Environmental studies is one of the most inherently experiential subjects, since many of the theories are substantially different than their application in the real world. By interning abroad in environmental studies you will be able to see how different cultures apply the ideas of sustainability and conservation. What works in one area of the world could be entirely different from the practices in another, which is the exciting part! After an environmental internship abroad, you will have a better perspective on how to turn a concept into an on-the-ground plan, as well as the challenges and complexities of this field around the world.
Environmental internships abroad are ideal for anyone considering a career in ecology, park services, conservation, politics, sustainability, marketing, green industry practices, and environmental science. As you can see there are a wide range of profession related to environmental stewardship and responsibility. You might have an interest in the policies and regulations that can protect the environment, in helping businesses become more sustainable while still being profitable, or you may want to learn more about field work and the research behind best practices in environmental conservation, in any case an international internship in environmental studies is perfect for you.
Whatever your passion, participating in an environmental internship abroad is one of the best ways to get an in-depth view of the day-to-day operations and roles of organizations focusing on environmental studies. With so many potential specializations, getting direct work experience is the perfect way to narrow down your focus, while still understanding the overlap of economic development, sustainability, and social justice with the field of environmental studies.
Interning abroad in environmental studies will boost your resume while giving you a chance to directly impact local communities and build an international professional network. Many environmental internships abroad are not in a typical office setting but rather provide a combination of administration, research, and working in the field. Through your international internship you’ll be able to work with an international team as well as support the local communities.
You can truly pick almost anywhere in the world for an environmental internship abroad, but here are a few favorites across the globe:
Australia is a natural choice for an internship in environmental studies abroad because of the nation’s extensive focus on sustainability in many aspects of business, government, and society. Many cities in Australia have considered environmental impacts for quite some time and developed ways to bridge green design and technology with business. In addition, there are a host of internship opportunities in Australia related to research and the science behind environmental conservation. In terms of the environment itself, you’ll find beaches, ocean, and desert too.
Costa Rica has an incredible amount of biodiversity, with rain forests, beaches, cloud forests, turtle sanctuaries, and many national parks. The country has a history of conservation initiatives and can therefore be considered an environmental studies internship hotspot. A huge tourist destination, Costa Rica has had to balance sustainability with demand from foreigners to see the many areas of natural beauty the country offers for years. As a developing country, Costa Rica also faces challenges with government regulations and the process for enacting laws that protect these natural resources. Environmental internships in Costa Rica are a sound choice for anyone interested in grassroots environmental work as well as improving skills in Spanish language.
Brazil is famous for its parties, food, dancing, and festivals, especially Carnival. The country is also a great location for internships in environmental studies because of its biodiversity and the many different types of landscapes it encompasses. Also, there are many environmental issues facing Brazil, including deforestation, pollution, and wildlife poaching. Environmental interns in Brazil can get involved in research or advocacy related to conservation and habitat restoration.
The Netherlands is one of the world leaders in sustainability, conservation, and best practices in environmentalism, all while maintaining an incredibly healthy economy. Even after a few days in the Netherlands you will notice how the daily life and culture of the country are in perfect alignment with maintaining the environment. Everything from the architecture and limits on trash per household to the layout of cities that allows for massive amount of bicycle transportation, are indications of a commitment to the environment. If you’re looking to learn from the pioneers in sustainability, consider an environmental studies internship abroad in the Netherlands.
Who will you work for? Your international internship in environmental studies could be with a variety of different organizations, such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in remote villages, marine or rainforest research stations, governmental or activist groups focused on specific conservation programs, sustainable business consultancies, water management organizations, specialized marketing agencies, or national parks.
What will you do? During your environmental internship abroad you could be doing fieldwork with other international and local scientists, collecting data on different species and their habitat. You might also be placed with a government agency that examines the impact of policy on environmental practice.
What will you learn? By interning abroad you will soon learn that there are many overlaps within the social, political, cultural, and environmental movements in any given country. It’s impossible to look at conservation and sustainability as a separate issue, something that might not be discussed in college classes on the subject but that will become more clear through international work.
When will you work? Many international internships are between 25 and 35 hours per week, and most are within normal business hours, although depending on your area of interest there could be weekend excursions as a part of your research or work. International internships in environmental studies are available year-round and usually do not require any experience other than an interest in the subject matter. Regardless of your previous training or courses, chances are good that you have skills that will help to advocate for the environment in one way or another!
- Protect the Earth. Everyone says they want to change the world, but environmental studies internships abroad are a way you can truly make a contribution to protecting our Earth on a global scale. The skills you’ll gain through working with an international organization will set you apart on your resume and in future job interviews, giving you direct experience to discuss and a larger understanding of the field.
- Build Your International Network. Whether you’re interested in working for an NGO, going into politics, designing green technology, or going out in the field to do research, an international internship will make you better prepared for your career. You’ll meet other like-minded individuals who are passionate about the environment and have dedicated their lives to making progress – soon these people will be an international professional network.