• Greece
4 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round


Price Details
Monthly fees of 650 euro include:
Living expenses (shared accommodation, all meals, wi-fi)
Use of equipment & research boats
Transport for working purposes
Greek language lessons

Students and recent graduates are advised to explore possible funding through their universities, by getting in touch with the Finance / International Relations / Placement/ Erasmus+ Offices at their Universities or other relevant grant providing organizations in their region.

*Travelling costs are NOT included and are covered by the participant.
What's Included
Accommodation Meals Wifi
Sep 12, 2019
Nov 30, 2022
31 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The goal of the Archipelagos marine mammal research team is to monitor the regional status of marine mammal populations and their habitats in the eastern Aegean, a region where data relating to these species is largely lacking. Projects include

• Collecting and analysing data on cetacean presence, abundance, distribution and behavioural studies through boat, ferry and land surveys
• Collecting and analysing data on species movement, residency pattern and social structure using mark recapture photo-ID techniques
• Monitoring cetacean bioacoustics
• Collecting and analysing data on the presence, abundance, distribution and behavioural tendencies of Mediterranean monk seals and various sea turtle species
• Analysing microplastic content in marine animal digestive system
• Monitoring and assessing marine litter on shore and at sea
• The creation of an in-sea rehabilitation facility for marine mammals and turtles
• Cetacean and sea turtle basic first aid and stranding response

Program Reviews

4.69 Rating
based on 13 reviews
  • 5 rating 69.23%
  • 4 rating 30.77%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.4
  • Support 4.4
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 4.1
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 13 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Go on with your projects

Working with Archipelagos is a good opportunity to imagine, write and suggest you rown research project and link it with the ongoing projects of the associaction.
Then you will be helpd in managing and implementing it.
The NGO work in the islands of Lipsi and Samos at the moment and there are a lot of position for diverse interests: terrestrial, marine and GIS.
The balance work/free time is ok and the amount of effort is balanced with the background of the intern and the personal motivation. Highly suggested

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible opportunity!

I always felt like protecting the seas of our planet was something that should be everyone's responsibility. But, in today's world very few people think it's a priority and even fewer actually take action in that direction. But Archipelagos is one of these few non-profit organizations in Greece that is actually trying to make a difference. This internship gave me the opportunity to be part of that community, while exploring my interests and developing my research skills.
During the program I had the chance to choose a topic that aligned with my knowledge, skills and interests and work independently on my own project. Even though I had guidance by supervisors, most of thee responsibility was on me to organize my work, get the data that I needed and make progress. It was a really valuable experience to actually be in charge of a project and gave me an understanding of a lot of things that make research a lot more complicated than I originally though. I also learned that especially when it comes to such pressing issues, scientific research is not the only thing that counts. The scientific approach needs to be tailored to be used in conversations with government officials and policy makers in order to bring actual change.
But apart of a valuable learning experience, the internship was very fun giving me the chance to meet so many young, driven, and like-minded individuals from all over Europe. During the evenings and weekends, we would go explore the island, enjoying the sea and some breathtaking landscapes.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Maybe not the most surprising, but definitely the most unforgettable part was hearing the dolphins whistle when swimming right next to the boat. Going on boat surveys was definitely the highlight of my experience. Even though spending a whole day in the sea and the sun was exhausting, seeing dolphins was always so rewarding.
29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

The Marine Mammal Programme is a one in a lifetime experience with likeminded individuals. Everyone is very helpful and passionate about their work. There is a lot of projects you can work on. You work mostly from Monday till Friday, and can hang out, rent a car and do fun stuff in the weekends with all the other interns. I loved the environment and made connections for a lifetime! Would definitely recommend this internship to anyone loving marine mammals, Greece and unique people from all over the world.

25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent internship for independent, motivated people

Archipelagos is a fantastic opportunity, but only if you're able to figure things out and work without having your hand held. You're able to work at your own pace, focus on projects that you're interested in, and receive support and education from a variety of supervisors from different backgrounds. But if you're lazy or you need other people to motivate you, it's very easy to start getting bored with the program.

On top of the interesting work, the locale and social aspects were incredible. I made a ton of friends and we did something interesting/different almost every single night. The food was amazing and if you're a fan of nature, you're gonna have an amazing time.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. If you're a university student, CHECK FOR GRANTS. I cannot stress this enough. Almost every university has money set aside to award to students that are taking internships abroad and representing their university. My university (University of Toronto) paid for basically everything except my airfare. If you're interested in conservation work but the internship's fees are too high, go check with your university first.

2. Do research BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. Find out which projects are being done during the months that you're arriving, find out what kind of research is needed, and even get in contact with some of the supervisors there before you arrive. Your first few days will be a bit overwhelming and it's a huge help to already know what you're doing.

3. Keep your expectations in check. This is an NGO on a tiny island that focuses on marine conservation, not a billion-dollar research facility in an urban city. Wifi may be worse, and living conditions will not be comparable to a 5-star hotel. While some people may complain about this, I found it to be a great experience since many conservation-related jobs involve working in rural or isolated areas similar to this one.

4. Don't focus all on work. Yes, you're there as an intern, but you've also got evenings and weekends off. Make some friends and try some new things while you're there. I didn't miss home once during my internship because I had an incredible group of friends with me.
35 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Unparalleled Opportunity

The opportunity to work with a Marine Conservation NGO in Greece is an unparalleled one. The best part of working with an NGO means that you are on the front-line of their work, and you not only get to witness science in action but be part of it too. It was refreshing to be doing work of evident value – and Archipelagos ensures that everyone gets to take part in work for all of their teams. This means that while my main role in the GIS team was to research and conduct analysis on various spatial data, I also partook in marine mammal boat surveys, terrestrial surveys and public-engagement exercises. While working with an NGO comes with its expected pitfalls, such as mild disorganisation and basic living conditions, these are the necessary trade-offs when doing such a placement.

Not only does working with many other interns from all over the world create a fun working and social atmosphere but living on Greek islands means that out-of-work hours were just as enjoyable. However, the best thing about this placement was how much I learnt. Daveron, the supervisor of the GIS team, ensured that all interns coming on to the team walked away from the placement – no matter how long – with a greater knowledge of geospatial analysis and GIS programs. It is Daveron’s drive of the GIS team which made it so successful; I’m extremely grateful for all that he, and everyone else at Archipelagos, taught me.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Doing a placement with Archipelagos is a fantastic opportunity to develop your technical skills in whichever area you choose - in a fun, relaxed environment. I’d recommend taking this opportunity with an open-mind and no expectations of anything other than yourself to make the most of it.
42 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A unique experience to develop yourself to its widest extent

I have been an intern at Archipelagos for 6 months to complete my master program. I was part of the GIS team operating from the islands of Samos and Lipsi. Archipelagos offers unique opportunities in which interns can develop themselves to its widest extent. Despite no previous experience with fieldwork and data collection both on- and offshore, I have been able to deploy myself during many boat trips and operations using advanced equipment. Simultaneously to this full practical experience, I was able to develop myself on organisational aspects through the full responsibility I received. The environment and housing with many international students and staff is fun, instructive and truly unforgettable.
I have written a personal blog about many activities I did at Archipelagos:

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
As indicated in advance, the living circumstances can be very basic. Some interns are not pre-set for this resulting in overwhelming negativity as read in some reviews. It is a shame that these thoughts overshadow the work and the fun experiences. In my opinion the 'basic' (living and working) circumstances is a chance to develop yourself in order to adjust and to be flexible, whichyou take with you for the rest of your live. For me, it was all part of the experience in which you know it is only temporary.
38 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful diverse experience

This placement gives the opportunity to take part in so many different areas of interests and studies. I was primarily on the Marine Mammal team but they really allow you to join a variety of teams (so long as you're not taking over tasks from people who are primarily on that team) and I would even recommend it. I was often on about four teams and absolutely loved it. I recommend doing that because I found some people who decided to just stick with their one team struggled a bit, since depending on the weather or work necessary at that time there is not always full busy days with just one team. And the work opportunities provided were absolutely amazing, it gave me so many ideas for different ways I can help out and take part in conservation. The people you meet there are wonderful too - its great to get together with a group of like minded individuals from different countries.

What would you improve about this program?
I occasionally wished there was more reasons given as to why people got chosen for different projects, since there were times when people who had been there for less time than me were selected. Although I would recommend not being afraid to inquire to the supervisors in such cases, a most of the time they're quite relaxed and open about discussing placement opportunities and the like.
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Introduction into Marine Mammal Science

During my time at Archipelagos as a marine mammal researcher, I was able to reaffirm my passion for marine mammal science. As a rising senior majoring in marine science, I came to archipelagos to try and find what I wanted to do following graduation. I was lucky to have found a passion in photo-ID work, and spent my days both on the boat and back at base analyzing my data and photos. Archipelagos provided me a platform where I learned how to be a leader, worked on my organization/time management skills, and was allowed to collaborate with other scientists . Besides working on my own project, I also had the opportunity to assist in land/ boat surveys, and help in other projects that weren't in my particular area of expertise. The marine mammal team supervisor constantly inspires us not only to be better scientists, but to be more of an environmentally conscious individual in society. Theres something special about being surrounded by a group of people who have the same passions as you do, working towards a common goal.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You definitely get out of this program what you put into it. Don't hesitate to ask questions don't be intimidated to join a project you're passionate about. Everyone is there to learn and help each other out.
31 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers