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What Are the Best Internships in Environmental Management?

The environmental sciences are one of the most meaningful fields you can build a career in. Environmental management careers let you spend your days tackling global issues and contributing to a greener, more sustainable planet. If this sounds like the career path for you, the best place to start is finding internships in environmental management.

The best environmental internships let you travel the world, study nature at its most spectacular, and take part in planet-saving work. You can find internships in wildlife conservation, sustainable development, and nonprofit management. These opportunities let you join incredible organizations and see what it’s like to work in environmental management jobs.

In this blog, we will introduce you to eight of our top environment internships around the world. Additionally, we’ll provide some valuable tips for finding and securing the ideal environmental conservation internships that suit your interests and career goals.

Reforestation and Conservation Internship in Portugal

If you have a passion for reforestation or biodiversity conservation, this could be one of the best environmental internships for you. You’ll work in the lush landscapes of southern Portugal with an organization working to restore and preserve the area’s native forests and the wildlife inhabiting them.

Your role as an intern will have you devising and executing reforestation strategies, conducting species surveys, and helping with the behind-the-scenes work of running an NGO. This internship is a great way to make a tangible impact on the environment while experiencing the natural beauty of Portugal.

a lake beside a mountain in Azores, Portugal

Conservation Research Internship in Costa Rica

This is one of our more versatile environmental conservation internships. It gives interns broad insight into environmental management jobs, letting them work on both land and marine ecology projects.

Renowned for its rich biodiversity and ecosystems, Costa Rica is also home to a remarkable organization conducting fine-scale research into this country’s incredible flora and fauna. You’ll travel to their 4,700-hectare base of operations on the Nicoya Peninsula and help with conservation work, community engagement, and active research projects.

Research and Nature Conservation Internship in Brazil

One of the top reasons to intern in Brazil is for the diverse landscapes, unique ecosystems, and wildlife that live there. In this internship, you’ll work on research and conservation projects in the Itacaré region of Brazil, working closely with wildlife to safeguard the area’s rich biodiversity.

You’ll gain hands-on research experience as you map habitats, catalog species, and monitor populations. You’ll work closely with a team of specialist scientists to complete important studies. Also, environmental management interns on this program can use their research findings towards their university thesis.

Caracol waterfalls in Canela, Brazil

Biodiversity Conservation Internship in Brazil

Travel to one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, and join an ambitious nonprofit aiming to plant 1 million trees there. The prime location for this program makes it one of the best environmental internships in biodiversity conservation.

In fact, reforestation is just one of the ways this organization works to restore and conserve the rainforest. They also conduct long-term research into the ecosystems of the rainforest, manage seed banks and nurseries, and educate local communities on the importance of conservation. As an intern, you’ll get to take part in a range of their projects as you live and work at their base of operations deep in the rainforest.

Forest Management Internship in South Africa

This internship lets you build essential skills for environmental management careers while protecting the forests of South Africa’s Western Cape. It’s a fantastic opportunity for students of ecology, forestry, or related fields to work alongside experts in their field and gain valuable field experience.

You’ll work with a long-established, wide-reaching nonprofit dedicated to protecting South Africa’s forest habitats and promoting environmental activism. You’ll work at a number of locations on one of their 27 different sites and help develop sustainable forestry practices. You’ll get to travel the country, learn from a dedicated team, and build an arsenal of important forestry skills.

a forest in Dullstroom, South Africa

Remote Agroforestry Research Internship in Ghana

Can’t travel? Don’t worry, there are nonprofit remote internships in environmental management too! From the comfort of your own home, you can contribute to an innovative agroforest project in Ghana.

This young, fast-rising nonprofit rehabilitates landscapes through strategic reforestation programs. As an inter, your job will be to research skills knowledge and agricultural practices on-the-ground teams can implement in Ghana. You’ll gain research experience, insight into nonprofit conservation, and deepen your knowledge of agroforestry without even leaving the house.

Permaculture Internship in Malawi

Travel to the heart of Africa and work closely with rural communities to develop sustainable permaculture practices. This internship places you with an organization working to develop sustainable practices in Nkhata Bay, Malawi, by arranging after-school clubs teaching the principles of permaculture to children.

You’ll get the chance to gain practical skills working on various permaculture projects in the area. However, you’ll spend most of your time training teachers and helping with the after-school sessions. This is one of our best environmental internships for insight and experience in the community engagement aspects of nonprofit conservation.

5 Tips for Finding Environmental Management Internships

These were just a handful of our best environmental internships, but there’s a world of opportunity out there. To sift through all the options available takes a little thought and effort.

To help your chances of finding internships in environmental management that suit you, here are five in-depth tips to guide you on your journey:

1. Define Your Goals

Before you start searching for environmental conservation internships, it’s best to have a clear idea of what you want from the experience. Take time to reflect on your interests within the field.

Imagine your dream environmental management jobs, then think of what kind of environment internships might help you towards that goal. Are you aiming for a research-oriented role in a renowned institution, or do you see yourself working closely with communities to implement sustainable practices? Next, ask yourself: What skills and experience will I need to do this?

Defining your goals will help you tailor your search and pinpoint the right opportunities.

trunks of trees in a forest

2. Research Organizations

Once you’ve honed in on your interests, it’s time to find the organizations offering the best environmental internships for your chosen area. Environmental management is a diverse field with countless organizations from all around the world. So, researching can take some time.

Shortlist a few opportunities you like the look of, then research the organizations you’ll be working with. Try and find an organization contributing to a cause you’re passionate about.

Researching an organization not only helps identify the right opportunities, it’ll also help impress when it comes to applications.

3. Customize Your Application

Once you’ve found an organization you like, it’s time to put that research to use and tailor your application to the specific position. Generic applications won’t capture what makes you a good match for the role or why exactly you want the internship. Personalizing your applications is how you go from finding internships in environmental management to securing them.

Customize your application by highlighting relevant skills, experiences, and passions that align with the organization’s mission and the specific responsibilities of the internship. Essentially, describe how your background and interests make you an excellent fit for the position.

In your cover letter, address why you’re interested in the internship and why they should be interested in you as an intern. Well-tailored applications demonstrate not just what applicants will gain from an internship but also what the organization will gain from them as environmental management interns.

The best environmental internships can be competitive. Customizing your application will increase your chances of being chosen for the internship you pick.

woman writing in clipboard

4. Mentally and Physically Prepare Yourself

Just finding internships in environmental management is hard enough, but environment internships can be physically and mentally taxing in themselves too.

Internships in environmental management often involve demanding fieldwork, research, and sometimes challenging conditions. Mentally, prepare yourself for the possibility of facing unexpected obstacles and setbacks, and cultivate a resilient, problem-solving mindset.

Physically, consider staying in good shape, as some internships may require physical endurance. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help ensure you’re physically ready for the demands of your chosen internship.

How to Get Involved in Environmental Management

In conclusion, the field of environmental management offers a meaningful and impactful career path. Environmental management internships provide an opportunity to explore the world, engage in planet-saving work, and make your first steps down a career path in this vital field.

In this blog, we introduced eight of our best environmental internships from around the world, but this is only a drop in the ocean of possibilities for environmental internships. To enhance your chances of finding and securing the perfect placement for you, follow the tips above. Remember, it’s not just about finding internships in environmental management; it’s about finding one that helps towards your goal in environmental conservation.

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This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge