Reforestation and Conservation Internship in Portugal

Be part of an exciting reforestation program, helping to build a thriving natural environment for Portugal’s native animal and plant species

This is a wonderful opportunity for anybody with a background in or keen passion for forestry, biology, nature conservation or environmental science.

This is one of the organization’s newer projects. The main goal is to reforest 27 hectares of land surrounding the sanctuary to help create a thriving biodiversity that will be home to a range of indigenous plants and trees, as well as many different animal species, including horses, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, turtle doves, chinchillas, rabbits and others. As a reforestation and conservation intern, you’ll take a leading role in maintaining and monitoring the forest, planning and strategizing ways to improve the land so as to attract more native species to exist and flourish there. You’ll also do key research that will feature in the organization’s communications and television show.

Learning objectives:

  • Build skills and expertise in reforestation and conservation, learning about the fauna and flora native to the region
  • Help drive the organization’s initiatives in creating a thriving and diverse natural environment
  • Understand how to carry out data collection to aid research and content for communications
  • Gain experience working in an international setting


SOS Animal is driven to improve animal welfare throughout Portugal and beyond. They have a main office, as well as a veterinary hospital in Lisbon which are open to the public and members of SOS Animal. They have recently set up an animal sanctuary in the Santarém region of Portugal, which will be home to a rich variety of native animals and plant species.

The organization offers free veterinary care to animals from low-income and vulnerable households and has set up a successful animal sterilization program whereby they have performed over 3000 sterilizations. They have also found new homes for over 600 rescued animals and have given almost 10,000 free veterinary consultations to families in need.

Alongside providing medical treatment and care to animals, the organization aims to share important information relating to animal welfare and environmental issues impacting flora and fauna more widely. They do this through the dissemination of studies, running clarification sessions and hosting lectures and other educational activities. This nonprofit also contributes scientific research and data to help manage communities of stray animals, and promote initiatives aimed at improving animal welfare across the public and private sectors.


The organization has acquired 27 hectares of land and one of their main goals is to reforest the land to help create a thriving biodiversity that will be home to a range of indigenous plants and trees, as well as many different animal species.

What you’ll do

The main tasks for interns on this program will be:

  • Manage and look after the forest land surrounding the sanctuary
  • Carry out data collection of the species found there which will be added to the monthly reports
  • Help to plan and strategize ways to improve the forest’s biodiversity, keeping in mind the animals that live there and their needs
  • Do research about the area that will be used in the organization’s communications and television show
  • In fall/winter, help to plant new areas of forest to increase biodiversity
  • All interns assist with general work and at the start of the internship there will be an orientation program with basic skills (taking care of animals, cleaning, etc.)
  • Background in forestry, biology, environmental science, nature conservation or similar
  • An enthusiasm for environmental conservation/ animal welfare
  • Share the organization’s core values, demonstrating the desire to contribute to this unique project in Portugal
  • Minimum age of 20 years old In good physical and mental condition
  • Good English language skills (Spanish/Portuguese are not needed for the project)
  • Minimum commitment of one month


You will stay at the sanctuary in Santarém, where there is a house with the choice of single or shared bedrooms. The house includes all furnishings, bed linen, a shared kitchen where you can prepare your meals, communal areas, as well as an outdoor pool for you to enjoy. The accommodation has access to Wifi and cleaning service is included. Once a week, you can go to the local town to pick up groceries.

The nearest city is 5 km from the sanctuary and you are welcome to take one of the sanctuary’s bicycles to explore the surroundings. Santarém is on a plateau, situated on the bank of the River Tagus, a picturesque area surrounded by hills and wheat fields. Located in the middle of the river, is the fairy-tale Castelo de Almourol, arguably one of Europe’s most beautiful castles.


Internships are available from January until November. The start and end dates of the internship will be discussed with you during the selection process.

What you’ll pay (2024 fees)

4 weeks EUR 1,318
8 weeks EUR 2,035
12 weeks EUR 2,751
16 weeks EUR 3,468
20 weeks EUR 4,185
26 weeks EUR 5,261

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation based on a shared room. Please contact us if you are interested in an upgrade to a single room.
  • Wifi access
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights to Lisbon airport
  • Transfer from the airport to your accommodation (less than one hour by car)
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
Santarém, Portugal
Animal Welfare  and Conservation NGO
Animal Care, Research, Data Capture, Conservation
4-26 Weeks
From EUR 1,318
  • Be part of an exciting new reforestation project that will help increase the biodiversity of the area
  • Play a key role in helping to promote the organization’s values and initiatives through research and data collection
  • Work as part of a passionate, committed team to bring about positive change
  • Build up a range of expertise in conservation and forestry to go towards future employment
  • Explore a beautiful region of Portugal and learn more about the local culture and way of life
4 WEEKS EUR 1,318
8 WEEKS EUR 2,035
12 WEEKS EUR 3,468

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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