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  • Animal Science & Marine Biology
  • Europe
  • HS

Italy: Dolphin & Wildlife Conservation


From dolphins surfing the wake of the research boat to sea turtles nesting on the beaches of Southern Italy, the picturesque coastline is teeming with life. This is the ultimate opportunity for dolphin, whale and marine wildlife research.

Develop your interest in marine biology during this hands-on course exploring dolphins, whales and sea turtles in their natural habitats. Partner with research organizations and a rescue center to learn about current projects and local conservation efforts. Search for pods of playful dolphins in the beautiful blue water along Italy’s coastline. Stroll golden beaches in search of sea turtle nests and get sandy collecting data on hatchlings. Your studies contribute to research and conservation efforts, and you also get to experience the la dolce vita of Italy!

Hike the 'Walk of the Gods' along the stunning Amalfi Coast with colorful villages and sweeping vistas at every turn. Visit the famed ruins of Pompeii near Naples. Venture to the island of Capri and snorkel the sparkling waters. Get a taste of the warm and welcoming Italian culture through a cooking class. Experience the essence of Italy through valuable research experiences, gain a deeper connection to marine life and witness important conservation initiatives for marine wildlife.

June 26 - July 16 HS20 days$7180Available
July 19 - August 7 HS20 days$7180Available
Earn & Learn
Italy: Dolphin & Wildlife Conservation Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, with real-world learning through hands-on activities. This program offers 3 natural science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, you earn 35 hours of community service.


Course Description

This course is a survey of natural history, biology, behavior, conservation and monitoring and research techniques of dolphins, whales and sea turtles in Italy. 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 at research stations and collect data that will contribute to ongoing conservation projects. 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’s dolphin and sea turtle populations.

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

Course Objectives
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of Italy’s current and historic Loggerhead sea turtle populations.
  • Learn to identify Italy’s distinct dolphin populations and compare and 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 Italy’s ongoing sea turtle conservation efforts and look for ways to improve outcomes.
  • Examine marine animal conservation efforts in the Mediterranean and how modern eco-tourism may impact those efforts going forward.


We partner with organizations on a variety of projects focused on sustainability and conservation, which may include:

  • Working with conservation researchers to conduct behavioral and conservation research on threatened populations of dolphins.
  • Assisting veterinarians in rehabilitation of injured wildlife, including endangered sea turtles, and performing upkeep of facilities at an animal rehabilitation center.
  • Assisting in drone surveys looking for sea turtle tracks and nests at a local beach.

35 Service Hours

3 College Credits

Italy: Dolphin & Wildlife Conservation Itinerary


Marine biology program for teens in Italy and Greece

Before settling in to your 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 village of Minori. 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. Explore 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. Finally, get ready to laugh and get your hands messy during an Italian cooking class.

sailing camps for high schoolers

Arrive in the historic city of Taranto, home to a research organization and the setting for your introduction to Italy’s dolphins and whales. Climb aboard a catamaran and head into the Gulf of Taranto and Northern Ionian Sea. Here, you learn to use nautical instruments that track dolphins in open water. Practice species identification, record sightings and analyze dolphin behavior. Go on a mind-blowing day trip to the nearby canyon town of Matera and descend into cave dwellings that were home to Italy’s earliest settlers.


Arrive in the rustic, coastal town of Policoro, home to a wildlife refuge and a hot spot for sea turtle conservation. After snorkeling, spend mornings delving into the history of turtles in this region while also performing daily nest walks. Learn turtle monitoring techniques and practice surveys in search of loggerhead turtles. Summer is nesting season, so get ready to wake up early in the morning to search the beach for evidence of new nests. You also have numerous opportunities to engage in hands-on rehabilitation work including tagging and nursing injured turtles. When not working with these beautiful creatures, enjoy paddle boarding and kayaking with your new friends!


For the last phase of the course, return to Naples for reflection activities and your final adventures as a group. Your exam is complete and your final paper is submitted, now you get to kickback and snorkel the island of Capri and explore the labyrinth of Naples famous underground. Come together for a delicious Italian meal and a trip to Pompeii, the ancient city in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. Now it is time to take your new knowledge of marine science and think about how you can apply it to your life at home.

  • Trip Highlights

  • Search for sea turtle nests
  • Research and collect data on dolphin behavior
  • Join marine biologists in rehabilitating, feeding and tagging sea turtles
  • Visit the stunning waters of Capri
  • Hike the 'Walk of the Gods' along the famous and stunning Amalfi Coast
  • Experience the history of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius
Italy: Dolphin & Wildlife Conservation Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Linda Haghi

My daughter loved the Sea Turtles Studies trip. She bonded with the kids and counselors so much that she called them her second family. She loved the activities and loved studying the sea turtles. She returned even more mature and confident and determined to pursue her love of field biology and continue traveling internationally. Broadreach was outstanding in their communication and organization. They are obviously great at hiring, too, because the trip leaders were really great. I was never worried about her safety. This trip was perfect for my daughter because she has been so ready to travel and pursue field biology. It gave her the experience and confidence she’ll need to pursue her dreams. As soon as she came home, she started looking for a job so that she can go on another Broadreach trip in the future.

Maya Geer

To see the world, experience life and draw closer helps you find purpose and reason. This trip reminded me to slow down and find beauty in my world – which, with the rush and competitiveness of my life at home, is something I often do not do, and I am slowly falling back in love with life. We often forget how good our bodies and minds are supposed to feel and how much we can and should think. Although I do not know where I am headed, I have learned what to remember to do on my journey there.

Emma Cannon

It was the most amazing experience of my life. In the beginning I was afraid because I didn’t know anyone, but everyone in the group acted like they knew each other for years within five minutes of meeting everyone.

Barbara Wynn from East Grand Rapids, MI

Micah came back more focused, with increased self confidence, willingness to be a team player, and a new appreciation for the world of others as well as his own.

Hanna Fuster from San Diego, CA

This trip was truly a life changing experience! The immersion into a whole new culture and world while learning so extensively about the sea turtle species gave me new perspectives that I will continue to use throughout all paths of my life. I made amazing friends out of the strangers I met at the beginning of this journey, and I will continue to keep in touch and appreciate these bonds long after we say our goodbyes.

Mark De Vito

My son said this was one of the most amazing experience of his life and he has been fortunate enought to experience many things. He felt that it was very well organized, safe and continuiously eye opening from assisting children to experiencing animal life. Before he left for the trip, I was a little concerned about the safety; however, we were updated every step of the way and I would suggest this program to anyone. He made life friends, was able to experience different cultures and actually hear first hand how people live day to day. The staff were amazing from the first phone call to set up the trip, travel, daily updates and and pictures.

Katie Kaplan

Catching eggs was a memorable experience for me. I learned how endangered they were and how low chances of survival are so each egg felt like a very small important life.

Leila Haghi

Everyone on this trip was amazing and all the experiences we had were life changing. This has been the best trip of my life.

Margo Ward from Lake Forest, IL

This trip was an epic quest of nature conservation and friends who share the same interests as you.

Sarah Dewitt Feldman from Burnsville, NC

I really liked being led on this trip by Laura and Nathalie. They were really aware of our needs as individuals and as a group. When I had a rough day, they took really good care of me.

Greg Harned

My daughter had a great time on this trip. It was an excellent growth experience for her! I am very satisfied with the program and the way it is managed.

Italy: Dolphin & Wildlife Conservation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

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.

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.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

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 $339-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please 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.

Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?

Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.

How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is non-refundable and is due 4 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).

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 high school and 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 details, click here.

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 call our office for more information on applying.

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