I absolutely loved my experience at Archipelagos. I learned real professional skills from the environmental conservational realm. The scientific directors and staff are wonderful people with the passion to influence future generations about the value of ecosystems. Additionally, they are true activists that dedicate their lives to conserving the ecological heritage of both marine and terrestrial services.
Although some students found their management frustrating because they have deadlines for their masters or phD, I had the honor to see their true motives which are to protect, conserve and spread awareness through monitoring ecosystem services with academic studies. I was disappointed when I realized I would not be taught to scuba dive, due to time frame issues I wish could've been addressed before I arrived. However, I gained a much broader experience in assisting in plenty of projects that matter for sustainable development.
Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation have locations on a couple of islands for research. I absolutely love the Lipsi location because it is the perfect authentic Greek experience. You can experience a lot on foot, the locals are kind and the food is forever imprinted on my taste buds. Samos felt more like summer camp, it was hard to explore without a car, so I recommend getting an international license before you go abroad! Both locations are among the world's biodiversity hotspots. In my whole entire life, I have never felt so harmonized with nature and my self from being geographically located within organic balance. The abundance of species is something everyone must experience because this exemplifies diverse functionality. I am forever grateful for the alignment that I harbored in the Aegean Sea.