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The Science Exchange Sea Turtle Internships

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Sea turtle ecology internship in Abaco, Bahamas

The Science Exchange sea turtle ecology internship was honestly the most impactful and incredible experiences of my life. I lived in the Bahamas for two months at a research station and was able to meet other researchers from other universities and organizations. I gain invaluable research experience that greatly prepared me for graduate school and a future career in marine biology. I was also able to conduct my own research project on burrowing sea cucumbers. The countless connections and unforgettable experiences I gained through this internship will last with me forever.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Staff Intern

The experience working with Katherine as a staff intern with The Science Exchange was a great eye-opening experience for me. I was able to learn about the inner-workings of a study abroad program and a nonprofit. I also gained valuable knowledge about sea turtle camps and marine ecology.

  • The Science Exchange responded to this review May 27, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    You are an invaluable member of the team! Thank you!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

My experience

The Science Exchange is an amazing program that I would recommend to anyone. During my internship I gained, valuable connections, research experience, and Spanish skills.It was a lot of work but the experience was well worth it

  • The Science Exchange responded to this review May 27, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    And you learned to cook! We still use your research methods and data as our "baseline" so you really made a difference at the camp and in the community.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Research in Mayto

My time in Mexico was probably some of the best 2 months I've experienced in my life. It was hot, and I was constantly sweating battling a variety of insects, but when you live on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and get to interact with sea turtles on a regular basis, it's really not all that bad. Most of the time we ate, slept, hung out and went swimming every day. And the people you live with become like your family, everyone has their roles bringing different personalities and life experiences to the table. As far as the research went, it took a little bit of time to get a hang of things and figure out the logistics of when data would be collected. It was always really hot, which you get used to, and you are supposed to be collecting the data when it is low tide, which did not necessarily always happen since we did not have access to tide charts online. So sometimes, we had large washes crashing down on us and washing away our research equipment. But as one would expect, anything can happen in the field and you don't really have that much control.
Another issue with our placement is that we had very limited access to Internet to access my email or contact friends and family back home. Whenever I needed help with my graphs or how to manipulate my data, I had a really hard time getting in contact with my supervisor back in the States. It wasn't until I left my research site and went back to Vallarta where I had access to cell signal and WiFi that I could successfully get in contact with help to complete my paper. Overall, I learned a lot about field research, about sea turtles and their conservation efforts, about nature and about myself. My time in Mayto being able to meet so many people studying science like me as well as other things gave me a lot of things to consider about what I want to do with my future now that I have a year left until I graduate. There is still a lot I need to learn, and I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend in Mayto and the incredible people I was able to meet. I hope to go back someday.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    6

Science Exchange Sea Turtle Research

The science exchange program gave me an awesome opportunity to fulfill a dream of mine. I really enjoyed working with sea turtles and making friends in a new country. The research and field experience has helped me obtain future jobs. I also met amazing people who I will remain friends with for years and years to come!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Great first field research experience

This program was a great way to immerse myself into field research, coming up with questions, ideas, refining protocols and executing the research. Lots of long, hot days on the beach followed by gorgeous, starry nights. Plenty of time to explore the area and get to know the community while studying. Learned lots about the local flora and fauna, gained skills in foreign languages and developed a strong sense of self. The professional and life skills I learned have helped me tremendously in the years following my time with the program.

  • The Science Exchange responded to this review May 27, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    We are so proud of you!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Turtle Camp in Sayulita Mexico

The program over all was a great experience, working with the turtle camp, other volunteers and conducting research in the community. I found Sayulita to be a very safe place with lots of things to do and overall friendly people. I would recommend this program if you are interested in experiencing another culture and conserving sea turtles.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    4

Experiencing more than you expected!

My experience turned out to be pretty interesting, but one of the most memorable I have ever had. I have traveled quite a bit more after this internship, and it has given me a lot more time to reflect on the experience I had compared to other experiences in Latin American countries and conservation. I was quite confused at first, but by the end, I felt that I was beginning to understand my place in the community and conservation of sea turtles, so I was quite sad to leave. Many experiences that I found difficult were really just due to experiencing a new culture. Language barriers and lack of understanding about the culture caused some displeasure at first, but upon further reflection was just a problem because it challenged my set American ideas so much.
The interactions I had with the turtles are unforgettable. My favorite turtle that I ever saw had bioluminescent algae on her shell that lit up upon touch. I will never forget how magical she was. The interactions that I had with the turtles and studying beach trash have helped me get quite a few jobs in the field afterwards. The worst thing? Nothing will ever compare to how cute baby sea turtles are!
Isolation was one of the biggest challenges that I had to overcome. My Spanish was not very good, and my personality did not quite match those of my 2 fellow workers. This was my biggest culture shock and left me feeling quite isolated. It also provided me with the perfect opportunity to challenge myself to go beyond my comfort levels. Many people were so friendly and willing to help despite my lack of Spanish. I wish I had only tried to branch out sooner!

  • The Science Exchange responded to this review May 27, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    And now you have been living and working in the Galapagos Islands! Congratulations on your personal and cultural triumphs!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Isla Canas

I loved the whole experience, especially my awesome supervisor and peace corps volunteer. She was such a bright, insightful, and life-changing role model. Overall the experience led to changes and positive adventures in my life. I recommend this program to all who inquire.