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  • Animal Science & Marine Biology
  • Europe
  • C

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Conservation


From sea turtles nesting on the beaches of Crete to dolphins surfing the wake off Policoro, the picturesque coasts of Italy & Greece are teeming with marine life. In other words, the ultimate labs for sea turtle and dolphin field studies.

Develop your interest in marine biology during this hands-on course exploring sea turtles and dolphins in their natural habitats. As part of a team of student researchers, partner with local rescue and research organizations dedicated to their study and conservation. Stroll beautiful Mediterranean beaches counting eggs, looking for hatchlings, protecting nests and collecting data on turtles for real-world projects. Observe nesting behavior and assist biologists with excavation during nesting season. On the ocean's surface, search for pods of playful and intelligent dolphins in the Mediterranean's stunning bays and other marine mammal hot spots. Italy and Greece have a long history of promoting conservation and your participation in this expedition will provide valuable contributions to their efforts for years to come.

Hike the 'Walk of the Gods' along the stunning Amalfi Coast, sprinkled with colorful villages and sweeping vistas. Visit the famed Acropolis in Athens. Venture to the island of Crete and snorkel the sparkling, crystal waters. Get a taste of the warm and welcoming Italian and Greek cultures. After three life-changing weeks, you'll leave the Mediterranean with valuable field research experience, a deeper connection to marine life and real-world exposure to the important conservation initiatives that surround these magnificent creatures.

June 17 - July 7 C21 days$6,480Available
Earn & Learn
Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Conservation Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Conservation offers 3 marine science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 50 hours of documented community service.


Course Description

This course is a survey of natural history, biology, behavior, conservation, and monitoring and research techniques of sea turtles and dolphins in the Mediterranean. Coursework will consist of both academic discussions and field work designed to introduce you to the methods and equipment that marine biologists commonly use. Work and study at field research stations and collect data that will contribute to ongoing projects in conservation for multiple organizations. Leave with a record of your achievements and the feeling that you have made a positive and lasting impact on the long-term viability of Italy & Greece’s sea turtle and dolphin populations.

In addition to the sea turtle and dolphin studies, explore the rich biodiversity, environmental sustainability and use of the natural environment in the region.

Course Objectives
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the Mediterranean’s current and historic Loggerhead sea turtle populations
  • Learn to identify the Mediterranean’s distinct dolphin populations and compare & contrast the differences and similarities of the various species
  • Explore common research and data collection techniques marine researchers use and how to interpret the natural behavior of animals found in the wild
  • Survey and contribute to the Mediterranean’s ongoing sea turtle conservation efforts and look for ways to improve outcomes
  • Discuss current issues, law and international policy surrounding conservation of Loggerhead sea turtles and dolphins
  • Examine marine animal conservation efforts in the Mediterranean and how modern eco-tourism may impact those efforts going forward


Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. In Italy & Greece, partner with community organizations on a variety of projects focused on sustainability and conservation, which may include opportunities to:

  • Assist in collecting data to support the research of multiple local conservation organizations
  • Use a variety of nautical instruments and photo identification to track and record local dolphin location and population
  • Educate locals and tourists about the importance of protecting the Loggerhead turtles through a public awareness campaign
  • Contribute to a comprehensive monitoring program to determine location and population of turtles along the Ionian Coast

3 College Credits

50 Service Hours

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Conservation Itinerary


Marine biology program for teens in Italy and Greece

Before settling in to a sea turtle rescue center for hands-on research and conservation work, spend the first few days orienting yourself to the astounding beauty of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Upon arrival in Naples, the group has time to get acquainted, then it’s off to a villa-style hotel in the scenic and artsy village of Ravello. Take in the stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea then set out to hike the Valle delle Ferriere, a nature reserve teeming with rocky pathways, clear streams, waterfalls and ruins. The trekking continues on the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ or ‘Walk of the Gods.’ Discover wild gorges and make stops along the way to peer out at the colorful Italian towns and beaches down below. Then, find yourself in the midst of lemon groves where you’ll learn all about lemon production and the art of cooking with the citrus.

sea turtle internships

Arrive in the rustic, coastal town of Policoro, home to a wildlife refuge and the setting for our focused work with sea turtles and dolphins. After an open water snorkel, spend mornings delving into the history of turtles in this region while also performing daily nest walks. Learn turtle monitoring techniques from experts and put them into practice as we survey loggerhead turtles. Summer is nesting season for this fascinating species, providing numerous opportunities to engage in hands-on caring, including rescue, rehabilitation, assisted tagging and turtle feeding. A mind-blowing day trip to the nearby canyon town of Matera will enlighten you as we descend into cave dwellings that were home to Italy’s earliest settlers. Once we’ve gotten our hands wet working with turtles, it’s time to venture out and begin our dolphin research. Climb aboard a catamaran and head into the Gulf of Taranto and Northern Ionian Sea. Here, you’ll learn to use nautical instruments that help track dolphin in open waters. Practice species identification, record sightings, plus analyze dolphin behavior.

sailing camps for high schoolers

Next stop: Greece. Set up camp in Rethymno, a picturesque beachside town on the island of Crete, and spend days conducting sea turtle surveys, relocating threatened nests, building turtle pathways to the sea and constructing protective barriers. You and your team of fellow turtle researchers will also take part in a public awareness campaign to help educate locals on the significance and importance of sea turtle conservation. During downtime, we even find time to learn about olive oil production at a nearby olive grove.


The last part of our journey is no less thrilling as we spend two days and nights in the remote and mountainous Chora Sfakion. Stay in a quaint and authentic Greek village and spend days snorkeling, hiking the majestic Imbros Gorge, exploring caves and relaxing on the beach as only Greeks know how. Before flying home, ready to build upon our knowledge of marine science, we close the adventure with a delicious Greek meal and a trip to the Acropolis, the ancient citadel that towers proudly over Athens.

  • Trip Highlights

  • Hunt for sea turtle nests on Greece's magical beaches
  • Research and collect habitat data on dolphin behavior
  • Join marine biologists in rehabilitating, feeding and tagging sea turtles
  • Promote conservation by sharing your knowledge with locals and tourists
  • Hike the 'Walk of the Gods' along the famous and stunning Amalfi Coast
  • Try your hand at traditional Italian cooking and visit a lemon farm
Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Conservation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?

Trip tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodation and activities from the time you arrive on location. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees and optional college credits. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot (pending your acceptance into the program), and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).

We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.

Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.

How does travel work?

For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.

What is the application process?

Step one: submit your initial application online with a $35 application fee. If there is space, you can secure your spot with a $1000 deposit while you complete the secondary application. Step two: we will send you login details to complete your secondary application (academic reference, personal statement, interview, transcript). Once we accept your secondary application pieces and you’ve paid your deposit, your place on the program is secured!

What do the academics involve? How do college credits work? What if I don’t take the program for credit?

Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.

We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past. For more information, click here.

How many students are in a group? What is the male/female ratio?

The majority of programs will have a maximum of 12 students in a group. We aim for a balance of males and females, but in our experience, the gender ratio plays a small role in the success of each program.

How does Broadreach address safety?

Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to call our office.

Who will my instructors be?

Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).

Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?

We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.

Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?

In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit for more information and to apply online for scholarships.

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