members with the rescue of exhausted and/or trapped wild animals
Help local veterinarians and wildlife care professionals to rehabilitate exhausted, sick, injured, or juvenile wild animals (mostly birds, but also mammals and reptiles)
Assist with the release of rehabilitated individuals back into their natural habitats
Contribute to public awareness campaigns and education programs designed for a range of ages within the community (i.e. environmental games and presentations)
Participate in events and festivals that focus on creating enhanced public awareness of environmental issues
Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.
Greece photo gallery
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.
Internships in Thessaloniki
Program Fee (USD)
|2 weeks||$1,951Equivalent to $139/day|
|3 weeks||$2,436Equivalent to $116/day|
|4 weeks||$2,921Equivalent to $104/day|
|5 weeks||$3,406Equivalent to $97/day|
|6 weeks||$3,891Equivalent to $92/day|
|8 weeks||$4,861Equivalent to $86/day|
|10 weeks||$5,830Equivalent to $83/day|
|12 weeks||$6,800Equivalent to $80/day|
|16 weeks||$8,740Equivalent to $78/day|
|20 weeks||$10,679Equivalent to $76/day|
|24 weeks||$12,619Equivalent to $75/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
- 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
Internships in Thessaloniki begin on the first and third Monday of the month. 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. Note that there are typically less placements available during August, due to the summer vacation period in Greece. Interns may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 weeks.
Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee. The accommodation is covered from the Sunday night before the Monday start date - interns are required to arrive no later than the Sunday before their Monday start date, as all orientations are held on Mondays.
The typical port of entry is the Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia (SKG). In order to receive the airport pick up service which is included in the Program Fee, interns are required to arrive on the Sunday before their Monday start date, between 9am and 6pm. An extra charge applies to any airport pickups outside this timeframe. If you are planning to spend time independently in Greece prior to your internship and will not require an international airport pick up, we can discuss alternative arrival logistics with you.
Upon arrival, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred to the accommodation. Accommodation is covered from the Sunday night before the Monday start date. The last night of the accommodation is the Friday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on Saturday. Extra nights of accommodation can be arranged in advance, if requested, and are subject to availability.
Orientation covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. Your specific internship placement orientation will follow the general orientation, as you’ll be shown how to travel to and from your internship and be introduced to the team you’ll be joining.
Please note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.
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Accommodation and WiFi
Wildlife Conservation interns are accommodated onsite (subject to availability) within the guest area of the NGO, where the internship itself takes place.
The lodging is provided to ensure interns have easy access to support and the most user-friendly location, since it mitigates the need to commute. (The city of Thessaloniki is a 15 minute drive, or 30 minute bus ride, from the NGO site. Staff offer transportation to and from Thessaloniki on weekends. Interns will also have access to bicycles which they can use to cycle the 20 minutes to the quiet nearby villages of Sindos and Kalochori).
There are kitchen and laundry facilities onsite at the NGO. Amenities include WiFi, fully furnished dorm rooms, and shared common areas (such as lounge, kitchen and laundry). Standard amenities include whiteware (i.e. washing machine, stovetop, fridge, microwave) and clean linen (i.e. bed sheets, pillows, towels). Accommodation includes 24Mbps internet / WiFi access.
Please note that the onsite accommodation for Wildlife Conservation interns is subject to availability. Spaces are limited to no more than 5 guests at any given time. This is a shared dormitory style room, which can be mixed gender.
For this reason, “overflow” accommodation is also utilized, as needed. In this case, alternative accommodation can be provided to interns in a rented apartment, which would be located approximately 20 minutes bicycle ride away from the NGO base (in the quiet nearby villages of Sindos and Kalochori, for example). This option is often preferred when friends participate on the program together, or when people wish to have more privacy and enhanced independence.
You are welcome to request your preference for accommodation when you apply. We will do our utmost to accommodate you, according to preference and availability.
Please note that the accommodation pictured in the photo gallery of this webpage is provided as an example. The exact accommodation that you’re assigned may differ from the photos.
Internships on this program do not include meals, as affordable supermarkets are easily accessible. Greece has a thriving coffee culture which is delightful to partake in (there is also WiFi in almost all coffee shops and restaurants). Try Ellinikos (a favorite style of coffee) along with Freddo Espresso / Cappucino and Frappe.
For eating out, interns may budget approximately 3 - 5 Euro for a light breakfast (about US$5 - 7) and 5 - 10 Euro for a simple lunch (about US$5 - 12). There are ample dining options ranging from budget to high end. Greek cuisine offers a range of incredible dishes to experience, including well known classics such as Moussaka and Souvlaki. The Mediterranean diet features meat (cow, chicken, lamb), pasta, rice, pulses, vegetables, and a variety of fish and seafood. When in doubt, skip straight to dessert and order Galaktoboureko (with ice cream)!
Fluency in Greek is not a requirement for interns in Greece, however lessons with a private tutor can be arranged for those who wish to learn. Lessons are coordinated directly through our local team in Athens and can be confirmed once registered for an internship or at the orientation in-country.
Weekends and travel
Hosted within Greek’s cultural center of Thessaloniki, you’ll experience a vibrant cultural and touristic city during your internship. National Geographic Magazine has previously named Thessaloniki as one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. As the second largest city in Greece, you can find that Thessaloniki has it all - a rich history, amazing food, shopping and an entertaining cultural scene. During free time, interns will have ample opportunity to explore local cafes, bakeries, restaurants and the bustling metropolis that is the port.
Thessaloniki was once an important metropolis and seaport during the Roman period, so there is no shortage of archeological sites. You’ll marvel over the Roman Agora, found in the center of town, as well as the Rotunda and Arch of Galerius. Grab yourself a strong Greek coffee and a famous custard filled bougatsa before exploring on foot with map in hand, or with one of many walking tours available around town. The history of the beautiful preserved Agios Demetrios church and the Byzantine Baths, both protected Unesco sites and not to be missed, while the herbs, spices and sweets of the Bezesteni Market are every food conisors dream!
Want to explore a little further afield? Thessaloniki’s ideal placement on the shore of the Aegean means that the Sporades, or Northern Aegean Islands are just a ferry ride away. Here interns can continue on with their exploration of the Greek island on conclusion of their internship.
Local coordinators are on hand to assist with the booking of safe and reliable activities at discounted prices, so be sure to ask them for advice about how to make the best arrangements to maximize your time and budget (you can do so once registered for your internship or during the orientation). Note that some excursions require a minimum participation of between two or four other people, so it’s wise to enquire in advance.
Essential country information
|Currency||Euro (€ - EUR)|
Weather and climate:
With its Mediterranean climate, the summers in Greece are long, hot and dry and the winters are mild. The best time to visit Thessaloniki for the hot weather is from mid June to mid September. The hottest month is July, in which the temperature may peak around 92°F / 33°C. Heatwaves in Greece may occur but they are usually not prolonged (that coast moderates temperatures with coastal breezes). The cooler months are November through March. During this period, it rarely gets any colder than 32°F / 0°C. In Thessaloniki, February is the coldest month. Rainfall in Greece varies throughout the year, although the summer months are drier in comparison. December is usually the wettest month of the year. Outside of Thessaloniki, the climate of Greece remains primarily Mediterranean. However, due to its mountainous regions, there is a range of microclimates and local variations. Snow regularly falls in the high mountains.